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.”
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.
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.
Narrator is a little slurred in his speech but as it continues you find it adds to the texture of the book and he grows on you. Story is fantastic. I'm an avid audio books listener and it's hard to get 5 stars from me.
The book itself was compelling and fun to listen to with more details on the actual battle than the magical giving it a mysterious feeling. I very much enjoyed the book. Couple of negatives are that the voice actor is a little Mono tone and monotonous until around half way through the book or maybe I finally got used to it. The authors naming conventions for the characters is often confusing or hard to remember.
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