Blood Song (Anthony Ryan) discussion

Danica

Queen of the boards!
Staff member
#1
I want to talk about this book having just read it. I have no heard anyone say a bad thing about it and would like to hear why people loved it so. I really enjoyed it myself and i am eagerly awaiting the next instalment. I have no idea where the series will go. All i know it is is called Tower Lord.

I loved the plot, loved the structure (
felt that there was an issue with part 4 and the 1st chapter not being in sequential order when all other chapters were
) and I loved the main character.

I had issue with the last section of the book
so complex and full of plots and riddles and general confusion. I felt that so much focus on the main character with glimpses into other lives left me at a loss. i wanted to know more about their motivations, plans and their impact on the storyline, i felt i was left wanting.

Really well written reminded me a bit of the Wise Man's Fear with the chronicler stylistically but a really interesting book, that is for sure!!
 

Frizzo0133

Is a wondrous friend of modest Kruppe
#2
I said in the "What are you reading" thread, but this is easily one of the best books I've read all year.

Structurally it is similar to Rothfuss' KKC thus far. It's a character telling his story to another character, said character goes to school, he's pretty good at allot, he makes friends, etc... Obviously the world is far harsher in Blood Song and the narrative style is completely different when relating Vaelin's past events.

I think the things you mentioned as confusing are only so now that we've only got Book One of who knows how many? I'm assuming that we'll get different POV's that interconnect with what we saw in future volumes of the series, or at least an explanation of the hows and whys of the events, there is too much in Blood Song not to expect it.

I'm at a bit of a loss trying to think of something that bothered me about the book. It was incredibly well written, the characters and world all fleshed out to a point that besides wanting to know more I can't think of any negatives, the plot got a little dry at a couple of points, but a few pages later the book picked right back up and started sprinting again, but even the dry parts felt necessary to the plot as a whole. There's allot to love about this book and not a whole lot that I can nit pick, I'm sure I can find something if I looked hard enough, but I really don't feel like it right now. I want to know what happens next, I want to know what happened in the past, and I want to see more of the world Ryan created.

I'll recommend Blood Song to pretty much everyone, if you dig fantasy it's one of the best series debut novels I've come across recently, it's one of the best books of the year thus far, and it certainly jumped Anthony Ryan up my list of authors to watch and this series up to a first day purchase when the next volume comes out.
 

Antoxx

Journeyed there and back again
#3
I wrote a review for it which hopefully encapsulates how much I enjoyed it. Certainly one of my best reads for the year too and likewise whole heartedly recommend it.
 

Laurentius

Super Moderator
Staff member
#4
Ditto. I really enjoyed the 'play' between Vaelin and the chronicler. H could see Vaelin left out parts of the story and see there was more to this intense and charismatic human being, but he didnt want to or couldnt believe it. I loved how the chronicler finally stood up for Vaelin in the end and called the 'execution' a farce, and then just left.

There was plenty of great moments in this book. Vaelin is one of the better characters out there. He knows he's neither good nor bad and seems to rest in himself. A very enjoyable read.

Ive read it through two times since I wrote a review of it, and dont feel there's any confusion to the end. The story isleft open to a sequel however. That sequel will have tobea bookclub. Such a great book. Did you guys read the selfpublished version of it or the professionally published version just released?
 

Sandman

Has been in the eye of the world
#5
I also enjoyed this book. It is a must read for any fantasy lover and a must re-read for me. And I mus concur with others that it is one of the best books I've read all year. Definitely an oustanding debut for Mr. Ryan.
 

Zarien

Knows how to pronounce Kvothe
#6
Yeah Anthony Ryan defintely set himself up for success with how good his first book was. He did a nice Q&A on the /r/Fantasy Goodreads page because it was the book of the month for August.
 

fbones24

Journeyed there and back again
#8
I'm finishing up Liveship Traders and planning on taking a short break from Hobb after going straight through Farseer and Liveship. I can't decide whether to read Blood Song or The Thousand Names by Django Wexler. Is Blood Song as good as the reviews make it out to be. I put down Wise Man's Fear because I could not stand it after a while. For background, I love strong characters like HObb and deep writing like Bakker.
 

fbones24

Journeyed there and back again
#10

fbones24

Journeyed there and back again
#12
Plowed through Blood Song in just a few days. A real "page turner" for a fantasy book. Plot driven, but I did truly start to connect with some of the characters by the end of the book. The book was dark with little humor and while not gory, it had its violent moments. I really enjoyed this book. The first 50% was incredible. It weakened towards the middle but I liked the last 1/3 although the ending was a little convoluted...not confusing...just strange.

The main character is a serious bad ass. The Bloody Nine is a bad ass, but in a caricature sort of way. Vaelin Al Sorna is a bad ass in a really believable way.

Coming from reading Farseer and Liveship, this was a great change of pace and I will be purchasing the next one the day it is released. 4 out of 5 for me.
 

Laurentius

Super Moderator
Staff member
#14
The magic is awesome. I like how it is referred to as "singing" for Vaelin.

"What can you do in a cell for 5 years?"

"Sing"

Or something like that. Awesome!
 

Laughing Mime

Mixes poisons and sharpens knives with Kylar
#15
I burned through this book in 2 days, staying up on a work night to 2am to read the last chapter. Suffice to say, I loved it.

A few minor issues i had with the book:
1) Vaelin had to make the difficult choice of either breaking his word to the king (and suffering the ramifications of this) or breaking his personal code and murdering the noble's son. Instead of resolving this with meaning the author took the easy path and had the noble killed in a way that the King would think Vaelin had kept his word. I would have much preferred if Vaelin had made the choice and suffered for his decision either way. I felt cheated by the author.

2) We find at the end that the chronicler didn't get the same story we read, Vaelin leaving out details to protect parties. Maybe i missed the part of the story where this was justified but it felt disjointed to me, we were meant to be following the story Vaelin was telling the chronicler right? If we were getting a completely different story then why include the chronicler at all.

3) Enough with the prophecies already. This is more of a problem i have with fantasy in general but as soon as there is a prophecy/fate angle it kills all suspense for me. Its like someone spoiling a series before I've read it. Once again i felt cheated by the author when Vaelin had to made the choice between his family's safety and backing the King's plan for murder and mayhem. Instead of putting the responsibility on Vaelin the decision was made because a prophecy told that their only chance of revealing the Big Bad was to go along with the king. This author seems too scared to have his main character make decisions that might turn some of the audience against him.

For these reasons I think Matthew Stover's work is superior. Still, I'm very excited for book two!
 

Danica

Queen of the boards!
Staff member
#16
1
) Vaelin had to make the difficult choice of either breaking his word to the king (and suffering the ramifications of this) or breaking his personal code and murdering the noble's son. Instead of resolving this with meaning the author took the easy path and had the noble killed in a way that the King would think Vaelin had kept his word. I would have much preferred if Vaelin had made the choice and suffered for his decision either way. I felt cheated by the author.

2) We find at the end that the chronicler didn't get the same story we read, Vaelin leaving out details to protect parties. Maybe i missed the part of the story where this was justified but it felt disjointed to me, we were meant to be following the story Vaelin was telling the chronicler right? If we were getting a completely different story then why include the chronicler at all.

3) Enough with the prophecies already. This is more of a problem i have with fantasy in general but as soon as there is a prophecy/fate angle it kills all suspense for me. Its like someone spoiling a series before I've read it. Once again i felt cheated by the author when Vaelin had to made the choice between his family's safety and backing the King's plan for murder and mayhem. Instead of putting the responsibility on Vaelin the decision was made because a prophecy told that their only chance of revealing the Big Bad was to go along with the king. This author seems too scared to have his main character make decisions that might turn some of the audience against him.
Points one and three are really interesting. i didn't really think about the actions in terms of 'character not having to make the hard decisions' but i can definite see your point of view

Point two i agree with .. how weird was that! i was like ahh huh? but by the time i got to the ending i was so in love with the book i forgave it that confusing point.
 

fbones24

Journeyed there and back again
#17
Points one and three are really interesting. i didn't really think about the actions in terms of 'character not having to make the hard decisions' but i can definite see your point of view

Point two i agree with .. how weird was that! i was like ahh huh? but by the time i got to the ending i was so in love with the book i forgave it that confusing point.
Odd, but point #2 was something that I loved about this book. I thought it was awesome that we, the readers had some sort of inside scoop. :) I thought that was a great touch.
 

HeroineOfCanton

Downed a vial of metals
#19
*walks quietly in*

Um, hello. It's been, well, forever since I've been here. Between RL obligations (I'm now running two book clubs a month for work) and changing reading habits, I haven't been reading a ton of fantasy the past couple years. I vowed to myself at one point I would come back to this forum when I finished Queen of Fire, but I kind of never got all the way through it. But I needed a new audiobook yesterday, so I got that. I was fine with having to start back over at the beginning of that book, but what I'm realizing is that I forget sooooooooo much about the first two books. Can anyone help this sad Prodigal Daughter out with a good spoiler summary somewhere? (Aside--Why can't all authors be Tad Williams in this respect?)

Thanks!
 

TomTB

The Master Tweeter
Staff member
#20
*walks quietly in*

Um, hello. It's been, well, forever since I've been here. Between RL obligations (I'm now running two book clubs a month for work) and changing reading habits, I haven't been reading a ton of fantasy the past couple years. I vowed to myself at one point I would come back to this forum when I finished Queen of Fire, but I kind of never got all the way through it. But I needed a new audiobook yesterday, so I got that. I was fine with having to start back over at the beginning of that book, but what I'm realizing is that I forget sooooooooo much about the first two books. Can anyone help this sad Prodigal Daughter out with a good spoiler summary somewhere? (Aside--Why can't all authors be Tad Williams in this respect?)

Thanks!
Hi stranger! Welcome back.

Can't help I'm afraid. I thought Blood Song was rubbish and have almost successfully removed it from my memory now. Sure someone else will put you right though :)