Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Blood Song (Raven's Shadow, #1)” as Want to Read:
Blood Song (Raven's Shadow, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Blood Song

(Raven's Shadow #1)

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  80,176 ratings  ·  4,366 reviews
“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 be trained and hardened to the austere, celibate, and dangerous life of a Warrior of the Faith. He has no
Kindle Edition, 591 pages
Published January 22nd 2012 by Anthony Ryan (first published 2011)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Blood Song, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Dan Really? You act as the censor board and select what books your teens are allowed to read? That's just swell. Don't just, you know, encourage them to r…moreReally? You act as the censor board and select what books your teens are allowed to read? That's just swell. Don't just, you know, encourage them to read without restriction and trust them not to repeat bad language they come across...(less)
Riki The Name of the Wind is your best bet. Not exactly a fighting school, but you'll understand the similarities when you read it. There's also The Ranger…moreThe Name of the Wind is your best bet. Not exactly a fighting school, but you'll understand the similarities when you read it. There's also The Ranger's Apprentice, though that's really more for kids.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.40  · 
Rating details
 ·  80,176 ratings  ·  4,366 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Blood Song (Raven's Shadow, #1)
Oct 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Coming-of-age fantasy fans
A masterwork you don't want to miss; it is with temerity that I declare Blood Song as one of the best debut novels I've ever read.

Why do I love this book? The simple answer would be because this is a book that has everything I love in epic fantasy and that it hit all the right notes for me. I could practically end my review with that answer but that wouldn't do justice to how great this book is. Now, it's time for me to take on the role of the Chronicler and inform you why it's essential for you
Mark Lawrence
Aug 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
The supremely epic tale of the biggest Gary Stu in the entire world, filled with grammatical and punctuation errors.

Fantasy and high fantasy is notorious for Gary Stus, we know that. Prime example: Harry Potter. Another example, the main character in one of my favorite HF of all time, Jorg Ancrath, by the awesome Marc Lawrence. As these examples have shown, Gary Stus are not awful. They can be amazing, the book can be immensely enjoyable.

This book is not one of them.

There is a way to write a Gar
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.
Emily May
Sep 26, 2015 marked it as dnf  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2015
I'm going to put this on hold at 25%.

Maybe I'll come back to it at a time when I can understand the 4.51 average rating. You know - a tiny 1% of those who read this book rated it 2 stars or less. Only 7% rated it 3 stars or less. As you're probably realizing, that means 93% either "really liked it" or thought "it was amazing". I can only conclude that my brain has been hijacked by something that doesn't appreciate amazing things.

But let me at least try to explain myself.

I'm not a big fan of ro
Dec 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: epic-fantasy
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! ...more
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.

Update: I just received an ARC of Anthony's third book in this series. So I just finished a re-read of this.
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Fantastic. Although, I worry about the rest of the trilogy as they don't have as good of reviews. I will check them later!

Mel 🖤🐾🐺
Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁
2/7/18 - ON SALE for $2.99:


Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

Sooooo . . . if you haven't already noticed, I've been on something of a fantasy kick of late. It's been years since I've gotten back to my roots, so now I'm playing catch-up. Anthony Ryan has been on my TBR for even longer than I'd realized . . . I have a problem . . . It's called "one-clicking." You may have a similar problem . . . *snickers*

Apparently I one-clicked BLOOD SONG before it got snapped up by Ace, b/c, ye
Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller
Trilogy Review: I thoroughly enjoyed the Raven’s Shadow Trilogy, especially the first book, Blood Song. It was easily a 5 star read and one of the best fantasies I’ve read since Sanderson’s Stormlight Archives. It focused on one character – Vaelin, and his coming of age story. Taking place in a school (one of my favorite settings) it offered a combative learning environment that honestly reminded me of Harry Potter adventures meets the medieval, gritty reality of Game of Thrones. The camaraderie ...more
Petros Triantafyllou
Sep 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Blood Song is, perhaps, the greatest self-published story i have read in the past five years.

To begin with, it features one of my two favorite fantasy schemes. A young protagonist apprentices himself to a magic military/faith monastery, and proceeds to become the greatest mage fighter the world has ever seen. But the general plot arc isn't the reason of this success. Everything else is.

Anthony's debut is an addictive page-turner with compelling writing, interesting plots and sub-plots, masterful
Jul 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
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
Mayim de Vries
Apr 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
“The song is me, my blood, my need, my hunt.”

A special school for wizards assassins. Haven't had those for a while. If done well (and it can be done badly), it is one of the safest tropes in fantasy. It usually combines a coming of age story with the brothers-in-wands arms ambiance and a quest for saving the world. And indeed the Blood Song seeped into my veins with this heady mixture of ingredients like the best of drugs. I read it with an increasing exhilaration and overwhelming sensation of b
Robin (Bridge Four)
Sale Alert 9/30/17: On Amazon for $2.99

Re-read before Queen of Fire is released.

Original Review September 2014

4.5 Stars

This Series is so hard to review...So Many Great Things Happened....Just Read It.
 photo Read_this_zps8706f1dc.png

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 ful
James Tivendale
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I've been reviewing arcs and judging for The Self Published Fantasy Blog Off recently which has taken up most of my time, so it was nice to just be able to choose a book that I owned that I just really wanted to read. I'll keep this review short and casual as there are many fine examples on Goodreads already. This book had everything that I look for in a fantasy story. It includes an intriguing and powerful lead character who we follow from youth for at least a decade. The world is well-crafted ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Jul 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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 basics...in 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
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, advanture
*** 4.25 ***

A Buddy read with the Fantasy Buddy Reads Group, where Fantasy Rules!!!

"... “Knowledge is what shapes us, little brothers,” he told them, for once his smile was absent, his tone entirely serious. “It makes us who we are. What we know informs everything we do and every decision we make.” ..."

The young man who was Vaelin Al Sorna, entered the Sixth Order when he was eleven years old and by the time he was in his early twenties he was known by many names, Darkblade, The Young Hawk,

First re-read finished. Rating stays the same.

Buddy re-read/read with a bunch of lovely friends at Sanctum of Fantasy group before book #3 comes out in the beginning of July. Want to join? :) We're starting on Monday, June 15th.

Original Review, 31 August, 2014

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!
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
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)

DNF at 76%

First of all, please allow me to apologize for giving this DNF such a high rating. I know many of you Little Barnacles are profoundly disappointed that I should sink so low as to give 3 scandalously generous stars to a book I dwidn't even finish. I am afraid this is my own fault for accustoming you to much higher DNFing standards, and you are quite justified in feeling horribly betrayed by my most shameful behavior. Now please allow me to repent and stuff. Be right back.

My soul is
John Gwynne
Aug 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Loved this. Found myself sneaking off to read more whenever possible, annoyed when life got in the way of my reading time. A serious page turner. Everything just clicked for me - plot, character, pace. Can't wait for the next one. ...more
May 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy

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
Nov 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Almost everyone has high praise for this book, it's often cited as a favourite. It is also often compared to In the Name of the Wind, which I didn't like.
I didn't particularly take to Blood Song although it seemed well written. I actually found it a bit slow and boring.
Jun 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
I had heard a lot of good things about this series but I felt that I went into it thinking it was going to be a three star at best I believe because it has been compared to Name of the Wind, a book that I enjoyed that was subsequently ruined by its sequel The Wise Man's Fear.

Blood Song is told in a similar manner. The story is told from the perspective of the main character Vaelin Al Sorna after the events have occurred. He is telling his story to a scribe who has heard the stories of the Hopeki
Nov 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Full review now posted!

There’s just something about school stories, be they wizarding schools or battle schools or even schools based in reality, that always just works for me.

I’ve always loved learning, and I love learning vicariously through others, even if the subject matter has no practical application. This is why Hogwarts will always feel like home, and why Battle School and all it inflicted on Ender Wiggin will always resonate for me, no matter how many times I visit. I’ve found another s
Jul 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Mogsy (MMOGC)
Jul 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook, war, epic, fantasy, magic
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum http://bibliosanctum.blogspot.com/201...

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
Tessy Ijachi
Oct 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
This book really messed with my emotions. I will admit I tossed and turned all night after finishing this book, I have never felt so anxious after finishing a book. It all felt so real. And that ending, goodness gracious, am literally holding myself back so as to not start the second book immediately.

”Raven’s shadow
sweeps across my heart,
Freezes the torrent of my tears.”

I foundrally been reading this book since last year, to say am disappointed in myself woukd be an understatement but am gl
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Warded Man (The Demon Cycle, #1)
  • Prince of Thorns (The Broken Empire, #1)
  • Malice (The Faithful and the Fallen, #1)
  • The Way of Shadows (Night Angel, #1)
  • The Emperor's Blades (Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne, #1)
  • Valor (The Faithful and the Fallen, #2)
  • Promise of Blood (Powder Mage, #1)
  • Ruin (The Faithful and the Fallen, #3)
  • Wrath (The Faithful and the Fallen, #4)
  • The Shadow of What Was Lost (The Licanius Trilogy, #1)
  • The Black Prism (Lightbringer, #1)
  • Free the Darkness (King's Dark Tidings #1)
  • The Rage of Dragons (The Burning #1)
  • King of Thorns (The Broken Empire, #2)
  • Theft of Swords (The Riyria Revelations, #1-2)
  • Prince of Fools (The Red Queen's War, #1)
  • Emperor of Thorns (The Broken Empire, #3)
  • The Desert Spear (Demon Cycle, #2)
See similar books…
See top shelves…
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

Other books in the series

Raven's Shadow (3 books)
  • Tower Lord (Raven's Shadow, #2)
  • Queen of Fire (Raven's Shadow, #3)

Articles featuring this book

Dragons, demons, kings, queens, and the occasional farm boy (with a special destiny, of course): Fantasy literature has it all! To celebrate...
520 likes · 292 comments
“War is always an adventure to those who've never seen it.” 114 likes
“Knowledge is what shapes us, little brothers,” he told them, for once his smile was absent, his tone entirely serious. “It makes us who we are. What we know informs everything we do and every decision we make.” 60 likes
More quotes…