A sorceress cataclysm has hit the Range, the final defensive line between the Republic and the immortal Deep Kings.
Tormenting red rains sweep the land, new monstrosities feed on fear in the darkness, and the power of the Nameless, the gods who protect the Republic, lies broken. The Blackwing captains who serve them are being picked off one by one, and even immortals have learned what it means to die. Meanwhile the Deep Kings have only grown stronger and are poised to deliver a blow that will finally end the war.
Ryhalt Galharrow stands apart from it all.
He has been deeper into the wasteland known as the Misery than ever before. It has grown within him – changed him – but all power comes with a price, and now the ghosts of his past, formerly confined to the Misery, walk with him everywhere.
They will even follow him, and the few surviving Blackwing captains, on one final mission into the darkness.
Author: Ed McDonald
Narrator: Colin Mace
Series: The Raven’s Mark #3
Run Time: 15 hrs 5 mins
Audio Release Date: 27/06/2019
My Rating of ‘Crowfall’: 4 out of 5
Crowfall was one of those books I have been eagerly awaiting for a LONG time. I had the chance to get an early copy a while before getting the audio book, but I have the other two on audible and it would have been a crime to break up the set.
I’ll start off by saying that Crowfall did not disappoint. It had so much going for it in terms of story, back story, character development and a few twists and turns that I did not see coming or, in some cases, realise they were happening until they were upon me.
We are, as ever, treated to Colin Mace’s narration that just oozes the audio image I have for Galharrow: a grizzled, gritty, weathered veteran that is as bleak as the world he lives in. Perhaps the only negative with Colin’s narration is the pacing. At times it feels like things are moving too slow and I did struggle to keep my enthusiasm at points due to this. And, if I’m honest, it wasn’t a constant thing regarding his narration, so it may have just been parts of the prose that were incredibly slow-going.
I mentioned the character development earlier. Boy, is there a lot of it. Galharrow just keeps adding layers onto his personality and the people surrounding him just continue to get more interesting with every passing book. I do feel like a few things fall into place a little easily as far as character development goes, but that’s only a minor thing and barely noticeable. Might even be non-existent. Who knows, perhaps I’m just being super-picky?
Oh! There’s even a bit of development as far as some of the creatures that dwell in the Misery are concerned, but I’ll not mention which or how.
We all know that The Misery is a huge aspect of the Raven’s Mark series. That bleak landscape that is ever-shifting and chocked full of gruesome and inventive ways of killing a person (Gillings are still, and always will be, my favourite. Just for the sheer horror of imagining myself waking up to find one eating me painlessly, their numbing saliva seeing to that. All the while chanting numbers at me, promising they’re a good boy or asking if I’d like a good time, while doing it). The Misery is, perhaps, more of a thing in this book than the previous two combined. There is also a hearty amount of misery (the emotion, not the place).
Plenty of misery, of all sorts, to go around! Huzzah! I was always of the opinion that Fitz from the Robin Hobb books was the most miserable, unlucky and depressive character going. Ed McDonald’s Galharrow gives Fitz a run for his money. Lord knows over the course of the series the man has had more than his fair share of badness come his way. But that just makes him one of those characters you want to see rise above and succeed.
I’ll admit that I’m not too clued up on how many books were due out in this series but, having thought it was a trilogy, I am pleasantly surprised that there has at least been a little wiggle room left over for potential future books set in the same universe. Whether that’s going to be the case or I’m just not ready to let go and am full of wishful thinking remains to be seen.
Regardless of the answer to the above, the ending is truly a great ending. It made everything that happened before it, across all three books, so worthwhile. All the pain, struggles, heartache, trials and tribulations, all amounted to the end of this novel and, in my opinion, it smashed it out of the park. It certainly made a slow day at work incredibly exciting.
Looking back on the three books of the Raven’s Mark, I genuinely feel content and satisfied, even if future books aren’t a thing. I feel like things were left in a state where I can walk away and be happy with the series I have experienced.
The cover, as always for this series, is absolutely gorgeous.
This book really gives a new meaning to the whole ‘being haunted by the ghosts of your past’ thing.