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
Audiobooks are my workaround to the pesky laws forbidding reading while driving. And I'm pretty sure my dog likes them too.
This book held me in rapt attention for the duration. When I wasn't listening, I wanted to be listening. When I was listening, I wanted nothing else.
Anthony Ryan has a way with words, storytelling, and character development that did more than impress me - I was truly in awe. I read so many books, I've forgotten many of their names, not to mention the stories they told. I cannot forget Blood Song.
The prose is incredible. Sure, he uses modern-day crudeness for his young characters, or when the story gives him permission. But there were moments when I was enveloped in the images created by the nuanced choice of words. The illustrations are so vivid, that the more gruesome moments were difficult to stomach, as it should be.
The story ... this is a coming-of-age story told from a unique perspective. It is the story as told by the protagonist to a scholar with whom he is traveling, who is also his enemy. There are digressions into the first-person, at which time the perspective switches to that of the scholar himself. I loved these digressions. They gives the reader insight into how Vaelin al Sorna is viewed by his companion. I enjoyed this insight from the outset, but its importance only became clear as the story (and trilogy) developed. I actually almost didn't buy this book because of the "blurb" describing it - I thought it would be another take on Locke Lamora and his ilk. I was very wrong. The blurb is accurate, to a degree. But fails to convey the true depth of this tale.
This story could have stood alone. No sequels, follow-ups, continuations, or epilogues. That Ryan made it into a trilogy is fine with me, but Blood Song is the standout novel, a truly exceptional feat.
This is pretty standard swords and sorcery fare, but done in a unique way that makes it feel more like Ancient Roman historical fiction meets supernatural powers.
That Steven Brand is an amazing narrator goes without saying. He tells the tale, differentiates the characters, but never overacts the story or the dialogue, never detracts from the words themselves. He does have a unique choice of pronunciation for some words, and the occasional pregnant pause that feels misplaced, but these hardly bear mentioning given his grand performance in every other aspect.
This book left an indelible mark on me - I have already bought it in print and look forward to reading it again, giving it a place of honor amid my favorites.
Great story. Well read. Makes you care and respect the characters and story. I'm re-listening to this one and the 2nd before reading the third. Good stuff!
I am torn about this book. In some parts of the story I was locked in and others I was gritting my teeth trying to get through. Due to the changing POV's I lost focus and had to rewind several times. Im not sure if I will get the second book. I am disappointed because this book had such great reviews.
I listen to a lot of these types of stories and this one was very rich in character development and visually descriptive. I love getting lost in another world for some time each day. This won't disappoint!! I was somewhat confused about what was happening in the final chapters, but trust it will become more clear in the next book.
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