Joe Moley's Reviews > Blood Song

Blood Song by Anthony  Ryan
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M 50x66
's review
Jul 13, 2012

really liked it

I’ve read two really good new fantasy books this year. The first was Prince of Thorns and the second I’m happy to say is Blood Song.

“Blood Song” was self-published independently and was listed in the Amazon kindle section at a nice discount. Usually, I stay away from these as most are quite literally, trash. However, what intrigued me about this one was that there was over 150, 4 and 5 star review/ratings. 150 is a lot more than the usual 5 reviews a self-published author can drum up via friends and family. Bribing people to post such profound wisdom as “Amazing first book!” or “My son’s… err I mean Mr. Blah blah blah’s writing is fantastic!” etc… 150 was a large enough number that it jumped out at me implying that 145 impartial folks read this book and thought it was good enough to actually go rate it.

I’m glad I took the leap of faith and spent the $2.99. I don’t know the author and am not one of his local game store buddies. That being said…. This book is damn good.

There is so much crap being published these days that the gems really sparkle when you find them. Throw a vampire in the story and it tops the “fantasy” best seller lists. Give me old school hero fantasy any day over the latest brooding wizard/druid/cleric modern day detective beset at all sides by fairies or demons pouring through a rift in reality. I like my fantasy filled with slashing swords and blood splatters with a dash magic thrown in to top things off. Good dialogue is a must as well as deep and evolving characters. Blood Song has it all.

What it doesn’t have is a professional editor. There are typos, wasted words and senseless plot direction. I read on the author’s web site that he signed a deal with an actual publisher. I can only imagine that with some subtle touching up, this book will blow up. However, the blemishes are minor and not distracting enough to drag you away from what is a very engaging and entertaining story.

Book length can be a plus or a minus. While this one stretches page limits and compares with some of the “War and Peace” fantasy novels like Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire or Erikson’s Malazan Books of the Fallen, it doesn’t drag along. Furthermore, while I mentioned “senseless plot direction” above, it is a minor complaint. I’m talking very small sections that could have been chopped. Nothing earth shattering like 136 different ongoing storylines with new ones begun every 4 or 5 pages or 27 new characters introduced in a paragraph with footnotes, flow charts and an appendix to keep track of everyone. Blood Song is basically one long POV from the main hero. A long journey from abandoned youth to hero the empire to political outcast and back again. The sky is the limit on the sequel. I hope Mr. Ryan doesn’t fall prey to is the endless plot loop that has struck Martin, Erikson, Jordan et all and instead, he continues to keep the story simple and progresses to conclusion. Good luck and keep them coming.

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