Review copy accessed via Netgalley.
I’m not sure where to start with ‘A Wish Too Dark and Kind’.
I enjoyed this book. I liked the way it was structured, the characters were intriguing, it drew connections between histories seamlessly and tied itself together perfectly for the climax.
The characters we diverse and fleshed out enough to be interesting and have identifiable personalities. Some, like Alex and Ioan, were crucial to the story as in their roles as teachers, with experience in magic, they were able to deduce some of what was happening and explain it to Daniel who acted as the student – thereby explaining the rules of the magical world to the reader.
Structured as a kind of paranormal investigation, full of kidnapping, ritual sacrifice and coercion, ‘A Wish Too Dark And Kind’ was a thrilling adventure that kept me hooked even when I found myself overwhelmed by the detail in the book.
However, as much as I enjoyed it, I’m not sure I understood the story. It was complex and Blackbird created a whole mythology of magick (blood magic and tellur), immortals and dark powers that was difficult to absorb at times.
The structure of the book, one half excerpts of documents from an investigation into the events of the other half of the narrative, was clever – allowing for a slow revelation of facts and character reveals in the lead up to the climax. Little things mentioned in the early excerpts made sense as we followed the active storyline – but at the same time, when combined with the mythology of the world made the novel increasingly complicated.
By the halfway mark, I was still struggling to understand who the key characters were, what motivated them and how they fit into the plot. I knew I was enjoying the book but I wasn’t sure I was understanding it in the way the author intended.
I love a good fantasy novel and have read enough to have a good understanding of magical creatures from cultures around the world, alchemy and history, and yet found myself completely lost at times while reading. I’d recommend this book to anyone who enjoys urban fantasy and recommend pushing through to the second half of the book where everything rapidly starts coming together to make more sense.
Cover thoughts: this cover is dark and creepy and magical and glorious. It beautifully illustrates the creepy, haunting feel of the narrative while instantly identifying this as a book filled with dark magic, rituals and death.