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Let me tell you a story Around December 2012, a good friend of mine, Kureha, approached me to say that there was this book onthat was getting huge attention She told me I should check it out especially since I was starting to readepic fantasy Yup, you guessed it that book was Blood Song by Anthony Ryan I got myself a copy and read it in two sittings, and was in a huge hangover for days after that It was one of the best epic fantasies I ve ever read, and very few have come close to it That s why I was ecstatic when he finally found publishers willing to print his book and spread it far and wide I ve never been so happy for an author before Anthony is very talented I love his storytelling skills, and I love the characters he creates It s only fitting for him to be given the chance to share his story withpeople from other countries and cultures, who, I hope, will also relate to Vaelin al Sorna.After that, all I had left was the waiting game I waited TWO YEARS to read the second installment.Alas, the wait is over FOR I NOW HAVE THE ARC IN MY HANDS I m sorry, I couldn t help it I just HAD to brag Look I even got a sweet messagePropaganda Man, I m so touched That s legit one of the best names to call my fangirling Mehehehe The author has been such a cool guy He sent me this ARC even though he didn t have to I I may have nudged him a little , but in any case, I read it as soon as I got it and you wanna know what I thinkIT WAS AWESOME One thing to look forward to here in Tower Lord is the introduction of POVs of new and old characters, something that I welcomed warmly Blood Song could be likened to a chronicle of Vaelin al Sorna, depicting events at different intervals of his life when he was in the Sixth Order, serving asof a laying of the foundation and backstory of what will happen in the second installment If you re expecting Tower Lord to be the same way, you ll be disappointed, as it sfast paced with a slow beginning , especially with a lot of POVs showing different angles of the story, but somehow I thought they were all fitting I loved the new perspectives I mean, yes, I missed Vaelin, but it was awesome getting to know other vital characters intimately too, and not just from a distance.Obviously, we get Vaelin s POV I missed him a lot and it was so nice getting reacquainted with him again It was like meeting an old friend for the first time in a long while and seeing how much he has changed And Vaelin did change The events at the end of Blood Song has made him think and see things differently, and we see a different side of him here Nevertheless, I still loved him, and I thought he was easier to relate to in this installment He struggles with a lot of things, one of them being his reputation as a Darkblade and how it molded other people s expectations of him It was also really nice seeing him ponder about the boundaries of morality, about what must be done and what could have been done, while also maintaining this aura of leadership that attracts people to him Suffice to say, he remains as my favorite character.We also see things happen in Frentis POV, and man, his situation really made me sad Out of all the characters, you can see that he s the one who changed so much In Blood Song, I pictured him as this merry guy who s eager to lighten the mood, but because of certain circumstances, he turned quite dark, and I have nothing but sympathy for him While reading this book, all I ever wanted to do was pat him on the back and whisper things will be okay although to be honest, with how things went for him for the first half of the book, even I doubted Aside from Vaelin, I think Frentis will be a favorite among the readers just from the experiences he went through and the steps he took to overcome them By the end of the book, I just wanted him and Vaelin to team up already The last two POVs were from two females Reva and Princess Lyrna I also loved these two to bits They were both strong ladies who were able to overcome various trials and tribulations, situations I don t think I would have survived myself I loved how Anthony Ryan gave them so much personality and how he made them so consistent throughout Like Reva is this person who has been brainwashed and abused as a child, raised to hate Vaelin, and you can really see the internal conflict happening within her as she experiences kindness from him Princess Lyrna, on the other hand, finds herself in the hands of her enemy, and she becomes really bad ass later on, which I appreciated I loved seeing her grow out of her shell, to be thrown in a shitty situation and come out of it like a real queen.All in all, I loved how polished each of them were I loved how they never felt like filler, and how they contributed so much to the storyline not just the different sides of their personalities but also the different angles of their common enemy, as each of them had to fight them in their own ways.Of course, while there were many awesome stuff, there were also really sad ones as well, especially when it came to the secondary characters I mean, we got to meet a lot of the old ones, and many of them will come to Vaelin s aid especially with the impending war, but just like our own historical wars in the real world, not everyone survives to tell the tale, and this book really devastated me in that aspect But, at the same time, I welcomed it, too I loved how realistic war was portrayed here It s shitty, it s awful, and not everyone is immortal, despite how much we want them to be I applaud Anthony Ryan for recognizing how horrific wars can be, and how everyone is vulnerable and at risk, and getting out there meant putting your life on the line because so much is at stake AND THAT ENDING ARGGHHHH I WANT THE NEXT BOOK NOW Overall, this book was awesomesauce I wish I could say , but I don t really want to risk spoiling you guys, because books like this are meant to be read, enjoyed, and appreciated to the fullest But if there s one thing I can assure you, it s that this book was an awesome ride from the start to the very end You will get to see new and old characters, and you will be able to appreciate thembecause of the switching POVS which were nicely done, I promise Anthony Ryan really puts the epic in epic fantasy because this was epic as epic could be.And now, the wait begins oncefor book threeFind me on The Social Potato Reviews Co blogger Not So Literary HeiressesTwitter (((FREE PDF))) ☉ Tower Lord ☔ Druh D L Trilogie St N KrkavceTv V Tv Hrozb Mus I Ta Nejv Hav J Ruka Nakonec Pozvednout MeV Lin Al Sorna Je Unaven Z V Lky Ve Slu B Ch Sjednocen Ho Kr Lovstv A V Ry Pro El Bezpo Tem Bitev Jedinou Odm Nou Mu V Ak Byla Ztr Ta L Sky, Smrt P Tel A Zrada Kr Le Po P Ti Letech V Alp Rsk M Al I Tou Po N Vratu Dom A Klidn M Ivot Bez V Lek A Vra DRevinou Jedinou Touhou Je V Ak Vrazit V Linovi Na Uv Tanou V Rodn Zemi N Do Srdce Zniil Jej Rodinu I Jej Ivot Nic Ji Neodrad Od Krvav Pomsty Dokonce Ani Hrozba Vp Du Nejmocn J Ho Nep Tele, Jak Mu Kdy Kr Lovstv EliloJakmile V Ak Vzplanou V Le N Ohn , Z Protivn K Se St Vaj Spojenci, A Co Bylo D Ve Pravdou, M N Se V Le Pokud M B T Kr Lovstv Zachr N No, Mus Reva P Ijmout Budoucnost, Jakou Si Nep Edstavovala, A V Lin Se Mus Znovu Pono It Do Minulosti, Kterou By Nejrad Ji Poh Bil Rating 2.5 5I was lucky to to have just finished Blood Song recently, and to my utter delight, its sequel, Tower Lord, was due for release not long after I was excited There would be no year long wait to see what happens to Vaelin as he journeys back home after 5 long years of absence The book description only served to heighten my appetite as it sounded like Vaelin would have to facehardships, tough decisions and grave responsibilities ahead.It s unfortunate that after all the excitement, I couldn t but feel a bit cheated with Tower Lord I feel deceived because the title and the inner jacket synopsis is very misleading By reading the book description, you d expect the book to be centered on Vaelin s exploits as the titular Tower Lord There isn t an inkling that the so called Tower Lord would in fact only be featured in a mere 25% of the book There are also no indications that the story would turn Vaelin s story as the Tower Lord intoof a sideshow, while dividing the rest of its attention to 3 other character s stories Nope, there s absolutely no mention of any of the other POV characters in the blurb at all So to say I was caught off guard is putting it mildly.Still, after the initial confusion, I continued on, hoping the different POVs would somehow converge and tie in with Vaelin s I had hoped each story would be an individual thread that would eventually come together, with Vaelin s acting as the center, and weave a brilliant tapestry Sadly, the flames of hope never became anything but a pitiful smoulder Rather than using the other POVs to compliment Vaelin s story, or to do some inter character development along side him, the POVs for the most part were separate and didn t have much to do with each other I have nothing against books with multiple POVs, but when the first book is written entirely in one person s point of view, a sudden change in format like this must be dealt deftly, since most people can get really attached to the main voice Perhaps my opinions would have been different if I didn t just finish reading Blood Song and had time to distant myself from Vaelin s voice, but as it stands, I m still very much attached to him I wanted to seeof Vaelin, and not have him only occupy a quarter of the book That and often doing some pretty mundane things as well Needless to say, I felt these new POVs took away too much focus from his story All of Vaelin s efforts and heroism from the last book felt trivialized and pushed aside for these characters I cared less about Also, a huge draw of Blood Song for me was the camaraderie between Vaelin and his Sixth Order brothers, but unfortunately that was barely to be found here Caenis, for instance, was someone I was very interested to see a POV from, but he was not given one and had a relatively minor role Not to mention, his cold attitude towards Vaelin felt abrupt Frentis is my second favourite character from Blood Song and I was ecstatic he got his own POV However, after a few chapters from him, I started to find myself skimming through his story, hoping he would view spoiler triumph over his ordeal already and meet up with Vaelin so they can kick some major butts together That never happened To my frustration, their journeys never intersected at all hide spoiler You know who I am, he said Who are you She gave a mirthless smile I am a songbird in a cage And now so are you On some level I do envy those who never ventured beyond the Blood Song In spite of my reservations against this book, I thought it was in many ways and on many levels an outstanding piece of fantasy In contrast, Tower Lord is just an average read Whatever magic sang on the pages of the previous instalment, it is silent here For me, the song has definitely ended The novel starts with the atmosphere of utter disaster Nothing is as readers expect it old glory vanished, old heroes forgotten or discarded, everything upside down and going from bad to worse Also, nothing makes sense We are yet again forced to come up with our own theories how come things are as they are and who is behind the scenes I like being Sherlock Holmes when I read so that is a definite plus Further, Vaelin gets the promotion to the Tower Lord no spoilers here, as this is practically heralded in the title and while he remains sweeter than Jesus and wiser than Buddha, there is finally doubt and internal struggle in him that strengthens the book too And by the Departed, this novel needs all the strengths it can get because the rest is so very lame Firstly, in this instalment Mr Ryan switched into the multiple POV narrative I thought that Blood Song was unique in how it told the story exclusively via Vaelin The single narrative embedded into Vaelin s personage carried the tale effortlessly It was seamless, dense and somehow wholesome The jagged new many POVs style changed something very distinct into a generic, multi voiced fantasy What pains me the most is that Tower Lord gives us the conventional assortment of POVs the bloodthirsty waif, the tragic warrior, the princess, and finally the former main protagonist himself In this crowd Vaelin is merely one of many, and while all the arcs are interconnected, the tale is no longer his It is not even Verniers actually, when I think of it, Vernier accounts stop making sense As to the POVs I absolutely hated Reva s chapters the unbearable weight of cliches really brought me down Little bloodthirsty girls were never my favourite archetype they really need to have somethingin them than an insatiable desire for martial prowess and an urge to kill bordering on psychotic to make them interesting Reva vanishes in a crowd of borderline identical fantasy figures and things that were, I assume, supposed to make her special are simply ludicrous view spoiler For instance, Mr Ryan wants me to believe that the girl who has been raised as a religious fanatic sic but let s not start this thread again in a sadly stereotypical albeit perverted Puritan upbringing, fed hatred and distrust all her life needed one conversation to strike a deal with her archenemy I mean, excuse me, but Little Prince has hadproblems in taming the Fox Similarly incongruous was the development of her martial skills that and I quotegrow with every parry and thrustand allowed her achieve nearly Vaelin s prowess somehow bypassing the harsh YEARS of training he had to endure is unacceptable for me And finally, there is the issue of her sexual orientation trying to make up for a total lack of personality hide spoiler Reread before the final book releasePossible Minor Spoilers for BloodSongWhile Bloodsong is completely Vaelin s journey The Tower Lord opens upof this world by showing the story from multiple PoVs This was good and bad for me as I am so attached to Vaelin that having to share this book with other characters meant I missed him for a lot of it The other PoVs are good and some I likedthan others but with most books that have shifting PoV chapters it takes a while for all the stories to build and really pick up momentum But when things get rolling they really get rolling.Books with multiple PoVs storylines are the hardest books for me to write reviews for Things shift so much in the story with some people intersecting and others not but still holding relevance to some of the other people and places and how do you convey that in a review but not give importance things away.AHHHHH The Story Again at the beginning of each Part of The Tower Lord the reader is in the present with the historian Vernier He is in a somewhat different position than in the first book now a slave for the enemy and at their disposal to record the upcoming victory of a city under siege Even though we all know where the story will eventually lead it isn t clear until the very end again how it will all play out It is a great way to create tension for the characters in the story from the very beginningRemember this, Queen, when you watch the flames rise high, remember this and ask yourself would I do this againThe Volarian s with help from The Ally have come to the Unified Realm to conquer and enslave its people It is a plan that has been in the works for longer than most have been alive and so many pieces must fall into place Unlike the Unified Realm the Volarians have no fear of using the dark to obtain their goals If Vaelin is to help a new friend Reva, Lyrna or the Realm that he has already given up so much for he will need the help of some old friends and unite a few new ones along the way It is time for Vaelin to be not only the Darkblade and Beral Shar Ur but also earn some new names including The Lord of Blades The Characters Vaelin While this is still a lot of his story because he had to share time with other PoVs I really missed him He is still a compelling character His time spent alone in prison was well spent learning his song It was as much a character in this book as he was Vaelin always has many parts to his section of the story He is a warrior true, but he is a man who doesn t want to war again if possible He doesn t long for battle in fact most of the time he is really doing everything he can to avoid it His true wants are simple, the family he was denied in the form of a sister, peace if possible and to find his lost brother FrentisJustice he said as the mirth faded I looked for justice once, from a scheming old man He gave it to me, and all I had to give him was my soulDestiny seems to always get in his way though and the bloodsong plays on helping to lead the way He will earn evennames and fulfill evenprophecies Reva Her chapters were some of the most interesting to me Bastard daughter of the Trueblade she has been shaped to a fanatical devotion of the World Father and what some believe he would want She has one of the most interesting journeys as she is taken in and trained by the Darkblade himself then set back out into the world a little broken and looking for answersPardon me, Reva said, pausing.He was a tall man and she was obliged to look up at him, though not tall enough to be out of reach Your nose appears to be bleeding He frowned, fingers coming up to touch his nose, coming away clean I don tHis head snapped back from the force of the blow, nose breaking, though not with enough force to kill him He stumbled backwards to collide with the wall, sinking to the floor, blood streaming down his face My mistake, Reva said, moving on Now it s bleedingHer journey to find the truth of her past and carve her future was almost as good as Vaelin s journey in Bloodsong She is a force to be reckoned with and a powerful surprise in a small package Frentis Oh poor Frentis His fate at the end of Bloodsong was unknown and the last five years have not been kind to him I loved and hated his chapters all at the same time He has been with the enemy for these last five years in the fighting pits It seems that One Eye left him with a gift that just keeps on giving and the Volarians know how to use it against him He is forced to travel with the woman who has a story probably darker than most and she is bat shit crazy She is the reason the chapters are difficult to read but at the same time you can t get enough She is the deadliest woman in the realm, possibly any realm and Frentis is forced to help her in her dastardly deeds He both sympathizes with her and hates her at the same time He looked away and she moved closer, her arms slipping around his waist as her head rested on his shoulder I m going to kill you, he said You must know that She kissed his neck and for once he didn t flinch, though he had the freedom to do so Then, beloved, she said in a whisper, breath hot on his neck, you would doom yourself and every soul in this worldShe is monstrous and crazy and probably the lesser or all the evils presented but it is still an evilterrible than most can imagine Lyrna spends most of her time traveling, that usually isn t my favorite fantasy trope which is probably why I liked her sections the least She was so smart and slightly cold in the last book that I wasn t sure what to make of her She has changed a bit from Bloodsong Lyrna is still the exceptionally smart Keschet player looking at the long game she isn t as ruthless as she once was, it seems a decision she made in Bloodsong might have changed herthan she realizedIt must have been hard, he said, reclining on his stool, his smile now genuine Hard, my lord Shield Keschet is very simple in essenceNot the game Pretending all those years Not being you After all, who wants the keenest mind in the room to be the princess in the cornerI really enjoy roles with strong women in them and Anthony Ryan has created quite a few between Lyrna, Reva, Davoka, Veliss and Dahrena Each plays a pretty strong part in the story Lyrna s story is only a less interesting due to the fact the other story lines are stronger She is traveling searching out answers about The Dark and negotiating peace with the Lornak Later she is traveling on a ship, I lose interest sometimes when plot lines go that direction The best part of her story line was the introduction of Davoka, a Lornak guide She was the source of much of the comic relief in this dark tale The Lornak ways are interesting and different and she was a fantastic character addition to the storyI m sorry I hit you, Lyrna said Davoka turned to her with a puzzled frown Sorree Lyrna searched for the Lonak equivalent, finding there wasn t one Illeha, she said Regret or guilt, depending on the inflection Lonakhim hit each other all the time, Davoka replied with a shrug If you d tried to knife me, things would be different. The friendship that built between Lyrna and Davoka was really a great bond and I m hoping to seeof them in the next book Overall Honestly this book is full of information, great characters, wonderful cultures, dark deeds and a plethora of adventures This is actually my second time through the book and I picked up evendetails When a book holds my attention wrapped even on a reread I know that it is good I m rooting so much for Vaelin and at the end he was amazing although I m not sure how he will do what needs to be done in the next book The ending for this was so intense and I was really happy with so much of it Don t be confused though this is a dark fantasy There were deaths of characters I hated and some I loved It is an emotional journey as well as an exciting one and I m not sure all my favorite characters will make it through to the very end but I still hold out all hope.On to Queen of Fire.Original Read September 2014 Buddy read with Athena, Armina, Gavin and DesisnkaWell it has been months since I finished this and I still can t seem to find the words I want to use to describe how I feel about this series It is so strong and while I missed being with Vaelin all the time the introduction of multiple PoVs made the story grow by leaps and bounds.I loved most of it.I will attempt a real review when I re read it because we all know I will right before the release of the 3rd book in the series All I can say for now is I like this series a lot and want to read it all over again. 3.75 I am not exactly sure how I feel about this installment in the Raven Shadow Series It is getting interesting, it is keeping its violent edge, and the story is a bitspread geographically, since our heroes, Vaelin Al Sorna, warrior of the Sixth Order, Princes Lyrna, young warrior and brother of the Sixth Order Frentis, the newly introduced young bastard daughter of the Trueblade Reva, and the man who brings it all together in his chronicles, the Historian and slave Veniers are scattered to different parts of the Realm and the Empire Vaelin Al Sorna was the major point of interest in book one and we all got attached to the young man who went through so much and kept his sense of honor and justice I think I was also one of those, who was looking forward to find outabout his romantic life, his future choices and all that is his life while given to the Volarians Anthony Ryan had had different ideas, obviously, because he gave POV s to all of the main characters and Vaelin became just one of several, his story line still important, but not as centralYour realm is an insane place In Volaria, no one goes hungry, slaves are no use when they starve Those freeborn too lazy or lacking in intelligence to turn sufficient profit to feed themselves are made slaves so they can generate wealth for those deserving of freedom, and be fed in return Here, your people are chained by their freedom, free to starve and beg from the rich It s disgustingYes, the Volarians are coming To arms Que dramatic battle music The Realm, where Lorna s brother rules at the moment, has many problems and its Fiefdom Lords do all types of hostile machinations among each other, but there is no slavery and there is still an expectation of an individual freedom There have even been new attempts at legalizing religious freedom, although this is not going so well The Volarian society, on another hand, is build on slavery and despotism, with those at the top having almost no regard for any but those of their own rank, if even that Since they establish their place in the power scale by how many slaves they own, they have set their eye on taking over and subjugating the Realm, making it a land to supply their always depleting slave pens The death of the Bright Hope in a duel with Al Sorna has given them a pause, but now the wheels of their maneuvers cannot be stopped The historian Veniers finds himself once again in the middle of the action, being a slave in the house of the Volarian General who is in charge of the operationBeware the seduction of the quick conclusion Do not indulge in the answer you desire until you know all you need to knowWhile the enemies are putting their game pieces in place, Al Sorna has returned, a changed and disheartened man, who has nofaith and chooses to leave the Sixth Order, giving the chance of the King to appoint him the Lord of the North Tower, which currently is without a Realm leader Having returned hope to look for his sister and Frentis, he gathers what he owns and travels to the North, where he is thought of as a bringer of war However, war is the furthest thing from spilling blood However, a girl who is bent on vengeance takes the road with him and he decides to teach her as much as he can, knowing that she will need all the help she could get with the coming danger Reva is the character whom I truly enjoyed, since she is very emotionally manipulated and trained to hate, but finds her better self by the end of the book and still keeps her kick ass badness Another such character was the new traveling companion of Princes Lyrna, Dahrena, a warrior from the Lornak tribe, with whom the Princes went to negotiate a peace treaty Her people are very direct and physical in the way they express themselves, and I dearly hope we getof her in the next book But as strong as those women are, they are also true human beings and all the war, destruction and slaughter takes a toll on their soulsI have done things here In defending this city I have done things I thought them right and just as I did them, now I don t know Now I wonder if I mistook rage for right and murder for justiceSo, if I obviously enjoyed this book, why do I have misgivings Two things one, I am not sure that all of the violence had a true purpose Yes, I know it is a war and trust me, I know how it could be, but it does seem like the author wants the people in his book to suffer, all of them, no matter what they are doing or who they are, and all of them are not always involved with the war or even the action There is a sense of jaded self hatred running through the whole book, which I feel has nothing to do with the plot or the given world Second, I think that there is an unnecessary inflation of named characters who have also very little to do with anything, except to be told eventually that they are dead in some horrific or useless way I think this becomes confusing for the reader, since we know nothingabout them than their names and that they parish, which only adds to the reader wondering if they missed something and that character was somehow important so we should grieve for them Once you figure that no, they were just a randomly named person in the crowd, the impact when some of theimportant characters meet an unfortunate end is just not there, or is at least very diminished I think this is the difference when comparisons are made with authors like Cook, Erikson and Jordan they have all those named characters, but even with minimal words, they all have their personality and real place in the story, often planned chapters or even books ahead, thus the effect is devastating, no matter how many of them we loose and whyIf the stars in the sky are not fixed, then nothing is fixed Nothing is eternal, all is temporary and ever changing She turned away from the stars, meeting his gaze Nothing is fixed, my lord No course is so set it cannot be changedDespite the weaknesses, I enjoyed the story, even though it did depress me a bit and I need to watch some of the Winter Olympics to bring my Happy Back So this is what I am going to do and hope for a good third and last book in the trilogy Now I wish you all Happy Reading and manyWonderful Books to come This was even better than Blood Song Telling the story from the perspective of four POV characters was a masterstroke It gave the book aepic feel and added depth to characters like Lyrna and Fretis It also introduced a great new character in Reva The story was a bit dark since if focused around repelling an invasion by the Valorian Empire, but there was enough humor, mystery, and romance to keep things from getting too bleak I really loved this and the series has become a new favorite I cannot wait for the next installment.Rating 5 stars. I was really excited for this book and have been waiting with anticipation for this to come out Tower Lord however is but a shadow of Blood Song While Blood Song had a tight plot and pacing with an interesting narrative, the Tower Lord is filled with pacing issues and rather uninteresting POVs Much of the book was about traveling around, and the action when it happened was rather boring In the first one we had a band of brothers with each being good in a specific skill The sequel however has the two new POVs being almost godlike with a sword, hell I doubt even Vaelin could do most of the feats the others did without his magic I couldn t help but dread every time Frentis s turn comes up and Reva while slightly better I feel her character somewhat hard to believe She only learned the sword in a few months and by the near end of the book her skill and feats with it is probably equal or even better than Vaelin s And her relationship with another character came out of nowhere and felt rather tacky Honestly it feels like the author or editor wanted a female equivalent of Vaelin for a wider demographics purpose.The ending was anticlimactic and rather leaving me wanting to read the next one it left me feeling disappointed I will probably read the last installment when it comes out, but there s no anticipation now. 4.5 Stars Tower Lord is the highly anticipated follow up to Anthony Ryan s brilliant debut Blood Song Ryan was undoubtedly under a lot of pressure to produce a worthy sequel to his massively successful self published debut and in my opinion he s delivered in a big way Ryan manages to retain what made Blood Song great brilliant characters, gripping plot, an intriguing sense of mystery while also expanding this series with some interesting new ideas different plot structure withPOV s, darker tone While the greater amount of interweaving storylines made the storycomplex and sometimes slowed it down it was still just as compelling as the first book.One of the first thing readers of the first book will notice about this one is the new POV structure I really liked this new structure The different POV s allowed us to gain a broader view of events that there s no way any one POV would have been able to cover The change in narrative structure halfway through the series evinces Ryan hadn t really planned this series out very well but I still think he s handled the change brilliantly I especially liked the way he used the Vernier s account sections to keep some continuity and make the transition runsmoothly I also think Ryan did a great job of creating a balance between the 4 POV characters Unlike almost every other book I ve read with this structure ASOIAF, The First Law I never found myself skipping one character s sections to read ahead with ainteresting character.Where Blood Song featured afocused, fast paced story here we have manydifferent plot lines and important events happening at the same time While this book in many ways has a stronger plot than it s predecessor I was disappointed by the simplistic good vs evil nature of it s central conflict The Volarian empire was written as a 2 D, almost cartoonishly evil invading empire , complete with all the tropes that are usually found with this clich d plot point such as an alliance with a mysterious force of pure evil, an army of brainwashed slave soldiers, supposedly deadly elite warriors who are constantly getting poned by the protagonists including an 18 year old girl with a few weeks of training with a sword While the central conflict is nowhere near as complex or intriguing as Blood Song the characters in this bookthan make up for it The additional POV s allow for the introduction of a larger cast of characters and for those characters, especially the main characters, to be explored in greater detail.Vaelin Al Sorna has survived the bloodshed of the mad king s war and the horrors of an Alpiran prison and now returns to the realm seeking peace His blood song however has other ideas Vaelin s storyline in this book, much like in Blood Song was enjoyable and well written Unlike in Blood Song however, Vaelin was rarely involved in action in this book While some readers were disappointed by this I thought it was handled really well, with the presence of action in the other storylines especially Reva and Frentis preventing the book from becoming boring This storyline reminded me of an old western with Vaelin s careful restraint from violence building the tension leading up to the inevitable final showdown Unfortunately the showdown itself was a disappointment view spoiler The climactic battle that Vaelin s storyline had been building up to since half way through the book was ultimately rushed and badly handled Ryan nicely set the stage for an epic set piece battle between the 2 opposing armies to decide the fate of the nation However Vaelin then completely ignored the intelligent battle plan laid out to him by one of his officers in favour of the Leroy Jenkins school of strategy, going on a 1 man charge against the entire enemy army roughly 100,000 strong and single handedly poning them through sheer badassery, allowing his much smaller, less well trained army to annihilate them without wasting time on anything as sissy as tactics or planning Because Blood Song realism strategy logic Obvs Rant over hide spoiler Full review over at Fantasy Book CriticANALYSIS Tower Lord is a book that I ve been waiting for since 2012 Anthony Ryan really announced himself in spectacular fashion with his self publication success, which then translated into a traditional publishing contract Two years later, a lot of fans are waiting to see if he can repeat and build upon his success with Tower Lord In my review for Blood Song, at the end I had written give this book a read if you want to read a story that s closest to those written by David Gemmell With Tower Lord, he not only proves that in spades by giving the readers a siege situation similar to that in Legend and also manymemorable events and characters There will be mild spoilers in the review below so be wary before you start.Let s begin with the story, in Tower Lord, we get three new POV characters besides Vaelin who was the sole narrator in Blood Song Another funny aspect of the story is that this book also follows the same narrative format as Blood Song wherein the events begin in the near past and interspersed between five current accounts of the royal Alpiran chronicler Verniers Alishe Someren As to why the story is set in such a format and what is Verniers doing will be up to the fans to RAFO Safe to say it s quite shocking to meet Verniers who finds himself in quite stunning conditions.We find Vaelin Al Sorna back to the Unified realm and seeks to find his relatives who might be still surviving The second POV character is Reva a young woman with tremendous martial skills who seeks revenge on Vaelin for a past crime She s not an Asraelian and seeks his death single handedly, who she is and why she hates Vaelin is spoiler material and so I won t comment on it Safe to say for people wanting to know her identity can take guesses and I might just give you tell if you are correct or not in the comments section below The other two POV characters are Princess Lyrna Frentis I, as a fan was expecting them to be POV characters and enjoyed getting to know their thoughts.This book also magnifies the world situation by showcasing the continent east of the Alpiran Unified realms, namely the Volarian Empire The story begins by detailing an attack on the unified realms from many fronts Vaelin is faced with a new responsibility when he s made Tower Lord of the Northern Reaches by King Malcius He has to ride north and take charge which he does but not with some reluctance Reva s track has us focusing on how she came to hate Vaelin so much and how she tracks him to face him for a duel Last when we met Frentis, he was aboard a strange ship heading off to lands unknown We find him now as an Alpiran slave who s fighting to stay alive Lastly we also get to explore the Northern Reaches as Princess Lyrna tries to find accord with the realm s northern neighbors.That s all I m going to say about the plot contents, as what happens in the story is that realm truly faces an invasion that boggles the mind I can see why the author choose to expand the POV list as this story would have been impossible to cover from just a singular POV Another highlight of this book is that nearly every character that made a major minor impression in its predeceasing title is back in this one except the dead ones We get to see all of them experience different shades to them this was an extremely pleasurable to read A couple of mysteries from Blood Song, namely who attacked Vaelin in the Test Of the Wild as well as who was behind it get clarified Many other bigger revelations also abound like what truly happened to Vaelin when he was an Alpiran captive Who is the Witch s bastard and who are his allies There s also a fascinating exploration of the Seventh order and the magic system espoused in this trilogy.Secondly going on to the characterization, Anthony Ryan shines brighter in his sopho effort by giving us many brilliant characters Besides Vaelin, Reva, Frentis and Princess Lyrna get the POV turn and I loved how different the characters were from what we read in Vaelin s thoughts Princess Lyrna was the character that was the most intriguing to me and in this book, she gets to shine truly There s also the brothers Caenis, Sollis, the order aspect, etc who we have met before and now have acquired different roles You ll be surprised to see many of them and how they feel about Vaelin There are also some characters who make an appearance under a different name it will be fun if you can spot them Many of those who complained about Frentis cockney accent will be glad to know that it isn t a problem in this sequel Infact I would say he becomes a terror worthy of Vaelin s status The author also expands the readers on to the world by focusing on the realm and giving us fascinating insights into the various types of people and faiths that abound This light is also shone upon the Alpiran as well as the Volarian culture.Lastly the pace and action sequences are amplified across all the four POV sections, we get to see our favorite characters face odds that they have never thought of and the fun is reading how it all ends Previously I talked about the siege like conditions similar to Legend The author displays his skills and gives us a fascinating account in to the siege via Verniers and then through the actual characters This dual approach creates some confusion but it s done in a way that will leave you with a smile in the end Coming back to my original statement of this book being similar to Legend, David Gemmell s epic debut We get a siege wherein legends are forged and this was the highlight of the story And how does the author manage to top off such an exciting read, he cruelly ends the story with a chapter that hearkens back to the shocker that was the epilogue in A Storm Of Swords This climatic chapter ends on such a note that you might not want to wait a whole year for Queen Of Fire.There s so muchI want to gush about this book but I think I ve said enough Regarding the negatives about this title, the only thing I can think is that the story has kind of a slow start with all POV chapters It takes only a while for the pace to pick up but once it does, the chapters fly by on to a rousing action packed finale that is memorable Your mileage may vary but this is the only drawback in an otherwise superb sequel.CONCLUSION This book easily is the best heroic epic fantasy of 2014 bettering the high of City Of Stairs which is yet to be released and now all other books will have to excel to overcome it Tower Lord is a loud proclamation that Anthony Ryan is David Gemmell s natural successor and epic fantasy s best British talent.