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 is the kind of work I'm looking for. Written for adults, with rich characters, epic sweep of events, complex layers of intertangled personal, political, and mythical story-lines.
A rare book in the category of, and perhaps even better than, Game of Thrones, Name of the Wind, Warded Man, or The Way of Kings.
Can't wait for the next book.
The narrater was great--not one for forcing a variety of voices, but providing a solid, pleasant, and effective read. Like hearing a fireside story read by a master story teller.
Great Book and Performance!
This was a great start in an epic journey Anthony Ryan is sure to take us all on. I found myself making comparisons to Michael J. Sullivan, Brandon Sanderson and Patrick Rothfuss (his first book The Name of the Wind: Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 1). If you have ever read any of their works and enjoyed them then this should be on par and I am sure you will enjoy this as well.
Since this is the first book it contains your classic world building experience, who everyone is and their relationships with each other. Ryan has painted a wonderful picture of this new world and his characters have some depth to them.
As far as narration goes Steven Brand brought these characters to life with his performance and range of character voices. I can only hope they bring him back for the sequels.
I read it then listened and I loved it both ways. I really liked the narration as the narrator did a good job and the characters did come alive. When you are reading you do not really make up different voices for characters in your head (at least I don't) so I did enjoy the audio version very much.
I do not really think I have read a book like this but I would kind of compare it to epic movies like Gladiator.
I loved when Vaelin went to go save his brother from seeing his father executed and all his other brothers came to help.
The whole booked moved me it was a great story and I am not sure if I am going to last until the 2nd book comes out.
I decided to get this book upon a good reads recommendation as I was in the mood for an epic story after reading Patrick Rothfuss's novels. So I decided to give this book a try. I do have to say the 1st chapter is iffy as you are in the present and the main character is grown and a prisoner going to fight for his death but its a bit confusing but wait till the 2nd chapter! Vaelin the main character will tell his life story starting when he was a young boy and given away by his father to the 6th order. You will read about his life and how he becomes the man that he is. If you could fall in love with a main character then this would be the one. The story is truly epic and will not let you go. I will just say I started this at 8am in the morning and read and listened until 10 at night I could not stop! Give this a shot you will not be dissapointed.
This is yet another independent e-book that through sheer momentum got noticed and picked up by a publisher. I had seen huge ravings about this book and had to check it out. So does this one live up to the hype?
This is possibly the strongest fantasy debut I've ever read. It's better than Elantris, it's better than Name of the Wind, and it's a lot better than Promise of Blood. He gets right what those books didn't, and I can't really find a single complaint about it. I have no idea where this author came out of, but this guy has the total package when it comes to writing.
The first of the book starts with modern-day Vaelin, condemned prisoner and living legend. Setting out on a voyage where he must fight to the death in gladiatorial combat, he begins relating the story of his life to a skeptical scribe. The book continues on this pattern of long-flashbacks, interspersed with short interludes back in the modern day. It really reminded me of The Name of the Wind, only this book was a lot better. There was never really a dull or boring moment in the book; in fact, this is one of those rare books that I actually didn't want to end. Usually I'm hurrying it up near the end, already thinking about what I want to start next. But this one had me hooked all the way through.
This author writes like someone who's done it for years and years. I simply can't believe how well-written it is for a new author. The characters come alive. They feel so much more real and sophisticated than those books mentioned above. The plot carries you along, and you can feel the complexities and undercurrents even as they are revealed a bit at a time, with many more mysteries yet unsolved. The elegance of the writing is at times astounding; there are moments that blew me away or made me laugh in delight simply because of HOW they were written. The prose and dialogue are top-notch. This is a genius of storytelling.
And the action? Absolutely second-to-none. It's intense, it's bloody, and it feels like you're actually THERE. Usually authors slack off in this category, but so much of this book revolves around a life of violence and combat. The fights never feel cheap or stereotyped. The main character is awesome and he lays down the law with his blade. There's no random goof-ups that authors use to try and be different or "realistic". This guy is bred to fight, and everything he does is purposeful and effectual. And the magic system, revealing itself slowly one bit at a time through the lore of the world, adds that extra element that brings it all together.
I didn't think it would happen, but this book really blew me away. I can't wait to see what comes next.
On Audible since the late 1990s, mostly science fiction, fantasy, history & science. I rarely review 1-2 star books that I can't get through
First off, this is a wonderful first fantasy novel by a first-time author. Ryan writes with confidence, and does an excellent job in building a novel (relatively low-magic) fantasy world. At the same time, he takes a trope of these sorts of novels - the childhood training and maturing of a character touched by Destiny (think Harry Potter, Name of the Wind, Wheel of Time, etc.) - and manages to make it work by both the quality of his writing and his ability to produce compelling characters. There were many spots where I couldn't stop listening, and I am eager to buy the next novel as soon as it comes out.
Why the 4 stars? In some ways, I feel like Ryan juggles too many balls, and some of them are noticeably dropped in the novel, making the set-up for the Raven's Shadow series less interesting than the events of this particular book. This is most obvious inhow the overarching enemy of the novel is established (I won't spoil anything there, but I will say that given the detail of all of the other worldbuilding, that piece feels tacked-on and contrary to other parts of the book), but it appears in other ways - important characters disappear from the narrative for long periods only to suddenly reappear for some key role; issues like religion seem critical and some points and unimportant in others; foreshadowing is obvious but of unclear value; and the story skips some interesting moments, choosing instead to concentrate on ones of less clear value.
These are minor sins for a new novel that is of such high quality, and I strongly suggest epic fantasy fans read it. Though it is not high fantasy, and includes lots of bloody carnage, it isn't as grimdark as Abercrombe or Martin, and thus serves as a bit of fresh air in a genre that has tended towards the extremes of either light-and-fun or death-and-horribleness. The reading is great as well.
Some of the pro reviews on amazon and reader reviews mention rough spots in this Fantasy Series by a new author- but I am damned if I could find them. Excellent setting and super character development. Told ala Patrick Rothfuss (first novel- I could not finish number 2) with a character interviewing another character.
This is a MUST READ Series- if you like Abercrombie, Early G RR Martin. Gritty perfect prose. Premise is how religion (rarely addressed in anything but a superficial way) affects life and history (and in real life this is a central theme of history) and individuals. Great premise- excellent writing- I am REALLY sad it is over with NO official release date of the next book- (it is finished or so Anthony Ryan states).
AS another reviewer stated "YOU MUST BUY AND READ THIS" if you like "low magic" well written fantasy series.
SUPERB and BRAVO
In my top ten books. . and one of the biggest surprises. I have over 100 audible books. I got this one for a cross country road trip and was totally sucked into it, , almost ran out of gas cause i was so engrossed. Looking forward to more from this author.
I highly recommend this book.
I am a writer from Toronto. I am 34 and hooked on audio books.
If you love epic fantasy buy this book! Great story and awesome narration. Anthony Ryan and Steven Brand are up and coming stars. With all the crap out there that gets 5 stars, I rarely write reviews. However, this book is so good I just had to.
Steven Brand's voice is wonderful, his narration was the perfect tone for the book. I read this first as a self published novel on Kindle, and even still I can't imagine the protagonists voice to sound any other way.
I still am floored that it took so long for a publisher to pick him up. If he can continue this story with the pacing, twists and enthralling characters he will quickly join Brandon Sanderson, Robert Jordan, Patrick Rothfuss and George Martin as the great living writers of Fantasy.
Several that would be spoilers if shared.
No, but even though his only other work on Audible is WAU outside of my normal reading I am considering picking it up just for his narration.
A dangerous man without malice?
BloodSong is surely going to be the beginning of a long and glorious relationship with these characters. The world that Anthony Ryan has created should exist. It is cohesive, realistic and functional. The magic reminds of something that Robin Hobb might have produced, the characters of something Orson Scott Card might have created and a world epic and grand enough to rival any George Martin has envisioned.
When I paid 99 cents for this on Kindle I had low expectations, but after one read and two listens I can say that it stands nearly as high on my can't wait list as the next Way of Kings book or the final book of Patrick Rothfuss' Kingkiller chronicles. If any of these names are on your hit list then you will not be disappointed.
Having invoked those names I should mention that the next novel is 100% complete and is only being heald back for a year by his new publisher to give time for this book to sell and the third is well underway according to the author so great writing, without the typical 2-3 year wait between books for this style of fantasy.
Third after King killer and Stormlight
The telling and the format
The final song
Not really, but i did feel his pain.
I'm not really good with words but this book is something all audible members should have.
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