The spectacular conclusion to the New York Times best-selling Raven's Shadow series, which began with the critically acclaimed Blood Song.
Empires will fall. Queen Lyrna has survived the bloody siege of Alltor. Now she must rally her troops and take back the capital from the Volarian invaders. But driving her hated enemy out of the Realm will not satisfy her lust for vengeance - she wants to pursue them across the ocean and burn their empire to ashes. To do so she must place her faith in the Seventh Order: men and women who wield terrible powers born of the Dark itself.
Vaelin Al Sorna would sacrifice his life for his queen - and may yet have to. Only by unmasking the Volarians' mysterious ally can the tide of war be turned. To this end Vaelin must travel deep into the icebound north, in search of a man who cannot die - and he must do it without the aid of his blood song, which has fallen ominously silent....
Queen of Fire is the epic conclusion to the acclaimed Raven's Shadow series by New York Times best-selling author Anthony Ryan.
©2015 Anthony Ryan (P)2015 Penguin Audio
"An utterly engrossing high-fantasy epic from a major new talent." (Buzzfeed on Blood Song)
"Anthony Ryan is a master storyteller." (Mark Lawrence, author of Prince of Thorns)
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Note- slight spoiler alert - in the last paragraph.
I really struggled with how to score this book. I just felt so neutral about it (hence the "Bland" headline for my review). Was it me being easily distracted? Was my listening interrupted too frequently that I never really got into it? Have I been overly spoiled by a previous Sanderson listen? To check I wasn’t being too harsh, I had a quick read of other reviews…. and relief, I’m not going insane or becoming overly picky.
Overall, I gave it 3/5, partly out of respect for the first book, which I really did enjoy. The second book lost it a little, but there was a promise of more to come. This third book has left me feeling flat.
I still like the idea of the story and the “magic”, but the execution felt muddled. Yes, the story continues, but there are so many new characters and so many more random threads, that it all just feels a little disjointed. It's completely lost the excitement and anticipation of book one. Unfortunately, the narration does nothing to help improve this sense. There is absolutely no character differentiation, and despite concentrating and re-listening to certain paragraphs, there was still doubt as to who actually said or did what. Also, either I've got wool in my ears, or some of the character names are so similar sounding as to seem the same person......adding to my confusion of who was where and who did what - maybe I wasn't concentrating properly? Unfortunately, the narration completely detracted from my overall enjoyment of the book. And, as an aside, I find it really annoying when characters (even armies) can be at opposite ends of the world, yet spin their horses around and apparently cross from the Arctic to the Sahara (or equivalent) in a couple of days....naturally turning up on time at the requisite location to help save the day. That's just too convenient.
Bottom line – try reading this one rather than listening to it. You may enjoy the written word more than the spoken one.
As for the ending? Again, I was left feeling completely flat about it; neither neatly tied up, nor with sufficient loose threads to keep me guessing or interested. It was almost a relief to have it end. My final thoughts of what should have been a great series were “so the boy doesn’t get the girl and the cat died”. Hardly a great sense of closure.
"A disappointing conclusion"
Character and plot development in this third book are very weak. Gone is the excellent narrative style of the Blood Song and instead we are given a disjointed (possibly boring) POV driven story from characters that we no longer care about. The development of the main character is very disappointing - in effect he is sidelined.
Yes - but I wouldn't pay for it.
No. Brands narrative style does not pair well with the POV format used in this book. In his defence this is just not very well written to begin with and is confusing in the text version.
Several. Changing style and focus means that many characters have lost direction, and the badly done POV format makes listening a frustrating experience,
If you loved blood song (and to a degree Tower Lord) then I would very much caution you in respect to buying this. I struggle to understand how this could be the same author and this actually upsets me as Blood song was so very good. Ryan appears to have lost his way, either through not knowing where to take his characters (maybe feeling that one in particular was over powered) or a desire to partake in some world building, or possibly some mis guided input from the publisher. Take rave reviews on this and the physical copy with a pinch of salt.
This all being said just my opinion and a I hope other listeners can find something in this where I did not.
I am a huge favourite of Anthony Ryan but I found this book hard going. It was confusing trying to keep up with all the different characters in different scenes and felt somewhat disjointed.
I found the first book a easy listen,the second became more confusing but I really wanted to know the outcome of the third book so persisted. I found it really difficult to want to carry on and lost interest half way through and came to dislike a few characters,but I hate to leave a book unread so carried on.the ending to me was a bit " oh is that it?".
Enjoyed the other two but this one didn't engage me so much..,
But better that I could do so.....
"Too many characters. "
I can understand why Steven brand choose not to use different character voices. As he simply wouldn't be able to make that many different voices. This series of books should be read by several people each taking the role of several characters in order to help the listener keep up with who is who.
The story was good although at several points the over use of the word "ever" began to annoy me.
'arisi' 'garisi' 'variti' 'quriti' 'politi' 'red clad' 'black clad' 'red men' 'the seven' 'free swords' and the nobility if I've remembered them all that's just the groups that make up the volarians and doesn't even begin to get in to the alliance of groups that oppose them..
In short I don't think it would be unreasonable of some universities to offer a degree in this series.
"Brilliant, Brilliant, Brilliant"
Well worth the long wait for this spectacular conclusion to the trilogy. Personally I think it's punchier and more exciting than Game of Thrones and even inches ahead of the Painted Man series for my absolute favourite fantasy series. As usual for a story with such well crafted characters I will go through a grieving process for a few days now I've finished the book. The story is so immersive that the characters have become good friends and I will miss them. I love you Valen! I'll see you again in a year or so and we can go through the whole fantastic, exciting journey again from the beginning! I really hope Anthony Ryan picks up the story again in their future. Surely Frentis deserves the opportunity for further redemption. Again, Brilliant, Brilliant, Brilliant!
great narrator- great story. Leaves you wanting more. I agree that the names can be difficult, but all it takes is concentration. Great world. How about an Alpirian conquest now?
Wouldn't go looking for him as I do for some other narrators.
Didn't get far enough into story, difficult to believe its the same author who wrote Blood Song.
After a brilliant start to the series its just gone downhill.
this book was so confusing I gave up .... I really had a hard time trying to work out which character was being talked about and where they were, very disappointed as I was waiting for this books release. thank goodness for GLG.
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