Dawnthief v Galactic

  • Book: Dawnthief
  • Author: James Barclay
  • Publisher: Gollancz
  • Published: 1999

TBT to a book I probably read as far back the mid-00s, which to some might not sound like long ago but to others will feel like aeons. 

Dawnthief is the 1st book in the Chronicles of the Raven. The Raven are a mercenary band in the war-torn land of Balaia. Their loyalty is not to anywhere or anyone in particular, just to each other. Their task in Dawnthief is to track down the eponymous Dawnthief,  a spell designed to end the world but – for reasons you’ll find out by reading – must be cast

This book fits into a niche in fantasy which I particularly love. ‘Six men and an elf’, the Raven are everything you want from a band of mercs. Each of them has a rich & interesting backstories & motivations of their own that explain how they came together. There is plenty of funny repartee between them. They are simply fun to be around, in a literary sense

Fans of  Kings of the Wyld, First Law, Articles of Faith, Black Company who are looking for books in a similar vein will feel right at  home with the Raven

  • Beer: Galactic
  • Style: Alcohol-Free Milk Stout
  • Brewery: Big Drop Brewing Company
  • Strengths: 0.5%

I want to say I liked this very much first of all. I drank it with a roast dinner (bank holiday Monday) & it paired very well.

Not really a negative, but worth mentioning that if you served this to me without the can, I don’t know whether I’d recognise it as a stout. There is a little of the signature burnt barley flavour, but it’s subtle. It also doesn’t taste as thick as most alcoholic stouts. In appearance, straight after pouring, it looks more like Coca Cola than Guinness.

Tasty though & as it’s been so warm I wouldn’t have appreciated a thick stout anyway. Went down easily & one of the benefits of it not being particularly stout-y is that it’s not so rich that I’d struggle to drink more than a couple.

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