Book Review – Blood Song: A Raven’s Shadow by Anthony Ryan

Blood Song: A Raven's Shadow by Anthony Ryan

Blood Song: A Raven’s Shadow by Anthony Ryan

Rather than summarizing the book in my own words, why don’t I let the book jacket blurb do it:

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 ten 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.

Although the blurb is accurate, somehow it doesn’t convey what makes this book good, although it’s hard to do that without giving spoilers.

I really liked this book – it’s gone straight onto my list of favorites.

I was initially worried that it would be the first part of a series of books that slowly took us through the life of the main character and wouldn’t end properly, but there’s a good resolution that makes it a complete story and yet leaves the door open for the sequels.

As far as criticisms go, the author isn’t great at describing action – in fights it’s at times hard to tell who hit who.  The last quarter of the book is also arranged quite differently to the rest of the book, which makes it feel a bit uneven.

On the up side there’s some character development, a lot of world building and lots of cool twists.  I’m looking forward to the rest of the series (although I have no idea where the author will take it from here).