The Black Hawks – David Wragg ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

It has ambushes, cannibalism, alliances, betrayals and a weird religious cult. You get sucked in and feel for this motley crew.

Life as a knight is not what Vedren Chel imagined. Bound by oath to a dead-end job in the service of a lazy step-uncle, Chel no longer dreams of glory – he dreams of going home.

When invaders throw the kingdom into turmoil, Chel finds opportunity in the chaos: if he escorts a stranded prince to safety, Chel will be released from his oath.

All he has to do is drag the brat from one side of the country to the other, through war and wilderness, chased all the way by ruthless assassins.

With killers on your trail, you need killers watching your back. You need the Black Hawk Company – mercenaries, fighters without equal, a squabbling, scrapping pack of rogues.

Prepare to join the Black Hawks.

Brilliant debut novel from David Wragg.

Vedren Chel is a knight, though the life of said knight isn’t quite what he had in mind. He’s in service to his step-uncle and bound by oath, all Chel wants is to pack up and ship out.

Chel’s relatively boring life is flipped when invaders threaten the kingdom. After an encounter with someone he thought to be a friend, Chel is injured and in danger.

After hiding in a cart, he finds one of the Prince’s hiding in it with him. Prince Tarfel, is a bit useless. He offers Chel a deal, if he swears fealty to him and get him safely to his brother, he will be freed from all oaths. Agreeing and sworn by oath, Chel has no option but to oblige him in helping him to escape to safety.

Chel and the Prince travel by land to what they assume is safety, only to be sent back. Upon their return, things go amiss again. Invaders are closing in and the gates are open, Chel tries to warn people but it all falls on deaf ears. After losing some guards, realisation sets in and they try to bar the doors, only for Chel to encounter his mystery character again.

Following a lot of death, Chel is knocked on the head and later wakes up in the hold of a barge at the mercy of a group of mercenaries. Though he seems at a loss to be kidnapped with the prince, he’s about to go on a whole new adventure.

From there, the humour picks up! The characters are fantastic and well written. The banter and language is something to behold. If you’re not a fan of swearing and rather creative insults, this isn’t a book for you.

It has ambushes, cannibalism, alliances, betrayals and a weird religious cult. You get sucked in and feel for this motley crew.

The ending, how rude! I need to second book now to see what happens! Simply, this is a brilliantly foul-mouthed debut from David Wragg. I can’t wait to read more.

Thank you Rachel @harpercollinsuk for this copy to review via Netgalley

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