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text 2017-03-20 21:42
Reading progress update: I've read 65%.
Blood Song - Anthony Ryan

I've heard nothing but rave reviews of this book, but I'm SO BORED. I want to finish this but I need a break. I fully intend to cheat on this book now. I found the beginning of the book engaging enough, although HOLY COMMA SPLICES BATMAN, I've never seen so many comma splices. Was this self published? If not, who edited this thing? I've been stuck guiltily trying to finish this thing for a while, and I need a break.

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text 2017-03-10 18:33
Sampling...
Blood Song - Anthony Ryan

...found over on publisher site.  Epic fantasy.

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review 2015-07-21 00:00
Blood Song
Blood Song - Anthony Ryan “Honour is just a word. You can’t eat it or drink it and yet everywhere I go men talk of it endlessly, and they all tell a different tale of what it actually means. For the Alpirans it’s all about duty, the Renfaelins think it’s the same as courage. In these islands it appears it means killing a son for a crime committed by his father then slaughtering a helpless man when the pantomime fails to go to plan.”

image

“The Faith is all. The Faith consumes us and frees us. The Faith shapes my life, in this world and in the Beyond.”

Ah! Such an amazing read!!

Full review to come!
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review 2015-01-10 20:50
Song of Blood & Stone
Song of Blood & Stone (Earthsinger Chronicles Book 1) - L. Penelope

Thank you to Patchwork Press for providing me with an egalley copy of the book for review.

 

“Song of Blood & Stone” is a book that is unlike anything I have read before and I make this claim with no hesitation. It’s a book that will be memorable to many people for different reasons and all because of one simple fact: it is a good book. Reading the summary one already gets the sense of how strong and spirited Jasminda is and how loyal and brave Jack is. The summary doesn’t lie in this case with what it promises to bring to the reader, and that’s such a refreshing thing to see.

 

However I didn’t absolutely love the book and for the simple reason that this was a little out of my regular reading range. I love fantasy but don’t really gravitate to books like this one where the world building often feels a little iffy to me, the way it did in this case. To those who love this level of fantasy and unique world building, this book will be perfect. For me however it lacked something, a detail I can’t quite put my finger on, because every time I thought of Elsira on the map and then later when the other neighboring countries were brought up I wished Penelope could’ve expanded a bit more in that aspect. It would’ve made the world feel a bit more complete.

 

While the writing in this book is very good I will admit that the beginning felt a little dull. The pace of the book picks up about a quarter of the way in and especially when we find out about Jack’s identity (which I totally foresaw). It also, I must say, doesn’t add much newness to the fantasy genre. The biggest plus for this book then is its characters which will win you over without a doubt, at least partially if not completely. Jasminda is a rare example of a strong female lead that keeps her morals intact and acts upon them. The fact that she’s a character of colour and has this ability that people discriminate against adds another layer of depth which I really enjoyed exploring. Her and Jack’s romance was one I supported and rooted for along the way (even though it did feel just a tad bit predictable in the beginning when Jack began to describe just how amazingly soft her skin was).

 

The verdict, then, is this: “Song of Blood & Stone” is a book worth reading. Its intriguing story and resolution are worth sticking around for and will surely win you over. It’s not an award winner or a bestseller, in my opinion, but one that will find its target audience and receive much well-deserved love from them. My only slight worry is seeing that this is the first book in a series and wondering where the story will go next – Jack and Jasminda’s story felt complete to me and I hope the author will take us somewhere new next time while still possibly exploring the world of Elsira, just with a different set of main characters. It’s a continuation I’d gladly stick around for. In any case, pick up this book for yourself – it’s a refreshing change from the cliché YA novels out on the market today, and has a depth to it you won’t be able to ignore.

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review 2015-01-05 09:17
REVIEW: Blood Song (Raven's Shadow) by Anthony Ryan
Blood Song - Anthony Ryan

A single person point of view novel with a plot we've all seen before. As a young boy, the protagonist is dumped by his father at a religious order of warriors and begins a grueling life of training, bonding and surviving hardships.

 

The book very nearly scored a miss with me as the opening chapter was the point of view of someone else who meets the protagonist years later, and they talk about some of the things he did. Normally, I'm not to fond of such a thing, but in this case it turned out to not matter much due to a good trick, which I won't spoil.

 

Anyway, as I happen to like stories like these, and the writing was solid, so I kept at it. And it's a good thing I did because it turns out there is a plot deeper than just the coming of age. There is a major plot line underneath it all and there was a twist at the end that was surprising as well.

 

My only real complaint is that it all seems a bit... flat. I never get the idea something is really good or bad because the characters all respond in a relatively even-handed manner to even the most heinous things, or brush it off quickly. The twist I mentioned earlier suffered from that as well, the impact that should be there just isn't.

 

Final verdict:

Solid, but not great. Ultimately there was nothing here that truly compelled me. If you like coming of age fantasy, you cannot go wrong here.

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