Cover Image: Blackheart Ghosts

Blackheart Ghosts

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Member Reviews

I really loved the first book in this series, but really struggled with this. I don't know if it was the split timelines, or the length of time between reading the first and then this one, but I just didn't enjoy it as much as I'd hoped. Definitely worth another go though, and I'll be sure to read the first one in prep!

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I thoroughly enjoyed Blackheart Knights and this one is even better: fast paced, full of actions and a lot of fun.
I loved the storytelling and the world building is even better.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher for this arc, all opinions are mine

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Brilliant sequel to Blackheart Knights, this series is one of my favourite adult retellings! What more can you want than a diverse, grunge retelling of the Arthurian legend

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My thanks to Quercus Books/Jo Fletcher Books for an eARC via NetGalley of ‘Blackheart Ghosts’ by Laure Eve.

This is the second book in Eve’s Blackheart Knights duology, which is a reimagining of the legends of King Arthur and his knights in a modern urban fantasy setting that Eve has described as ‘Camelot meets Gotham’. I was very impressed with ‘Blackheart Knights’ and keen to read its sequel.

Given the nature of the ongoing plot, the books do need to be read in order. Also, due to this I won’t say much about the story in order to avoid spoilers for ‘Blackheart Knights’.

‘Blackheart Ghosts’ focuses upon two point of view characters and also hops about in time, though the latter is indicated in the chapter openings. I will admit that at times it was a little confusing.

The first plot strand focuses on Ghost, a half-drowned stranger, who turns up at the door of Garad Gaheris, the retired King’s Champion. This mysterious ex-knight relates a shocking story that may indicate a conspiracy involving the very highest echelons of London’s elite.

The second strand focuses upon the current King’s Champion Si Wyll, a master illusionist. Wyll is still reeling from the events in ‘Blackheart Knights’ though is poised to become the most dangerous man in London. However, a figure from his past surfaces, determined to blackmail him into a plot that will change the balance of power.

Add to this is the plight of the city’s godchildren, those born with illegal magical abilities. They have had enough of this status yet how far will they go to ensure change?

I had read ‘Blackheart Knights’ almost two years ago and I was a bit disappointed that the narrative just plunged in without any preamble. Of course, if a reader is in a position to read the two books close together there’s no problem.

Still, not everyone is able to reread a nearly 500 page novel before reading its sequel. This is why I always applaud those fantasy authors who include a summary of past events and/or a dramatis personae to serve as a refresher for returning readers.

As a result it took me some time to reconnect to the narrative and I wasn’t quite as invested in its characters as I was with those of ‘Blackheart Knights’.

Overall, I still found ‘Blackheart Ghosts’ a powerful urban fantasy and a fascinating reimagining of Arthurian legend. I definitely would suggest reading both books close together in order to retain a sense of continuity.

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The sequel to Blackheart Knights is just as action-packed!
We follow 2 characters, Wyll and Ghost as they piece together the aftermath of the first book. As with the first book, the urban-fantasy world building is fantastic and I like the way the chapters jump around in time, allowing the reader to piece things together as the story progresses. The two books have been an interesting take on Arthurian Legend and it's also great to see a take on what happens after Arthur has been killed rather than the story ending there.

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Blackheart Ghosts was a solid follow-up to Blackheart Knights. It carries on from almost immediately after the end of the first book, but this time has different POV characters: Wyll, who features prominently in Knights, wracked by guilt from what he sees as his role in introducing Art’s killer to him, and Ghost, an unknown character who rocks up at Garad’s door to tell him a fantastical tale.

The first thing to say about this one is that, sadly, it packs less of a punch than Knights. Perhaps that was simply because of the two-year gap between reading them. I had plenty of time to forget who was who in the world and the nitty-gritty of what was going on. So, while I got back into it pretty quickly — helped by the odd reminder of what I’d forgotten — I would still have to say it impacted my enjoyment. Of course, that does mean I think that, if I’d reread Knights, or if I choose to reread them both one after the other, I would rate this higher. Probably. (There’s always a slight chance not, I suppose.)

However, despite the initial confusion, I found myself entirely compelled by the direction the story was taking. Mostly, this was to do with Wyll’s arc, since that was what drove the story on from where it had left off. Ghost’s, while interesting, didn’t seem to have that much bearing on it (and, in all honesty, I feel that way still, having finished the book. If it tied in at all, it was only tangentially).

I think this was to do with the characters, since the plot was somewhat hit or miss for me. Again, that might have been resolved if I had decided to reread Knights first. Alas, I did not. Rookie error etc, and so forth. But, back to that. Where book one seemed to have a direction to it, Ghosts felt a little more lacking. Possibly, this was because Knights was, to some extent, based on existing Arthurian tales and Ghosts was freestyling a little more. Perhaps.

Either way, it was the characters of the book who rescued it for me. It’s always interesting when you get to see the POV of characters who have previously been non-POV characters and thus a little opaque to you. Wyll was a good example of that, and it was interesting how, to him, Red then became the opaque one. As I said earlier, I was less interested by Ghost, although she was not totally uncompelling.

In conclusion, then, I think this is a duology that needs to be read in quick succession of one another. Blackheart Ghosts is, simply put, not a book that stands well on its own. Not in the sense you might read it as a standalone, which is ridiculous, but that you need to be able to contextualise it. So, either you have to read Knights immediately beforehand, or at least remember more of it than I did. And therein lay my problem.

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Blackheart Ghosts
by Laure Eve
Pub Date 30 Mar 2023
Publisher :Quercus Books, Jo Fletcher Books
Genre:Sci-Fi and Fantasy

This is the 2nd book in the series. The plot unfolds over the course of several months, culminating in the present day. Surprisingly, there is no teaser of what is happening in the present, as is usually expected with this format. It doesn't need it for the most part because the events and characters are intriguing.

I am both Wyll and Ghost, and the political intrigue was fantastic.

Overall, a very enjoyable read.

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First, I was drawn in with the cover art. So, captivating.

Unfortunately, I'm a few chapters in but can't get myself to finish the book. Not because of the character or word choice. Indeed, I am intrigued about the story. It's just that the formatting in NetGalley has made it difficult to read. The pages are literally pages of the book and I have to enlarge my phone screen to read it, which makes it difficult to turn the pages.

I'm going to DNR this one and would love to see the formatting fixed.

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Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the review copy.

Picking up from the dramatic ending of Blackheart Knights, Blackheart Ghosts follows two different character povs - one new and one familiar.

The story is told over a matter of months, in a countdown leading up to the present day. Interestingly, there is no teaser of what is happening in the present as is usually expected with this format. For the most part, it doesn't need it as the events and characters are intriguing.

However there was a point where I felt like I had had enough of waiting for the main event to be revealed. Which might be because there wasn't as much of a grand finale as the first book had. Instead there is some classic book two scene setting ready for the next instalment.

I enjoyed the character growth of both Wyll and Ghost, and the political intrigue was great.

Overall a very enjoyable read.

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An excellent fabulous read… why have I not noticed this author prior ? Great sci fi romance, action read,,.. I loved it . thank you to # netgalley for advance copy

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