It's Book Review Wednesday again, and I've got a treat for you! Today, I'm reviewing a book that shares a lot in common with The Last Bucelarii
series: a bad-ass killer, a cursed weapon, a mysterious past, and a beautifully dark story line!
Cursed: Black Swan (A Fixer Novel)
“Let’s get one thing straight—I’m a fixer. You need someone murdered? Then hire an assassin. You need something stolen? Call a thief. But if there’s something no one else can do, or a job that no one else wants, then you talk to me.”
Nathaniel specializes in the strange, the weird, and the dangerous. But no matter how far he runs, he can’t leave behind his bloody past, nor the ghosts that chase him.
His latest job was supposed to be simple—recover the sword Black Swan. Except there’s no such thing as a simple job. When the operation goes bad, the Crucifiers, the Crooked Hand, assassins, and Crusaders are all hot on Nathaniel’s trail...for a sword he doesn’t even have. All he has to do to get it back and set his world right is to find the woman of his dreams... and kill her.
My Review: 4.5 Stars
From the moment I opened this book, I was hooked. The character is a sarcastic "fixer" with a predisposition for killing--not quite an assassin, but definitely on the wrong side of the law.
The story got my attention immediately. It was incredibly well-written, free of the grammar and punctuation errors that drive me up the wall, and overall a very solid book. The characters were intriguing, and I LOVED the main character's back story. Truth be told, all his back story (the prison, the life as a prince, etc.) would make one heck of a series. But as a standalone book, it's truly a fascinating read.
My only complaint is with the ending of the book. After the massive build-up of the character, the cursed sword, and the villain, I was sorely disappointed with the climax and the way the author chose to end the story. What started out as a book focused entirely on the main character and his story ended up with a "save the world" plotline that I didn't like. Not that it wasn't well-written, just not how I wanted to see the story end.
Anyone who enjoys the grimdark/dark fantasy genre will love this story!
About the Author:
(Taken from his website)
I am a writer of fantasy and horror, with short stories and novellas published through Dragon Moon Press, Edge SF & F, and Absolute X-Press. In 2014, my novella Ghost in the Machine won the Aurora Award (Canada’s most prestigious award for SF&F) for Short Fiction.
My motley past involves such dangerous work as database administration, ice cream flavouring (seriously, that’s a thing), hockey league administration, screen printing, web design, furniture building, and home renovations.
He lives in London with his two beautiful, but sometimes diabolical daughters, who he is sure are plotting to one day overthrow him.
My other writing credits (not shown on this site) include stories in Chicago Overcoat, Afterburn SF, Sinister Tales, as well as a finalist in the $1500 JFJK contest, a semi-finalist in the Writer’s of the Future (as well as receiving two Honourable Mentions)
Find the book on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Cursed-Black-Swan-Fixer-Novel-ebook/dp/B016CD464E/
Visit his website: http://www.ryanmcfadden.com/
Tweet at him: https://twitter.com/RyanTMcFadden
Connect with him on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ryan.mcfadden1