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.


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