The Martyr (Covenant of Steel #2) by Anthony Ryan - Book Review

Write on: Sun, 29 May 2022 by  in Sue's Reviews Read 529

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.

“We live for the Lady! We fight for the Lady! We die for the Lady!”

Alwyn loyally follows her, gradually rising through the ranks as his loyalty is rewarded. He keeps to himself the secret of her having being brought back to life in the first book by the Caerith Sack Witch. It wasn’t a miracle after all and his dreams are now haunted by the vile Erchel:

“Erchel’s eyes slid towards me, a knowing smile playing over his lips. “The chainsman was not the only one cursed to hear the voices of the dead.” Seeing the fearful bafflement on my face, his smile blossomed to a laugh. “Do you really think you’re merely dreaming me, Alwyn?””

The Martyr is an epic tale set in a many layered medieval world of religion and politics with multiple weird and wonderful characters - some of whom are truly horrible. There is plenty of bloodthirsty action and the level of detail during the siege shows just how much research has gone into this series. Anthony Ryan is a wonderful storyteller and his narrator, Alwyn Scribe keeps the narrative flowing masterfully. There is barely any magic in this series, it being an attribute of the mysterious Caerith people alone. I would have liked less war and more of the Caerith and in particular the mysterious Sack Witch, so called for the sack she wears over her head. My favourite part of the book was Alwyn’s time amongst the Caerith and his friendship with Lilat the huntress, who went some way to replace Toria from The Pariah - but Toria’s attitude and feistiness were still sorely missed.

The Martyr is a worthy sequel to The Pariah and I recommend it for anyone who enjoyed that first book in the Covenant of Steel series.

Last modified on Sunday, 29 May 2022 14:14

Sue is British, living in Massachussetts since 2003. A Mum of two teens, she enjoys fantasy, SciFi, dystopian, thrillers, occasional historical fiction in both YA and adult genres. She wrote her grandad's life story during 2020 and has a couple of ideas for other books. You can find my reviews by Sue at