I found the story to be very good, but having just listened through the The Name of the Wind and The Wise Mans Fear, where the narrator gives a stella..Show More »r performance, the narration in Blood Song was not to my taste. I don't know how many times I had no clue who were talking, past or present etc. If you are able to sit down and concentrate you will most likely be able to eliminate these problems, but for me... I listen while I do other stuff and I lost the thread way too often. I have not had this problem before and I have listened to my share of books. The voice is just fine, although the diction is a bit "slurred", the problem is there is no distinction between the persons speaking, I also had a difficult time noticing when there was a change of scene, some names got mixed up and at times I felt it was read at maximum speed to get theough it. A good narration can lift a book, this is not the case for this one sadly. I strongly recommend the book to fans of the genre however, but I believe I will be going for the good old paperback for book 2.
While I am reminded of Joe Abercrombe's books (Which I like), I like Ryan's writing style much better! It's hard to describe, but Ryan's action scenes..Show More » and battlefields feel "Real" in both size and scope. I don't feel like a massive battle, covering huge areas, is more like a small fight in one small field or small town. You get the actual feel of "Large Spaces" and "Big Countries".. Riders can't just seem to "Ride Hard" and be on the other side of the Battle/Country in 10 minutes.
I also like his knowledge concerning weapons, tactics, and how happy, carefree, people steadily become "Hardened", and then "MORE hardened" by experiences and training... I dislike tales where a "hero" just suddenly picks up a weapon and magically becomes "The Battle Hardened Savior" in a few days or weeks... things like that just don't happen in real life, and the journey to be "Hard Enough" to do things that HAVE to be done takes time and experience (I wish I didn't know).
Ryan's details are excellent and realistic (Within a Fantasy Setting). As an example of what I mean, I am reminded of an original painting I own, hanging in my office, which is AWESOME and Beautiful, but the Female Warrior in the Painting is holding her Two-Handed Sword with her right hand jammed up hard against the bottom of the Cross-Guard, and her left hand is jammed tightly against the bottom of her right hand on the Sword's hilt. She also has none of the thousands of scars that are inevitable on the hands of anyone that has seriously trained to fight with knives, swords, or any other "Hand Weapon" (Another detail I wish I didn't know personally). My 12 Year Old Daughter (My Youngest) looked at the painting not long ago and said, "Dad, this painting has always bugged me... She doesn't even know how to hold her sword" (Not sure HOW I feel about THAT yet.. but NONE of MY Four children will ever be kidnapped or abused!). When a decently trained 12 Year Old can pick out that kind of detail, then a writer who crafts stories for Adults should know those details also!
Same for "Horses", if you're going to use them in your works, then you should know the animals, as well as what they CAN, and CAN'T, really do (We own a Horse Ranch, So I do know a little about them)... Ryan DOES know those types of details, and he effortlessly crafts them into his works! THAT is impressive! Maybe that's one of the reasons his Stories seem so realistic... it's aggravating when you NEED to get someplace in a hurry on Horse-Back, and your horse can't keep up a full gallop for NEARLY as long as they do in many movies and stories... they get tired, they need rest, they need food and water and a lot of "Upkeep", both on, and off, the trail... EVERY horse has it's own unique personality, just as people do. My large male Quarter Horse, "Bandit", will steal "treats" out of your Cargo Pockets without you even knowing he's emptied your pockets (thus his name)! Knowing that, would you want to ride my horse named "Temper"? Again, ALL of this is the type of detail that Ryan relates in his books! Impressive!
Why do I think these details are important? Because we learn from our experiences and the things we read. I met MANY soldiers in the Military who made classic mistakes because they "Learned" what they THOUGHT were "Skills" from Reading books and watching movies... it takes a long time to UNLEARN this type of mistaken (and dangerous) "Pre-Concepted Skill". I know about "Artistic License" and "Moving the story along", but Ryan seems to be able to incorporate correct details, and use them to make his stories BETTER, so why can't other writers?
As usual, Steven Brand does an EXCELLENT job of Narration. Sometimes it can be a little hard to realize a new person is suddenly talking, or WHO that new person is, but if you pay attention and get your mind back on the book, you easily figure it out, and realize that maybe you just weren't paying as close attention as you should have. I found this actually helped keep my focus on the story-line, since focus can easily wander a little when listening to 23-24 HOURS worth of book! Whatever the reason, his style of narration works, and works well!
As I write this I'm almost finished with Book 2, "Tower Lord", Which is even better than book 1! So you have THAT to look forward to if you like "Blood Song".
I have listened to hundreds of hours of audio books I would rate this series as one of the best. loved how it was written from each main character's p..Show More »erspective per chapter . what also made it special was the fantastic voice over artist. Jacquie
I was so excited for this book to come out, as I absolutely loved Bloodsong, and Tower Lord was pretty good as well. However, this was a downer compar..Show More »ed to the other two books. Steven Brand does an excellent job narrating the book, but he can't control the weak story. Frankly, each book in the series got progressively weaker, in my opinion. Queen Of Fire starts out rather slowly, builds serious steam towards the middle and end, but the climax was very boring. It left me thinking "that's it?" There were also several loose ends from the previous two books that did not get wrapped up (they are barely even mentioned, in fact), and I was left with many questions unanswered that I expected to be addressed in this book.
This is not to say it was wholly unenjoyable or boring, quite the opposite. The series as a whole is great. QOF in entertaining and Anthony Ryan is a great character-driven writer. There were some real "wow!" moments in the book as well as some heart aching moments.
Overall, it's worth a listen if you've read the other two books in the series and want to reach the conclusion of the world that has been created through the Raven's Shadow Saga. Otherwise, you may want to stop with Bloodsong and call it good.