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black dogs

Review: Ursula Vernon's 'Black Dogs', vol. 1 & 2

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blackdogs2sm.jpgblackdogs1sm.jpgAfter the recent review of the terrible Hyenas, here's something to make hyena fans happier!

When Ursula Vernon published the first volume of Black Dogs in 2007, her life was very busy. She was moving house, her webcomic Digger was experiencing a surge in popularity, and her newly-acquired literary agent had got her a sweet deal to write and illustrate children's books for Scholastic.

Understandably, writing a sequel took a back seat, so when the second half of Black Dogs was published four years later, Sofawolf Press conveniently reprinted the first volume with a new cover.

Black Dogs is a fantasy novel set in a world with humans, elves, and many anthropomorphic species. The main character is Lyra, a young human who finds herself on the run after her merchant family's home is attacked by bandits. Though educated and well-read, she hasn't much practical knowledge. Luckily she meets Sadrao, a tall, kind dog-soldier, one of a respected species of anthro-hyenas. Taking her under his wing, she joins him on his travels while he teaches her survival skills.