I’ve got dragons and fantasy today! 🙂 YAY! Lemme show you!
Title: The Shadow of Black Wings
Series: The Year of the Dragon #1
Author: James Calbraith
Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Alternate History,
Publisher: Flying Squid
Format: Ebook and Paperback
Length: 70000 words
Purchase: Amazon |
“Fast paced and full of energy”
–Adrian Tchaikovsky, author of the Shadows of the Apt
“This manuscript is full of highly crafted detail that will make readers shiver at times with fear and delight … a familiar yet highly original fantasy that is a worthwhile read.”
— Publishers Weekly
“The real-world cultures are incredibly well-researched and truthful, and yet well-balanced with the fantasy elements. An intriguing and impressive series.”
— Ben Galley, author of the Emaneska Series
It is the Sixteenth Year of Queen Victoria. In the powerful empire of Dracaland, Bran, a young dragon rider, joins his father on a military expedition to the mysterious lands of the Orient. In the reclusive Yamato, Sato, a tomboy samurai girl, strives to prove her right to inherit her father’s school of western magic. Nagomi, a timid shrine apprentice, is haunted by the visions of dark future she must keep secret even from her best friend.
They don’t know it yet, but their paths will cross… And when they do, nothing will ever be the same again.
Welcome to The Shadow of Black Wings, a steam-powered romp across the land of dragons, wizards and samurai. It’s big, it’s fast, it’s been compared to Tolkien in terms of world-building, it has strong female characters and lots of carefully researched detail. You will meet the Royal Marines sailing mighty ironclads and Chinese walking machines; mysterious warlords and crazy inventors; you will discover dark prophecies, family secrets and blood-thirsty demons. And all that in just the first volume!
A single gear whirred and clicked into place. A valve opened, letting out a thin plume of grey steam with a quiet hiss. A gold-plated dial moved by a notch. A tiny mallet sprang from its compartment, striking the brass gong – one, two, three, four, five, six times.
Master Tanaka looked up in surprise – an hour of the Hare already? He turned towards the window and the pink light of dawn illuminated his face. The temple bell only now started to ring out the time. He sighed then yawned, rubbing tired eyes. Another night had passed without him noticing.
The elementals inside the clock awoke with a soft purr and the automatic brush began to move swiftly inside the glass cloche. A slot opened in the mahogany pedestal and spat out a piece of paper upon which was written the day’s divination. Hisashige reached for it absentmindedly, his attention focused on the piece of complex clockwork on which he had been working. He glanced briefly at the calligraphy – Oku, ‘a gift’. He smiled to himself and nodded knowingly.
A higher-pitched chime rang eight times – counting out the hours of the Western reckoning. The door slid open and a small boy entered the workshop. With his long and angular face, puffed lips and wide straight nose, he bore no resemblance to Master Tanaka.
‘It came from Kiyō this morning, Father,’ the boy said, presenting Hisashige with a large, ornately packed wooden box.
‘Excellent!’ the old master exclaimed.
He put the box on the workbench beside the clockwork and began to unwrap it eagerly.
‘Shūhan-sama was supposed to send me some Walcheren glass.’
He stopped abruptly and his shoulders sank when he saw the crest on the box, in golden leaf – three lines in a circle. He lifted the lid without enthusiasm. Inside was what seemed like a small human head, completely bald.
‘Some gift.’ Hisashige looked at the clock with reproach. ‘It’s just another of Zōzan’s broken dolls.’
Well, dragon riders are just awesome! This is a fascinating world that is created with some lovely characters.
Bran is pretty cool as main for he is a DRAGON RIDER! He seems like he is a slacker in other things except this. And due to that slacking, or rebellion, whatever you wanna shoot for, he finds out a seriously big whammy of a secret! You know where those people in your family happen to “be” with other people who are not part of your family. LOL 🙂 So, he’s decided he is going to indulge in his curiosity.
Bran’s dad also plays a pretty big role here, and I thought it was cool to learn not only more about his dad, but about his granddad, and it’s also a bonding moment. And we also have some speaking time with Sato and Nagomi. These girls are the coolest, as you usually think of protectors and warriors being men, but these two take it to a whole new level!
There are some really interesting story plots and I like the way things unfold. It’s such a unique way of doing things. And it’s so different, but of course, it’s a historical type fantasy, so it’s a different time with different outlooks. There’s a background romance, I know that’s kinda cryptic but if I come out and say it, I will spoil some things. Plus there is more to the journey for the next book and I am going to predict a little more romance to come.
It’s a very cool read, especially if historical fantasy is your cup of tea. It’s unique and it’s different which makes it a plus for me, AND there’s dragons! LOL I love that! Very Cool! I look forward to reading book 2. 4 DRAGON LOVING PAWS!
About the Author:
James Calbraith is a 34 year old Poland-born writer, foodie and traveller, currently residing in South London.
Growing up in communist Poland on a diet of powdered milk, Lord of the Rings and soviet science-fiction, he had his first story published at the ripe age of eight. After years of bouncing around university faculties, he moved to London in 2007, found a decent IT job and started writing in English. His debut historical fantasy novel, “”The Shadow of Black Wings””, has reached ABNA semi-finals. It was published in July 2012 and hit the Historical Fantasy and Alternate History bestseller lists on Amazon US & UK.
The giveaway is tour wide and is for 8 ebook copies and 2 print copies of this book! I say that’s a really cool giveaway as more of you could win! Go HERE to enter!
I wish you all good luck and I hope you enjoyed today! 🙂 Happy Reading and Later gators!