From "a new master storyteller" comes the beginning of an epic fantasy saga of blood, honor, and destiny....
The Sixth Order wields the sword of justice and smites the enemies of the Faith and the Realm. Vaelin Al Sorna was only a child of 10 when his father left him at the iron gate of the Sixth Order. The Brothers of the Sixth Order are devoted to battle, and Vaelin will be trained and hardened to the austere, celibate, and dangerous life of a Warrior of the Faith. He has no family now save the Order.
Vaelin’s father was Battle Lord to King Janus, ruler of the unified realm. Vaelin’s rage at being deprived of his birthright and dropped at the doorstep of the Sixth Order like a foundling knows no bounds. He cherishes the memory of his mother, and what he will come to learn of her at the Order will confound him. His father, too, has motives that Vaelin will come to understand. But one truth overpowers all the rest: Vaelin Al Sorna is destined for a future he has yet to comprehend. A future that will alter not only the realm, but the world.
©2013 Anthony Ryan (P)2013 Penguin Audio
This book was excellent. The story is intricate, interesting and I can't wait for the sequel (which I juuuuust purchased).
The performance is good and consistent. The voice work is not as expert as some readers (who can change their voices for characters) but I didn't mind.
This is worth your time and money
the book starts off feeling a bit slow and misguided, as if it really doesn't feel like the author has any point, but things tie up nicely and overall the book is satisfying. worth the listen, and I certainly plan to listen to the rest of the series
This is a gripping tale that, as do most good stories, begins a bit slow. As it progresses the elements of the novel series unfold and leave a reader/listener enthralled. One warning though, I have gone to bed wanting to listen to just a bit of the book and suddenly realized three hours have passed. That is the way of Anthony Ryan's writing. Methinks he has inherited a bit of the Irish bard's muse.
While this is a full novel in many ways, including length and richness, and actually does reason some degree of conclusion, be prepared to go for the next three or you will forever be filled with unanswered questions.
I downgraded the narration by one star because sometimes in conversations between the scribe penning the tale in the story and the protagonist, I found myself confused as to who was talking. In a printed novel, they would be separated by paragraphs, but Seven Brand, normally an amazingly good narrator, has portrayed their voices so similarly that they sometimes are indistinguishable.
I started reading this book because it was supposed to be similar to the King Killer series. The story architecture is similar, but I didn't enjoy this book. The narrator had the same voice for every character which made it incredibly difficult to follow at times. The plot started out good, but lost its way half way through. Don't bother reading this one.
The story feels overly long and yet doesn't seem to spend enough time setting up character motivations, key plot points, or issues for the hero(s) to resolve.
To be honest, the story had me constantly feeling like I had accidentally pressed chapter skip and had missed a few key chapters or passages. Characters constantly changed positions or did not act consistent with their motivations, new characters are introduced without much background or explanation, and the story features several somewhat confusing jumps in time/setting/situation in the second half of the book.
The whole thing felt very disconnected and I often found myself forgetting why the characters were doing what they were doing or wondering if I missed when the author explained what the hell was going on.
What I think were supposed to be revelations to key questions/issues in the story line came off as flat and uninteresting, mainly because I don't think that the author ever made clear what questions or issues required answers.
The story issues are not helped by the narration. The reader has a very soft spoken voice and does make any differentiation between character voices, emotion, or tone. The narrator does nothing to pull you into the story and comes off very flat, monotone, and uninteresting.
Pauses between scenes are relatively non-existent and make it very difficult to tell when one scene/setting had ended and another began. You're left constantly playing catch-up every time the book changes scenes.
This story has some fine raw materials and could have been an outstanding 13-14 hour listen instead of the 23 hour slog fest it really is. Best used as white noise.
I began worried that I would never even get all the names of the characters down let alone grow to be fascinated by the story. I came to find myself stealing spare moments to listen to the story of the Blood Song unfold. All together fantastic performance coupled with an even greater story. I am looking forward to listening to the rest of this story.
If the story had developed it's world and people better. For half the book we get kids training, but no information about the world nor much about his order. The second half had Vaelin killing for the king with no real purpose besides the king wanting more power and money.
I cared for none of the characters because they were not given any dimension. Vaelin was always against what he was doing but never did anything about it besides grumble about it in his head. Make the blood song mean something. It was mostly useless and Vaelin more often than not ignored it.
He could have at least tried to make various voices. You had to listen closely because each conversation sounded like the same person talking.
Great book and story, the narration was bland and lacked character differentiation. will continue with other books in the series but it's a shame the narrationisnt better with such a good book.
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