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Three thousand years ago, the Deep appeared without warning. This alien life form was quickly put to service teleporting people and cargo across great distances, which allowed mass colonization throughout the galaxy. It has also allowed Lancaster, the organization which controls access to the Deep, to grow wealthy and powerful. Cross Lancaster, and you are forced to travel Three thousand years ago, the Deep appeared without warning. This alien life form was quickly put to service teleporting people and cargo across great distances, which allowed mass colonization throughout the galaxy. It has also allowed Lancaster, the organization which controls access to the Deep, to grow wealthy and powerful. Cross Lancaster, and you are forced to travel between planets using standard faster-than-light technologies. Nobody wants that! Tembi Stoneskin is having a very bad day. A Witch in service to the Deep, she spends her time disarming bombs in shipping stations. On her way home to Lancaster, the Deep shows her the aftermath of a weapons test powerful enough to slice a moon in half. While the Deep is a vast intelligence, it is a terrible communicator, and relies on its Witches to translate humanity’s requests into thoughts, moods, and impulses that it can understand. Tembi is a young Witch, but she is a skilled translator and she has learned how to speak with her powerful alien friend. As they set off to find the source of the weapons test, Tembi and the Deep are pulled into the ongoing war between Earth-normal humans and genetically modified humans. But all wars are founded on excuses, and the Blackwing army has much more to hide than a simple shattered moon.


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Three thousand years ago, the Deep appeared without warning. This alien life form was quickly put to service teleporting people and cargo across great distances, which allowed mass colonization throughout the galaxy. It has also allowed Lancaster, the organization which controls access to the Deep, to grow wealthy and powerful. Cross Lancaster, and you are forced to travel Three thousand years ago, the Deep appeared without warning. This alien life form was quickly put to service teleporting people and cargo across great distances, which allowed mass colonization throughout the galaxy. It has also allowed Lancaster, the organization which controls access to the Deep, to grow wealthy and powerful. Cross Lancaster, and you are forced to travel between planets using standard faster-than-light technologies. Nobody wants that! Tembi Stoneskin is having a very bad day. A Witch in service to the Deep, she spends her time disarming bombs in shipping stations. On her way home to Lancaster, the Deep shows her the aftermath of a weapons test powerful enough to slice a moon in half. While the Deep is a vast intelligence, it is a terrible communicator, and relies on its Witches to translate humanity’s requests into thoughts, moods, and impulses that it can understand. Tembi is a young Witch, but she is a skilled translator and she has learned how to speak with her powerful alien friend. As they set off to find the source of the weapons test, Tembi and the Deep are pulled into the ongoing war between Earth-normal humans and genetically modified humans. But all wars are founded on excuses, and the Blackwing army has much more to hide than a simple shattered moon.

30 review for The Blackwing War

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jame Scholl

    When you can do almost anything, what should you do? This is an excellent novel. Five-star science fiction all the way around. An original fascinating setting filled with interesting, complex characters. I’ll say what I can with no spoilers. A lot of the major characters were established in the prequel — if you want the new girl coming to magical school and to start out with more emotional attachment to everyone, start there. Or you could absolutely jump in here as things begin to get more compli When you can do almost anything, what should you do? This is an excellent novel. Five-star science fiction all the way around. An original fascinating setting filled with interesting, complex characters. I’ll say what I can with no spoilers. A lot of the major characters were established in the prequel — if you want the new girl coming to magical school and to start out with more emotional attachment to everyone, start there. Or you could absolutely jump in here as things begin to get more complicated. I love watching the heroine as she grows and gains wisdom. I love that even the bad decisions people make are understandable and believable. And I’ve never wanted to adopt a universal concept and try to make it feel better before.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jeri Lynn

    Love at first read How do you condense falling in love with this world and character building into a tidy review package? I fell in love with Tembi and the Deep in the Stoneskin prequel. Their continued adventures and growth and development in the Blackwing War kept me turning pages and mourning things like bedtime and work days. I kept wanting to know what happened next and next and next! Now that I’ve finished, I’m left thinking about what I’ve learned and turning everything over and around to u Love at first read How do you condense falling in love with this world and character building into a tidy review package? I fell in love with Tembi and the Deep in the Stoneskin prequel. Their continued adventures and growth and development in the Blackwing War kept me turning pages and mourning things like bedtime and work days. I kept wanting to know what happened next and next and next! Now that I’ve finished, I’m left thinking about what I’ve learned and turning everything over and around to understand better. I will almost certainly read this book again to find new bits and nuance. This isn’t always an easy read. The backdrop of this book is a war, and people die. Some of those people are characters i had grown to love. It was also hard reading about the cruelties of a people bent on genocide. I’m left thinking about the ways those cruelties show up here and now in real life, and how it can be easy to push people from small to much larger cruelties without them thinking too hard about it. We don’t have the tools that Tembi and her friends have, but we can take our heads out of our asses and do what’s right with the tools we do have. I am glad I read this book and very much look forward to more books about Tembi and the Deep!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Miriam

    Oh dear. The last like 20% of this book are an inexorable tide of oh shit please no fuck stop. It is very good. Not quite as even as the first one - think knitting - this one has a few dropped stitches, or places where the stitches are so tight they've bunched, and possibly a hole where a cat pulled a thread. Also I'm carrying an inordinate amount of frustration at clever people making stupid choices along with sorrow at the fact that good never completely triumphs over evil, the inertia of the ap Oh dear. The last like 20% of this book are an inexorable tide of oh shit please no fuck stop. It is very good. Not quite as even as the first one - think knitting - this one has a few dropped stitches, or places where the stitches are so tight they've bunched, and possibly a hole where a cat pulled a thread. Also I'm carrying an inordinate amount of frustration at clever people making stupid choices along with sorrow at the fact that good never completely triumphs over evil, the inertia of the apathetic, and the willful ignorance of those who place their own wants above others needs. But in all fairness, I carry these four things at all times and it isnt really Spangler's fault she wrote them into her story. In any case I will gladly give this author more of my moneywhen the next two books come out.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Hugo Saravia

    Hmm... Wholly macros! Hmm... yeah! Yea! That ending... yea, that ending left me with with a lovecraftian foreboding. The ending put this first book in a lovecraftian universe, for me. The Deep being, apparently just a baby or a juvenile among its kind, ever omnipresent and at the disposition of the witches, even in their dreams! It reminded me of old ones from the Cthulhu mythos, but this is my take since I write my impressions as soon as I finish a book as the story is still recent and fresh in Hmm... Wholly macros! Hmm... yeah! Yea! That ending... yea, that ending left me with with a lovecraftian foreboding. The ending put this first book in a lovecraftian universe, for me. The Deep being, apparently just a baby or a juvenile among its kind, ever omnipresent and at the disposition of the witches, even in their dreams! It reminded me of old ones from the Cthulhu mythos, but this is my take since I write my impressions as soon as I finish a book as the story is still recent and fresh in the memory. The buildup is rather slow but this is an epic saga so I suppose it's ok if it takes a whole book to set tone to what the author has planned next, I hope it is as epic as the ending of this story seems hint at.

  5. 5 out of 5

    John Harrison

    A Sequel Worth the Wait Honestly, if you’ve never read “Stoneskin,” you’ll still find this story... delightful? I’m not sure that’s an appropriate word. There’s war and death, loss and pain, but there is magic and witches and beauty as well. KB Spangler is an expert at creating worlds and people you care about, and writing in a way that makes reading both effortless and deeply enjoyable. I honestly make it my policy to read everything she writes.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Gillian

    Oh.Emm.Geee I read a lot, it isn’t often that I come across a book that doesn’t just entertain me but delivers a throat punch. This one did. Great characters, heavy emotional investment, a genuine want to be a better person on the part of the MC. I don’t know if I should call it space opera, or high fantasy in space maybe? But it was a most WONDERFUL read that will leave me thinking about it at odd times for a long time to come.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Alicia

    https://wordnerdy.blogspot.com/2021/0... I was excited to read the further adventures of Tembi and the Deep, but this book was pretty grim. I mean, “war” is in the title, but that doesn’t necessarily imply genocidal Space Nazis running scifi Auschwitz. Which is a thing happening in this book. I still like the characters even if I found some of the motivations and politicking confusing, and I will probably read the next one to see what Tembi gets up to. But yeah. Grim. B. https://wordnerdy.blogspot.com/2021/0... I was excited to read the further adventures of Tembi and the Deep, but this book was pretty grim. I mean, “war” is in the title, but that doesn’t necessarily imply genocidal Space Nazis running scifi Auschwitz. Which is a thing happening in this book. I still like the characters even if I found some of the motivations and politicking confusing, and I will probably read the next one to see what Tembi gets up to. But yeah. Grim. B.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jenn

    This book is... Horrifying, beautiful, political, infuriating, sublime. It was too quick to read, but also lasted too long. I missed Tembi's beautiful brittle stoniness after finishing Stoneskin. And she is still a vexatiously flawed lovely character. The world building is fantastic and so detailed without being too heavy. Here's hoping we get to spend more time in this galaxy of joy and sorrow. This book is... Horrifying, beautiful, political, infuriating, sublime. It was too quick to read, but also lasted too long. I missed Tembi's beautiful brittle stoniness after finishing Stoneskin. And she is still a vexatiously flawed lovely character. The world building is fantastic and so detailed without being too heavy. Here's hoping we get to spend more time in this galaxy of joy and sorrow.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jeannette

    A wonderful full of wonders book! Characters who are perfect in their flawed humanity as they deal with times of happiness and sorrow and horror and love and terror and the desire to try to do the right thing. And at least one of them knows the meaning of "grok." Looking forward to the next volumes because I know they'll be amazing. A wonderful full of wonders book! Characters who are perfect in their flawed humanity as they deal with times of happiness and sorrow and horror and love and terror and the desire to try to do the right thing. And at least one of them knows the meaning of "grok." Looking forward to the next volumes because I know they'll be amazing.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Scotland

    The best novel I have read in a long time Warm, dark and bloody terrifying, The Blackwing War pairs cosy giant space kittens with the ever-repeating cycle of fascism to tell a story so fantastic - and yet so human. An absolutely unmissable scifi novel for our times.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Anne Vespry

    Wonderfully twisty Great read! Hard not to spoiler, because there are an awful lot of surprises, one or two of which are also awful surprises... but most of which are awesome.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ysabet

  13. 4 out of 5

    Pete Vagiakos

  14. 5 out of 5

    Joann

  15. 4 out of 5

    Trey richardson

  16. 5 out of 5

    Felicia Cochran

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lynn Calvin

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rozanna Terkowitz

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ginger

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn

  21. 5 out of 5

    Catharine Roseberry

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lab Cat

  23. 5 out of 5

    AB

  24. 4 out of 5

    Dane

  25. 4 out of 5

    Christy

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

  27. 5 out of 5

    steven haddock

  28. 5 out of 5

    Emily

  29. 4 out of 5

    Peter

  30. 4 out of 5

    Katie

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