Author: Anthony Ryan
Series: Raven's Shadow # 1
Publication: January 2, 2012 by Ace
Source: Borrowed from the library.
Vaelin Al Sorna was only a child of ten when his father left him at the iron gate of the Sixth Order—a caste devoted to battle. Vaelin will be trained and hardened to the austere, celibate and dangerous life of a warrior of the Faith. He has no family now save the Order.
Vaelin’s father was Battle Lord to King Janus, ruler of the Unified Realm—and Vaelin’s rage at being deprived of his birthright knows no bounds. Even his cherished memories of his mother are soon challenged by what he learns within the Order. But one truth overpowers all the rest: Vaelin Al Sorna is destined for a future he has yet to comprehend. A future that will alter not only the Realm but the world.
The Raven’s Shadow series has many high praises and is known as one of the best fantasy series around. So, of course I wanted to know what the fuss was all about. I listened to the audiobook of Blood Song and it took me a couple of runs before I got into the story. The novel follows the journey of Vaelin Al Sorna, who was abandoned to The Sixth Order (monastery-like) at a young age to adulthood, where he began to acquire a notorious reputation throughout the entire realm as a skilled warrior.
The narrator of Vaelin Al Sorna did a wonderful job in bringing the character to life. I thought his voice was very pleasant and it suited the setting. A good portion of the novel took place in The Sixth Order, where Sorna and the other young men were trained and tested to become warriors of the realm. This by far was the most interesting part of the novel, seeing what the young men went through and how their relationship formed over the duration of their stay within the order. Then halfway through the novel, Sorna and a few of his brother departed the order, Sorna became the King’s hand…and that’s where things got messy, confusing, and slightly boring.
The story in my opinion morphed into another story that left me uninterested and withdrawn. Even as I write this review, I cannot recall much of what happened after Sorna left the order. I remember he was trying to find out who’s was trying to kill him and him trying to save Sister Clara (was that her name?). That’s pretty much it.
Blood Song was a hit and miss for me. I enjoyed the first portion of the novel, but the second half, not so much. The world building and characters could have been better developed in my opinion because as the story progressed, I felt as if the author spent more time on creating plot twists than anything else. I thought the writing was well-done, and everything flowed nicely but sadly everything else fell short in comparison. With that said, while I enjoyed some of it, I won’t be continuing with the series.