Vaelin Al Sorna, warrior of the Sixth Order, called Darkblade, called Hope Killer. The greatest warrior of his day, and witness to the greatest defeat of his nation: King Janus' vision of a Greater Unified Realm drowned in the blood of brave men fighting for a cause Vaelin alone knows was forged from a lie. Sick at heart, he comes home, determined to kill no more. Named Tower Lord of the Northern Reaches by King Janus's grateful heir, he can perhaps find peace in a colder, more remote land far from the intrigues of a troubled Realm.
But those gifted with the blood-song are never destined to live a quiet life. Many died in King Janus' wars, but many survived, and Vaelin is a target, not just for those seeking revenge but for those who know what he can do. The Faith has been sundered, and many have no doubt who their leader should be. The new King is weak, but his sister is strong. The blood-song is powerful, rich in warning and guidance in times of trouble, but is only a fraction of the power available to others who understand more of its mysteries. Something moves against the Realm, something that commands mighty forces, and Vaelin will find to his great regret that when faced with annihilation, even the most reluctant hand must eventually draw a sword.
©2014 Anthony Ryan (P)2014 Penguin Audio
of th"e best pieces of fiction, never mind Fantasy, I have read. It may be difficult to believe but The Tower Lord" is an improvement over the superbly written first volume "Blood Song."
Told in the third person using multi- view points (differing from Blood Song which is primarily told from Vaelin's view point) the book expands the characters (some briefly met) in "Blood Song": Frentis, and Princess Lyrna. We are also introduced to Reva: a seeming secondary character who mushrooms into one of the central figures of this volume. The role of the Blood Song, one of the dark gifts, barely explored in the volume baring its name is expanded on. Dark Gifts such as the Blood Song require sacrifice, and Vaelin's pledge to forego killing and war is one such sacrifice.
Ryan continues to explore the role of religion in society- its role in conflict and providing a rallying symbol and a symbol of hope amongst people enduring hardship. Given the central role of religion in "real life" today it is refreshing to see it embedded so deeply in a fantasy novel and without condescension.
The book flows in a flawless fashion from one view (and story line) to another- from one crisis point to another. I was so enthralled I can say that I shed an additional three to four pounds whilst listening to the story- as I could not bear to end my workout on the treadmill mid story and found myself staying on the treadmill for an additional 5-10 minutes to hear what would happen next.
Thank you Anthony Ryan- this cannot possible be your first multivolume work. It is a true masterpiece that any fan of fantasy should listen to or read.
Did you know you can put in a set of Ear-Buds, slap your Hearing Protectors over them, and Mow the lawn, Weed-Eat, etc, without your book being drowned out by engine noise? OR, you can just let the horses in the yard, and THEY'LL mow and weedeat (literally) FOR YOU!
As other Reviewers have said, there are no real answers to the major questions you'll have from Book 1, in Book 2... but you DO begin to realize that this is going to be a LONG series, and the first few books are basically "Setting Up" the rest of the Series...
Before you Groan and think "48 HOURS of 'Set Up'?!?", It doesn't feel like typical "Set Up".. the Action is there through the entire Series, and you learn the Characters as you go along.. it's the PLOT that's being "Set Up", not just the Characters...
Up Front.. This seems like it's going to be a VERY long Series... Along the lines of "G.O.T.", Just don't expect all of the questions to be answered right off the bat, Although you'll probably start to get an idea of where things are headed, and "What's What" as you get further into the first two books... unless Anthony Ryan pulls "a Mind-Twist" and yanks what you THINK is going to happen out from under your feet ;)
A Very Enjoyable Series so far, especially if you like longer books and series! I just hate waiting on the next Book each time I finish the current one... but who doesn't?
Is it just me or does it seem weird to be reading a review on an audio site? It is, that is why there is a record button for reviews......
So it you are reading this then I can assume you have read Blood Song and are looking to pick up or have picked up Tower Lord and just want to get an idea of the book before you settle down to read it. Well my title says it all this book has all the trappings of the great swampy middle ground of a series, allow me to elaborate.
This book is good, I enjoyed it quite a bit and was very happy to see how well the Author branched out from the first book. The first book was great, spectacular even but it was also simple in that it had very few PoV and very few locations. In Tower Lord we get to see more. More of the world, more people and more character development of several of the secondary characters from Blood Song. That last one was critical in that it allows the story to flush out through different PoV's with different motivations and experiences. As much as people want to see and read about Vaelin this book and the story as a whole would have just plain sucked if we did that again.
Well written, expanded story, more character development and interaction and a very enjoyable continuation of the overall story.
Its a middle book. A lot happens in it but at the end of the day it is stage setting for the rest of the series. Plus big Ol' dangled cliff hanger at the end, I'm not partial to cliff hangers personally so this is more of a personal preference than a true con.
Oh and for the people complaining about too many PoV and all the jumping around, there is 4...... seriously 4 PoV you follow through the story and the sections titled by which PoV you will be following. No problem knowing whose head I was in during the listen here.
If you read Blood Song you are going to read Tower Lord so go away and do so, right now! If you are reading this to see if you want to pick up the series then the answer is yes, go get it, now. Stop reading this and go, now. Stop. Reading. This. Review. NOW!
I wonder if I would like this book if I could read it. I actually like the narrator's voice. Dry, gritty and serious. But there is no change in tone. I found my attention veering off to find anything else. I probably spent several chapters totally zoned out. I have to say this book was a boring experience. I probably won't get the next one.
My name is Chris and I am an addict.
I have been waiting for this book for a while now, but I believe it was worth the wait. I have read some reviews that do not like the multiple point of views, but I could not see another way to tell his story. In this book you will receive some answers that you might of asked in the first book about things like the 7th order, and who some of the assassins were. As in all good writing though you will have a few more after you read the book.
Some of the best parts of this story are how the characters developed since the last book. In this book many of the characters go through some really bad things. Some become the better for it, others much worse. In the first book most things worked out in a way. In this one expect a little more grime and hardships throughout the story. Truly a great read.
Bloodsong, the first in this series was easily one of my favorite fantasy stories of this year. Needless to say I have been anticipating this book for a while now. I was not disappointed. Many of the POV characters developed in sufficiently and intriguingly surprising arches.
I wont give away any spoilers here so I will simply say, buy the book, knowing not all answers will be had to the questions raised in the first book, and you will not be disappointed.
I wanted to like this - but I can't. I am an frequent audio book user and normally go thru a book in a couple days. I've been trying to get thru this for a week. The narrator is horrible. Every character voice is the same so conversations run together. He doesn't pause at all between character dialog so you end up trying to figure out who said what. I'm sure it's a good story but I can't get the story because the narrator is so dead and jumbled in the reading.
Hi, I'm a cop, alumi of NYU and I'm also huge into MMA. I love books I read a lot and review the stand outs. I'll give you guys the goods.
The first book was great this one was indeed a bit of a departure, but not in a bad way. You get to see the world from a few different view points and it actually give the tale depth and scope.
If they'd already read Blood Song, I would.
I love his raspy voice and English accent. He's more of a "storyteller"-style storyteller rather than an "actor"-style storyteller. I enjoy both styles. He's a perfect voice for Vaelin.
I did not enjoy this quite as much as the first book in the series because this really was more of a "military" novel as some have called Blood Song, and that's not so much my cup of tea. However, there was enough character development and exciting plotlines that I nonetheless enjoyed it very much. Although I would not have minded more of Vaelin, I don't see how the story could have expanded without the further points of view, and they provided a lot of the character development this time around (which is one of the things I look for in a really good novel).
When some readers talk about the excessive bad language, I'm not sure what they are referring to. There are occasional swear words and cursing used by the soldiers, but nothing I can even particularly remember thinking back on it. Any TV show would have worse language.
I am looking forward to the next in the series!
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