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The Black Song

(Raven's Blade #2)

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  2,145 ratings  ·  139 reviews
The Black Song is the action-packed conclusion to the Raven's Blade series by Anthony Ryan, which began with The Wolf's Call.

The Steel Horde has laid waste to the Venerable Kingdom, unleashing a storm of fire and blood. Now the leader of this mighty host - Kehlbrand, the warlord who thinks himself a god - turns his eyes to the other merchant kingdoms. No one can stop his d
Kindle Edition, 498 pages
Published July 28th 2020 by Orbit
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Average rating 4.21  · 
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Aug 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Anthony Ryan has delivered a satisfying action-packed conclusion to Raven’s Blade while leaving room for one or two more books in the world.

“He lies. They all do, these servants of things unseen. Long ago I learned that prophecy is always built on shifting sands and destiny an illusion used to banish fear of the chaos that is life. I trust what I know. I’ve seen what waits on the other side of death so I know it’s always better to cling to life.”

The Black Song is the second book in
Robin (Bridge Four)
Out Today!!! 4Aug20

This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart

Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Black Song is the conclusion to the Raven’s Blade duology and is set 5 years after the events in it’s parent trilogy Raven’s Shadow.  While you could read this without reading the other trilogy I wouldn’t.  Even though the Queens Fire (Raven’s Shadow #3) was a disappointing ending for me I think so m
Jan 16, 2021 added it
Shelves: dnf
Back to his old tricks again. It’s a no from me.
Aug 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Ryan does it again with quenching our thirst for more Vaelin.
Vaelin is confronted with more inner struggle, as he sets out on his quest to end the Darkblade, sending him on a memorable journey. There's plenty of blade action, battles, confrontations, and even some humor.
Having listened to this one on audible, Steven Brand did a great job as usual bringing the characters to life.
Aug 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An action-packed adventure that thrills with grim and hopeful moments, magicking the allure of epic stories tinged with blood, and at the same time opens the mystery, allure, and darkness that belies in the world of men and gods. This is a fitting conclusion to the duology, but, the end was not the closing end, for Ryan has left much to explore the rich world of the epic books he has crafted. I definitely want more of the Wolf and the Tiger.

The story is bloody, and I mean it literally. The pacin
Calvin Giroulx
Jun 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Vaelin Freaking Al Sorna! The Black Song is the fantastic ending to the Raven’s Blade that far exceeded my very high expectations. Picking up immediately after the fall of Keshin-Kho, Vaelin is on the run but has recovered a lost gift of the Dark. What follows is a lean, breakneck-paced book filled with outstanding world-building, sharp dialogue, and fully developed characters (thankfully not nearly as many as the overwhelmingly large cast of Queen Of Fire). As readers know, Anthony Ryan can wri ...more
Lashaan Balasingam (Bookidote)

You can find my review on my blog by clicking here.

Upon encountering a devastating loss, how far would you go to exact revenge upon those who have made you suffer? If given the shot or the opportunity to tip the scales in your favour at the cost of your sanity, of resembling the very evil that you endeavoured to take down, would you capture it or would you let it slip? Sometimes the answer to these questions lies not in what we believe but what the journey towards retribution has to offer. Compl
Aug 05, 2020 rated it it was ok
It's a bit anticlimactic, compared to Ryan's past trilogy it's missing some omph and build up. Character development is low, not much happens in a way, when a side character died it fell flat and our main bad guy is not very good. During the final climax I was kinda surprised when it was over. I missed a lot the fake outs and one ups from the last novels where every action is met with counter action, plans in within plans, etc. Here we have a Magic macguffin that saves the day. I really don't kn ...more
Michael Sliter
Dec 11, 2020 rated it liked it
Review to come. 3.49 (can’t quite round up)
Sotiris Karaiskos
Aug 16, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: high-fantasy, fantasy
After a first part which was more of an introduction to the story, with the introduction of the main characters, the description of the political context and various other complicated things follows a second one where things are clearer as what concerns us is mainly the war confrontations. The action is continuous, the pace is fast as the author takes us from battle to battle and this, combined with the general atmosphere reminiscent of Chinese history, gives me a feeling that I dare say reflect ...more
Stephen Richter
Book Two in the Raven's series. Carrying on with the story of Vaelin Al Sorna, who we first met in Blood Song. Most of this book has Vaelin running south away from the advance of the armies of Kehlbrand AKA the Darkblade. As Vaelin high tails it south he sounds the warning and gather allies. Most of the book is devoted to this effort. The plot and pace are both excellent and Ryan has created a mass of secondary characters to enjoy in their interaction with Vaelin. Excellent way to end this rare ...more
Flying Monkey
Aug 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible, 2020
4 Stars!

The Black Song, the finale to the Raven's Blade Duology, provides a satisfying conclusion to the series. I really enjoyed Obvar's accounts and the insights into the Dark Blade. Vaelin's character was solid as usual and I enjoyed his POV.
Jon Adams
Aug 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Fuckin A. This was amazing.
Nov 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: epic-fantasy

"The blood-song can be dark, Beral Shak Ur, but it can also shine very brightly indeed.”

I had no idea this quote from Blood Song would fit so well. I remembered it just when the name of second book in this duology was announced and it proved to be strangely prophetic.

Vaelin's Blood Song was such a huge part of his legend and overall journey in the first book, I felt its loss in rest of the series. It was that magical part of mythical persona author was building around him and as much as
Aug 09, 2020 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book. This book is everything Queen of Fire should have been and I for one am very thankful for this dualogy
Pyramids Ubiquitous
It's hard to imagine that Anthony Ryan wasn't in some way pressured into writing this duology by fan reactions to the original Raven's Shadow trilogy. The Raven's Blade novels see Ryan reviving the Vaelin that readers grew to love in Blood Song, and whose relevance was increasingly diminished throughout the original trilogy. These books are all Vaelin, all the time; this is both its strength and its weakness.

The biggest flaw in Queen of Fire, in my opinion, was that things became needlessly comp
Online Eccentric Librarian
Jun 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, arc
More reviews at the Online Eccentric Librarian

More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog

This second book in the Raven's Blade series continues directly from the first book, Wolf's Call. If you liked the first book, you won't be disappointed here: the story and writing are as solid as ever. I love the Eastern aspects of it, even if it reads more like a kung-fu movie than honest history. I also love that when the good guys do well it's because they were smart, not because evil is dumb.

The main plot is all
Wes Spence
Aug 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This seemed like a redemption book to me, not only for Vaelin, but for Anthony Ryan as well. I wasn't in the camp of those who vehemently hated "Tower Lord" and "The Burning Queen", in fact, I loved Tower lord, but it has been great with this duology to have a focus on Vaelin again. Especially since "Blood Song" is in my top 50 books. All Vaelin perspective (which people missed), but in my opinion not enough references to Blood song. His "crew" that he grew up with, fought, and some died for him ...more
Sep 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It was an absolute joy to be immersed into the life of Vaelin Al Sorna once again! I truly do hope more will come in the future
Aug 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The saga of Vaelin Al Sorna continues as he strives to fight against Kelbrand, the Dark Blade. Vaelin is the Thief of Names and is powerless to stop the Staahlhast horde as they ravage the Far Western lands of the Merchant Kings. However, Vaelin is able to get his old song back... but yet... this song is not necessarily the same 'blessing of heaven' as the Bloodsong.

At the beginning of the Black Song, Vaelin finds himself in an utter mess... constantly retreating in the face of stronger forces.
Aug 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.2 / 5 ✪

Beware Spoilers for the Wolf’s Call and minor spoilers for the Raven’s Shadow trilogy.

The Stahlhast have laid waste to an entire continent en route to the Merchant Kingdoms of the far east. Kehlbrand, the true Darkblade, thinks himself a living god—though his divine power comes from his connection to a certain stone, one that is inured with the Dark. With this power he controls a vast army of fanatics and mercenaries, murders and rapists, along wi
Oct 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This now concludes the end of Raven's Blade. It was a thrilling action-packed adventure that offered some of the most detailed schemes of war I have ever read.

It certainly brings nothing new to the table, more of the same formula. That is not a bad thing though, as we get the chance to see just how terrible war is and how it changes everything. The book is filled with action (more than any other book of Ryan's). It takes the first and second stage, leaving little room for anything else. One of
ashy kim
Nov 04, 2020 rated it liked it
The story starts off super well with fast-paced adventure, and Vaelin continues to be an exciting protagonist. After the Temple of Spears arc though, the book starts to monotonize and loses its spirit. The characters aren't as fleshed out in this novel, so the middle plot seems to drag these characters on without any special nuances or memorable idiosyncrasies from them. It feels like the writing just describes what happens, without any revelations from character dialogue or feelings. Still not ...more
Nov 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Big fan of Blood Song and liked the rest of that trilogy. I feel like Ryan's writing since then (maybe since Tower Lord) has devolved into tell not show. Pages of telling the reader what has happened, is happening, etc instead of allowing you to experience the story with the characters. Especially the Draconis Memoria trilogy. I want to give all his books 4+ stars just because I loved Blood Song so much, but I reckon that's not the point of this rating system. All of the characters in this duolo ...more
Edward Silverman
Jan 10, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a solid ending to the duology, though, after having built up the Big Bad, I almost felt the wrap up was too easy-things seemed to wrap up must faster than I would have otherwise thought. That said, the action for this book was amazing and it provided an excellent escape. I still want to see more of this world, and I think the author must have something grander and even more epic in mind as this feels like it was a nice appetizer for something huge coming down the road, which more epic b ...more
Aug 16, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. It took a while before I was able to get into this book, but in the end I did enjoy the conclusion to the duology. Vaelin's magic has returned (finally), but now it's evil, which causes him to isolate himself even more from his friends and comrades. This gives the book a kind of depressing feel to it. Also, Sherrin is pretty obnoxious in this book, and I kind of wish a new love interest had been introduced. ...more
Aug 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Received an ARC while on lockdown which made Anthony Ryan even more of a hero to me than he already is. If you have an unassailable feeling of love and protectiveness for Vaelin al Sorna as I grew to have, this book will test those feelings and give you a better, more well-rounded experience of him. The author doesn’t disappoint in the way he created this new land and the characters are just as intriguing, which keeps us wanting more. There’s absolutely no way it ends here!
Atay Kozlovski
Aug 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
this is perhaps more like 3.5 stars. while i enjoyed the book i felt that many of the characters were underdeveloped and that the solution to the situation was a bit too mystical... in general i cant really understand the dark and all that it does.. the whole battle of the tiger and wolf was a bit too out there for me..
all in all i think that i only read this series because of how much i enjoyed blood song. What i did like about the two new books is going back to the single perspective storylin
Nov 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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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

Other books in the series

Raven's Blade (2 books)
  • The Wolf's Call (Raven's Blade #1)

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“Time,’ he told me, ‘is both precious and worthless. It is eternal and fleeting. Like clay, you may make of it what you will, if your hands possess the skill to do so.” 1 likes
“Vaelin paused to turn and offer a parting bow. "And only a fool sticks his head in a noose when no one is holding the rope.” 0 likes
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