Review: Hawk’s Flight by Carol Chase

Hawk's Flight by Carol ChaseHawk’s Flight
Carol Chase
Baen Books
Published May 1, 1991

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About Hawk’s Flight
When Taverik Zandro impulsively befriended a struggling young fellow merchant, he had no idea of Marko’s desperate secret. Something of a black sheep himself, he had no desire to become involved in affairs outside the ordinary. But after that first helping hand, Marko’s turbulent past entangles Taverik in a world of high politics and dark magic, and turns his own comfortably materialistic way of life upside down in more ways than one. When it is proven to him that he has been chosen along with Marko to defend the land against an encroaching evil that seems inexorable, Zandro wants nothing to do with his god-given role. Of course he has no choice…

My Review
Hawk’s Flight has been one of my favorite books since I was in seventh grade. I’ve probably read it more times than any other novel, and I hate that it’s out of print.

I hadn’t read Hawk’s Flight in years before picking it up now, and while the story still drew me in from the first page to the last, I did wince a few times at small contradictions or awkward writing in a few places. Honestly, though, I love the characters and the story far too much to care very deeply about that stuff.

The spiritual content is pretty pronounced, and follows a pretty strong parallel to Christian faith. Both Taverik and Marko realize they can’t sit back and be simple merchants anymore—they are caught up in a spiritual battle and have to choose a side. I loved Taverik’s quick wit and the way he hid what was important behind his cavalier humor, and the way Marko saw straight through all that. I loved the dynamic between them. I felt like they had great balance in strengths vs. weaknesses.

The cast of characters with point-of-view scenes gets pretty large as the story unfolds, but I didn’t have too much trouble keeping track of anyone. There is a character glossary in the back of the book to help in any case. The story also contains some interesting Pakajan language terms. My favorite is a strong insult—ikiji—second best. I thought it was cleverly used.

So… this book is out of print. I’ve never had trouble finding used copies for sale online, though. I’ve probably bought at least four or five copies over the years, mostly because I end up lending my copy out and buying another when it isn’t returned.

Six of Crows fans should check out this title. If you like fantasy with strong spiritual content, high adventure, and great romance, you definitely need to get a copy of this book. It’s been a long time since I read it for the first time, and it’s still one of my favorites.

Hawk's Flight on AmazonRecommended for Ages 13 up.

Cultural Elements
Racial tension runs high between the native Pakajan (feels like a Nordic-type people) and the Massadarans, who’ve colonized the land and imposed restrictive laws against the Pakajans. Massadarans have dark hair and gray eyes—maybe more like Southern Europeans? A third race of Bcacmat people is a war-like race with harsh rules concerning women’s conduct.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Mild profanity used moderately frequently.

Romance/Sexual Content
A man tries to check a companion’s chest wound only to discover that his friend is a woman. A few kisses between a man and woman. A couple teasing comments about masculinity or whether someone is gay. At one point a man makes asks his friend if he’s slept with a woman.

Marita worries about her menstrual cycle. One man refuses to touch her when he learns she’s on her cycle, claiming she’s unclean.

Spiritual Content
Very strong Christian parallels in the spiritual content. Pakajans (and Massadarans) traditionally worship a creator God called Zojikam. Taverik begins seeing signs of a cult who worships a black eagle and interacts with other lesser spiritual beings. The story follows a spiritual battle as well as a physical one, and Tav and others find they must choose a side as the spiritual battle spills over into their lives. The villain, who serves the Black Eagle, has several out-of-body experiences as he travels as a giant eagle, serving his master. They hear rumors of human sacrifice in the name of the Black Eagle. At one point, Tav and his friend encounter an angel-like being who helps them escape an evil spiritual being sent after them by followers of the Black Eagle. At another point, a giant Black Eagle attacks Taverik and he calls on Zojikam for help escaping. Tav and others attend prayer services honoring Zojikam and more than once a priest shares a prophecy.

Violent Content
Several battle scenes and fatalities. Bandits kill a boy during a caravan. Assassins kill several people for political reasons. Mostly these are sword wounds and knife fights. The descriptions aren’t grisly, but there are multiple scenes showing battles.

Drug Content
Taverik and others drink ale, wine, or brandy (they are of age). At one point Marko plans to get some rude students drunk so they can slip away without further trouble from them. She drinks too much brandy at one point and regrets it when her head becomes thick and she winds up with a headache.

Hawk's Flight on Goodreads

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

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