Read "Blood Song" by Anthony Ryan available from Rakuten Kobo. Sign up today and get $5 off your first download. “The Sixth Order wields the sword of justice. Blood Song: Book 1 of Raven's Shadow (Raven's Shadow series) by Anthony Ryan. Read online, or download in secure EPUB format. Editorial Reviews. From Booklist. The first of a trilogy, Blood Song is this British author's first Blood Song (A Raven's Shadow Novel, Book 1) by [Ryan, Anthony . It was originally an e-book, as were three science-fiction novels Ryan has also .
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[eBook] Blood Song. Anthony Ryan UK's bestselling epic fantasy debut of and the first book in the New York Times bestselling Raven's Shadow series. Blood Song by Anthony Ryan . See all books by Anthony Ryan . a free online service that distributes to most major ebook retailers, apart from site which. download the eBook Blood Song, Book 1 of Raven's Shadow by Anthony Ryan online from Australia's leading online eBook store. Download eBooks from Booktopia.
You write about wizard wars, you develop your magic system with a painstaking detail.
You go for the Arabian night styled story, again you do your research. Do your theology homework. Otherwise, the book does not make sense. Secular Ideology and the Roots of Modern Conflict if you want to know. This is all connected with how effortlessly Vaelin carries on his own greatness and legend. Unfortunately, the end of the book left me with my internal special snowflake detector howling with rage and disappointment. Additionally, there is the factor of doubts or crises embedded in the internal tensions every good character should experience or rather lack of thereof in this case.
But how can Vaelin be a religious fanatic when he devoted his whole life to killing religious fanatics who, in this book, are always a combination of pathology, evil and madness. Interesting no?
And yet, this very simple reasoning does not have place in the novel nor are its ramifications considered. With such feeble foundations, the ending was, unfortunately, the weakest part of the book.
I have questions, more questions and seemingly, no answers: I could go on longer. I like books that are written for intelligent readers, not for the patient ones although it is not mutually exclusive of course.
However, as I finished the Garden of the Moons , I keep finding that my expectations have been elevated to altogether different level.
Nobody can say that GotM was nothing else but a dense teaser. And yet, even though I finished the last page of the Malazan opening starved for answers, it was not with the same impression of something wanting as it was in this case. And this surely affects my rating. Is the book good? Is it great? Not really. Solid but not sound. Should you read it? Will you like it? Blood will tell.
Or sing. Also in the series: View all 47 comments. Jul 03, Gavin rated it it was amazing Shelves: A book that lives up to the hype. Blood Song is the best debut epic fantasy I've read since The Name of the Wind was published in It had everything one could want in a book.
Action, mystery, romance, intrigue, and plenty of surprises. The world building was good, the plot complex, and the various characters were full of depth and personality. This was a thoroughly exciting and enjoyable read. Anthony Ryan might just be making a case to join my quartet of all time fantasy favorites Finally! Anthony Ryan might just be making a case to join my quartet of all time fantasy favorites.
High praise considering that list is Martin, Rothfuss, Lynch, and Sanderson. Audio Note: Steven Brand was an adequate narrator. Competent but nothing special. View all 22 comments. Jul 04, Mike the Paladin rated it it was amazing Shelves: Okay, "first off" I know some don't care for long reviews and sort of skip through just interested in the "bottom line" so to speak. I have a few things to say, but for you who want things boiled down to the basics I have moved it directly on to my favorites shelf.
The only negative I have here is that the next volume isn't due out till July God willing and I'm still alive, healthy and solvent I plan to Okay, "first off" I know some don't care for long reviews and sort of skip through just interested in the "bottom line" so to speak.
God willing and I'm still alive, healthy and solvent I plan to snap it up as soon as it's out. Also God willing my dwindling time lasts through the entirety of this series. This seems to me a great book.
That paragraph should help at least two groups of people. First those who find that more often than not they agree with my taste in books, second those who find that, "more often than not" they "disagree" with my taste in books.
Now, for everybody else who'd like me to say a little about the book, here we go. But now and then there is a different take on any "type" of book. This one is definitely a "coming of age story". The book opens with a historian, scribe recording the story of The Hope Killer.
The Hope was the heir to the Emperor's throne and the people loved him. He was slain by the North-man they call Hope Slayer, among other names. As The Hope Slayer begins to relate his story to our historian, we get the events told in flashback. I'm sure some will compare this to Rothfuss' King Killer Chronicle because it's told in the, "present vs. If I compared them I'd say then that this is what that series should be.
Vaelin Al Sorna's mother has been dead for a while and life with his father, the King's Battle Lord hasn't been easy. Really it's just been, distant as he doesn't really know his father. Then one day his father has him pack a very little and takes him to a strange place, a barred guarded gate. Vaelin has been, "given to" the Sixth Order", soldiers who are defenders of, "The Faith". They will receive not so gentle training and become full Brothers of the Order or fail and be turned out with some coin or die in one of the tests.
I won't even try for a synopsis as this is a long and nicely involved book and it's only flaw is that it ends. It's a long book yes, but I remained involved throughout. I took my time and savored this book and it's story. I repeat, I don't think I can recommend this one too highly.
By the way, yes the book revolves a great deal around the "fantasy religions" of this world. None really resemble in detail Christianity, Shintoism etc. There are some aspects of these and other actual religions but none I think should offend anyone.
I note this as I am a Christian and so are some of my friends here. I didn't find myself offended or subverted into some other form of belief and I don't think anyone else will be.
So, back to the topic at hand I think this book will be one I'll try to reread before the next volume comes out. Of course now I'm having trouble finding a book to read as I liked this one so much A High 5 Stars and my highest recommendation. View all 30 comments. First re-read finished. Rating stays the same. Want to join? We're starting on Monday, June 15th. Original Review, 31 August, I'm surprised this is a debut novel. Believe the hype! Oh yes, the book has its flaws but I can't quite put my finger on them and they are certainly not enough to even make me knock off a half star down to 4.
It's full 5! What makes the book unputdownable is the scale and the intensity of the story. More Vaelin Al Sorna, please!
Up to book 2. Full review to come eventually. View all 37 comments. What we know informs everything we do and every decision we make. The son of a Battle-Lord of wide renown, he has a difficult time understanding why his newly widowed father would give him to the fighting religious order, where you are supposed to forget all outside ties to family and friends and live only for your Order and the Faith.
He had not yet grieved for the loss of his loving, war-hating mother, when he has to cut his ties with his father and all he has known up to now. The greatest of lies. He ask questions and Vaelin tells him the story the way he wants, but we get to know the true action as it really developed from Vaelin's memories There are discrepancies between both, since some of the things he doesn't want anyone else to know, thus he doesn't tell them to the historian.
To a degree, this takes away some of the worry for the main character, since we know he is telling the story, but that is all we know and we are also aware, that in the moment he is telling his tale, he is in active danger. Trust me, there is plenty to keep you on your toes. But he had a duty to perform, a duty he knew would cost him his life, and hers too if she stayed with him. And so he tricked her and had her taken far away.
Sometimes that man tries to cast his thoughts across the ocean, to see if the love they shared has turned to hate, but he finds only distant echoes of her fierce compassion, a life saved here, a kindness done there, like smoke trailing after a blazing torch. And so he wonders, does she hate me? Our hero goes through all the growing pains a young person does, only we see it and we feel for him, because as jaded and imperfect as he turns out to be, there is a core of honor and good will which is strong inside of him, an idealism which is just looking for a reason to awake again and fight for a better world.
And in the ugliness of the world he is subjected to, I am amazed he still finds a way to not lose himself among the scum of the Earth To look into the void is to see the vastness and smallness of everything at once, in an instant of terror and wonder. From his brothers in the Order, to the healer sisters, from the lowest of the low, to the royal family, which is not necessarily a big jump if you ask me. Frentis happens to be my favorite and I hope I see much more of him, together with Scratch and Spit: What can I say, I love animals: Overall, I think if you like a Fantasy-Adventure with some possible paranormal powers and royal and religious intrigue, this is a very good book for you!
I know I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series. View all 17 comments. I know many of you Little Barnacles are profoundly disappointed that I should sink so low as to give 3 scandalously generous stars to a book I dwidn't even finish. I am afraid this is my own fault for accustoming you to much higher DNFing standards , and you are quite justified in feeling horribly betrayed by my most shameful behavior.
Now please allow me to repent and stuff. Be right back. My soul is now at peace , we can therefore proceed. It seems this poor fascinating little book suffered from a remarkably regrettable conjunction of circumstances: Blood Song had been hiding in the unfathomable depths of my to-read shelf for four years decades when I finally picked it up, you see. Trusting my unfailing, exceptionally superior judgement , I didn't find it necessary to refresh my eternally failing memory about the wonderfully enticing premise before starting the book.
And dived in pincersfirst. Admittedly , this wasn't my brightest move. I mean, all my moves are obviously bright as a rule , but some of them are, um, you know, not so bright and stuff. Because disgustingly young characters and stuff. Such is quite unfortunately the unfortunate case here. Then again, this shouldn't have come as a complete surprise to me. Why, you ask? I really should have seen this coming from miles and miles away.
Shame on me again and stuff. And let me tell you, you realize just how much work the narrator put into earning those deadly extra credits when you listen to this book here. I might have perhaps maybe have been partially at fault in the present semi-half- debacle a little , but this most lamentable accidental disruption in my wonderful listening experience was really quite fortuitous on my part. Because exoskeleton-related mechanical problems and stuff.
Anyway, I had to reluctantly abandon this poor little narrative all by its little self for ten ridiculous days. Acoustic death ensued promptly upon my return.
Worry not, for the book didn't suffer in the process. Not as much as I did listening to it, anyway. But I digress. So , here I was, armed with a brand new exoskeleton, ready to hit the play button again.
And I did. And this happened: First of all , I couldn't shrimping remember what the stinking fish this book was about which should tell you how fantastically gripping the story is and how incredibly involved I was in it. Second of all , I couldn't shrimping remember what the stinking fish this book was about. I rest in my case and stuff. Not it's not. This is a conspiracy. Yes it is. The author colluded with the narrator to ensure this book would become the perfect cure for insomnia.
And guess what? They succeeded. And how. Oh yeah, these guys are GOOD. If I ever awaken from the sweet slumber I fell into while I was reading the book, that is.
View all 38 comments. This is, without a doubt, my favourite book of the year so far. This is High Fantasy that is contemporary while still hitting a sweet spot for me with the mix of magic and battle. The story was engaging, the plot was well paced, the protagonist was flawed but likeable, the prose was polished.
I can't believe this a debut novel. I don't place too much faith in goodreads rating system, but when we are approaching ratings with an average of 4. His boyhood resolve coming back to him, the promise he had made to himself after saving them in the wild. If you haven't read The Name of the Wind don't fret - even having read that book I couldn't tell you what it was about in less than three days anyway. Similarities 1. Both stories written from a single POV.
Both stories employ a framing device whereby a Chronicler writes down the life story as recounted to them by the hero. Both stories are about the coming of age and rise to badassdom of a legend. Differences 1. Kvothe's story in NotW is told in the first person while Vaelin's story our protagonist is told in the third person 2. In Blood Song the framing device is done setting up in the Prologue and we are straight into the main story in Chapter one. In The Name of the Wind , the Chronicler takes a veeeery long time to even show up to begin Kvothe's story.
In Blood Song , it seems clear that the framing device will end with this book as the events catch up to Vaelin's time with the Chronicler - while in The Name of the Wind the framing device continues into book two and seems will continue into book 3. Kvothe arrives at the university to learn magic after a loooong looong time. This book, Vaelin becomes the best swordsman in the order.
Dentos was master of the bow, Barkus unarmed combat, Nortah the finest rider and Caenis knew the wild like a wolf, but the sword was his. The other difference is that The Name of the Wind is to my mind superior storytelling as compared to Blood Song which I feel is a better story. The Name of the Wind has superior immersion, as compared to Blood Song which has an actual plot and a perfectly paced one for my liking.
So which of the two books do I prefer? For me The Name of the Wind still edges this one out because I could sit and listen to that all day long and when I'm finished I could start over right away - while with this book, though the story is better, and I'm going straight onto the second book in the series, now I've read and know the story, I don't feel a pressing need to read it again - that will undoubtedly change when the final book comes out.
For those who were unimpressed with The Name of the Wind , for those who despised the all too perfect Kvothe, Blood Song is most definitely the book for you. This book is everything you wished NotW to be but wasn't. All the complaints you made about Kvothe are addressed in Vaelin. Kvothe is a Clayton's Vaelin - or rather, Vaelin is a better Kvothe.
The audio narration by Steven Brand was very good, though his quiet spoken voice was difficult to hear if there was any background noise. I loved this story from start to finish and was loathe to hit the pause button on the Audible app when inconvenient interruptions arose - like sleep and going to the toilet.
This one gets an easy View all 49 comments. Jul 08, Liviu rated it it was amazing Shelves: I plan a full review for next week and I am rereading the book also as I want to stay in its universe more, while quite a few early details are better appreciated on a second or later reading. May 02, Conor rated it really liked it Shelves: It was released independently a few years ago and since then has built up a huge amount of buzz, made all the more impressive by it's lack of support.
Because of this background I really wanted to like this book. Conveniently the complex characters and intriguing plot made liking it easy. Also the gratuitous violence. The main character of this book is Vaelin Al Sorna who at the beginning of the story we see as a captive on h 4. The main character of this book is Vaelin Al Sorna who at the beginning of the story we see as a captive on his way to a duel which will likely end in his death.
His captors fear and revile him as 'Hope killer'. Vaelin narrates his life story to his historian and jailor who gradually becomes more and more enthralled. His story starts when he is 10, abandoned at the door of the training ground of the 6th order, Secretive and deadly warrior priests.
From here we chart his journey from abandoned boy to legendary hero. Vaelin dominates this book both in his POV chapters and in the few chapters from his biographer. Because of this the book is largely dependant on how sympathetic and interesting he is. I found Vaelin to be a really cool and likable character. He is pretty much a straightforward fantasy protagonist albeit with a few shades of moral ambiguity thrown in.
One of my favourite aspects about war films or anything that deals with people who regularly operate in violent, dangerous situations is the camaraderie that develops between these guys. As a result Vaelin's interactions with his 'brothers' were easily some of my favourite parts of this book. I also liked how we saw Vaelin's skills gradually improve over long years of intense training rather than miraculously appear over a short period of time as sometimes happens in fantasy.
Instead of a quickly glossed over Rocky-style training montage Ryan masterfully brings to life the exhausting, painful process that turns a young boy into a deadly warrior. On the downside I never really felt that Vaelin's voice as a character developed from when he was 10 to in his mid 20's.
Even as a kid Vaelin sounded like an adult. I also thought it was kind of weird that throughout the series Vaelin hardly acknowledges the fact that as a warrior-priest he is apparently banned from having sex.
I mean loads of the plot occurs while he is a teenager and a young man and yet he only ever mentions sex in passing, usually while with a beautiful woman. You'd think that as a testosterone fuelled killing machine banned from sex his interactions with women would be limited to blurting out 'boobies! The cast of character's is dominated by Vaelin's brothers. Unlike Vaelin many of them especially Nortah underwent a good bit of character development.
I especially liked the way they begin to manifest combat skills that compliment Vaelin's. Instead of always being best at everything Vaelin is shown to excel as a swordsman and leader while his friends are better in other ways.
The way their backstories are slowly revealed is pretty cool as well. Sister Sherin played an important role as Vaelin's love interest and the contrast between healing and killing it produced was interesting. Another standout was King Janus. Despite being a ruthless, manipulative, war-mongering wanker he is also shown to be a great king. This ambiguity made him a really interesting antagonist. I really hope he isn't revealed to be some pawn of the forces of evil as this would turn him into a completely stereotypical evil king rather than an illustration of the necessary evils required to rule a kingdom in a realistic setting.
In the sequel it's implied he was an unwitting pawn of the forces of evil all along and a lot of the moral ambiguity that made him great in this book was undermined, which was really disappointing. I'm still holding out hope he'll be redeemed somewhat in book 3 though hide spoiler ]. The plot was for the most part interesting and well written.
Vaelin's brutal training was engaging and showed us how he developed into a deadly warrior and instigated much of his character growth and personal contemplation, however I thought the extra-curricular adventures he got into at every opportunity seemed kind of forced. Also for a novel that emphasises war and violence I thought the sword-fights and battles were diasappointing. Every fight Vaelin gets in he wins quickly and easily. I also liked how the book dealt with both the physical and psychological horrors of war in an intelligent and uncompromising way without being preachy.
Perhaps my favourite plot point in this whole book was the invasion of the Alpiran empire. This was a really cool subversion of a typical fantasy storyline with the 'good guy' nation launching an unprovoked war of conquest against a peaceful neighbour.
Janus' motivations, which he revealed to Vaelin to try and persuade him to take part in the war, added a further layer of political and moral complexity that made the situation even more compelling.
Essentially it turns out that the dark lord of all evil has been controlling one of Vaelin's closest friends pretty much all along. In addition to being a pretty big plot hole this reveal destroyed the 'band of brothers' relationship between Vaelin and his friends that I loved so much in this book. I really wanted to give this book 5 stars but that reveal left a sour taste, especially about one of my favourite aspects of this book, so I ultimately only gave it 4.
Edit after reading book 2: Nothing new was really added about this in book 2, which was disappointing. I'm definitely looking forward to reading more of his work. View all 21 comments. Nov 27, Emma rated it liked it. Almost everyone has high praise for this book, it's often cited as a favourite.
It is also often compared to In the Name of the Wind, which I didn't like. I didn't particularly take to Blood Song although it seemed well written. I actually found it a bit slow and boring. View all 10 comments. Nov 04, Celeste rated it really liked it Shelves: Full review now posted!
This is why Hogwarts will always feel like home, and why Battle School and all it inflicted on Ender Wiggin will always resonate for me, no matter how many times I visit. Vaelin Al Sorna is delivered to the Sixth Order when he is still just a boy of ten. The masters are harsh and the lessons are harsher, but Vaelin flourishes here.
He builds a family from the boys in his training group; a band of brothers, if you will. And those brothers and the deep bond they have with one another is the heart of this story. And the person who keeps that heart beating is Vaelin, their leader and brother and the best of their friends.
And Vaelin is aided in his leadership by the blood song, the otherworldly intuition that seems to course through his veins and direct his path, though sometimes Vaelin refuses to heed its cry. As in The Kingkiller Chronicles, we have an incredibly interesting and infamous individual as a protagonist, and we have a framework surrounding the story, this frame being that said protagonist is dictating the true story of their life to a chronicler.
Both Vaelin and Kvothe are fascinating characters, who endure much and accomplish much at a young age. I was blown away by his character development. What reminded me so much of A Song of Ice and Fire in this novel was the magic system.
The magic was mysterious and feared by many, and was never explained in the novel. This made the magic feel ancient and wild, and like it was a foundational element of the created world but alien to the people of that world. I absolutely love unexplained and wild magic, so this was incredibly appealing to me. The users of the Dark - or the Gifted, depending on your point of view - were born with their power, and learned to either nurture, abuse, or ignore that gift depending entirely on themselves and their personalities and situations.
I believe that if magic really did exist on Earth, it would resemble this more closely that any learned magic system. But the last third of the book really dragged for me, focusing too much for my taste on war campaigns and sieges than the character development I had loved so much in the first half of the book. Original review can be found at Booknest. View all 12 comments.
Jun 15, Kaora rated it really liked it. I had heard a lot of good things about this series but I felt that I went into it thinking it was going to be a three star at best I believe because it has been compared to Name of the Wind, a book that I enjoyed that was subsequently ruined by its sequel The Wise Man's Fear.
Blood Song is told in a similar manner. The story is told from the perspective of the main character Vaelin Al Sorna after the events have occurred. He is telling his story to a scribe who has heard the stories of the Hopeki I had heard a lot of good things about this series but I felt that I went into it thinking it was going to be a three star at best I believe because it has been compared to Name of the Wind, a book that I enjoyed that was subsequently ruined by its sequel The Wise Man's Fear.
He is telling his story to a scribe who has heard the stories of the Hopekiller as he is known, but they are exaggerated. Blood Song by Anthony Ryan began as a self-published ebook title. It quickly became a hugely popular indie title, and was subsequently picked up by a traditional publisher and re-released.
If you enjoy epic fantasy and coming of age stories, this is one book worth the hype. The tale begins in the voice of a scribe who has been charged with recording the history of an enemy warrior, Vaelin al Sorna, before his death. Vaelin has been imprisoned for years and is now being taken to a duel which everyone assumes he will lose.
Vaelin agrees to tell his tale, which makes up the bulk of this book. His story begins with being left with an order of monks at the age of 6 where he is trained in warfare and philosophy. Blood of Innocents. The Novice.
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