Nightchild by James Barclay
One thing that is always tinged with a measure of trepidation is the treatment of children in a fantasy world. A measure of reality must always be held in one hand while you attempt to watch over them. For as much as you would love to see them always come through unharmed, happy, and well, it is just not how it would have played back in the middle ages and before.
Subsequently, when the focus of the Raven’s attention is the five year old daughter of two members of their mercenary band, Erienne and Denser, a master storyteller is needed to tell the story.
Thankfully, James Barclay is that person, and in what is one of two books which I hold above the others, Nightchild keeps you enthralled and leaves you devastated.
Balaia is home to four colleges of magic, each acquiring their skills and abilities from a different aspect of the One magic. Many mages are unaware of this linkage, but in Nightchild the secret is the deadliest danger facing Lyanna. Some colleges want her dead, others want her power for themselves, and all the while the young girl is losing what little control she has over the magic and destroying Balaia in the process.
What makes this story interesting from the get-go is that the Raven have parted ways since the end of book two. It’s a surprising move on Barclay’s part, who apart from one other moment leaves his books pretty much bookending each other in their timeline. Subsequently, this story must first see the Raven reunite before they can protect Lyanna from the hunt.
But as always, just because there is a time gap does not mean storylines have been left unattended too. Noonshade finds a measure of conclusion within the pages of Nightchild, and the continual reshuffling of the Raven’s ranks continues unabated and yet continually realistically.
As I mentioned, a mastery of storytelling is needed to properly convey some aspects of fantasy. And there is something devastating in reading a tale of two parents desperately trying to fend off anything and everything that may hurt their child’s life. Alike to the hints we get of James and Lily Potter saving Harry, Barclay takes it much further, shedding a harsh spotlight into the reality that Rowling only glimpsed. It is harsh, it is brutal, and yet it is entirely rewarding for having read it.
You don’t have to love what is happening to your favorite characters to enjoy a story. In fact, tragedy is part of humanity and to deprive the reader of it verges on the insane; like trying to remove the shadow from sunlight.
This book had me in tears by the end, weeping for the realism in which Barclay enthralled me, but never hating him for doing so. Possibly the best he has ever written, Nightchild must soon make it onto your bookshelf, if it isn’t there already.
This Nightchild book review was written by Joshua S Hill
All reviews for: Chronicles of the Raven
Chronicles of the Raven: Book 1
The Raven are six men and an elf. They have fought together for years. When they agree to escort a Xesteskian mage on a sinister mission, they find themselves fighting for ...
Chronicles of the Raven: Book 2
The spell Dawnthief has been cast and the Wytch lords have been banished. In the skies above where Denser cast the spell a rift has formed, a dirty brown gap in the blue th...
Chronicles of the Raven: Book 3
The power of the land has manifested itself in Lyanna, a five year old girl. She has the power to sweep the four colleges of magic aside, or - unknowingly - to destroy Bala...
Have you read Nightchild?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
Nightchild reader reviews
9.5/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen
Bled dry by interminable warfare, infighting and bloody confrontations with Lord Anomander Rake and his Tiste Andii, the vast, sprawling Malazan empire simmers with discont...
Chronicles of the Black Company
Darkness wars with darkness as the hard-bitten men of the Black Company take their pay and do what they must. They bury their doubts with their dead. Then comes the prophec...
On the world of Kuf, the Macht are a mystery, a seldom-seen people of extraordinary ferocity and discipline whose prowess on the battlefield is the stuff of legend. For cen...
Shadow Ops series
Army Officer. Fugitive. Sorcerer. Across the country and in every nation, people are waking up with magical talents. Untrained and panicked, they summon storms, raise the d...
The Rigante Novels
Born in the storm that doomed his father, Connavar grows to manhood among the mist-covered mountains of Caer Druagh, where the Rigante tribe dwell in harmony with the land ...
The First Law
Inquisitor Glokta, a crippled and increasingly bitter relic of the last war, former fencing champion turned torturer extraordinaire, is trapped in a twisted and broken body...
The Drenai Novels
The Legend Druss, Captain of the Axe: the stories of his life were told everywhere. Instead of the wealth and fame he could have claimed, he had chosen a mountain lair, hig...
The Aspect Emperor
R Scott Bakker
A score of years after he first walked into the histories of Men, Anasurimbor Kellhus rules all the Three Seas, the first true Aspect-Emperor in a thousand years. The masse...
Prince of Nothing
R Scott Bakker
A score of centuries has passed since the First Apocalypse and the thoughts of men have turned, inevitably, to more worldly concerns... A veteran sorcerer and spy seeks new...
The People of the Black Circle
Robert E Howard
Conan the Cimmerian: he rose from boy-thief and mercenary to become kingof Aquilonia. Neither supernatural fiends nor demonic sorcery could oppose the barbarian warrior as ...
Priest of Bones
'Sixty-five thousand battle-shocked, trained killers came home to no jobs, no food and the plague. What did Her Majesty think was going to happen?'Tomas...
The Grey Bastards
LIVE IN THE SADDLE. DIE ON THE HOG. Such is the creed of the half-orcs dwelling in the Lot Lands. Sworn to hardened brotherhoods known as hoofs, these form...
A man wakes in the wilderness, amid scattered corpses and inquisitive crows. He has no memory of who he is or how he came to be there. The only clues to his former existenc...
They burned her home. They stole her brother and sister. But vengeance is following. Shy South hoped to bury her bloody past and ride away smiling, but she'll have to s...
The Thousand Names
The King of Vordan is dying, and his daughter, Raesinia, is destined to become the first Queen in centuries – and a ripe target for the ambitious men who seek to cont...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages: