Friday, March 28, 2014

Fade to Black

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Today’s post is on Fade to Black by Francis Knight. It is the first in her Rojan Dizon series. The book is 347 pages and is published by Orbit. The cover is a black cityscape with white at the top and a figure in red in the center. There is language, talk of sex and rape, and lots of violence in this book; adult readers for the best. The intended reader is someone who likes sword and sorcery, gritty urban fantasy, and anti-heroes. The story is told from the first person point of view of the main character Rojan. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- from the depths of a valley rises the city of Mahala. It’s a city built upward. Not across- where streets are built upon streets, buildings upon buildings. A city that the Ministry rules from the sunlit summit, and where the forsaken lurk in the darkness of Under.
Rojan Dizon doesn’t mind staying in the shadows in the shadows because he’s got things to hide. Things like being a pain-mage, with the forbidden power to draw magic from pain. But when the fate of Mahala depends on him using his magic, he can’t hide forever.
Because when Rojan stumbles upon the secrets lurking in the depths of the Pit, the fate of Mahala will depend on him using his magic. And – unluckily for Rojan- this is going to hurt.

Review- Knight does something very interesting with this book and series. She creates a world that is both gritty urban fantasy and sword and sorcery. It is urban fantasy because of the setting. The setting is a miles tall city with the holy and the wealthy at the top and the poor and unluckily at the bottom. There is drugs, working girls, shadowy cops and Specials from the Ministry, and brawlers. It is sword and sorcery because of the magic and the fighting that happens. I was very pleasantly surprised by this book. Rojan is anti-hero and I love anti-heroes.  He does want to do what is right but he does not want to get killed. It starts out at him going to rescue his niece who has been kidnapped and taken somewhere that should not even exist. It goes from there when Rojan realized what is really going on in his city. I am curious to see what Knight is going to go with the series because of all the fallout from this first book. About the magic system- it is where pain can be used by mages to make things happen. For example Rojan uses his magic to find people. Another mage in the book uses his magic to read minds. The mages is what determines what the magic does. It took me awhile to understand the magic system so just trying to save any future readers time.

I give this book a Four stars out of Five. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this book from my local library.