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on 1 August 2016
(Minor spoilers)

One of the main reasons I enjoyed Blood Song was the format. Following a fantastic character like Vaelin over a long period of was an enjoyable and immersive experience. Reading about his time in the Order with his brothers was an absolute pleasure.

Ryan has switched the format here. There are now four main point of view characters and the book is set over a smaller space of time. Along with Vaelin we also follow Frentis, Lyrna (who were in book one) and a new character Reva. The pattern consists of individual chapters for each in a set sequence. Each character is given around 25% of the page count.

The book starts off strongly, all four are on different journeys and different places in the world. It's enjoyable reading about different parts of the world. We see the Volarian empire here (with Frentis), learn more about the Lonak people (with Lyrna), the Great Northern forest (with Vaelin) and Cumbrael (with the new character Reva and also learn more about the world Father religion which I found very interesting). The world feels diverse and big which is always a plus, sometimes fantasy books feel a little parochial but not here.

I was sad to leave each character behind at the end of each chapter so it shows how engaging they all were.

Sadly, all the intrigue and discovery comes to a grinding halt about half way through. After this we're subjected to all four simply travelling and battling against their respective enemies for what feels like eternity. All four characters -whilst likeable- are very similar and speak with a similar voice so diminishing returns sets in very quickly. Each main protagonist has a micro cast of disposable secondary characters revolving around them to serve the plot. They have no depth and it becomes difficult to remember who they are. The same dull battles are regurgitated to swell the page count.

The worst problem is the enemy. The Volarain's are your typical cliched bad guys; mindlessly evil, devoid of idiosyncrasies or personality allowing the the 'good guys' to absolutely slaughter them without any moral consequences or remorse. They're nothing more than cannon fodder to the supposed defenders. They're essentially able to invade through their sheer strength of numbers.

Everything's so relentlessly dour and grim, there's not a patch of light or humour throughout.

I've seen plenty of series unravel as the books progress but to see it happen in the middle of book two was a shock.

One glimmer of hope was the fact that at least by the end the plots converged and perhaps book three will follow a lighter, deeper and more interesting path.

A disappointing 6/10.
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on 6 June 2017
Book 1 was easily a 7 out of 10. This one however let me down mightily... and it all happened at the end. Up until then, it was the same engaging character and writing... It's almost as if a separate writer appeared and finished off the book. I was sufficiently disappointed that I actually stopped reading with 60 pages left to go (i.e. the climactic fight scenes).
A couple days later, I figured that maybe I'd misread something and decided that I just needed to finish it off. My previous thoughts on the subject remained unchanged. Whoever the imposter was that finished the book, I will never read a book of his again.
Not purchasing the final book in the series. Currently regretting having purchased this book.
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on 3 June 2015

I absolutely loved Blood Song and I will suggest anyone who picks up Tower Lord, reads the first book again as you will want to refresh your mind with the characters and locations.

Initially the book on release was very expensive for a long time so I waited, by the time I picked it up the paperback was out and there were far more reviews. Just after the hardback release people commented how different the second book was and they didn't like it or struggled with it.

With the above in mind and having now read Tower Lord, I can say the book is different but I don't mean that in a negative way. We followed Vaelin in Blood Song, through him we were introduced to new characters, lands and events. This worked very well, but we didn't see anything from the perspective of those characters, only Vaelin.

In Tower Lord this changes, major events put characters on their own paths and we get to see the world through them. We get to travel with these characters to lands we didn't see in Blood Song, we get to meet new armies and tribes, each with their own unique ways, tactics and beliefs.

As with Blood Song you need to pay attention to the little details because Ryan is very good at blending them in. The story does move fast, I gather there will only be three books in this series, but I do feel there could be room for a four which would free up the feeling of speed with each character. The story and it's quality doesn't necessarily suffer due to this as Ryan is good at giving the reader a lot without dragging things on.

I hope after the third book is released we see more fantasy series from Anthony Ryan, maybe even a series based in the Raven's Shadow world but the early years with King Janus, Vaelin's father, the various orders and the wars.
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on 27 May 2016
Great second book. Many follow up/second novels fall short but this is excellent.

We continue to enjoy life with Al Sorna; Frentis has a tough time being controlled by a heartless woman/witch hell bent on murdering half the known world to prevent a foretold future. Will he escape ...?

Princess Lerner (forgive spellings, I listened to the audio version) comes to the fore and has a tough time with pirates and is becoming a strong female character.

We have battles, seiges, more magic than the first and less of the Order. It's a refreshing change and quite different from the slow build-up of the first novel.

A great read. Classic and well written epic fantasy.
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on 29 March 2015
My main problem with these books is that I only tend to appreciate them after reading something that isn’t as well written.

For instance, I went from reading “Red Queen”, to this and although I loved the story, there just is no comparison.

The writing style is amazing, the detail and pacing (*especially* the pacing!) of both books I’ve read so far is nothing short of legendary in my mind; the whole story just flows so well it is like being on a constant high. Even Robert Jorden’s WoT books had scenes you just wanted to skip because they were a bit boring. Anthony Ryan has got a knack of keeping this to a minimum without sacrificing plot.

This is probably the first time I have never felt compelled to go into detail about the story in a review as there is just no need.

If you want a good *solid* fantasy series, look no further.
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on 27 September 2015
I've read all kinds of fantasy over the years, starting as a child with The Chronicles of Narnia. Having read Blood Song ,the first in this series, I was desperate to read Tower Lord and it didn't disappoint. As another reviewer has said, yes, it's different from the first book but that's not a bad thing. I keeps you interested in a variety of characters, each chapter holding it's own thrills and many characters, like Lyrna, are wonderfully fleshed out as a consequence.To write a second book solely from the perspective of one person would have lacked the pace and engaging quality necessary for the continuance of the story.
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on 1 May 2015
I read the first in this series ages ago and by the time I got round to downloading the second book I had forgotten who was who and what had happened! I then struggled to pick up the threads because there were so many names and minor characters. I enjoyed the book, however, but decided I would not make the same mistake twice, I would download the third book and read it immediately.

Horror upon horror, the third book has not been released yet! Hopefully I will retain some gist of what has transpired so far by the time it comes out and I am sure it will be as good as the first two, but hopefully with a few less minor characters with odd names that all blur into the background.
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on 8 June 2015
I have to say after purchasing the first of this trilogy in an airport to relieve the boredom of a rather long flight I couldn't wait to get my hands on this one, and I am delighted to say that it did not disappoint!

The story picks up round about where the last finished and as before we get the story from the perspective of a host of different characters all of which are exciting and intriguing. Each character brings his or her own set of skills, morals and perspective to each situation and they are all so different that I found myself wondering if some of the characters had been written by a different author. This is one of the best multi perspective books I have ever read, for the first time ever I found myself not caring who's perspective the next chapter was from as I enjoyed each of the charters almost equally (always have to have a favourite but I will let you choose your own without bias on my behalf).

In summary an absolutely awesome book, falling only a little shy of the first in the series but still well worth the 5 stars. Grab yourself a copy and get reading! Cant wait for the next one!
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on 11 June 2015
Takes a bit to catch back up, there are a lot of characters to keep track of & if like me it is a little while since reading Blood Song, it does get a bit confusing. This does appear to be the new style of writing, basically each main character gets a chapter then moves on to the next. I'm not sure that that Mr Ryan realised that he had started the siege of Alltor, way way before it popped up in Reva's chapters, so did get slightly confusing.
Our main protagonist is still Vaelin but I wouldn't say that he get's much more book space than any of the others.
Not long until the release of the third & final book.
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on 17 July 2015
After the excellence of book 1 I was looking forward to reading book 2, alas Ryan just did not match the quality of book 1. The principle character of Vaelin seemed to get sidelined and other characters dominated, not always convincingly. Many chapters were simply tedious and didn't seem to enhance the story at all. The repeated battle scenes became monotonous, the bad guys were really bad reminiscent of the old western theme of black hat baddies white hat goodies, however in some chapters everyone seemed to fall into the black hat category! Reading the reviews of book 3 it would seem there is no improvement, probably not going to buy the end of the trilogy as the excellence of book 1 simply was not matched in book 2 and was hugely disappointing.
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