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“Black Dog Blues” by Rhys Ford

23607717Genre: Urban Fantasy

Length: Novel


Kai Gracen is an elven outcast in a post-apocalyptic world, where magic exploded into the present day. There are still McDonalds and shitty politicians, but now there are elves and other fantastical creatures (including dragons). Kai gets by as a bounty hunter, going where the humans wouldn’t dare and killing ferocious beasts (including dragons). He was pretty happy too, until the dawn court started to interfere with his affairs, and he got stuck on a run with one of their snotty nobles, as well as with a human girl, who’s possibly carrying the greatest curse of the known world in her womb. And she’s about ready to pop. (Also—dragons.)

I am a well-known lover of asshole protagonists, and Kai certainly fits the bill. He’s got a chip on his shoulder big enough for Darth Vader, and a shitty enough childhood to even make Orphan Annie say, “Oh shit, bro. That’s rough.” Despite the world being against him, he’s surprisingly noble, so don’t let him fool you. That being said, while his code of honor is pure and true, he sure goes about doing the right thing in the wrongest way possible. And his people skills leave something to be desired. My favorite type.

This wasn’t a pure and true Romance. In fact—now that I’m thinking hard on it—I don’t think that there was any explicit sex. If there was, it escaped my notice. It is; however, made apparent that Kai Gracen is a pansexual… which is cool, but there isn’t a romance thread, so don’t get your hopes up. This book is all about the crazy action, the fucked up characters, and the twisted plot. Yay!

My favorite parts—besides the ones where Kai is pissing people off and getting the shit kicked out of him—were with the characters who liked Kai despite his rough-around-the-edges personality. I was deeply touched by the loyalty of these people, and deeply intrigued by their own unique brands of crazy. Buckle up and enjoy the ride!

Rhys Ford has a lot of books out. She grew up in Hawaii, but it seems as if she’s lived all over, and there are some islander influences in her writing. I have to hand it to her. For being such a super nice person, she sure can write a good asshole. That’s some of the highest praise I can give. Check her out on her website:


B. A. Brock is a reviewer for DSP and QSF.  He enjoys reading, writing, running, family and food, and fills his life with bent bunk.  He especially loves to discuss LGBTQ+ literature. His website is You can find him on Goodreads:

Dreamspinner Press–Where Dreams Come True… International publishers of quality gay romantic fiction since 2007.

DSP Publications–Off the Beaten Path. Worth the Journey.

Harmony Ink Press–LGBTQ+ Young Adult Fiction.


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