- Series: A Raven's Shadow Novel (Book 1)
- Hardcover: 592 pages
- Publisher: Ace; 1 edition (July 2, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0425267695
- ISBN-13: 978-0425267691
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.9 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2,404 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #427,737 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Blood Song (A Raven's Shadow Novel) Hardcover – July 2, 2013
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The first of a trilogy, Blood Song is this British author’s first fantasy novel, and the first one to be printed. It was originally an e-book, as were three science-fiction novels Ryan has also written. The plot is standard: a young boy’s father abandons him at the door of the Sixth, or fighting, Order of the national faith. He is raised to be a warrior, and becomes one of the most effective in the forces of his king, Janus, of the Unified Realm. But a number of vital questions arise as the story progresses, starting with why his father cast him out of the family and into the Faith in the first place. While the plot is standard, it is deftly and originally executed, as are the characters. They are complex characters, not archetypes. The setting is medieval-based, but with a number of original differences (especially the religion!). Ryan’s style makes Blood Song a page-turner. Apt turns of phrase, descriptions that linger, questions answered at unexpected times all make the story definitely superior to much of the genre. It should please a wide audience, but those who do not care for gory fantasy adventure are hereby warned. --Frieda Murray
"Ryan hits all the high notes of epic fantasy--a gritty setting, ancien magics, ruthless intrigue, divided loyalties and bloody action."—Publishers Weekly
“Just impossible to put down…I had to read it ASAP and to reread it immediately on finishing, as I could not part from the wonderful universe the author created.”—Fantasy Book Critic
“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, author of the Riyria Revelations series
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The plot itself deals very heavy on politics and religion or in this books case "Faith". There was so much talk about faith that I felt like I was being suffocated by it. Now I know none of this is real but with so much it being talked about I almost felt myself believing in said Faith. The politic end of the plot didn't really come into effect until half way into it. I found myself enjoying that more but I know this is only the first book and Anthony Ryan is building up to something because that ending was like, "WTF".
My only other negative about this book probably would be about the cast of characters in this book. I found myself not really caring about anyone other then Vaelin. I love stories that focus on one character but have an amazing ensemble of characters but this first entry in the Ravens Shadow trilogy was very much lacking in that aspect for me!
All in all I really did enjoy this novel and I cannot wait to continue on with the rest of the series!!
There was only a couple things I didn't like about this awesome book. The first thing that struck me was the first chapter in italics, not a deal breaker but I really wish the chapter title had been enough for the author to distinguish the differences in time. I found the introduction to the order a little slow because meeting the characters was so rushed and choppy, I couldn't take in all the information. It soon smoothed out though and I loved delving in the boys' training. I love Vaelin's character! There was no real building to the climax at the end, just a steady pace, but the last chapter . . . wow! That threw me for a loop!
Cannot wait to read the next one!
This Series is so hard to review...So Many Great Things Happened....Just Read It.
Bloodsong is the journey of a boy into becoming a man with enough power to change the world. The majority of this books focuses on the bond built between brothers, bonds that can’t be broken no matter what you have done. It is hard to capture Bloodsong accurately in a review because it has a fully built world, characters and plot. Small mysteries and journeys lead to larger ones. The choices that Vaelin makes throughout his life are not all correct. He makes mistakes and sacrifices along the way and there were enough twists and turns that I was kept guessing the entire book.
Vaelin is the son of a famous Warrior and healer. After the death of his mother Vaelin is taken to train with the Order where he gives up all ties to his family and land to become a brother of the 6th order and protector of the faith.
-- The Aspect’s gaze was impassive but Vaelin knew he could read every thought in his boy’s head. He wondered later how many boys, dragged or tricked there by treacherous fathers, did run away, and if so, if they ever regretted it. Loyalty is our strength. “I wish to come in, please,” he told the Aspect. There were tears in his eyes but he blinked them away. “I wish to learn many things.”
Vaelin’s journey in the order is a difficult one they are training warriors and he is an apt pupil, living through all the trails along the way. Never once did I question the man that Vaelin grew up to be because I journeyed through those years with him when he built bonds with his brothers in the Order and learned that the reasons he was brought to them might not be everything he thought they were. As every new layer is peeled away we see that maybe there is something dark lurking and waiting in the shadows as Vaelin has a destiny and there are some that do not want to see him make his way to it.
Beral Shak Ur…”why do you call me that? I have a name of my own.”
“Men such as yourself tend to collect names like trophies. Not all the names you’ll earn will be so kind.”
There are so many things I liked about this story.
First, it is told from the Present looking back on the past for most of it and as Vaelin tells his story you can’t wait to find out what happened to put him in the position he is in in the present. The narration escalated the intrigue over certain events by knowing the part of the end result.
Second the world building is completely full and well-rounded with lands, religions, politics and so many meshed up cultures that it is hard not to get too caught up in all the details of it. The extra stories and lore all fit in and weave together so well.
Third, there is a slight magic in tale, but I never found it overdone. There is a gradual realization of it instead of an abrupt “you have power and will rule the world muh-HA-Ha-ha-hA”. I really liked the hint of magic in the land and the promise of finding out more in later books.
Finally, I loved the relationships that Vaelin had with those around him. The bonds between the brothers, the girl he loved and the very dangerous game he played with the King made him an extraordinarily easy character to like. He was never pompous or overconfident but made his choices and went on with them.
I grew to really care for the characters in this world. Some of the scenes of war are a little horrific, but I think they should be. The story was complex, interesting and had enough twists and turns to keep you guessing. I strongly recommend this to any Fantasy lover.
Wow!!!! I expected so little but this book is probably the best I've read since "The Name of the Wind". Actually, it is written in a similar style as NotW, with a "chronicler" telling the story as it is told to him by the hero. The main character, Vaelin Al Sorna, is basically abandoned by his father at the entrance of a monastery. At this monastery, he and his "brothers" (other boys who ended up at the monastery for a variety of different reasons), will be trained to become Brothers of the Sixth Order, who are (very literally) defenders of the faith. Magic is at a minimum in this book, characters are very well-developed, and the author does a great job of handling how conflicted Vaelin is as he gains more knowledge and responsibility within the order -sometimes a good man has to do very bad things.
Don't hesitate! If you are a Rothfuss or Hobb fan, you will LOVE this book!