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The Pariah

(Covenant of Steel #1)

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  4,248 ratings  ·  499 reviews
Born into the troubled kingdom of Albermaine, Alwyn Scribe is raised as an outlaw. Quick of wit and deft with a blade, Alwyn is content with the freedom of the woods and the comradeship of his fellow thieves. But an act of betrayal sets him on a new path - one of blood and vengeance, which eventually leads him to a soldier's life in the king's army.

Fighting under the comma
Kindle Edition, 600 pages
Published August 24th 2021 by Orbit
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Tyler Ash I suggest reading the Raven's Shadow series. Blood Song is one of my all time favorite books. I personally did not care for his second series though b…moreI suggest reading the Raven's Shadow series. Blood Song is one of my all time favorite books. I personally did not care for his second series though because of preferences against steam punk type worlds. His stories are great and I am definitely going to give Pariah a shot. (less)
HassanTheAthenian As much Mary Sue as Name of the Wind (which I love anyway.)

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Average rating 4.28  · 
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 ·  4,248 ratings  ·  499 reviews

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Aug 20, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ARC provided by the publisher—Orbit—in exchange for an honest review.

I’ve read every novel by Anthony Ryan, and The Pariah just might have his best prose so far.

"When the task is a killing, be quick and make sure of it. Torment is an indulgence. Save it for only the most deserving."

There were three reasons why I was incredibly excited to read The Pariah. One, excluding novellas and short stories, I’ve read every novel by Anthony Ryan, and I plan to keep it that way. Second, the cover
Aug 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’m bumping this up to five stars because I still can’t stop thinking about this awesome book.

4.5 stars. At the beginning of this epic fantasy I wasn’t sure if this was the right book for me, but now that I’ve finished it, I can’t wait for the next one to come out!

This one has it all: politics, religion, battle scenes, doomsayer, outlaws, and a main character who you will continuously root for.

After being kicked out of the only home he knew, Alwyn Scribe was raised as an outlaw in the kingdom
La Crosse County Library
After college, Bloodsong by Anthony Ryan got me back into fantasy and reading for fun after randomly picking it up in a bookstore. It opened a new door for me in exploring self-published books and other books that were less popular. The landscape for fantasy changed since I used to read it while I was still in school where there were only a few releases by new authors every year.

Now, there are a plethora of new authors getting discovered and publishing books through numerous different ways fr
The Pariah by Anthony Ryan is that fantasy sword and magic novel that you’ve been waiting for all year. Even at 600 pages, it is a book that you will open and not want to put down even if it takes all night. And, yes, it is the start of a brand new series — so there is more to come in the future.

What succeeds so well is that the narrative voice is that of Alwyn Scribe, born into the troubled kingdom of Albermaine, but raised as an outlaw. For some reason, witches and martyrs place their faith in
Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller
I now have a Booktube channel! Find me at: The Obsessive Bookseller

Pariah was my most-anticipated fantasy release of 2021. I was so excited… and I wished I’d liked it more.

A couple of things sort of sapped my enjoyment of this book. Things that may not bother others as much as they did me. For starters, the plot felt like it reset itself a couple of times throughout. Just as I was getting settled in with the characters and the situation, it would flip on its head and I’d have to start over again
May 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Rating: 9.25/10

Thanks to the publisher and author for an advance reading copy of The Pariah (The Covenant of Steel #1) for review consideration. This did not influence my thoughts or opinions.

The Pariah is a sharp, brutal tale and a brilliant introduction to the Covenant of Steel series. While the story itself is grim and bloody, Ryan’s prose and characterization are a beacon in the darkness. A remarkable story that I did not want to end.

Before killing a man, I always found it calming to regard
Jan 21, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a great story! I wasn't sure what to expect as I'd avoided reading anything about it, but I've read several books by Mr. Ryan, and knew that I enjoyed his writing. I was confident I would enjoy. Now, this is my favorite of his so far. I can hardly wait for the second book to come out in June (which I have preordered already!). I highly recommend to fans of epic fantasy. 5.0/5.0 stars. ...more
William Gwynne
Anthony Ryan is a great author who has crafted some of my favourite characters and moments of all time in literature, so of course I was going to be diving into The Pariah. The sequel is set to be published in just a few months, so now is the perfect time to jump in.

The Pariah was a thoroughly enjoyable read, which is narrated very well by Steven Brand. It is a very original fantasy tale, but with some familiar aspects that most fans of the genre will enjoy. It is told in the form of a chronicle
Arundeepak J
Jun 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

The Pariah by Anthony Ryan is a beautiful and brutal tale with some of the finest written action/battle sequences I've ever read. Needless to say it was a brilliant first entry in The Covenant of Steel series

First of all huge thanks to the author and publishers for accepting my request in Netgalley and it goes without saying that this review is my unbiased opinion.

Quick Summary: The Pariah, first entry in the The Covenant of Steel series follows the story of Alwyn Scribe, an outlaw of sha
Sep 07, 2021 rated it liked it
The synopsis gives you a false sense of the book's pacing. Events take way longer to unfold than what you'd expect from reading the synopsis. This slower pacing has authorial intent written all over it, whether it succeeded or not will depend upon the reader, personally I found it mildly annoying. The Protagonist Alwyn Scribe does not seem to have any sort of end goal throughout the book (other than trying to save his own skin which he does poorly). The plot felt aimless for the most part and th ...more
Dannii Elle
This is the first instalment in The Covenant of the Steel series.

Alwyn is the son of a whore and was raised as an outlaw. His early teachings were in bloodshed and treachery and he became a product of his beloved surroundings. All that changed when betrayal severed apart his rule-breaking family and he swapped the forests for the pits, where a new education began. As Alwyn learnt new skills there he never forgot one of the first he was taught - to never forget those who had wronged you and to re
One of the best (epic) fantasy novels I've read in a while and definitely the top fantasy of 2021 at least so far; first-person narration with hints about the future, the usual grimdark setting with gods, churches, revelations, prophecies, secrets etc; the ending is at a good stopping point and promises a lot to come.

Highly recommended
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
3.5 Stars
This was a gritty, classic fantasy narrative of revenge. I have read a lot of revenge stories and while this one was not particularly fresh, I still genuinely enjoyed it

The strongest aspect for me was the characters. I liked that they were all complex with their own moral codes and motivations. Told in first person narration, the story felt Intimidate with that close perspective. The plot itself was good, but nothing new that I haven't seen before. It's a good novel with strong prose bu
Alyssa (Intotheheartwyld)
Thank you Orbit and Netgalley for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Well lets just jump right into this. As we can all see I had a vastly different reaction to this story in comparison to others who have read this. This is actually my first full length novel by Anthony Ryan, but not my first foray into his writing, I am actually reading his novella series The Seven Swords, and I enjoy them. So I figured I would enjoy this as well since I had been wanting to read a longer
Apr 03, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Masterpiece. This book started off kind of slow to me but after things start to happen (being vague on purpose) it never really lets up and is quite the page turner! This is a first person story narrated by the main character from a point later on in their life starting from when he was seventeen and part of an outlaw band of thieves that live in the woods.

The setting is gritty, low magic (next to none, and what their is the main character certainly doesn't understand it) and quite graphically v
Sep 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
5 / 5 ✪


Born into a whorehouse of Albermaine, Alwyn Scribe was raised as an outlaw by the infamous Deckin Scarl. Always quick with a word or a knife, Alwyn was outlaw material at its finest—something that he’d never lose even after becoming a military man. But while fighting under the banner of Evadine Courlain, a noblewoman with apocalyptic visions and the heart of a warrior, he’s seemed to find his true calling.

But that’s the thing about one’s calling: it
Flying Monkey
Oct 25, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audible, 2021
4 Stars!

A solid start to the Covenant of Steel Series. I loved the first person point of view as it really set the tone and enabled some great character development in this first book. I'm really looking forward to the next one.
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Dec 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021

“Thus spoke Ulthnir, Father of the Altvar: Every battle is a forge, and every soul that survives the flames is made stronger.”
The events of a long and interesting life have forced me to conclude that Ulthnir, like many a god, was full of shit.

Alwyn Scribe is tested to the very limit of his endurance in this first book that describes his long and interesting life. Anthony Ryan takes his sweet time building up his character and the setting, making for an immersive fantasy journey – possibl
Wick Welker
Dec 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Holy plotwhich


I'm huge fan of Blood Song by Anthony Ryan, one of my top fantasy books so I was super excited to dig into his newest series with The Pariah. This book definitely did not disappoint but I'm not sure it was totally what I was expecting.

The main thing to say about this book is wow was that a lot of plot. We follow a single first person POV character through a mega ton dosage of plot. There are many settings, characters and power systems going on in these pages. It made for a mo
Jul 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This author has never failed to make me not love any of his books. This is superbly written full of well written characters full of twist and turns. Also shows the good and bad sides of human nature in all its glory.

A touch of grimdark to give it back bone and to make us the readers come back for more.

Another great start to a new series
Kyle Erickson
Dec 28, 2021 rated it it was ok
I received an ARC for this in June. It took me an extremely long time to read and I ended up buying it on audio as a deal and finishing it that way. My biggest problem with it is that you absolutely should NOT read the summary of the book. Everything that is mentioned in the summary doesn't happen until 45% through the book and it just crushes momentum. I've seen other reviews say the same thing, so it's definitely not just me that was affected by this. It felt like the entire first 20% felt lik ...more
Jun 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The education of Alwyn Scribe

Opening with a map and a Dramatis Personae, I was immediately grateful to the author, as I sometimes find myself overwhelmed with keeping track of characters and places.
The story is a memoir of a whore's child abandoned to the forest , which begins a life of self preservation and unusual loyalties. As with Blood Song, it's all in the telling, and Anthony Ryan is one of the best at slowly weaving the threads of a character's life into a fascinating journey. Life as a
Feb 12, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You can check out my spoiler free review here! https://youtu.be/WyubE5bENCc ...more
Aug 24, 2021 marked it as didn-t-finish
The Pariah is the first entry in a new series by Anthony Ryan. It follows Alwyn Scribe, an outlaw who lives in the woods with his comrades. However, a betrayal sets him on a new path filled with blood and vengeance.

I’d like to thank Orbit Books and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC of this novel. Unfortunately for me it was a DNF. I got to 22% which is about 120ish pages in, so I can only talk about that first 22%. I definitely think that this was well-written and the character work stuck
David S Meanderings)
DO NOT read the synopsis directly before starting this book!

DNF @ 77%

Thank you to Orbit books for this arc in exchange for an honest review.

I was so excited for this book. Anthony Ryan is one of my favorite authors and his debut novel Blood Song is one of my favorite single novels of all time. Unfortunately it will probably go down as my most disappointing read of 2021.

I am not going to star rate this book. I don't think it's fair to either the book or the author. Let me explain.

My biggest issue
Jovana (NovelOnMyMind)
3.5 ⭐

I was in a mood for a nice, long epic fantasy, and The Pariah seemed like the exact kind of book I needed. But I ended up having mixed feelings about it.

I listened to this book as an audiobook. I really liked the narrator. But, as most epic fantasies, this one would probably be easier to read at least partially physically. Just because it really helps when I can see all the unfamiliar names on the paper, plus the maps…

Anyways, there were several things I really liked about The Pariah. The w
Karen Barber
Aug 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The Pariah is my first experience of reading anything by Anthony Ryan, and I can safely say it won’t be my last. Thanks to NetGalley for giving me the chance to read this prior to publication, and to the author for delivering a book that would seem to be the first in what promises to be an exciting trilogy.
Our main character is Alwyn Scribe, and events are narrated through his eyes. This means there are some details about him and his past that we don’t get answers to, but it does allow us a clea
May 02, 2022 rated it it was amazing
I’m stingy, everybody knows. This book is five stars front-to-back, and that’s no lie. I especially love that when a character shows up again later in the book, there is a turn of phrase or recollection by the hero that brings that minor character fully back to mind. I’ve never seen this done with such skill. The editing and proofreading are meticulous, I don’t think I caught three errors.

Here’s a story starting with a young thief, son of a dead whore, turned out of the brothel at ten, who gets
Aug 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebook-2021

The Pariah by Anthony Ryan is the first novel in The Covenant of Steel, an all new epic fantasy trilogy introducing a perilous, yet compelling journey through the eyes of an outlaw.

With a prose and narrative style that is dark, brave and full of spirit, The Pariah features politics, religion, myths, lost treasure, buried history, and exceptionally well written battle scenes. The reader follows Alwyn Scribe on his harrowing journey beyond the dark reaches of the Shavine Marches in search of
Dec 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Anthony Ryan continues to deliver with masterful storytelling and beautiful prose that sucks you into its pace with ease! Easily one of my favorite reads this year and I cant wait to read the second book in the series!
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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

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