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
Likes to listen while doing chores; likes to write reviews while he should be doing chores.
This book is a variation on the “kid goes to warrior school” epic fantasy genre. It’s a pretty good one. There are some fresh ideas in storytelling that keep it new and interesting. The main story arc is told as if to a historian, however, you come to learn that the reader is getting a “true,” insiders account, but the historian character to which the story is being recounted, is being told something else. In other words, you get the secrets, but for some reason, the main character is telling his conversation partner something less meaningful. Also, the depth of the features of this world, magic, religion, people, sects, are only being hinted at. The author has so much setting left to fill with story, it keeps you wanting more.
The story begins a little slow and there are some significant breaks in action. However, it does heat up and progressively becomes more intriguing. Twists and plots aren’t immediately apparent until you realize you’re up to your neck in them.
Characters are well developed and Ryan fears not killing them off which raises the stakes of the various challenges. The dialogue is neither particularly good nor bad. It is just kind of there.
This book really suffers because of its narrator. He doesn’t apply himself to characterizations so you often lose who is talking in a particular conversation. He blows the accenting of certain sentences which changes the meaning in odd ways. Overall it feels like what you are hearing is the reader’s first attempt.
Despite harvesting the old warrior school trope, this book goes in interesting directions. The story leaves off at a good point too. There is an ocean of possibilities at the end, leaving you very interested in what comes next. All in all a good read. I would recommend this to fantasy fans.
Enjoy the adventure
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.”
Very Good Listen!!
It kept my attention the entire time. I kept thinking it was going to end, and got more and more excited when it kept going. Very Happy with this Listen.
No, but will be looking into them.
Finished on mobile device 2017-01-15 since audible does not provide a method to track finished book I use the comments. Sorry for any confusion to other listeners.
... it's a shame the rest of the series isn't better... or even as good as this one.
I am currently in the third book of the series. I felt the need to go back, and do more than select stars to communicate what you should think of this book, as this book stands or falls with the series since it pulls you into the next book in the series: it must be viewed within the series whole...
For a great example of a book that doesn't pull you into the series but stands on its own, see Eye of the World by Robert Jordan (on Audible... check it out).
I quickly realized this was an origin story. Origin stories are rarely amazing, as they share the background to a bigger story that is usually skipped. If, however, the characters are interesting before they become more interesting it can be excused... or if you see what they become you want to find out how they got there (see Name of the Wind). So I gave it a try. There was lots of exposition due to how the author formed this story, but it worked and worked well.
That said... I didn't get some of the motivations for the characters in this book and found that when they were revealed in later books I was not impressed. Things explained that were so odd and interesting had lacking explanations. So... I would say this book is very much like J.J. Abrams and his series... It gives you all the questions that keep you going, but you don't like the answers it does share later.
I think this writer spent a lot of time on this book. I do. I was believing he could be my next Brandon Sanderson... but he isn't.
I honestly cannot recall most of the plot of this book now and it's been less than a month since I listened to it. There were a few high moments I won't explain since I don't want to spoil it for you. If you can stop with this book, I would recommend it.
Look at my other reviews in this series to see why this series disappoints.
This book grabbed me and didn't let go. It is surprising to get a story this good from an author's debut novel.
A note about the narration -- although I found Steven Brand's voice pleasing to listen to, he doesn't do the greatest job of differentiating between speakers. Because of that, I had to rewind quite a bit and pay more attention in order to comprehend. I usually listen while working, so that proved to be more of a distraction than I am accustomed to.
Obviously, that isn't optimal, but if you can overcome that hurdle, the story is worth the effort.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this first book in the Raven's Shadow series. The author knows how to develop his characters into someone that we enjoy reading about and want to them to be successful. Good read!
The story was great, with very well thought out details that add to the history and plot for the upcoming series.
The performance was good, my only issue with it is the lack of variation in the character's voices, though I prefer this method to unrealistic caricatures that would detract from the story. Emotion was conveyed well, too.
I look forward to the continuation of this story!
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