Book Reviews

Book Review: Blood Song, by Anthony Ryan (2011).

On the Cover

Blood Song is the epic first novel in the internationally bestselling Raven’s Shadow seriesan enthralling tale of desperate battles, deadly politics and epic adventure.

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.


Blood Song, authored by Anthony Ryan, is a epic novel set in a dystopian land at war. It begins with Vaelin Al Sorna, the son of a well known character of the realm, being left to the Order in which one is taught to fight for the faith. At least so it is done for those of the sixth order. Vaelin begins his journey the moment his father rides away from the Order gates.

He becomes one among many at the beginning, but as time continues and children are either killed during training or tests or just proven unworthy, their number dwindles till Vaelin finds his own band of brothers whom become closer than blood. Each of them willing to die to save the other or protect the other from harm. However, these friendships are tested time and time again and the characters are really moulded in front of the readers eyes, more or less.

It isn’t until the final of the tests when he is forced to kill an innocent man or otherwise die himself, Vaelin realises that the king has more influence on the Faith and its orders that he first thought. The King has had plans for him since his birth and although these didn’t come into fruition, he continues to scheme.

The story in itself is fast paced and exciting. Vaelin and his friends go through many battles that are well described in a prose that easily flows. The fact that Vaelin appears to have the gift of magic in his blood, known as the “Blood song”. with this magic as his guide in times of need, no wonder he becomes such a formidable enemy. The storyline of Vaelin and how he survives to become a famously respected warrior is one that just keeps readers wanting to turn pages. Admittedly I had trouble putting it down.

There wasn’t much that I didn’t enjoy in this novel. From the grisly deaths to the horrifying slaughters, and even the epic love shared between Vaelin and Sherrin. The author has written this novel very well and there is very little if anything of this book I didn’t enjoy.

Overall I would recommend this book to lovers of the dystopian fantasy genre. It’s fast pace and exciting adventures will have readers hooked. Great book. I give this book a rating of 9.5/10 stars.


Book Reviews

Book Review: The Bow of Destiny, by P. H. Solomon (2015). The Bow of Hart Saga – Book 1.

There has been a lot of online hype for this novel! I’ve seen many a blog, or post giving it good recommendations, so of course I had to try it. The Bow of Destiny by P. H. Solomon is an intriguing fantasy novel, set in a world similar to our own, but from wilder times and with its own host of magic and mythical beings. Such as, Elven Rangers, Dwarf Kings, Mystical Withlings and Evil Trolls.

The story begins with Athson, an orphaned human, adopted and raised by elves. He has always been different and not just because he is human. He is also the last known descendant of the Bow of Hart. A much sought after item that could change the future of their world.  

Athson’s journey is very much one of discovery. He finds friendship and Iove in his travelling companions, an Elf and fellow Ranger, a giant, a princess, a Withling and a couple of Dwarves who join the group halfway through their journey. Unfortunately, he also learns that not only is he the owner of an inheritance that could change life forever, but also that the father he had until now believed to have been brutally murdered by Trolls, could still be alive.  

I feel the beginning of this novel begins kind of slow, with a number of catch up explanations required to fill in numerous blanks in the story line. However, the pace really begins to pick up and become quite intriguing about half way through, just after the small group is formed and they set out to find the Bow of Hart and the Withling Hastra’s stolen book. From this point on, the character’s really begin to evolve and its much easier to understand the books progress. 

The romance in this novel so far has been somewhat immature throughout the novel, with hand holding and stolen kisses. However this may be the basis for future storylines, its quite hard to tell. The fighting and battle scenes are quite good, very descriptive and entertaining, but unfortunately I also felt they were long winded, going on and on.

Overall, the author, P. H. Solomon has produced an interesting fantasy novel that I would recommend to ages 15 years and older. The text is easy to read and understand and the content offers something for all ages. I give this book a rating of 5.5 out of 10 stars, though I am interested in checking out the next title in the series.