Saturday, September 27, 2014

Book Review: Tower Lord by Anthony Ryan

Title:         Tower Lord
Author:   Anthony Ryan
Genre:      Epic Fantasy
Rating:     ★ ★ ★ ★ 


“The blood-song rose with an unexpected tune, a warm hum mingling recognition with an impression of safety. He had a sense it was welcoming him home.”

Vaelin Al Sorna, warrior of the Sixth Order, called Darkblade, called Hope Killer. The greatest warrior of his day, and witness to the greatest defeat of his nation: King Janus’s vision of a Greater Unified Realm drowned in the blood of brave men fighting for a cause Vaelin alone knows was forged from a lie. Sick at heart, he comes home, determined to kill no more.

Named Tower Lord of the Northern Reaches by King Janus’s grateful heir, he can perhaps find peace in a colder, more remote land far from the intrigues of a troubled Realm. But those gifted with the blood-song are never destined to live a quiet life. Many died in King Janus’s wars, but many survived, and Vaelin is a target, not just for those seeking revenge but for those who know what he can do.

The Faith has been sundered, and many have no doubt who their leader should be. The new King is weak, but his sister is strong. The blood-song is powerful, rich in warning and guidance in times of trouble, but is only a fraction of the power available to others who understand more of its mysteries. Something moves against the Realm, something that commands mighty forces, and Vaelin will find to his great regret that when faced with annihilation, even the most reluctant hand must eventually draw a sword.


The author of ambitious book Blood Song, Anthony Ryan, takes risk by writing a successor of his first book. I believe it is hard to contrive a plot of a sequel if the purpose is to accomplish what its predecessor achieved. Needless to say that most of trilogies have weak middle book.

I must admit, the transition from Blood Song to Tower Lord regarding Point of View was quite queasy. Some readers may find it interesting but it sort of causes to falter this second book. Vaelin was once a character I loved that I thought I know all about him already. Unfortunately, this book refutes what I once believed. Brother Frentis was one of my favorite characters that to read his thought was terrifying. I would rather want Mr. Ryan to find his character untouched that letting my description of him as the kid who is Vaelin’s responsibily remain. Lyrna was a princess who draws so much questions from me in book one. In this book she has proved how intelligent really she is. Reva was an additional character who was put into lime light in this installment. Regardless of my comments about those character, I would still prefer for this book to have sewn with point of view centered on a single character as what Mr. Ryan did with Blood Song.

In this installment, Mr. Ryan has expanded the world of Raven Shadow by adding characters and countries. I felt a rough acquaintance with these Volarian Empire and characters. However, for the long years passed since Vaelin’s absence from Unified Realm, I’m glad to meet familiar characters and their offspring characters such as Scratch and its pack. But, what made me more attentive to the story was Nortah’s children. They quite drew my attention. I’m impressed at how Mr. Ryan built these horrible but quite loveable and attention-grabbing new characters.

You think you knew it all? No, there were revelation in this book revealed that went mysterious and questionable event in blood song. I must admit, these revelation were quite planned all along by the author that it went shocking yet acceptable. Gore was what made the Blood Song beautiful and gore you’ll find again in this book.

One may find my narrative comment doesn’t suit my rating. I believe I love Blood Song that 4-star rating of this book is far behind from the rating I could give to blood Song. Surely, lovers of blood song shall still read this book, for this book offers exciting cross-country travelogue, interesting political schemes and never ending mysterious powers and magic.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Book Review: The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Title:         The Name of the Wind
Author:   Patrick Rothfuss
Genre:      Epic Fantasy
Awards:  Quill Awards (2007), Best Book of the Year (2007) Publisher's Weekly, Alex Award (2008)
Rating:     ★ ★ ★ ★ 


A memory of a book never fades if it’s good but sometimes good memories are just temporary and thus leave you eventually. It’s been 8 months since I finished reading Patrick Rothfuss’ Kingkiller Chronicle( The Name of the Wind). Honestly, my initial reaction and feeling for this book are still the same from the moment I finished this book.

The story starts with Kote as an innkeeper but as Chronicle appeared in the story, Kote revealed himself as the famous Kvothe. And there he starts to share his story with the Chronicle.

Kvothe has been a member of troupe, specifically called Edema Ruh, who moves from place to place. Though he was just a Ruh, he is taught to use sympathy, wizards’ magical talent, by an Arcanist friend. Unfortunately, one night, his family has been murdered. He has seen before his eyes the murderers and realizes that they are the mythical people who are called Chandrian.

Left with no family, he has lived in the streets with thieves; learning the thievery with them. Prioritizing his main goal, he uses his cleverness to enroll to the University but with purpose of knowing more the Chandrian and eventually plan to hunt and kill them.

I was hearing so much rave about this book but didn't take the bite to read it until majority of Blood Song readers I know claim that the latter has similarity with this book. It is obvious that I was so obsessed with Blood Song and that it’s apparently the reason that led me to reading this.

I must admit that I didn’t immediately get into this book until Kvothe as a kid appeared in the book. No doubt, Patrick Rothfuss is a great story teller. The story of Kvothe is narrated by Kote himself. It is one of those proses that likely used during bedtime. Others might have stayed awake while reading but not me. My problem with his writing style is no matter how intense the emotion of his story is, it still gets me sleepy and rather just dream about its instead.

However, what makes me awake is my enthusiasm to know as to how the clever Kvothe turned to Kote – a man who is silently waiting his death. Furthermore, the story promises a rich and beautiful story ahead which I am doubtless I’ll be reading its successors.

Lastly, I  recommend The name of the Wind because story wise, you’ll never regret reading it as it is presently one of the highly acclaimed Epic Fantasy books to date in the market.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Book Review: The Emperor's Blades by Brian Staveley

Title:         The Emperor's Blades
Author:   Brian Staveley
Genre:      Epic Fantasy
Rating:     ★ ★ ★ ★


Look for a target.  Notch the bow. Aim. And release the arrow. This book did hit me but the last time I checked, I’m sure it just nearly got me bulled eye. With my run-on read-a-thon of Epic Fantasy Novels, it occured to me that I might just had fatigue that affected how I gave impression on books I read. However, as a reader I believe we have our own valid reasons why our rating ascends or descends.

Well entertaining when it comes to entertainment but has flaws when it comes to perfection. I am badly dismay to know that the main characters are way older than I thought. Obviously, the cover of the book may have yelled at me already of how they are depicted. With all the gods and goddesses of this book, I pray that you already figured out my sentiment. Spare Adare’s character, for the Author stressed out how matured she was than her younger brothers. Valyn and Kaden are characters for me who were really hard to get into despite the fact that almost all of the book has their own point of views. The characters were so distant to me that affected how I presumed their ages. Furthermore, I, myself find the characters lacked of emotion and showed less internal character development even though the author ,sort of, insisted it.

Characters, histories and places were thrown out at ramble which made me neglect them. They weren’t introduced neatly and gradually, instead were overlapped by another wave of new names, histories and such. On the other hand, Emperor’s blade promises a breathtaking story and page turner one. It has an admirable world building that offers extraordinary utopia. My concerns are just minor because judging it as a whole, it’s really a good book to read.