Saturday, March 16, 2019

Mountain of Daggers (Tales of the Black Raven #1) by Seth Skorkowsky

I picked up Mountain of Daggers by Seth Skorkowsky because people were talking it up on the GrimDark Facebook group. It's a loose collection of tales following the doings of thief and miscreant Ahren, aka the Black Raven, as he goes about his business. Sometimes he's on top of things. Other times his opponents get the better of him. Seth's writing flows along at a decent clip, and he paints a well-realised world that promises to be filled with lore (kudos there). I wanted to nitpick a little but shoved my editor hat under the table, even though I'd have enjoyed having a go at him.

But where this book falls flat is the very concept that it presents – a series of vaguely interconnected stories about the legendary Black Raven. While there are key events that suggest motivation, the lack of overarching narrative to drive the story forward means that it loses some of its oomph. Look, it's not a bad concept, but it could have had a bit more meat to the bones, if that makes sense.

Don't get me wrong; I enjoyed the setting very much. There's most certainly action by the bucket load, but I wanted more depth to the character. As it goes, it feels more as if I'm an observer watching rather than actively participating.

This is still a worthy read though, and if characters with dubious moral inclinations are your thing, with a side order of swashbuckling and getting up to mischief, then you'll enjoy Mountain of Daggers immensely.

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