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Reviews of 'The Black Wing'

The Black Wing

by Mary Kirchoff
Villains, Volume 2

Reviews of 'The Black Wing'

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Reviewer: Darlaten

Rating: Stars

The Black Wing is the story about the rise and eventual fall of Khisanth, the Black Dragon. This is the dragon that the original companions faced in Xax Tsaroth (see Dragons of Autum Twilight).

The book, which is written by Mary Kirchoff, is comprised of three main parts.

In Part One, Khisanth is awakened after being forced to sleep by the defeat of The Dark Queen by Huma. She is awaked by two nyphids: Kadagan and Joad. They awake her to help them save their species from extinction - the lone female nyphid Dela has been captured by humans. In the first part of the story, Khisanth learns about the changes to the world that occurred after the cataclysm. She also learns to develop her magical, hunting, and flying skills. The nyphids teach her the art of Qhen - shapeshifting with incredible accuracy and interesting results. This unique ability sets Khisanth apart from other Black Dragons. As the female Onyx, Khisanth joins the group of humans and ogres who have captured Dela. The group is led by a human named Led. What follows in Part One is: a romantic encounter; ambush and betrayal; tragedy; and a knight whose destiny lies with Khisanth (though neither of them no this at the time).

In Part Two, Khisanth meets with Pteros, an old black dragon who is more interested in himself then anything else. He teaches and instructs her in the ways of dragons. However, readers may find his character to be annoying - all he does is complain about being old. During Part Two, Khisanth and Pteros travel to the 'plane of lightning'. In this plane, the two dragons must battle exotic creatures in the hope of returning to the material plane. Khisanth goes through subtle changes in character: her sense of mistrust of others grows and her pride develops to the point of being egotistical and arrogant. We also find out that the Dark Queen is amassing armies. We hear for the fist time of humans becoming partners with dragons which, of course, Khisanth does not like.

The "Black Wing Dragonarmy" is featured in Part Three. The previous two parts of the book show how the character of Khisanth developed. In Part Three, Khisanth learns what is like to be in the Dragonarmy. We also get a chance to meet Highlord Maldeev. The Black Wing Dragonarmy is in the process of recruiting new members. Khisanth joins but refuses to take a rider. During this time, the knight I mentioned earlier makes an appearnace. The battle between the Black Wing under Highlord Maldeev and Sir Tate Sekforde at Castle DeHodge is a great sequence. At the end of Part Three, Khisanth becomes the lead dragon of the Black Wing army. I do not want to spoil the ending for anyone - you will be surprised and shocked by what happens.

In short, throughout this book, you have mystery, tons of magic, a variety of creatures and monsters, lots of unique dragons, and even an appearance by the Dark Queen herself. The explanation about the workings of the Black Dragonarmy was excellent and informative. Mary Kirchoff did an excellent job in outlining how a black dragon works and thinks. Very eye-opening!.

Lastly, in terms of continuity, the book ends right at the beginning point with the companions entering Xak Tsaroth. The last sentence of the book is prophetic: "She would soon fullfill her destiny" (Mary Kirchoff, 1993, p. 314).

I recommend this book to anyone who has read Dragons of Autumn Twilight. It provides indepth insight into the black dragon of Xak Tsaroth. Readers will enjoy it.

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