When the citizens of Black Keep see ships on the horizon, terror takes them, for they know who is coming: for generations, Black Keep has been raided by the fearsome clanspeople of Iwernia. Saddling their war dragons, the Naridans rush to defend their home only to discover that the clanspeople have not come to pillage at all. Driven from their own homeland by the rise of a daemonic despot who prophesies the end of the world, they have 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 cross-fire of the coming war for the world – if only its new mismatched society can survive.
The Black Coast is the first book in Mike Brooks’ epic fantasy series The God-King Chronicles. It is a great start in what appears to be a promising story.
The Black Coast had me from the beginning. It starts with a group of raiders traveling across the sea to seek asylum from a group they have terrorized in the past in an effort to escape another group of people who seek to eradicate them. Half by the threat of force and half by logic, the raiders convince the villagers to let them stay. I do not want to spoil too much here, but the way this situation was handled by every person involved made the whole really interesting and sets up the story in such a way as to make me look forward to the implications of these decisions. This is, of course, just one ongoing narrative of several. There is a lot going on in this world, and each story line is really intriguing.
There are a lot of characters to keep track of, but that is fine. The reader gets introduced to many of them throughout the book, but the author does a really good job of making each one interesting enough to want to follow. They all have so much depth to them, which just makes that much story to tell.
One really unique aspect of the book was the way the author did some different things with the genders of the characters. I am not going to do a great job of describing it, so I will not even try. I did often have to reference the paragraph where the gender details were described until I got it right. I really liked the fact that it took some work to understand, because I think putting in that work makes us more willing to do so in real life situations, as well. It is not always easy to stop and attempt to understand others, and the more we practice it the better we become.
All-in-all, The Black Coast was a great introductory book. The storylines are intriguing, the characters are interesting, and the author is doing some different things with the writing that I find enjoyable. I am looking forward to seeing where things go in book 2.