Blood Song (Raven's Shadow #1) - Anthony Ryan7

Review :: Blood Song

Written by Robin Lythgoe

I found "Blood Song" to be a gripping coming-of-age tale with better-than-fair character and setting development. I enjoyed the single-point-of-view persepctive and the pacing is good — except for a few places when the timeline changed suddenly and without warning, or the actions and attitudes of the players didn't seem to match their ages or time spent at the school. Also, while I didn't feel the protagonist, Vaelin Al Sorna, did anything *out* of character, the meat of his motives was sometimes missing. I wanted to know more about how he felt and how he came to be such a devout and moral person. I liked that he often made the hard choices, and that he didn't whine about it. Sometimes didn't even tell others about them! I enjoyed Ryan's language skills and he can paint a very nice scene, though I could easily have lived without the crass language. Even so, the few appearances seemed natural rather than used (or over-used) for shock value. The political landscape intrigued me, as did the virtual landscape. With the Orders being numbered rather than named, their purposes (aside from the Sixth, which is "main character" material), were tricky to keep track of. On another note, there were some kind of funny typos (like "three men under your yolk") and very minor puncutation issues. In the end, it kept me turning the pages and suffering an unwillingness to put it down until I was done. I am glad I read it, it's a very impressive beginning to the series and I'm looking forward to reading more.

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Blood Song

This novel was originally self-published in 2011.

From the publishers of David Gemmell, a powerful epic fantasy debut in that same tradition from an exciting new British talent

We have fought battles that left more than a hundred corpses on the ground and not a word of it has ever been set down. The Order fights, but often it fights in shadow, without glory or reward. We have no banners.

Vaelin Al Sorna's life changes forever the day his father abandons him at the gates of the Sixth Order, a secretive military arm of the Faith. Together with his fellow initiates, Vaelin undertakes a brutal training regime - where the price of failure is often death. Under the tutelage of the Order's masters, he learns how to forge a blade, survive the wilds and kill a man quickly and quietly.

Now his new skills will be put to the test. War is coming. Vaelin is the Sixth Order's deadliest weapon and the Realm's only hope. He must draw upon the very essence of his strength and cunning if he is to survive the coming conflict. Yet as the world teeters on the edge of chaos, Vaelin will learn that the truth can cut deeper than any sword.

"Anthony Ryan is a new fantasy author destined to make his mark on the genre. His debut novel, Blood Song, certainly has it all: great coming of age tale, compelling character, and a fast-paced plot. If his first book is any indication of things to come, then all fantasy readers should rejoice as a new master storyteller has hit the scene." - Michael J. Sullivan