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105 of 109 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 on 12 April 2013 by A. C. F. Guile

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Concoction of Better Books
I can only assume Patrick Rothfuss hasn't read this book, or he'd sue the pants off Anthony Ryan.

Blood Song is essentially The Name of The Wind in a more martial setting, with more than a smidgen of Malazan Book of The Fallen and Wheel of Time thrown in, and a pinch of The Farseer books.

These are all great books (Middle section of WoT excluded),...
Published 10 days ago by TheHound


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very entertaining read, 6 Oct. 2013
This review is from: Blood Song: Book 1 of Raven's Shadow (Hardcover)
I am a big fan of sci-fi and fantasy in general. Patrick rothfuss and brandon sanderson are some authors that I really like. I will definitely be adding Anthony to this list of favorite authors. Blood song is an excellent book. Packed with action and character development. I highly recommend it, guaranteed you won't be able to put it down for any extended period of time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blood Song, 24 Mar. 2015
By 
Jenny, Wondrous Reads (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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Blood Song is one of a handful of epic fantasy novels I've read, and it's up there with my favourite fantasy in general. It's a brilliant, visceral look at the life of Vaelin Al Sorna, engrossing right from the start and very, very difficult to put down. It's a hefty book but don't be put off by its size - it's easier than it looks, and you'll find yourself lost in the story within mere pages. Anthony Ryan writes well and his characters are all people you'll root for, even when things aren't as black and white as they may initially seem. Apologies for being cryptic, but I don't want to spoil anything!

This book follows Vaelin's life from when he's a young boy and just joining the Sixth Order, when he's learning to fight and wield a sword, as well as how to hunt a man and kill an enemy. It focuses on him and his group of friends as they find their way in this brutal, dark world, and what happens to him is truly shocking at times. I absolutely loved his character, his resolve and determination being stand-out traits and part of what makes him so strong. He's a true warrior, and that all becomes apparent as he gets older and leaves his training. A war is coming and the Sixth Order is one of the only forces that stands in its way - Vaelin's life is about to change, and there's not a single thing he can do about any of it.

Blood Song is a long, detailed book, but time passes quickly and it never feels like a chore to read. Each character is a joy to get to know, whether good or bad, and I particularly enjoyed the earlier sections that take place when Vaelin is a young boy. The regime and training they all go through to be part of the Sixth Order is pretty harrowing, and how they learn to be men is, at times, even worse. Anthony Ryan doesn't hold back on anything - battles are bloody, lives aren't always spared and there's no guarantee of a happy ending.

I found myself pulled into Vaelin's story almost instantly, so much so that I couldn't bear to put the book down. I read it on trains to London even though it makes me travel sick, and I couldn't stop until I'd finished it. Although this story isn't the typical kind of fantasy I usually read - there aren't any dragons or wizards - I surprised myself with how much I enjoyed it. Vaelin's the kind of man I imagine would fit right in if he went to live in Westeros, and I can see why he turns out how he does. He's been surrounded by a life of brutality and order from a very young age, and for him that's all there is. His life is all about duty and honour, and he serves the Sixth Order like his whole existence depends on it. He's amazing!

Blood Song is one of the best books I read in 2014, and I'm not sure why it took me so long to write this review. It's stuck in my mind as a favourite fantasy novel, one that I'm really glad I decided to read and one that features one of the most memorable characters I've had the pleasure of meeting. I'm hoping to get around to reading the sequel, Tower Lord, sooner rather than later, and I just hope it's half as good as this. I'm looking forward to seeing what's in store for Vaelin, thought I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little worried about how his story will end. I guess I'll just have to carry on reading and find out!

4.5/5
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A strong opening book for both this series and a new author, 24 Mar. 2014
I've finished this book really wanting to give it 5 stars but sadly that would be doing a disservice to anyone reading this review.

I'm relatively late coming to this book, having had it on my to-read list for a long time but not getting around to it until today. What really interested me was the huge number of five star reviews which of course is rare for a debut novel. Therefore I went into it expecting perfection straight from the start and for the first two thirds I had to keep checking that I had the right book as it really wasn't meeting my expectations. What I was reading was admittedly a well written and intriguing tale but one that lacked both the originality and the strength of character to make me really feel as though this book was anything above average.

This all changes in the final act when everything starts to come together in a very satisfying fashion and introduces enough new elements to the series that suddenly I find myself really drawn in only to find this book comes to an end just when I am really wanting more. I think this has happened because the questions that were raised all the way through the book were answered brilliantly with some really interesting twists that I didn't see coming. I have to admit that getting to the ending I am quick to forget what came before it and I am eager to call this a brilliant book.

However, the truth is that the first two acts really were quite bland. We are introduced to and given a great amount of back story on the central character (who strangely is not the first person character). Whilst this is interesting what it lacks is emotional depth.

As I have read in a lot of books since A Song of Ice and Fire went huge a few years ago, this book relies on the harshness of life rather than the up sides. This is a perfectly valid point of view but what so many authors miss is that life is varied and there needs to be some happiness and hope in order for the darkness to feel more terrible and real. The first two acts of this book are just a constant stream of situations getting worse for the characters with no high points whatsoever until really close to the end of the book. This made reading this part of the book seem like work which is never good.

To prove the point, this book really started to turn around the moment the title character finally reconciled one of his main relationships and for the first time he genuinely had something to lose that the reader cares about him losing. From that moment on this book took on a whole new energy and it had me turning the pages quickly and feeling very satisfied at the end of the book.

Overall as a standalone book I would have found this book to be less satisfying than I did. As the start of a series however, I have to admit that this is a really good book that has introduced me to a new world in a manner that has me really looking forward to the next book in the series.

I would happily recommend this book to fantasy fans, especially those who like dark fantasy where their title characters are forced to go through a great deal and face terrible sacrifices before the end of the story. I now eagerly look forward to the second book in the Raven's Shadow series and I can only hope that it picks up the story in the same manner that this one finished.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than a cheap copy of "The Name of the Wind", 18 May 2014
When I began reading the book, i was afraid, it might turn out as a cheap copy of "The Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss. The beginning with the fallen hero who is interviewed by the imperial/royal chronicler just seemed too familiar.
But though there are also other parallels to other authors visible (like the powers of Sella which are suspiciously similar to Terry Goodkind's Confessors in "The Sword of Truth"), the book really finds and defines its own style.

I liked Vaelin's dual nature consisting of his fanaticism to the order on one hand and his moral principles on the other. Although he sees himself as a killer, it is - in the end - hard to codemn him for his actions.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent, 25 Jun. 2014
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Great story and exceptionally well written. In similar ilk to Name of the wind. Looking forward to the next book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 25 Jun. 2014
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Brilliant book fast paced with a good story can't wait for the second book to come out which I've already pre ordered :)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant, 23 Jun. 2014
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Downloading second now; best book I've read in a while. Started as just something to pass the time but really got into it
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BEST EVER!, 17 Jun. 2014
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I have never written a review on any book I have ever read but felt that this book was so worthy of encouraging potential readers to buy it! I was completely blown away with this book and already pre-ordered the second book. Seriously Buy Buy Buy - you will never regret it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!, 7 May 2014
Fantastic, I have read so many fantasy books over the years that it is a joy to find an author with their own ideas, interesting characters that develop well and intelligently throughout the book, am definitely looking forward to the next one. Best book I have read in a long time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Up there with the best., 2 May 2014
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Cannot believe this wonderfully gifted storyteller had to self publish, beggars belief.
I have been reading epic fantasy for over 40 years and I would put him up there with the very best and include in that George Martin, Steven Erikson, and many more too numerous to mention in the epic fantasy category.
Absolutely loved it, could hardly put it down. I am about to purchase the sequel "Tower Lord".

I am hoping it's as good or better than Blood Song.
Keep them coming Mr Ryan, very impressed, I am only allowed one book a month (Her indoors won't give me the peace to read them any quicker?) So you have a month to deliver book 3 !!!!
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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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