Blackbringer is Laini Taylor‘s debut novel and the first book in the Faeries of Dreamdark series.
It is set in a world of faeries and devils and also an ever growing human population. Most faeries live in the secluded city of Dreamdark, hidden from humans and oblivious to the fact that more and more devils are being released back into the world by ignorant humans. The devils were sealed in bottles twenty-five thousand years ago but as humans continue to spread and explore the world, these bottles are found and opened.
Magpie Windwitch is a faerie with more understanding of what is happening than the average faerie as she spends her life traveling the world hunting the escaped devils. However, even she finds herself in trouble when the Blackbringer is released threatening to wreak more havoc than a few ordinary devils. Her battles sees her journey to Dreamdark and seek the great Djinn, creators of the world who have been sleeping for thousands of years.
The above synopsis probably doesn’t do the story the justice it deserves. Magpie is a likable character, as are her companions – a group of cigar smoking crows who were once a traveling theatre troupe. There are several threads that gradually develop through the book, including Magpie’s own background, the identity of the Blackbringer, and the very nature of the magic in the world.
The book contains a wonderful collection of characters. Some whimsical and likeable, others annoying but relatively harmless, and yet others that are pure evil. Taylor avoids the temptation to explain too much too soon, but rather lets the reader enjoy a journey of discovery along with Magpie. As the story progresses it becomes clear that Magpie’s adventures are part of a larger story that has been building for thousands of years.
All up, I liked Blackbringer. It took me a little bit to get into it, but once it got going I was very keen to see where it went and enjoyed the world I was taken into.
For those in North America, the second Faeires of Dreamdark book, Silksinger is due out in September. For people here in Australia, Blackbringer itself will not be available until August.
The kind folk at Penguin USA sent me a copy to read so I am happy to pass it on to another Australian reader. Simply comment on this post, including the words “yes please” by 5 pm, Friday April 3rd (Melbourne time). I’ll draw names from a hat and send it to the lucky reader. Fine print: The book is essentially new, but has been read once. Only open to to residents of Australia.
Edit: In case you are wondering, Blackbringer is probably aimed at what we here in Australia would call the upper years of primary school or early teen years, sort of 10-13 year olds or thereabouts. But hey, I’m 38 and I read it. Make of that what you will.