A quest for bloody vengeance forces Derla, a skilled veteran of the Varinshold underworld, into the service of arch schemer King Janus....
A young warrior called Rezkin is unexpectedly thrust into the outworld when a terrible battle destroys all that he knows....
In a war that makes no sense, ten armies fight separately against a single foe....
Nine-year-old Prince Jorg is forced to watch as his mother and brother are slaughtered. Fleeing the palace, Jorg joins a bloodthirsty band of thugs....
It has been 20 years since the end of the war. The dictatorial Augurs, once thought of almost as gods, were overthrown and wiped out during the conflict....
A chance encounter with an ancient and mysterious object awakens a latent gift, and Wulfric's life changes course....
When Soren is plucked from the streets and given a place at the prestigious academy of swordsmanship, he thinks his dream of being a great swordsman has become a possibility....
Royce Melborn and Hadrian Blackwater are two enterprising thieves who end up running for their lives when they’re framed for the death of the king....
The Wizard's Council of Tarador was supposed to tell young Koren Bladewell that he is a wizard....
Can Richter forge allegiances to survive this harsh and unforgiving world or will he fall to the dark denizens of this ancient and unforgiving realm....
The Warded Man features a world where demons stalk the night, hunting humans who have long forgotten the magic of their ancestors....
The journey through the Serpent Spire won't be easy, but Corin won't stop until he gets his brother back....
Minalan gave up a promising career as a professional warmage to live the quiet life of a village spellmonger in the remote mountain valley of Boval....
When a high-ranking officer gallops into the quiet Mistyvales, he brings a warning that shakes the countryfolk to their roots....
Logen Ninefingers, infamous barbarian, has finally run out of luck. Caught in one feud too many, he's on the verge of becoming a dead barbarian....
A tale of sorrow, a tale of survival, a tale of one man's search for meaning in his universe, and how that search, and the indomitable will that drove it, gave birth to a legend....
Since time immemorial, humans have worshipped the gods they call Fhrey, truly a race apart: invincible in battle, masters of magic, and seemingly immortal....
An orphan's life is harsh---and often short---in the island city of Camorr, built on the ruins of a mysterious alien race....
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.
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.
102 of 110 people found this review helpful
Steven brand does a great job reading with a pronounced and clipped voice, but do not expect to be pleased by emotionally invested dialogue. Unlike many other narrators, he reads every line in the exact same voice leading to many complications and misunderstandings of the text. during intense and emotional moments, he continues to read along at the same exact clipped page and tone: no difference between describing a door or a close friend being killed in front of his eyes.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
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.
113 of 123 people found this review helpful
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!
89 of 98 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
My friends don't really get into fantasy/sci-fi but if they did I would certainly recommend this to them.
Who was your favorite character and why?
Well Vaelin of course. He makes the tough choices throughout the story, a very admiral and likable character/hero(?).
Did the narration match the pace of the story?
Not really... I read the reviews and people seemed to like the narrator but I did not. He made no effort to distinguish between characters and I found it very hard follow the conversation when I could not figure out who was talking. It surprises me that people liked him after listening to all the others.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
Yes... there were a couple places to laugh and many places of sadness especially at the end. Heartbreaking but I won't say what because I'm not a spoiler... just read it!
Any additional comments?
I can't decide whether to listen to this once more before moving on to the next book because I feel I missed a lot because of the narration. I may end up buying the books and reading them if I find the next piece as hard to follow. This really is a good story and I hate that I feel this way about the narrator. Usually I can acquire and ear for them even if I don't like them but I could never seem to do that with this guy.
19 of 21 people found this review helpful
Would you consider the audio edition of Blood Song to be better than the print version?
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.
What other book might you compare Blood Song to and why?
I do not really think I have read a book like this but I would kind of compare it to epic movies like Gladiator.
Which scene was your favorite?
I loved when Vaelin went to go save his brother from seeing his father executed and all his other brothers came to help.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
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.
Any additional comments?
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.
19 of 21 people found this review helpful
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 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".
32 of 36 people found this review helpful
This is a very detailed start to an epic series. The coming of age part is the strongest. I felt that after while the hero became practically superhuman, which made me less interested in him. There certainly were some great scenes and action sequences that kept me listening, but the whole didn't always come together. The narration was also good but not outstanding. It wasn't that easy to tell the various characters apart.
Maybe it's that I'm not as much of fan of military/macho fantasy, preferring some whimsy or humor, and more central female characters. I see there are some sequels coming but I don't feel compelled to listen to them.
50 of 57 people found this review helpful
The narrator had a good voice and read well, but he made almost no distinction between characters. Everyone pretty much sounded the same. It was hard to keep track of who was saying what...the concentration on deciphering the speaker, took away from the story at times
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
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.
53 of 62 people found this review helpful