Blood Song by Anthony Ryan (Raven's Shadow: Book 1)

9/10 Beautifully written, wonderfully cast and populated.

In the same vein as Miles Cameron’s ‘The Red Knight’, ‘Blood Song’ by Anthony Ryan was a book that had sat on my shelf for a while, forlornly hoping I would pick it up and give it a shot. In this end of year doldrums, I’ve been forced back to my shelves of ‘books I should read one day’ and, as with The Red Knight, I’m absolutely stoked that I picked up Blood Song.

The book is written in much the same way that Patrick Rothfuss is writing his ‘Kingkiller Chronicles’, setting the story within a framing sequence in which the main character relates his story to another. The framing sequence is destroyed by the end of the book, leaving me wondering how Ryan is going to continue the series, but nevertheless it makes for a fascinating read in this book.

While a healthy portion of the book follows a young teenage character, the story does not fall prey to any of the teenage tropes we’ve encountered from lesser writers. Again this follows much in the same vein as Rothfuss, allowing the characters – young though they may be – to exhibit maturity and growth, without the whininess we’ve come to expect from teenage fantasy heroes.

The world, particularly the religions and worship of the world, make for a captivating backdrop against which the main story is told. Fleshing out friendships, hatreds, manipulation, and love, Ryan paints a picture of an intricate and complex world on the brink of catastrophe, amidst seeming victories and conquests.

The characters are brilliant, at once interesting and – despite their age – appealing to readers of any age. Their feats of strength are realistic, their stamina and abilities raw and limited, and their growth over the first half of the book comes slowly. Their mentors and teachers are fleeting, though important, and are obviously more than they seem to the young eyes of our protagonist.

Beautifully written, wonderfully cast and populated, Anthony Ryan does indeed seem to be placing himself as one of the next master storytellers. Book two in his series, ‘Tower Lord’ comes out in the first half of 2014, and given how much I’ve enjoyed Blood Song, immediately steps into the category of ‘Most Anticipated’.

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2 positive reader review(s) for Blood Song


Anthony Ryan's Raven's Shadow series

Many Are The Dead

Raven's Shadow

Blood Song

Raven's Shadow: Book 1

Tower Lord

Raven's Shadow: Book 2

Queen of Fire

Raven's Shadow: Book 3

Blood Song reader reviews

from Australia

Fabulous. Brilliant. One of the best fantasy suits in recent years, and I've read them all.

from India

Why I liked Blood Song? Reasons: Re-readability ( I read the book 3 times already) Very mature story line Smooth story telling. When I read the book, it's like I'm in a trance and by the end of a reading session, nearly 150 pages are done. That's really something. Vaelin AlSorna is one of the best protagonists in the heroic fantasy genre.

9.3/10 from 3 reviews

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