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Book Review: The Black Coast

Table of Contents

“When the citizens of Black Keep see ships on the horizon, terror takes them because they know who is coming: for generations, the keep has been raided by the fearsome clanspeople of Tjakorsha. Saddling their war dragons, Black Keep’s warriors rush to defend their home only to discover that the clanspeople have not come to pillage at all. Driven from their own land by a daemonic despot who prophesises the end of the world, the raiders come in search of a new home . . .

Meanwhile the wider continent of Narida is lurching toward war. Black Keep is about to be caught in the crossfire – if only its new mismatched society can survive.”

Title: The Black Coast

Series: The God-King Chronicles #1

Author: Mike Brooks

Page Count: 643

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 4.0/5.0

Date Read: November 5th, 2022

The Black Coast by Mike Brooks was my buddy read group’s November read. This one had been on my radar for almost a year now so I was excited to see it was hitting our group’s reading list this month.

As my November TBR is so packed with this buddy read, a readathon and a last minute eARC to squeeze in by the end of the month, I opted to listen to the audiobook version. I thought the narrator Paul Panting did a great job!

This was an interesting read as there were definitely some traditional and expected tropes but also some unique aspects of this world to me. I very much enjoyed the overall story of two very different cultures clashing and trying to find a way to coexist. Going through the struggles of prejudice for one reason or another.

One of the most unique item for me was the difference from traditional dragon mythology. I don’t want to spoil anything but the capabilities of these dragons were a bit strange to me. They don’t lack any of their strength and ferocity we are used to though.
The only real negative thing I have to say is that how the Naridans addressed themselves in third person constantly became really annoying. It probably wouldn’t have been so bad if it wasn’t so frequently but it’s just about through the entire book. With that being said, if that is really my only negative comment I’d say this book did rather well in my eyes!

The pacing was smooth for me. This was an easy story to follow along and it went by fairly quickly. There isn’t a big learning curve to any names or over complicated speech. Nothing is worse for me than having to constantly look up word meanings to understand what is going on with a scene.

The character development was good as well. We do have quite a few characters introduced throughout this book from the clansmen to the Naridans and the clanless before its all said and done. I though we learned about most of our main characters at a fairly steady pace. Again it was interesting to see these cultures clash between their characters and how they learn from each other.

The world building was good as well. We learn quite a bit as to where our clansmen originate and probably even more of about where they end up. But even with that it seems like this world in general has the potential to be so much bigger as the story evolves from here!

I’d recommend this book to fans of epic fantasies that are looking for a bit of a twist to their dragons and that don’t have any issues with same sex relationships. I only mention the latter as I know that is a very touchy subject for some readers. Even with that being said, I don’t think it’s thrown in the readers face very much. It’s mentioned a few times and does weigh heavy on a scene or two but nothing major in my opinion.

World Building 4/5
Pacing 4/5
Character Development 4/5

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Chad Barnard

Owner/Operator of The Hiking Reader Blog. Sharing thoughts on books and hiking trails and trying to find ways to continue to incorporate both hobbies together.

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