We have fought battles that left more than a hundred corpses on the ground and not a word of it has ever been set down. The Order fights, but often it fights in shadow, without glory or reward. We have no banners.
Vaelin Al Sorna is the Sixth Order's newest recruit. Under their brutal training regime, he learns how to forge a blade, survive the wilds, and kill a man quickly and quietly - all in the name of protecting the Realm and the Faith. Now his skills will be put to the test.
War is coming. Vaelin must draw upon the very essence of his strength and cunning if he is to survive the coming conflict. Yet as the world teeters on the edge of chaos, Vaelin will learn that the truth can cut deeper than any sword.
"A new master storyteller has hit the scene" (Michael J. Sullivan)
"Blood Song is a tremendous debut... fast-paced, action-packed and character-driven" ( Fantasy Book Critic)
"A top contender for most impressive debut of the year... Blood Song is a powerful epic that, while ending with a sense of closure, hints at more to come" ( SFF World)
"An utterly engrossing high-fantasy epic from a major new talent that explores themes of war, faith, and loyalty amidst incredible action scenes and artfully developed characters" ( Buzzfeed)
"A mix of The Name of the Wind and The Left Hand of God... I cannot recommend this book enough." ( bestfantasybooks.com)
"Blood Song delighted me again and again" ( Fantasy Faction)
"This is epic fantasy at its best with action, rivalries, espionage, the promise of future revelations and ever-present twists" ( Bookbag)
"An instant sensation . . . an excellent start to this series" ( Read Dream Relax)
"Smartly-written coming-of-age story... Compelling" ( SFX)
"I still love - and want - that feeling of completely absorbing escapism that good fantasy can supply - and Blood Song brings it in force" ( Pornokitsch)
"Ryan hits all the high notes of epic fantasy-a gritty setting, ancient magics, ruthless intrigue, divided loyalties, and bloody action" ( Publishers Weekly)
"Well wrought characters, a fascinating world, and crackling prose... Not to be missed" ( Kingofthenerds.com)
"Blood Song is unique... The next Epic Fantasy book everybody should read" ( Blotted Pages)
"An immensely satisfying and immersive experience" ( Dark Matter)
"One of the next master storytellers" ( Fantasty Book Review)
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Superb debut novel
Vaelin Al Sorna, prisoner of war relates his story to chronicler and historian Lord Verniers, as he is transported by ship, to answer for his crimes.
The story then takes us back to the young Vaelin, and his entry into the Sixth order of The Faith, and so the story begins. We learn of the strict training regime within The Order, the friendships he builds, the trials he endures, and the secrets he begins to uncover.
This is a wonderful novel, with a complex plot, interesting secondary characters action,political intrigue, and interesting take on magic. A book that answered so many of the questions that it brought up, that it could be a stand alone novel. But also left enough that. Yup! I'm gearing up to listen to the next book in the series.
If you only get one book this year this one would not be a bad choice.
My only issue was with some of the narration. Although I loved Steven Brands voice, and yes I thought he was perfect for the voice of Vaelin. I was just a bit disappointed with his lack of distinction, when he was voicing the other characters, there was a few times when I had to do a quick rewind to double check who was talking. I had to really pay attention or would lose track of what was going on. Just a small niggle. But felt it stopped me getting totally absorbed into the story.
Why ruin a good story with a poor narrator?
This is a very good story and had I been reading it myself then yes it would be 5 stars. I love "The Name of the Wind" and heard this was similar so rushed to buy it with a valuable credit as soon as it was released as an audiobook. Now here is where the problem starts. Its an audiobook and as such is different to just buying a book and reading it yourself. Part of the beauty of an audiobook is the performance given by the narrator. For example, everyone has probably read the Harry Potter books to themselves but the audiobook brings a totally new perspective on the story with the superb Stephen Fry providing excitement and numerous amazing voices for the characters. Nick Podehl does this really well with "The Name of the Wind" and Michael Page does an amazing job with "The Lies of Locke Lamora". Now unfortunately Steven Brand does NOT do a good job here. How people can give him a 5 star rating I do not know. Where are the different voices for different characters? Where is the change of tone, tension and excitement for the action scenes? His voice is also too soft for this genre, I expected him to cough at any moment and all to suddenly be OK but alas no. Steven reads this book to you but doesn't perform it. A meeting between Vaelin and one of his brothers is read exactly the same way as a description of a battle. These audiobooks are not cheap if you don't use a credit and it baffles me why the author would allow his hard written book to be ruined this easily. I struggled through to about the last hour then realised I was not going to buy the second part of this story with the same narrator and so stopped - huge shame. If you are happy with someone just "reading" to you then fine buy this audiobook. If you would rather be entertained look elsewhere now, buy the book in hard copy and read it yourself!