Blackflame by Will Wight
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Series: Cradle (Book #3 of 12)
Genre: Fantasy, Progression Fantasy, Xianxia
Pages: 370 pages
Published: 30th April 2017 by Hidden Gnome Publishing (Indie)
The dragon advances; Blackflame advances Cradle into an addictive series to read.
If I were to defined Unsouled as an invitation to Cradle, Soulsmith would be the appetizer, and Blackflame would be where the main course begins. Don’t get me wrong, the first two books were fun, they were great, and they were necessary installments full of proper foundations that made the ravaging Path of the Blackflame so compelling to read, but it truly felt like the meat of the story begins here. The cast of characters has been expanded, and the protagonists and antagonists are clearer now.
“The Path of Black Flame was stolen from ancient dragons. It is the art of pure destruction.”
The dragon destroys. Blackflame, the third book in Cradle series, picks up from where Soulsmith left off, and the book features some of the most exciting narrative and destructive action sequences within the series so far. Lindon has a new life or death mission assigned to him, an impossibly difficult duel to win and he has only a year of training and powering up to achieve this impossible feat. The situation demands Lindon to, once again, train himself to a new height of power, an extreme circumstance requires extreme measure, and the training/trial montage featured in this book is the most engaging in the series so far. The deeply developed world-building and intricate magic system established in the previous books start to pay off wonderfully. I have also mentioned how Eithan charmed me since his first entrance, and I grew to feel that he seriously WILL be the best character of the series. Eithan stole the spotlight, simple as that. I’m not kidding; I’m hurting myself here from holding back on telling you the details of the action sequences in this book that involved him. So much scheming, so much flashy moves, so much deadly strikes, so much power.
“That was the real lesson: if you were powerful enough, you could accomplish anything.”
The dragon conquers. The power of the dragon is terrifying. I’ve mentioned in my Unsouled review that Cradle is a progression fantasy, similar to Naruto/shonen manga, every book or story arc will most likely showcase the main character’s advancement and attainment of a stronger power. Get used to me saying this. Will Wight has proven this notion once again, and this time the series all the better for it. The flashy moves portrayed by the Blackflame, Silver Steps, and The Path of the Endless Swords were just utterly fascinating. The combination of the Path of Blackflame being unraveled gradually with the inclusion of monstrous creatures and complex villains that were missing from the previous books made the rising quality of the series provided in Blackflame unstoppable. I loved it, there was so much upgrade and it felt like the characterizations of the characters have improved significantly. The power, strength, schemes, tactics, magic, flames, and swordplay combined into the narrative were just spectacularly done. Plus, the new characters—Sylvan and Orthos—helped enrich the varieties of characters’ interactions and relationship dynamic.
“Sometimes the game is rigged against you, and your only option is to flip the board.”
The dragon advances. The dragon destroys. The dragon conquers. Blackflame is an outstanding installment in Cradle and it is, in my opinion, the strongest installment in the series so far. It’s quite insane to think that there are still nine books left in the series, seeing that the series has constantly upgraded its quality with each successive book, how far will the series increase from here? For instance, I’ve heard that the sixth book in the series, Underlord, has been unanimously hailed as being THE best book in the series. You have no idea how excited I am to find out what’s going on inside that book, but first, I have two more books to go through and I expect great things. I’m moving onward to Skysworn next!
You can order the book from: Book Depository (Free shipping)
Special thanks to my Patrons on Patreon for giving me extra support towards my passion for reading and reviewing!
My Patrons: Mike, Hamad, Miracle, Devin, Nicholas.