REVIEW: Blood Song by Anthony Ryan (Review by Booktopia’s Michael Marlow)

by |June 21, 2013

Londoner Anthony Ryan has the world talking, an exciting new voice in Fantasy Fiction. Booktopia’s Michael Marlow shares his thoughts on his latest book Blood Song
blood-songAuthor Anthony Ryan initially made a name for himself in the cutthroat marketplace of self-published online eBooks. He has now made his first foray into the printed world with the brutal and skilfully paced Blood Song. Showing a slightly different approach to his contemporaries, Ryan takes a step back from the traditional gods and monsters of fantasy to present a more secular but no less engaging creation.

As a fantasy epic Blood Song is an impressive piece of work. The reader is given the impression of a complex and constantly evolving world that exists outside of the individual stories portrayed. Despite this you are never over-saturated with names and places as can happen in some clumsier works. Ryan makes us privy to just the right amount of lore to ensure the character driven storyline never has to take a back seat.
The key name in this story is Vaelin Al Sorna. He is the boy we watch grow from abandoned youth to deadly weapon. Taken in by the Sixth Order, a secretive military arm of the Faith, his is not an easy life. It is his journey that is revealed throughout the book, and it is his relentless adventures that make it simply impossible to put down.

Vaelin’s journey from the trial and near-death tribulations of his training through to the unavoidable war and conflict of his future is an enjoyable read for both fantasy and fiction fans alike. The balance between the bastions of political and military powers that drive the story forward is very well structured. Add layers of intrigue on a level not normally seen in a single volume and it’s impossible not to see how much work has been put in to the creation of this novel.

If you want to witness some impressive world building, fast paced action and well-crafted characters, then Blood Song is the title for you.

Blood Song

by Anthony Ryan

‘We have fought battles that left more than a hundred corpses on the ground and not a word of it has ever been set down. The Order fights, but often it fights in shadow, without glory or reward. We have no banners.’

Vaelin Al Sorna’s life changes forever the day his father abandons him at the gates of the Sixth Order, a secretive military arm of the Faith. Together with his fellow initiates, Vaelin undertakes a brutal training regime – where the price of failure is often death. Under the tutelage of the Order’s masters, he learns how to forge a blade, survive the wilds and kill a man quickly and quietly.

Now his new skills will be put to the test. War is coming. Vaelin is the Sixth Order’s deadliest weapon and the Realm’s only hope. He must draw upon the very essence of his strength and cunning if he is to survive the coming conflict. Yet as the world teeters on the edge of chaos, Vaelin will learn that the truth can cut deeper than any sword.anthonyryan

About the Author

Anthony Ryan lives in London and is a writer of fantasy, science fiction and non-fiction. He previously worked in a variety of roles for the UK government, but now writes full time.

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About the Contributor

While still in his twenties, John Purcell opened a second-hand bookshop in Mosman, Sydney, in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. Since then he has written, under a pseudonym, a series of very successful novels, interviewed hundreds of writers about their work, appeared at writers’ festivals, on TV (most bizarrely in comedian Luke McGregor’s documentary Luke Warm Sex) and has been featured in prominent newspapers and magazines. ​Now, as the Director of Books at, Australia’s largest online bookseller, he supports Australian writing in all its forms. He lives in Sydney with his wife, two children, three dogs, five cats, unnumbered gold fish and his overlarge book collection. His novel, The Girl on the Page, was published by HarperCollins Australia in October, 2018.

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