I would like to thank NetGalley and Orbit Books for granting me access to a digital advance review copy of The Martyr by Anthony Ryan. My review is honest and my opinions are my own.
A continuation from the point we left off with The Pariah, this sequel is once more told by Alwyn Scribe now among the trusted advisors of the Risen Martyr, as the Anointed Lady Evadine Couravel is now known. The followers of the Covenant Company are heading to war and most of this book is set during the battles and sieges that constitute the war.
Blood Song is an artfully crafted coming of age tale full of friendship, love, war, and magic. Fans of epic fantasy rightfully revere this as one of the best fantasy novels of the last decade. The opening sequence of the narrative evokes comparison to Robin Hobbs’ Assassin’s Apprentice. Both novels are framed with an outer narrator filling in the gaps for the more tightly focused main sequence. There is a lot of common ground in the two works, each richly painting physical details and characters in a manner that immerses the reader at once, and keeps them riveted to the account.
The Wolf's Call marks a fantastic return to the magnificent character Vaelin AL Sorna. A riveting journey with amazing battles and an immersive world.
"Mercy requires strength, compassion demands courage and wisdom compels truth."
The Wolf's Call is the first book in the Raven's Blade series, a new book back into the life of Vaelin Al Sorna, one of my favourite characters of all time!
I love that Anthony Ryan has returned to a 1 PoV that stuck with Vaelin, as you just can't get better than the warrior himself. His character is so developed now. His honourable nature conflicts with the haunts of his past, especially when he finds that one of his few loved ones are in imminent and potentially fatal danger.
Ryan's prose is great as usual, straight to the point with a fast pace that was constantly enjoyable and made a lot happen in this 400 page novel. Not only were there masterfully written battles, but the political aspects were intriguing and thoroughly enjoyable as well.
This series travels to a different continent of the world that has a completely different culture, where nomadic hordes pose the main threat. Ryan efficiently depicted this new land and made this novel very different to his former books.
"Betrayal is always the worst sin."
This was a very strong opening novel to a new series, with great action, and one of my favourite duels that I have ever read! The large scale conflict was brilliantly described and formed a vivid picture in my mind.
I would recommend that you read Blood Song, and possibly Tower Lord in the previous series to enjoy this book to its optimum level. I did not read Queen of Fire, and did not feel like I was missing out particularly on any major aspect.
I look forward to the next book coming out, it will be a frustrating wait until then. I shall wait for Vaelin to return!