The Way of the Black Beast

The Way of the Black Beast

by Stuart Jaffe


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781466321847
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 09/28/2011
Pages: 314
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Stuart Jaffe is the author of The Way of the Black Beast, a post-apocalyptic fantasy novel, as well as the short story collection, 10 Bits of My Brain. Numerous other short stories have appeared in magazines and anthologies. He is the co-host of The Eclectic Review -- a podcast about science, art, and well, everything.

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The Way of the Black Beast 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
MelChesley More than 1 year ago
'The Way of the Black Beast' is a post-apocalyptic fantasy. Malja is a warrior. She's a fighter, she's a loner and she's on a mission to find the two men who hurt her the most. Growing up, Malja was raised by two brothers, magicians both and not exactly loving men. They trained her from the beginning to be something she wasn't and when she doesn't turn out how they planned after ten short years, they desert her and leave her to die. Enter another man, a different kind of man. One who is more nurturing than the two previous. He takes Malja in, trains her even further but when she suddenly becomes a threat to the two brothers, they send assassins to kill her. Only they kill the man she's come to love and respect as a father. Malja sets out to find the two brothers, to confront them and put an end to them once and for all. She's tired of running, she's tired of fighting, but it is in her blood and she's good at. Damn good. Along the way she picks up a young boy who she takes under his wing. He's a magician, but in this world, when you use magic it makes you crazy. Literally. Killing the brothers is her only real chance at survival and living as normal a life as she can carve out for herself in this alien world. Secrets are revealed to her in the end and sometimes, vengeance leaves more of a mark than anything else. This book was well written. There were a lot of moments of memories, flashbacks and a large chunk of past information that I felt could have been done differently. You take out a good amount of those moments and you've got an awesome story you can't put down. I liked this book a lot, but was not too thrilled about the information moments, the reflections on Malja's past. I know the importance of it all to the heart of the story, to learn about the character, but overall, it could have been done differently. There are two more books in this series that I intend to read. I like Malja's character and the entire world this story is set in. Well developed characters, good story, just needs ... something.
Bookblogger More than 1 year ago
The Way of the Black Beast by Stuart Jaffe tells the story of Malja. In a world that is suffering a complete collapse after "The Devastation" there is danger everywhere. Magic exists, but seems to take the users sanity a tiny bit with every spell cast. Malja has no magic and has very little use for it. After being raised by two brother wizards who saw her as only a tool and threw her away to survive on her own when she proved a disappointment to them. She is found by "Uncle" Gregory who raises her like his own child, teaching her morals that Jarik and Callib weren't interested in. When the brother magicians send assassins to kill Gregory Malja beings her quest to kill them. Along the way she meets Tommy, a young man enslaved on a ship, who is also a budding magician. The opening of the book drew me in instantly. Malja fighting with Viper (super cool weapon) and an example of how magic works had me very intrigued by the world. The story keeps a pretty decent rate of action with Malja being very comfortable solving her problems with her weapon. She is not just a psychotic killer as she has period of inner reflection coming to terms with what she does and what she is. There are several characters that end up joining the quest, not all of them getting along very well. The conflict adds a little humor and is used to explain some of the aspects of the world without using an info dump. There was a point in the book where I started to lose a little interest, I didn't become bored by any means, just lost some of the intensity that was established at the beginning. There were still points throughout the rest of the book that reestablished that level of interest, but one thing I really would have liked to know is the story behind Viper. The blade is referred to by name for the entire book and is an extremely unique weapon, but no mention is made of how Malja acquired it. I imagine that the story will be revealed in a further book of the Malja Chronicles, but that is just a guess. This book had a solid ending then started a what could be the story line for the next book in the series. This is a series that I will keep looking at to see where Stuart will take Malja next for certain. Overall score 3.5 stars.
cherryschenck on LibraryThing 5 months ago
This was an interesting book,the plot was definitely good.I am not a fan of "adult" language , and it seems to me,my own opinion,that the story line "rambled" a bit.All in all a good read.
Tavaresden on LibraryThing 5 months ago
This story is about a girl named Malja trained from an early age to fight but then abandoned when deemed a failure because she has no magic by her adopted fathers. She wants revenge and she might even sacrifice her friends to do it.Pro: good world-building and magic system, character development, believable and flawed charactersCon: boring bad guys, so-so and redundant plotThe fantastical world built by the author was fascinating. For example, magicians can use their magic through music or through their tattoos. In fact, I kinda wish the author went into more detail about that bit because we really only get a passing glimpse of how it works. Also, there are quite some interesting characters. Malja, for one, is physically very strong (to the point of inducing fear) but emotionally weak. To her, revenge is all she has left. I especially like "Faw-Faw" because he is a self-proclaimed coward, and he is, but he doesn't let it hinder him when it matters most.I do have some issues with how the book was done though. Two-thirds of the book went like this: I need to find so and so because they'll give me the answers I'm looking for. What? He's incapacitated in some way and can't help me? Oh, but there's a clue! Let's see if that'll lead me to some answers... Now repeat this several times. It's only halfway of the book when you finally start getting answers! I also didn't like the last few battles. It didn't feel all that believable. Enemies would make painfully obvious mistakes which would then lead to the heroes' victory. While the plot itself isn't all that impressive, there is a certain charm to the book. The characters felt very real to me because they all have big flaws but they muddle through it and manage to fight together against a common enemy. Overall, I would recommend this book to any fantasy lover who isn't too picky about the plot and care more about how the characters have grown in their journey.Won in a giveaway in return for an honest review
roadway2000 on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Good book, easy to read.
cottongirl7 on LibraryThing 5 months ago
I found this book to be quite the enjoyable read. The story was unique, and most of the characters were quite entertaining. I finished it in just a couple of days. The book leaves you with a few questions which I'm sure will be answered further through the series. The story is exciting, moves along well, and comes to a satisfying conclusion. I really enjoyed the author's take on Magic in this book. It was a bit different than I have read before which is always a plus. Points for creativity. I do have to agree that the villians were rather boring though. You never really know enough about them to really despise them for the right reasons, they are rather shallow characters. Don't get me wrong, you certainly don't like them, but it's not as intense a feeling as it could be if their characters were developed a bit more.
madamediotte on LibraryThing 5 months ago
The Way of the Black Beast was rather interesting - I liked Malja, and despite all the violence, enjoyed the book quite a bit. I did, however, feel that at times the writing needed work. This definitely has potential, however, and I am looking forward to seeing more from this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the entire trilogy! This was a great way to start off everything. For the most part, fast paced, and very interesting. Definitely expands your mind about the possibilities of other worlds.
BS1 More than 1 year ago
Raised by two evil, heartless magicians who think themselves gods, then cast out to fend for herself or succumb to the elements, Malja is a girl just trying to survive in a dangerous world that has been decimated by magic, and where violence is a necessary evil. Throughout her journey she keeps two things close to her: Viper, a straight edge, deadly extension of herself used to destroy anything that might bring harm, and Tommy, the adolescent youth/ magician who attached himself to her side after she saved him from his abusers. Following the death of the man who saved her, took her in, and acted as a caring and devoted father, Malja is driven by the Black Beast within, seeking revenge. While facing off with a guitar case toting Bluesman, a trained and hired assassin who has managed to stay one step ahead of her, taking out her contacts before she can gain any information from them, Malja finds out that the very men she has been searching for, her ¿fathers¿ Jerik and Callib, may just be looking for her too. Following a lead gleaned from the assassin, she finds herself at the home of Nolan, a simple woman with a lot of knowledge. This is where her true journey begins. From there Malja is taken across the desolate and ravaged lands encountering people, creatures, and beings of all shapes, sizes, and colors (yes, I said colors). She is forced to take on others along the way, each contributing in their own way. Being the warrior that she is, Malja spends a lot of her time denying her need for others, even her enjoyment of their company. She¿d much rather go it alone, lessen the complications that come with watching out for the safety of others. Her denial even extends to Tommy who shows his desire to be loved by her, but also recognizes her limitations. Of course, Malja¿s limits on emotional connections cause their own problems, putting a rift between her and Tommy, especially when a member of the troupe seems to be quite taken with him, and vice versa. Through a series of events, Malja is forced to look inside herself and be truthful both¿she loves Tommy as a mother, not just a protector. I don¿t want to give too much away because this story is very involved and well thought out. What I will say is this was such an amazing read! I was hooked from the opening line, blown away by the detail and mesmerized by the characters. They were so deep and well-developed that I felt an instant connection with them all. The world Jaffe thought up is incredible and impressive, and the imagery¿stunning. Even right now, while trying to think of what to say next, my mind is spinning. There is so much to cover, from the charred remains of the Freelands to the less than desirable appearance of¿well, a lot of characters, actually, to the to the fascinating fight sequences and glimpses into another world. Jaffe truly succeeds in transporting the reader into another world of fantasy brought to startling life. He covered every little detail and wrapped up the ending to perfection. No complaints here! I think I found myself a new favorite author!