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Blood Song (Raven's Shadow #1)

4.54 of 5 stars 4.54  ·  rating details  ·  20,104 ratings  ·  1,485 reviews
From “a new master storyteller” comes the beginning of an epic fantasy saga of blood, honor, and destiny…

“The Sixth Order wields the sword of justice and smites the enemies of the Faith and the Realm.”

Vaelin Al Sorna was only a child of ten when his father left him at the iron gate of the Sixth Order. The Brothers of the Sixth Order are devoted to battle, and Vaelin will b...more
Kindle Edition, 592 pages
Published January 22nd 2012 by Anthony Ryan (first published 2011)
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A Game of Thrones by George R.R. MartinJ.R.R. Tolkien 4-Book Boxed Set by J.R.R. TolkienThe Name of the Wind by Patrick RothfussThe Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. LewisThe Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
The Best Epic Fantasy
44th out of 2,227 books — 15,251 voters
The Orb of Truth by Brae WyckoffBlood Song by Anthony  RyanThe Emperor's Edge by Lindsay BurokerThe Silver Sphere by Michael DadichBlood and Betrayal by Lindsay Buroker
Best Indie Fantasy Books
2nd out of 539 books — 1,088 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Katherine Coble
When I first finished Patrick Rothfuss’ Name Of The Wind two years ago I was a bit sad. I knew that even though the book was wonderful (and had a sequel on the horizon), that great books which capture me as that one did don’t come along very often. Before Rothfuss was Harry Potter, and that was a good number of years before Rothfuss. It was five years before Potter that Pillars Of The Earth fell into my hands. So I’ve been working on an average of one Utterly Captivating Read every five years or...more
If you like your fantasy Rothfuss or Sanderson-style this is a great book for you. It's a meaty epic fantasy with a really strong main character. I was sucked in and definitely want to read the next one!
Anthony Ryan is a new fantasy author destined to make his mark on the genre. His debut novel, Blood Song, certainly has it all: great coming of age tale, compelling character, and a fast-paced plot. If his first book is any indication of things to come, then all fantasy readers should rejoice as a new master storyteller has hit the scene.
Mark Lawrence
I won't lie, some small but undeniable part of me came to this book hoping to find fault. It would take a better man than me to watch Anthony Ryan's barnstorming success without a twinge of envy.

Sadly I have to report that this is a very good book and deserves the five stars I've given it.

Ryan writes well, he brings his world and characters to life with good description. It's as a story-teller he shines though, and a good story is always the keystone of a bestseller.

Schools in fantasy books are...more
Commas matter. They are important if someone, say, an author, wishes to convey a particular meaning or concept or image through the words they use in the books they want to sell. They are important for timing, and sentence structure, and plain ol' literacy. Plus, they make me feel good, like I'm reading something worth my time, rather than some 6th grade creative writing exercise.

There's a big difference between "Let's eat, Grandpa!" and "Let's eat Grandpa!"

Also this:

"His father didn't reply....more
Mike (the Paladin)
Okay, "first off" I know some don't care for long reviews and sort of skip through just interested in the "bottom line" so to speak. I have a few things to say, but for you who want things boiled down to the my opinion, that's "In My Opinion" this is an excellent, even an exceptional book. I have moved it directly on to my favorites shelf. The only negative I have here is that the next volume isn't due out till July 2014. God willing and I'm still alive, healthy and solvent I plan to...more
Once in a while a book comes out of nowhere and blows me away; last year it was the indie sf Dancing with Eternity, this year it's Blood Song, a traditional fantasy in many ways but with a narrative pull that is just unbelievable - last time I read a fantasy debut with this pull, it was in 2007 when Name of the Wind appeared and while there are notable differences in content, with this one much more traditional than Rothfuss' series, there are a few similarities there too - while getting a lot o...more
David Sven
This is, without a doubt, my favourite book of the year so far. This is High Fantasy that is contemporary while still hitting a sweet spot for me with the mix of magic and battle.

The story was engaging, the plot was well paced, the protagonist was flawed but likeable, the prose was polished. I can't believe this a debut novel. I don't place too much faith in goodreads rating system, but when we are approaching 15000 ratings with an average of 4.56 as of today - that says something about the qual...more
An interesting mix of military and heroic fantasy, one that has easily solidified itself as one of the most interesting fantasy books released in recent years for me.

Blood Song is the story of Vaelin Al Sorna, prisoner of war. At the age of ten his father abandons him at the monastery of an order of warrior priests, where he’s taught to defend the Faith with sharpened steel. Here, along with a group of boys his age he grows into a warrior priest of the Sixth Order of the Unified Faith of the Rea...more

Blood song by Anthony Ryan is a great new work of epic fantasy. It was released independently a few years ago and since then has built up a huge amount of buzz, made all the more impressive by it's lack of support. Because of this background I really wanted to like this book. Conveniently the complex characters and intriguing plot made liking it easy. Also the gratuitous violence. FTW.

The main character of this book is Vaelin Al Sorna who at the beginning of the story we see as a captive on h...more
Jul 22, 2014 Lee rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: fantasy
Ye Gods that was a ride and a half. I must say, given that I usually have at least 3 books on the go at any one time, it is very rare for me to completely ignore all else and just plough through one. I like being able to have a change whilst reading, but I have to say, once I was into Blood Song, that was it.

I listened to this on audio in the car, on the tread mill, sitting on a plane for 2 hours, stuck in a Sydney traffic jam for 3 hours (first traffic jam that i didn't get frustrated with), o...more

I'm surprised this is a debut novel. Believe the hype! Oh yes, the book has its flaws but I can't quite put my finger on them and they are certainly not enough to even make me knock off a half star down to 4.5 for the rating. It's full 5! What makes the book unputdownable is the scale and the intensity of the story. More Vaelin Al Sorna please! Up to book #2. Full review to come.

The buddy read is expanding. Yay! ^_^

So far we are: Desinka , Alexa , Ornella , Athena , Rhea and Gavin . And me. :)
Do you like your loyaltea with a little blood in it? No, well bear with me anyway and I hope that I can open your ear for the tune of the blood song.

As with every good tea party a theme makes it even better, except maybe playing bridge...then it is more of a bridge party, where someone might have some tea, but I degress.

The theme of Blood Song is clearly loyalty. The main character, Vaelin Al Sorna, is handed over to an order of Warrior Monks by his fater, the Battle Lord of the realm.
And in lea...more

Full Review originally at Fantasy Book Critic [Plus Analysis by Liviu]

OVERVIEW/ANALYSIS: Blood Song is another of those books that I discovered a few months earlier, thanks to Amazon’s cool algorithm for suggesting titles I might like based on my previous “Buying and Search” history. Previously I had stumbled upon Zero Sight by B Justin Shier the same way and the way that book turned out to be, I have learnt to keep an eye out for such Amazon recommendations.

Blood Song begins with a first pers...more
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

The story of Blood Song is about a young boy who trains and grows up to become a leader and one of the greatest warriors in the kingdom. It's a tried-and-true formula in epic fantasy which by all rights I should be sick to death of by now, but Anthony Ryan manages to pull it off without making me feel like I'm getting the same old, same old.

Take how the book starts, for example, opening on an encounter between a scribe and...more
Dec 02, 2013 Brandi rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Brandi by: Faye, la Patata
Shelves: favorites, male-lead

I love fantasy- I always have, though it's not often that I find myself reading epic, or high, fantasy because I tend to prefer the shorter scifi/fantasy stories. This book is written with the finest precision, enabling people like me to not even realize they’re reading a book they normally wouldn’t, and loving every second of it. There are very few epic fantasies in my library (at all actually) that I can claim have pulled me in like this, and the only one I can think of that affected me as gr...more
Executive Summary: I really loved this book, and I highly recommend it.

Audio book: I'm a little torn on the narration. Steven Brand is a pretty good narrator. He does accents and inflections to really add something to the story. However, he's so DAMN QUIET. It seemed like he was whispering half the time. I'm not sure if it's him or simply the quality of the production, but it seems like it's just the way he reads.

I listen to audiobooks on my phone. Sometimes with headphones, sometimes with the s...more
Thomas Crown
Having been through more fantasy and science fiction series than any functioning adult should be comfortable admitting, I am leery of writing anything overly adulatory about the first novel of a series, especially when that novel is not merely good but quite possibly great.

This is because first-in-a-series novels are like first dates. On the one hand, you can end up meeting the woman of your dreams, whom you will marry and who will bear you a surprising number of children, with whom you will liv...more
Robin (Bridge Four)
4.5 Stars

This Series is so hard to review...So Many Great Things Happened....Just Read It.
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Bloodsong is the journey of a boy into becoming a man with enough power to change the world. The majority of this books focuses on the bond built between brothers, bonds that can’t be broken no matter what you have done. It is hard to capture Bloodsong accurately in a review because it has a fully built world, characters and plot. Small mysteries and journeys lead to larger ones. The choices that Vaelin ma...more
5 Stars

What an amazing read. This is an incredible piece if fiction that is written well, thought out, and well crafted. Anthony Ryan has created a near masterpiece to start out this epic story. This book will receive many comparisons with Patrick Rothfuss The Name of the Wind. Theft both are debuts from the author. Both are of the "Epic Fantasy" genre. They both center almost exclusively on a main protagonist that is clearly more than what we get to see. Heck, both of these books are very long...more
Gather close and listen well to the tale of the Witch's Bastard. This is not a story for the faint at heart or the weak of bladder. This is the most terrible and frightful of tales and when I am done you may curse my name for ever having given it voice.

The best fantasy debut for me since Patrick Rothfuss. A pleasant surprise that I have to thank Liviu and some other Goodreads reviewers for discovering for me in the self-published jungle. The comparison with Rothfuss is not accidental, I found...more
Zachary Jernigan
OBJECTIVE RATING (my best stab at looking at the book's merits, regardless of whether or not I enjoyed it all that much): 2.5

PERSONAL RATING (how much the book "worked" for me personally): 2

Review originally posted on Fantasy Book Critic.

When Mihir asked me to do a review of Anthony Ryan’s debut, I was flattered and excited -- flattered because Mihir is one of the most thorough and dedicated reviewers out there (not to mention an overall gracious, kind-hearted individual), and excited because I’...more
missEvi [can't commit to a book]

Do you ever feel, after reading many great fantasy books in a row, that you are very lucky and at the same time really anxious you are somehow slowly exhausting the reserves? That there can not possibly be infinite amount of amazing books? Are you doing small calculations in your mind that according to books you read every year and the time left for you to read ok, I turned a little macabre here after some time you won’t find anything unique, and brilliant? No? Good for you! But I am a little w...more
Tim "The Enchanter"
Posted to The Literary

Good but not Great - 3.5 Stars

For me, this book may be a victim of unreasonably high expectations and the misfortune of being read so soon after completing The Name of the Wind. I expected to be enthralled by a unique story that was hailed by many as equal to if not better than The Name of the Wind. In my opinion, it failed on both accounts. While I was not blown away by this story, I do see the draw for many readers and would not hesitate to recommend it. I...more

Blood Song is, I thought to myself as I turned the final pages of the book, by far one of the best fantasy novel debuts I have read in years. There is no other word to describe the feeling upon finishing this novel than this: satisfaction. It was the feeling of having completed a book I thoroughly enjoyed. In more recent years I have, due to time constraints, felt myself forced to read books at a faster rate than my usually quick pace. I still enjoy each book I read but the sense of needing to r...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Okay, "first off" I know some don't care for long reviews and sort of skip through just interested in the "bottom line" so to speak. I have a few things to say, but for you who want things boiled down to the my opinion, that's "In My Opinion" this is an excellent, even an exceptional book. I have moved it directly on to my favorites shelf. The only negative I have here is that the next volume isn't due out till July 2014. God willing and I'm still alive, healthy and solvent I plan to...more
Finally! A book that lives up to the hype. Blood Song is the best debut epic fantasy I've read since The Name of the Wind was published in 2007.

It had everything one could want in a book. Action, mystery, romance, intrigue, and plenty of surprises. The world building was good, the plot complex, and the various characters were full of depth and personality.

This was a thoroughly exciting and enjoyable read. Anthony Ryan might just be making a case to join my quartet of all time fantasy favorites...more
just read this and...




i think its going to be a long time before i muster the words that would
show just how much i enjoyed this. it was amazing!

so in meantime:

this is my love note to the author:
dude tnx for all those mental orgasms i got from your book:)
best one i read this year.
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Fantasy is a particularly hard genre to write, as it has to have the most thoughts, ideas and originality put into it. If it's done right, it's a book heaven, if it's done wrong, it's horrid and near impossible not to notice for consistent readers.

I don't think it's necessary for the book to have dragons or mythical creatures, in order to be considered 'fantasy'. You know you have read a decent book of the sort, when it takes you to a whole new, and at times a rather strange dimension; filled...more
This is a great debut novel, and definitely the best independently published (which it was originally) fantasy I've ever read.

Update: I've just done a re-read of this novel in preparation for Tower Lord, and I was just as impressed with the book on a second reading. The characters are well developed and interesting, and I love the large scale of the story. I did notice that the novel almost seemed to be two separate novels in tone (one being Vaelin's time training in the order, the other being a...more
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Was the Blood Song a crutch for this story? 16 89 Sep 26, 2014 01:19AM  
The Not a Book Cl...: * BS: General Info (No Spoilers) 26 54 Sep 26, 2014 12:11AM  
/r/Fantasy Discus...: * Discussion 2 - Blood Song by Anthony Ryan: Complete Book 22 435 Sep 25, 2014 12:55PM  
Girls, Guns and G...: Blood Song/Raven's Shadow series by Anthony Ryan 42 46 Aug 14, 2014 07:36AM  
The Not a Book Cl...: BS: Part 5 38 50 Aug 12, 2014 05:31PM  
The Not a Book Cl...: BS: Part 4 17 34 Aug 11, 2014 07:36PM  
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Anthony Ryan was born in Scotland in 1970 but spent much of his adult life living and working in London. After a long career in the British Civil Service he took up writing full time after the success of his first novel Blood Song, Book One of the Raven’s Shadow trilogy. He has a degree in history, and his interests include art, science and the unending quest for the perfect pint of real ale.

For n...more
More about Anthony Ryan...
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“War is always an adventure to those who've never seen it.” 32 likes
“Speaking it aloud would reveal the absurdity of it, and he preferred the dream.” 16 likes
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