Black Leviathan by Bernd Perplies

Black Leviathan by Bernd Perlies, translated by Lucy Van Cleef
Publisher/Year: Tor, 2020
Format: ARC – paperback
Pages: 331
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐


Moby-Dick unfolds in a world of dragon hunters in this epic revenge fantasy

A shadow will cover you, larger than that cast by any other dragon of this world. Black as the lightless chasm from whence it was born at the beginning of time.

In the city of Skargakar, residents make a living from hunting dragons and use them for everything from clothing to food.

Lian does his part, carving the kyrillian crystals that power the hunting ships through the cloud sea, but when he makes an enemy of a dangerous man, Lian ships out on the next vessel available as a dragon hunter.

But his new captain hunts more than just any dragon. His goal is the Firstboarn Gargantuan–and Adaraon is prepared to sacrifice everything for revenge.

What I thought

Thank you to Tor and Tor Teen for the free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!

This is my absolute least favorite type of review to write, so I’m going to keep it short, sweet, and to the point.

I wanted to love this book so much more than what I did. What I DID love, though, was the idea behind this story and the worldbuilding. I mean, Moby Dick but with dragons is easily one of the most unique fantasy premises that I have read in some time. And I loved how it was done! The world here was seriously SO cool, and the world building was so on point that I had this perfect picture in my mind as I read, which is one of my favorite parts of reading good fantasy.

Honestly, I can’t quite pinpoint what it was about this book that didn’t do it for me. I didn’t feel close to any of the characters, and I wasn’t riveted by the plot–but as to why I felt both of those things, I’m not sure. The only thing I can figure is the translation. I thought the translator did a great job, don’t get me wrong. I think maybe the story itself just didn’t translate well.

This really was a good book, I just didn’t love it like I had hoped. If you are looking for a good twist on a classic tale, or if you’re looking for a good old rollicking epic adventure story, I would definitely recommend this one. Even though I didn’t LOVE it, it was still a solid entertaining addition to the genre.

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