REVIEW: Blood Song (Raven's Shadow) by Anthony Ryan

Blood Song - Anthony  Ryan

A single person point of view novel with a plot we've all seen before. As a young boy, the protagonist is dumped by his father at a religious order of warriors and begins a grueling life of training, bonding and surviving hardships.

 

The book very nearly scored a miss with me as the opening chapter was the point of view of someone else who meets the protagonist years later, and they talk about some of the things he did. Normally, I'm not to fond of such a thing, but in this case it turned out to not matter much due to a good trick, which I won't spoil.

 

Anyway, as I happen to like stories like these, and the writing was solid, so I kept at it. And it's a good thing I did because it turns out there is a plot deeper than just the coming of age. There is a major plot line underneath it all and there was a twist at the end that was surprising as well.

 

My only real complaint is that it all seems a bit... flat. I never get the idea something is really good or bad because the characters all respond in a relatively even-handed manner to even the most heinous things, or brush it off quickly. The twist I mentioned earlier suffered from that as well, the impact that should be there just isn't.

 

Final verdict:

Solid, but not great. Ultimately there was nothing here that truly compelled me. If you like coming of age fantasy, you cannot go wrong here.