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70 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very, VERY impressive.
You can get the gist of the story from other reviews here, I won't bore anyone with another summary.

What I will say is that I am a picky so-and-so and, as an example, I recently read Mark Charon Newton's first book (Nights of Viljamur)- didn't like it (dull characters and too many quotes lifted directly from 'The God Delusion', etc) despite other rave reviews,...
Published 12 months ago by A. C. F. Guile

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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good tale
I have read other reviews but find myself torn. This is a good story, well told with good characters, a scheming king and plenty of blood & guts. But boy does it plod on. It's almost like an autobiography thats how much it goes on. For me it goes in to too much detail in parts which makes me rapidly turn the pages, less development in parts and more concise would make it...
Published 7 months ago by Fireball 61


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70 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very, VERY impressive., 12 April 2013
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You can get the gist of the story from other reviews here, I won't bore anyone with another summary.

What I will say is that I am a picky so-and-so and, as an example, I recently read Mark Charon Newton's first book (Nights of Viljamur)- didn't like it (dull characters and too many quotes lifted directly from 'The God Delusion', etc) despite other rave reviews, and have given up on various other traditionally published books over recent years despite the time, effort and money spent on publishing them. There was a time I would finish a book even if I found it dull or hated it, I can't do that these days. I just don't have the patience for bad writing or stories that I don't like or don't grip me.

This is self published and is the best fantasy read I have had this year - though Mark Lawrence's Prince & King of Thorns is a close second.

It's not all constant action, it's a slow burn novel (like Robin Hobb and others) but you're always kept interested and the depth of character achieved and the nature and strength of the bond between the 'brothers' is great stuff. There's plenty of intrigue and the authorial 'reveals' along the way as the story unfolds have been paced very well indeed.

Ok, there are a few typos (names spelt wrong and a coma or two missing ...IMHO) but those issues are irrelevent and I forgive the author 100%. This is an amazing effort and a fantastic story.

Thank you, Anthony you have given self publishing a good name!

Bravo!!!

EDIT - I have the self published version. I see that Mr Ryan has quite rightly been picked up by a traditional publisher now. Quite right too. Well deserved. Comparison to David Gemmell though is something I don't understand. Ryan has his own voice. DG was indeed an Legend and while Ryan might quite enjoy the comparison, I think he stands up perfectly well on the strength of his own efforts.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best fantasy I've read in years!, 1 July 2013
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I have loved the fantasy genre since my early teens. I'm finding it harder and harder to find authors whose books draw me in. Maybe I have become more fussy as I have gotten older! This was a book that kept me engrossed as if I was in my teens again. Much to the disgust of my partner I have had my nose stuck in this for the past 3 days and am very sad to have finished it. I love how the author allows you to grow up with the main character and experience the events which make him who he is. A very enjoyable read and I can't wait for the next instalment!
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48 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Trust the good reviews!, 2 April 2013
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So, minding my own business, I was looking through the recommended section on my kindle and saw this for a few quid. As always I looked at the reviews, and immediately became suspicious. One bad review out of near a hundred good ones- but I took a gamble, and boy was I rewarded.

This is quite possibly one of the best opening novels I have ever read. My normal genre is fantasy, and as such I think I have quite high standards when it comes to these books- I haven't been this impressed with a first book since the farseer trilogy (Robin Hobb).

In terms of the book itself, there was something for me on every page. Not once did I become bored or frustrated with events, characters, story, or, well... anything! The pacing is extremely well done, as are the characters. Whilst it lacks the depth of detail in environments that I am used to with authors such as Hobb, the rest of the factors more than make up for this- character arcs are extremely well done, and I found myself thoroughly engrossed in the fate of almost everyone the book introduces to you.

Literally the only thing I found mildy off putting was initially the names were quite foreign- but this is something that I eventually liked anyway as it does perform the role of setting it slightly apart from standard lord-of-the-rings esque names for everything.

Believe the reviews, I have never been so grateful for taking a risk on a book- which is also minimised by the unbelievably cheap price I got it for. Brilliant read, and I cannot wait for the next book of what I hope is a long saga.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly staggaring, 24 July 2012
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This book was actually recommended by Linus Torvalds on a post he made. Having just finished reading through another book series, I was looking for something new to tide me over until the sequal; I picked this up and just didn't stop reading it.

The pace is clear and fast, the characters have depth and difference. I truly admire the author for his ability to bring a relevant take on such a fictional genre. Everything topic covered in the book has happened in our history, we have had blind followers and soldiers of Faith, we've had genocide, we've had Witch trials.. but to see all topics covered in a single world and time, with a single focus point (Vaelin); you get to observe the effects, shames and irrational behaviour that must have been experienced by people at those times in our own history.

I can't wait for the second book.

Well done to the Anthony Ryan, well done
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best fantasy genre book i have read in a long while., 26 Dec 2013
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Deep penatrating story that captivated me over xmas. Just could not put the book down, so much so that my family thought i was very antisocial over my constant reading of the book, deep into the night only my eyes hurting made me put the book down for sleep! Even then i would wake up in the nights to read some more! I've already added book two to my wishlist. Ican't see it being as good as this but if its half as good, it will be worth reading. The best book i've read in a very long time....
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent fantasy, 25 Jun 2013
By 
Keris Nine - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
There's a lot to recommend about Anthony Ryan's Blood Song. In most respects it's a traditional fantasy novel that respects the genre's conventions, but's it's well-written and engaging and it has an interesting perspective that gives it a little bit of an edge and sets it apart from most works of this kind.

Even if the early part of the book seems to be fairly standard plotting, there's an underlying unease about the situation then that keeps you involved. This is as it should be since the "blood song" of the title is indeed a guiding sense of warning that keeps the young Vaelin Al Sorna alive throughout the difficult years of his training as a warrior in the service of the Sixth Order, defenders of the Faith and the United Realm of King Janus. The first part of the book then goes through the standard template of apprenticeship, the honing of Vaelin's skills through tests and bonding with fellow warriors, but in addition to being well told, you do get a sense of other elements of the wider problems in and beyond the Realm that will undoubtedly come into play once we get to the world outside.

Even that seems fairly familiar territory, with war being on the horizon and conflict not only with foreign states, but also with Deniers of the Faith and from mysterious agencies that use the power of the Dark, Vaelin seeming to play a part in a Destiny that has been foretold in ancient books. It doesn't take too long however to recognise that it's not all peace, love and goodness under the rule of King Janus, that the expected divisions between the forces of Good and Evil aren't that clear and that Vaelin - known now as Hope Killer - might not even be on the side of Right.

It's this kind of touch that makes all the difference. How often do we really get to see and understand the working of the "forces of darkness" from an insider's perspective? It's the way that it's told however that really counts, Anthony Ryan building up credible characterisation that takes into account the usual motivations of greed and ambition but also how fear, personality, power and the weight of history have a part to play in the shaping of Destiny. It's not just all about some ancient prophesy then, or the wielding of mysterious powers, but Blood Song becomes a question over how much power we have over our own destiny. And that's interesting.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Staggeringly good read!, 8 Mar 2013
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There's a reason why so many people have given this book 5 stars - it's a truly engrossing and brilliantly well written book. Ignore the review that gave it 2 stars, it's so far removed from being standard or cliched - that review was probably written by a jealous rival author.

I read voraciously and the thing that sets this book apart from others for me is the layering of the story - the build up of the characters and plots, the way the author takes his time to build up the tale of Vaelin, the history of the realms and the Orders, of the other characters, none of it feels rushed yet its always exciting and goes along at a good pace. You get to see the characters developments and individual stories, their strengths and skills come from training rather than just the tired formula of such and such waking up one day and discovering their were blessed with the sword or could wield magic.

I don't want to give anything away of the plots so won't get too specific - suffice to say i loved the book, it is a fantastic read and I cannot wait for the next book. Buy this book, you will not regret it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely recommend it, 13 July 2013
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Its been ages since I have found a book that I can't put down. I only read this one because of the reviews and it was well worth it. There are likeable characters, and constant action that keeps you turning the pages. I Look forward to the next one
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Speechless., 9 July 2013
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I can honestly say that this is the best book I have read in a very long time. Loved it and for once I can be totally sincere in giving a five star review.
The length was perfect, the story line original, gripping and unpredictable. Unexpected twists till the bitter end. As usual there were a couple of grammatical errors but In this case the affect was negligible. Definitely found a new writer to watch.
Can't wait for the sequel, in fact I am going to check when the next one is due right now.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best new author for some time, 9 Jun 2013
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I downloaded this book due to all the amazing reviews and I needed something to read on a 10 hour flight. I had intended to start reading for about the first hour and then watch some films..... as the pilot announced that we were starting our descent I realised what an amazing book this was!

The back story to the release of this book makes it even better for me. The fact that he released the story himself and only got picked up by a publisher after the massive word of mouth campaign just highlights how good the story is.

I have been reading science fiction/fantasy books for over 30 years and have read all (what I consider!) the greats; Tolkein, Hobbs, Eddings, Erickson, Gemmell and many others and I can honestly say that the character description and detail is as good as any of them. The one thing I look for in good fantasy books is a strong main character that you can believe in and has a continuity all the way through the book. He gives you this and some!

There are lots of small twists and turns and a number of half truths that keep the reader interested the whole way through and also make me count the days until the second book is released. This really is a fresh twist on peasant boy becomes most powerful man in world and is more along the lines of boy grows up to reluctantly accept the gifts he has been given. To me the most amazing thing is how quickly he throws you into the main story and how he maintains the continuity of the decisions and actions by the main character the whole way through the book.

This is the first review I have written on here as I believe the book is just that good. If you are looking for your new fantasy trilogy, look no further.... even if you aren't looking, still buy this book you won't be disappointed!
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Blood Song: Book 1 of Raven's Shadow
Blood Song: Book 1 of Raven's Shadow by Anthony Ryan (Hardcover - 4 July 2013)
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