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.

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