We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
Blood Song Audiobook

Blood Song: Raven's Shadow, Book 1

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.
Regular Price:$24.50
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (7334 )
5 star
 (4844)
4 star
 (1928)
3 star
 (425)
2 star
 (84)
1 star
 (53)
Overall
4.6 (6796 )
5 star
 (4693)
4 star
 (1595)
3 star
 (373)
2 star
 (86)
1 star
 (49)
Story
4.5 (6799 )
5 star
 (4306)
4 star
 (1745)
3 star
 (542)
2 star
 (140)
1 star
 (66)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Rory Calgary, AB, Canada 02-25-14
    Rory Calgary, AB, Canada 02-25-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    32
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    169
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great, Just Great"

    The best fantasy works because it is original, full of depth and gritty. Blood Song gets full marks in a genre where unoriginal, forgettable YA like penmanship is the norm. Steven Brand is terrific and this listener appreciates the obvious affinity that he has for Blood Song. Well Done!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michelle Windermere, FL, United States 08-27-14
    Michelle Windermere, FL, United States 08-27-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    56
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Story, Performance bad"
    Any additional comments?

    The narration is dull, you can not distinguish between characters and even scene transitions. I found myself lost in several areas, rewinding to hear portions over again to figure out what was going on. I am hesitant to purchase Book 2 but want to find out what happens to the characters. Might purchase a hard copy instead.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Greyflood Louisville, KY 01-21-14
    Greyflood Louisville, KY 01-21-14

    Thirty-something geek who loves sci fi and fantasy.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    126
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    26
    12
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    6
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Impressive debut--mature, modern fantasy"

    I picked up this book after seeing it recommended several times on Audible, and after reading numerous positive reviews here. I was not disappointed. This is a major work in fantasy, and Anthony Ryan will be a name to watch as this series matures and expands.

    The main narrative is set within a frame story, similar to that of Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicles books (e.g., the main character is giving an account of his life to an interviewer). The circumstances of the interview are different enough, though, from Rothfuss, that it still feels original. The similarities to Rothfuss end there, however. This is a fairly dark fantasy, though not so grimdark as Joe Abercrombie or George R.R. Martin. We witness the training of Vaelin Al Sorna in the Sixth Order, an organization that’s a cross between samurai, agoge (the training of Spartan boys) and Jedi knights. The first half of the book, which covers Vaelin’s time in the Order, is fascinating, coming-of-age stuff. Numerous mysteries present themselves right off the bat, and most go unresolved by the end of the book. Vaelin’s camaraderie with his fellow trainees is the best part of the book. The other characters are well fleshed out, especially Norta and Caenis. Vaelin is an heroic character, and it’s very clear he’s got a big destiny, but he is grounded by self-doubts, guilt, and a consistent, genuine humility. He’s a wonderful character, embodying the escapism we crave in fantasy, while remaining a very human character with whom we can easily identify and sympathize. He is a living weapon who accepts his position, but not without regret.

    The second half of the book deals with Vaelin’s adventures in service to the Realm. This part of the book was less engaging than the first, I found, if only because the internecine politics of Ryan’s world get tossed around in rapid succession, and are hard to keep straight at times. The focus of the first half of the book is traded for more broad-scoped world-building, and while it’s intriguing, it lacks the fundamental humanity and direction that the training segments had. Still, toward the end it builds some powerful momentum, with suspense sustained by the frame story. Eventually, the frame story and the past narrative merge and many things fall into place. It’s a nicely-designed narrative structure, and is quite satisfying once it reaches its end.

    Ryan’s world feels familiar, yet unique. He doesn’t try to subvert every cliché like Martin or Abercrombie, but instead relies on good characterization and believable political/religious structures. One of the main themes of the book is man’s proclivity toward religion and the myriad gods we invent. This is a subject I’ve never seen tackled in such a direct way in a fantasy story before, and it’s a most welcome addition to the genre.

    This is, of course, the first in a series (whose ultimate number of volumes I don’t know). The book sets up many compelling plots to be resolved in future books, and raises the stakes by the end to be bigger and more important than the book first promised. I am greatly looking forward to book 2 when it comes out. I highly recommend this book to any fan of modern, mature fantasy. Ryan deserves to be listed among the modern greats in the genre; I look forward to his continued career.

    A note on the narrator: Steven Brand does a good job with the text. His husky voice lends itself well to Vaelin’s personality, and his pronunciations and speech rhythms are generally fine. He does stumble now and then (possibly from turning a page?) but these are negligible. The only complaint I have with him is that he lacks range. He has basically only one voice characterization, and while it works for many characters, it does not for all. Moreover, during dialogue between two or more characters, or even internal asides from one character, it can sometimes be hard to tell who is talking, or what is being spoken aloud or in a character’s mind. He is no Steven Pacey, but then again, who is? That said, he still does an adequate job with the story, and because almost all of the tale is told from a single character’s perspective, it gets much easier to tell who is talking as the story progresses. I would have liked a little more variety and emotion from Brand, but I’ve heard much, much worse.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. McCormick Texas 12-25-13
    M. McCormick Texas 12-25-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    71
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    26
    17
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    7
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Story hampered by Narrator's lack of voices"
    Where does Blood Song rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is one of the best books I have 'read' in a long time. Wish the narrator used different voices for each character like other narrators do. While the narrator did a fine job of reading his lack of voices was irritating and made some scenes confusing. I had to buy the Kindle version and refer to it in order to understand who was saying what during some conversations. This book deserves a better narrator. Michael Page would be fantastic.


    What didn’t you like about Steven Brand’s performance?

    By using one voice for all characters (even female characters had the same voice as the male characters) it becaming confusing at times as to which character was talking. I finally had to purchase the Kindle book to refer to in order to make sense of some conversations. The worst was when there were more than 2 characters having a conversation.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Easily. I was eager to get back to it when I had to put it down to attend to life's many responsibilities.


    Any additional comments?

    While this is Book 1 it can easily be read as a stand alone book. The story is complete with the possibility for the bigger question to be answered in future books without you being left with a cliff hanger at the end of this one. The story is fantastic. I can't say enough about the world, relationships, and writing style of Anthony Ryan. I eagerly await his next book in this series.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    heather Pleasantville 03-29-14
    heather Pleasantville 03-29-14 Member Since 2013

    Ask me no questions I will tell you no lies❤️

    HELPFUL VOTES
    65
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    152
    29
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Anthony Ryan Rules his Genre"
    Where does Blood Song rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Top ten. I really like Scott Lynch, George R R Martin, Sanderson, ect but I enjoyed Anthony Ryan on a whole new level.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The Order's different dimensions, fighting for the faith.


    Which character – as performed by Steven Brand – was your favorite?

    Vaelin the main character was the best. I won't get into why I don't write paragraphs on what the book is about, because I believe if you like a book it won't be the lengthy tell all that you enjoy.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Just thrilled to find such an awesome listen.


    Any additional comments?

    I have been through so many books with rave reviews and have been a bit disheartened in finding a book I could love. The reviewers of Blood Song are right Anthony Ryan is the best. I don't give five stars as I find most books fall short but Ryan earned it!

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Stone San Diego 09-17-13
    Andrew Stone San Diego 09-17-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1163
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2459
    80
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    321
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good Read."
    Any additional comments?

    Book was very interesting and held my attention throughout the 21 hrs of the story.

    Always wanting to know what happens next.

    It was hard to be dragged away from listening to do other tasks...

    13 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Ruehlin 07-06-14
    R. Ruehlin 07-06-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    81
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great story, barely adequate narration"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, it's a great story, robust characters, interesting mysteries, good world building.


    Any additional comments?

    In some ways, the narrator has a good voice for this kind of epic: A bit gravelly, as if the story is being told by an old soldier.
    But there's no attempt to give voices to the different characters, and at some points the narration gets monotonic. Depending on the text, the narrator will recite sentences in the same cadence and inflection. There are moments when you find yourself anticipating the rhythm of each sentence as the narrator repeats the same cadence.
    It was distracting at times, but ultimately didn't interfere with the enjoyment of the story itself.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Connor 11-24-13
    Connor 11-24-13 Member Since 2011

    Enjoy the adventure

    HELPFUL VOTES
    294
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    178
    162
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    26
    7
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Clash of Swords"

    An excellent medieval fantasy book and entertaining from the beginning to end. I enjoyed the theme of personal sacrifice as the cost of loyalty. Best shown when the main character is mislead by the government to do their bidding vs. pursuing his own plans. Reminded me of the Mark Twain quote - “Loyalty to the country always. Loyalty to the government when it deserves it.”

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Springfield, MA, United States 11-15-13
    Michael Springfield, MA, United States 11-15-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    115
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What I have been missing..."

    Excellent first book, I'm counting the days until July 2014.

    To the point. I enjoy Jim Butcher, Kevin Hearne, Joe Abercrombie, Neal Stephenson (70% of the time), and Mark Lawrence. This is just to give you an idea of what makes me tick. If you enjoy these authors too and are often disappointed in fantasy books then you need to give this a listen. It's a strong book from the first page to the last, it's long but it will leave you wanting more. I was ever impressed by the writing, the excellent plot and the twists that you don't often find in books of this nature.

    Give Anthony Ryan a try and I promise you won't be disappointed.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Megan Aurora, Colorado, United States 11-04-13
    Megan Aurora, Colorado, United States 11-04-13 Member Since 2013

    Obsessive book hoarder, and intense audible lover.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    185
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    89
    29
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    7
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes!! Because it is a well wrought story and relatable characters. I felt despair along with the main character as loved characters died, etc.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Hmm, since they all were so good in the story, I refuse to answer this one :)


    What about Steven Brand’s performance did you like?

    He brought life to the characters and narrated with emotion that kept me enthralled.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.