King Janus’s vision of a Unified Realm has failed, drowned in the blood of brave men fighting for a cause that was forged from a lie. Sick at heart, Vaelin Al Sorna, warrior of the Sixth Order, returns home, determined to kill no more, seeking peace far from the intrigues of a troubled Realm.
But those gifted with the blood-song are not destined to live quiet lives. Vaelin finds himself a target, both for those seeking revenge and those who know about his gift. And as a great threat once again moves against the Realm, Vaelin realizes that when faced with annihilation, even the most reluctant hand must eventually draw a sword.
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. After reading Blood Song, I immediately wanted to read the next book in Anthony Ryan’s “A Raven’s Shadow” series to continue enjoying the rich world and enjoyable characters Ryan has crafted.
I didn’t know what the second book was or if it was even published yet so I went right to Amazon to see what I could find, and my heart sank a bit when I saw the reviews. Many of the reviews were critical of Ryan and Tower Lord for “lack of character growth” and for pacing issues. I have to disagree. I was worried going in that I’d ruined myself for the book by reading these reviews, but I quickly forgot entirely about them.
The best thing I can ever say about a book is that it makes me forget the world around me and Tower Lord did that. I couldn’t wait to pick it up and keep reading and when I was reading I didn’t want to put it down.
What’s interesting about Tower Lord is that we switch modes a bit.
Blood Song was principally about Vaelin. In fact Vaelin was the narrator, speaking to the historian, the same device used by Patrick Rothfuss in the Kingkiller Chronicles. In Tower Lord we switch to a Robert Jordan style setup with the point of view alternating between Reva, Lyrna, Frentis and Vaelin.
The biggest weakness of Tower Lord is Reva. She’s a compelling character, almost a female counterpoint to Vaelin. The difference is that in Vaelin we have a character who literally trained his whole life to hone the set of skills that he has, which helped keep him from coming off as a Mary Sue.
Reva on the other hand received at best a couple months of training from Vaelin in the sword and bow, and by the end of the book is using them as if she had trained the years Vaelin had.
That would be plausible if the book covered the entirety of Reva’s life as Blood Song did with Vaelin, but that’s not the case. The events of Tower Lord take place over the span of months rather than decades. Despite this, I thoroughly enjoyed Tower Lord and look forward to reading Queen Of Fire!