May 292013
Review: The Way of the Black BeastThe Way of the Black Beast (The Malja Chronicles #1) by Stuart Jaffe
Published by Self published on Sept 17, 2011
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Format: eBook from Author
Find the book: AmazonSmashwords, Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Malja wants answers. She wants to know why the two most powerful magicians in all of Corlin ripped her from her mother’s arms, raised her only to fight, and then tossed her away to die at age ten. She wants to know why they are trying to recreate the spells which caused the Devastation that wiped out most of the world’s population, leaving behind skeletal cities and abandoned technology. And she wants to kill them.

With Tommy, an orphan bearing the tattoos of a sorcerer, she crosses this shattered land. Despite the challenges they face — crazed magicians, guitar-playing assassins, mutated beasts — Malja pursues her vengeance with a single-mindedness that may destroy all she holds dear, forcing her to make a terrible choice between the family she lost and the one she has built.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This was a violent story about a woman on a mission. There is non-stop action with fights that escalate progressively until the final battle. While the action and ending are satisying, it was the characters that really made the story.

Malja is strong and decisive and deadly. She’s also a reluctant parent who has little confidence in her parenting skills. She has self-doubts and questions every move she makes, all of which makes her humanized. She’s not a fighting machine, but instead, is a person with incredible fighting abilities. This slight difference is huge. Instead of being a one-dimensional anti-hero, she’s a complex heroine.

Her adopted son Tommy is a quiet mystery. He never talks, and yet is quite communicative. He doesn’t do much in the story, and yet is one of Malja’s primary focuses. While Tommy isn’t a main character himself, Malja’s constant thoughts and concerns about him lend him great importance. It was interesting to watch this develop. I was left with the feeling that I knew Tommy much better than I think I actually did.

Overall, this was a fast story that featured some intriguing characters. The crew that Malja collected had some deliciously humourous bickering, which created a realistic feeling family, albeit a disfunctional one. This was a great start to a series, and I can’t wait to see where it goes next.

  One Response to “Review: The Way of the Black Beast”

  1. This sounds really good and right up my alley. I love fantasy like this! 🙂

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