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Why do I love this book?

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The simple answer would be because this is a book that has everything I love in epic fantasy and that it hit all the right notes for me. Told in the same storytelling style as The Name of the Wind , the plot of the book mostly revolves around how Vaelin received all these titles. I was engrossed in this book from cover to cover; right from the moment I read the prologue, it became immensely hard for me to focus on anything else but reading this book because of the strong gravitational pull the narrative held on me. Blood Song contained every wonderful element and resonating theme necessary for a fantastic epic fantasy debut: intriguing mystery, engaging plot line, brotherhood, politics, religions, faith, home, abandonment, dark magic, and war, all of which were written exceptionally well.

I was filled with emotions seeing how Vaelin developed throughout his journey.

It was very compelling to read about how he grew up and faced all the challenges in his battle school for the purpose of becoming a full-fledged warrior of the Sixth Order. However, my favorite part of the book is definitely the brotherhood and comradeship he found on his journey to adulthood. You share your life with those who would die for you. The characterizations were top-notch and that made the well-placed cinematic action scenes in each chapter more pulse-pounding because the characters were easy to empathize with.

The Unified Realm is rich with a history of bloodshed and war. All the mystery, legends, and magic were all introduced gradually and seamlessly without being info-dumpy, strengthening my point that this is an utterly compelling book to read. If I have to be nitpicky, there are some sentences that definitely required commas for the prose to flow even better. Sep 11, Conor rated it really liked it Shelves: fantasy. The pace was sluggish and uneven for stretches of this book Reva being the main, but far from the only, reason for this but the exciting finale tied everything together and made it worthwhile.

Overall this was a strong ending to a really enjoyable series that answered most of the mysteries that were set up over the previous books and provided closure for the characters we've come to care about at least those that survived, Ryan was surprisingly and sometimes detrimentally ruthless in places The pace was sluggish and uneven for stretches of this book Reva being the main, but far from the only, reason for this but the exciting finale tied everything together and made it worthwhile. Overall this was a strong ending to a really enjoyable series that answered most of the mysteries that were set up over the previous books and provided closure for the characters we've come to care about at least those that survived, Ryan was surprisingly and sometimes detrimentally ruthless in places while leaving enough to room to write more installments in this universe in the future.

This book continued with the same structure as the previous book with 4 main POV characters plus one surprise additional character with interludes outside of chronological order provided by the scholar Verniers. While I was initially skeptical about the inclusion of Alucius as a POV character he quickly earned my trust with his humorous observations and interesting perspective.

Throughout this book Ryan was merciless in killing off main characters but along with Dahrena this was the most shocking. This was probably a large part of the reason why the opening sections dragged somewhat. Vaelin's first parts were initially underwhelming but by the middle of the book with the beginning of his awesome journey his parts began to steal the show.


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The journey was filled with intriguing mysteries and epic encounters and while his loss of his powers stripped him of the sense of danger and mystery he had in book 2 it also kept him from going Leroy Jenkins as he did in the last book. It definitely succeeded in terms of adding shock value but I felt as if it was kind of unnecessary.

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It seemed at times that Dahrena's death, especially after the added heart-break of the revelation that she was pregnant, was going to drive Vaelin to do some extreme shit and this gave his later sections a real sense of danger and foreboding, however this never materialized. Her ruthlessness and desire for revenge separated her from the heroic princess trope that she seemed in danger of falling into in the last book.

However while I enjoyed her personal interactions and political intrigues I found a lot of the military stuff normally by far and away my favourite storylines in fantasy to be pretty weak. Ryan showed no desire to accurately represent how medieval warfare worked and as a card carrying history nerd this annoyed me greatly.

Just finished Queen of Fire (Raven's Shadow) and am REALLY disappointed (Spoilers) : Fantasy

I would have been able to shrug off a few mistakes but it seemed as if armies of several hundred thousand soldiers were being raised every few pages, which greatly undermined my immersion in the world. This was compounded by Alornis' using her skills as an artist to somehow develop a doomsday machine that none of the thousand year old bad guys were capable of matching because sketches. The one plus side of the military campaigns was that most of the engagements were filled with cool tactical reversals on both sides.

Book Review: The Raven's Shadow Trilogy by Anthony Ryan

These twists and turns also succeeded in making the villains especially the Empress more respectable due to being legitimate threats to the heroes rather than the ineffective morons fantasy villains often are. Frentis' sections were also really engaging pretty much throughout.

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There was none of the BS magical puppetry that ruined his parts in the first half of the last book and instead we got badassery throughout. The constant campaigns of bloody guerilla warfare, Frentis' well-written love-hate relationship with the evil empress who plagued his dreams and the presence of some really cool secondary characters Illian who despite being a cringe-inducing noblewoman turned badass warrior cliche still managed to be really likeable and interesting, Draker the street thug turned soldier and Lekran the bloodthirsty barbarian warrior.

Reva's plotline was imo by far and away the weak link in this book. It seems that Ryan wrote her into the series as a main character in order to fulfil a big role in book 2 see my review of that book for my beef with her there without having any plan for her here. The only interesting involvement that she had was her claim to be a prophetess of her people's god in order to drum up support for an invasion. This was an extremely complex moral quandary that could have been explored in a really intriguing way.

Unfortunately Reva just did it without much consideration then spent the rest of the book thinking about how shitty a thing it was to do Her sections only became interesting towards the end, where she had some cool action sections and her scenes with the Empress were awesome mostly due to the on-page charisma of the empress rather than Reva's predictable blandness. Despite the uneven pacing I found this to be a worthy and enjoyable end to a really good series.

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Ryan managed to write an interesting story on it's own merits with plenty of cool plotlines and character development while also wrapping up this trilogy nicely, both delivering closure about the characters we've come to care about and leaving room for more stories in this world.

View all 11 comments. Executive Summary: A somewhat enjoyable end to the series, but I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as I did the last two books. Thankfully my audiobook app lets me increase the volume, or it would be incredibly frustrating.

Blood Song

I wonder if the publishers listens to the book with noise canceling headphones only or something, or if even that would be sufficient. If you've done the pr Executive Summary: A somewhat enjoyable end to the series, but I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as I did the last two books. If you've done the previous two in audio, you should know what to expect. Hopefully like me you have a way to increase the volume so you can enjoy Mr.

Brand's otherwise excellent narration. Full Review After how much I enjoyed the last two, it was almost going to be impossible for this book to live up to my expectations. Some of this is probably on me. I read Blood Song and Tower Lord back to back.


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It's been about a year since then, and my memory on the details were fuzzy. I should have reread. I wish there was a wiki or something with plot points and character bios I could have used to refresh myself.


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  8. I struggled at the start remembering many of the minor characters. I think all books in a series and really all audio books in general should have a list of the important characters with maybe a 1 sentence reminder of who they are. It would really help a lot. There are just too many books to reread previous books every time a new one comes out, even books I loved as much as the last two.

    Both of those books grabbed me early on and never let go. That never really happened here. I was always happy to pick it back up, but I wasn't making excuses to listen longer or counting down the time until I could get back to listening. So unfortunately I can't the whole series 5 stars. I also found myself wondering for much of the second half of the book if there would be enough time to resolve everything. For the most part I think he does a good job of converging the different story lines, but it required a fairly large info-dump near the end to do so. That said, I really love the world Mr.

    Ryan has built, and I'm especially fond of the characters. It's always great to read about them, and this book is no different. However Vaelin's chapters are pretty interesting as well. Lyrna's story was still enjoyable, just not as much as the others.