Saturday, July 5, 2014

Review: "Tower Lord" by Anthony Ryan

The sequel to "Blood Song", "Tower Lord" continues the adventures of Vaelin Al Sorna, the swordsman who has the magical gift called the Blood Song.

The story starts off shortly after the events in the first book. Well, the latest events in the book. "Blood Song" had a tendency to jump about in time, making the narrative less-than-linear.

"Tower Lord" doesn't generally have that problem.

It's a bit hard to review this book without spoiling it, and I'm loathe to do so, but it's a solid sequel. It's a vicious story, making "Blood Song" seem like a fluffy romp through daffodils and rainbows in parts.

Unlike "Blood Song" that really only had two point-of-view protagonists (Vaelin and Verniers), "Tower Lord" splits off into what is really five distinct POV characters: Vaelin, Verniers (poor schmuck), Princess Lyrna, Frentis, and a new character.

The story is deeply fucked-up but interesting and engaging. Anthony Ryan is brilliant in his tales of victory snatched from the ashes and victories turning into ash. His villains are explored in greater detail with newer, more despicable, ones added for good measure.

Ryan's heroes are horribly-scarred people, both internally and externally, but likeable for all their flaws.

"Tower Lord" ends on some interesting notes, leaving me wondering where the next book is going. I can't wait to read it.

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