The Wolf's Call
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VAELIN AL SORNA RETURNS
Anthony Ryan's debut novel Blood Song - the first book of the Raven's Shadow series - took the fantasy world by storm. Now, he continues that saga with The Wolf's Call, which begins a thrilling new story of razor-sharp action and epic adventure.
Peace never lasts.
Vaelin Al Sorna is a living legend, his name known across the Realm. It was his leadership that overthrew empires, his blade that won hard-fought battles - and his sacrifice that defeated an evil more terrifying than anything the world had ever seen. He won titles aplenty, only to cast aside his earned glory for a quiet life in the Realm's northern reaches.
Yet whispers have come from across the sea - rumours of an army called the Steel Horde, led by a man who believes himself a god. Vaelin has no wish to fight another war, but when he learns that Sherin, the woman he lost long ago, has fallen into the Horde's grasp, he resolves to confront this powerful new threat.
To this end, Vaelin travels to the realms of the Merchant Kings, a land ruled by honor and intrigue. There, as the drums of war thunder across kingdoms riven by conflict, Vaelin learns a terrible truth: that there are some battles that even he may not be strong enough to win.
"Though the book is characterized by breakneck pacing, deeply developed characters, and impressively intricate plotlines, it's Ryan's subtle focus on vivid worldbuilding (particularly on varied sensory descriptions) that makes this such an immersive read…Readers who enjoy their fantasy fast and furious will find Ryan's latest to be an immensely satisfying, top-notch adventure fantasy.” (Kirkus Reviews)
What members say
By Chris on 07-30-19
A Return To Form Vaelin Is Back
The Raven's Shadow to this day is my favorite series. Even with the lackluster portions of the sequels to Blood Song I still love these books. Bottom line up front The Wolf's Call is a return to form and a worthy new chapter in Vaelin Al Sorna's adventures.
If you were a huge fan on Blood Song but found the sequels disappointing I am happy to say The Wolf's Call falls much more closer to Blood Song's quality. However it still does not compare to the intimate and well crafted story of Blood Song.
The book starts out covering some of the after affects of the liberation war from the last series which is something I am thankful for. We see familiar faces and take time to look at how their lives were affected rather than rushing off into a new story and leaving them all behind. The Wolf's Call primarily takes place in the far west lands of the merchant kings giving us an exciting new realm to explore and learn about.
- Vaelin is our only POV except for a few accounts that are similar to Verneirs accounts. It's nice having Vaelin at the forefront of the story again and he feels much more like himself from the end of Blood Song rather than him being pushed out of the spotlight like he is in Queen of Fire.
- The antagonist in this book is presented as more of a threat and has better character development in just the prologue than the ally had in the entirety of the Raven's Shadow series. The ally was disappointing and underwhelming and I can promise you that is not the case in this book.
- Connections to the previous series: I was worried this book would neglect the previous series and characters. However this is truly a worthy continuation and does the overall story justice.
- The side characters: We get introduced to a lot of side characters in this book. Unlike Blood Song there is not a significant amount of page time dedicated to developing their personalities or relations with Vaelin. Some have such little time you might even forget exactly who they are on your initial listen. Overall they are a little underwhelming.
- The mid point: The mid point of the story is a bit weak. Although there are stand out events during the midpoint a large portion is dedicated to travel and setting up new characters that as previously stated aren't as fleshed out as they could have been.
- The length: I'm a bit disappointed by the length of this book especially since it is only a duology. I think the extra page time to make it around the length of Blood Song would have helped flesh out some of the side characters but I have confidence in Anthony Ryan's ability and believe he will still resolve everything in a satisfying manner.
The narrator: I think you either love or hate Steven Brand. Me personally I enjoy his narration and think it matches the authors style well. There is a quiet hardness to the way he narrates that accentuates the story. I agree that many characters do not have distinct voices and it can be hard to tell who is talking at times. His females voices are probably the worst. However I feel he has improved. I used to joke that everyone in Blood Song sounded like a pirate.
TLDR: If you like Blood Song you will like The Wolf's Call. Refresh yourself on the sequels of get cliff notes if you were unable to finish them before you dive in.
27 people found this helpful
By K. Wilson on 08-13-19
Adoration for Mr Ryan's gifted storytelling!
And Steven Brand is one of my top 5 Audio Actors. He IS the Voice of Lord Valen in my head forevermore.
I recommend that a list of Characters & Maps be posted online somewhere. The names are difficult to discern and remember at limes.
4 people found this helpful
By Veronica on 07-25-19
A great start in this new series
Like always Anthony Ryan knows how to write, I always enjoy his books even if they do not end as I wanted them too, but it’s not my story so the only thing I ca do is to accept it gracefully , I believe the only problem that I had here and the other series is Sherin I never liked her , and I never will , but I love Vaelin and cannot wait to read the next book, thanks Mr Anthony for giving us such a book that u can get lost in it and never wanted to stop.
3 people found this helpful
By Think about this on 08-11-19
I absolutely loved the Raven's Shadow series, so had high expectations for this book. This first installment of the followup series, was an excellent addition to Raven's Shadow. We start with seeing the impact of the war years on several of our characters, which was a nice touch, then go straight in to answering a long awaited question as to the fate of Sherin and the Stonemason Ahm Lim. The story is an epic adventure for Vaelin doing what he excels at......warfare, backed up by a few characters we've loved from the past, along with some very promising new faces. And that ending, what can I say? Steven Brand, the perfect narrator for the series, again worked his magic and I'm anxiously looking forward to the next installment.
2 people found this helpful
By alex on 02-03-20
Better than the past two books....Still pretty bad
Felt like a lot of the plot and characters were disjointed. Details like how old characters are or how long it's been since the previous book felt off. The main antagonist also felt wrong right from the start. The author really wants to hammer home certain things like the main antagonist's power/influence as well as the bleak reality of the protaganists life but it doesn't feel organic as much as it is constantly being told. Character XXX is depressed and a failure but then by the end is doing better despite nothing of import happening.
Overall decent read but doesn't have the same feel as the first book.
1 person found this helpful
By Steven Ludlow on 08-17-19
Now the Wait for the Next Book Starts!
An awesome addition to a great series! It felt like returning to spend time with a friend who has been away for a long time and though time has passed it's all still amazing.
1 person found this helpful
By James on 08-10-19
Everything you enjoyed in the first book.
For those of you that have felt let down after book one, be encouraged. This book will bring back much of what you enjoyed in Blood Song. As other have commented, this book is primarily viewed from Vaelin's perspective. Just having finished the book prior to my review, it left me with a resounding YES! And at the same time a resounding NO! The ending and the wait for the next book speaks to these sentiments.
Once again, Steven Brand brings the story alive and is a favorite of mine next to Michael Kramer and Jim Marsters.
Like most books it has its up and down moments depending on what you are wanting but overall it is a return to what I liked in Blood Song.
1 person found this helpful
By ND Mom on 07-31-19
Fabulous as I have come to expect
There is nothing to say. The saga continues. Vaelin is stalwart as ever. Hopefully he will find some happiness in the future. Excellent narration, again. Can't wait for the next installment. Hopefully it isn't too long in coming. I was glad to see Vaelin back in true form and the center of the story again. I missed him in the last few books. I listened to them to advance the story, but I want to see Vaelin get some happiness, As another reviewer pointed out, I find little to like in Sherin's character, she is holding a grudge for far too long. If she is the compassionate healer, she should have understood Vaelin instead of blaming him for saving her life. But that's just my view. I find her one-sided and petty to be honest. But I will be anxious for the next installment. And I think Steven Brand is perfect!! I know there was another series where the narrator was changed. I don't care of the narrator does different voices necessarily. Steven Brand "sounds" like Vaelin to me. Steady, dependable. Rock solid. These books are somber for much of the story. There is always a crisis and something or someone to be defeated. His tone in my opinion fits the seriousness of the story. I was sad when I series he had started was finished by another narrator. Both were good, but I find nothing to fault Steven Brand.
1 person found this helpful