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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2019 Anthony Ryan (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"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)

"Features everything that we've come to love in Ryan's books...from well-crafted and fascinating characters to a masterfully established world.... The Wolf's Call is everything a fantasy fan could ever wish for.” (Booknest.eu) 

What listeners say about The Wolf's Call

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A Return To Form: Vaelin Is Back

**I have edited this review after doing a back to back re-listen before the release of Black Song**

The Raven's Shadow is my favorite book series. My excitement at the prospect of a continuation to this series was high and this book did not disappoint. The Wolf's Call is a worthy sequel to the Raven's Shadow series

If you were a huge fan of Blood Song but found the sequels disappointing I am happy to report that The Wolf's Call comes closer to the quality of Blood Song than its sequels. However, when compared directly to Blood Song, The Wolf's Call falls a bit short.

The book starts out covering some of the after effects 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 effected rather than rushing off into a new story and leaving them all behind. Most of the book takes place in the far west lands of the Merchant Kings, an area previously mentioned and now fully brought to life.

The Good:
- **Vaelin is our only POV except for a few account intermissions that are similar to Verneirs accounts. It's nice having Vaelin at the forefront of the story again and his characterization is better than ever.
- 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 bad:
- **The side characters. We get introduced to a lot of side characters later on in this book. Unlike Blood Song there is not a significant amount of page time dedicated to developing their personalities or relations with Vaelin over a period of time. They come in quickly and suddenly play a much larger role to the story which lead to confusion as to who was who on my initial reading.
- **On my first read through I felt the story slogged through the mid point but after a re-listen I noticed the slog was much shorter and quickly picks up again.
- The shorter 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 later 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.

35 people found this helpful

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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.

5 people found this helpful

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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.

4 people found this helpful

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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.

4 people found this helpful

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Awesomely written and narrated!

I love the continuation of the series. I didn't think it was going to happen. I'm. pleasantly surprised! Great author and great narrator!

3 people found this helpful

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Perfection!!

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.

3 people found this helpful

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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.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Author has a serious disdain for religion.

After reading the first trilogy and now beginning the second - The Wolf's Call, it is painfully obvious how much disdain Antony Ryan has for religion and any follower of religion. He goes to great lengths to make every follower of any religion in the books to be deluded and pitiful sheep, or mindless and savage slaves. However, the greatest villains in these books are far more demonic, violent and bloodthirsty than the religious folk. One could at least hope that the heroes would be inspiring but alas, they are all flawed as well. He does seem to truly appreciate horses though. If you're looking for any type of uplifting experience, I would most certainly choose a different author, or at the very least, a different set of trilogies.

2 people found this helpful

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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.

2 people found this helpful

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A bit of a letdown

Found this a struggle to finish Altho the finish had me very willing to read the next one.

1 person found this helpful