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' 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' 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.
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The Great Swampy Middle!
So it you are reading this then I can assume you have read Blood Song and are looking to pick up or have picked up Tower Lord and just want to get an idea of the book before you settle down to read it. Well my title says it all this book has all the trappings of the great swampy middle ground of a series, allow me to elaborate.
This book is good, I enjoyed it quite a bit and was very happy to see how well the Author branched out from the first book. The first book was great, spectacular even but it was also simple in that it had very few PoV and very few locations. In Tower Lord we get to see more. More of the world, more people and more character development of several of the secondary characters from Blood Song. That last one was critical in that it allows the story to flush out through different PoV's with different motivations and experiences. As much as people want to see and read about Vaelin this book and the story as a whole would have just plain sucked if we did that again.
Well written, expanded story, more character development and interaction and a very enjoyable continuation of the overall story.
Its a middle book. A lot happens in it but at the end of the day it is stage setting for the rest of the series. Plus big Ol' dangled cliff hanger at the end, I'm not partial to cliff hangers personally so this is more of a personal preference than a true con.
Oh and for the people complaining about too many PoV and all the jumping around, there is 4...... seriously 4 PoV you follow through the story and the sections titled by which PoV you will be following. No problem knowing whose head I was in during the listen here.
If you read Blood Song you are going to read Tower Lord so go away and do so, right now! If you are reading this to see if you want to pick up the series then the answer is yes, go get it, now. Stop reading this and go, now. Stop. Reading. This. Review. NOW!
- Jack "Is it just me or does it seem weird to be reading a review on an audio site? It is, that is why there is a record button for reviews......"
Common epic fantasy mistake of too many viewpoints
Yes, because it is the sequel to a very good book, and there is hope for future books in the series being as good as the first. The prose is also great.
The reader makes absolutely zero effort at doing voices to distinguish between characters, and between characters and the narration of the plot. While his voice is pleasant, this makes it once of the worst audiobooks I've listened to. It is especially difficult as there are sections where conversations are written jumping between different characters without stuff like "said character x", "exclaimed character y". Because of this, with this narrator, it is next to impossible to know which characters are speaking which lines
Blood Song was the breakout hit for Anthony Ryan. Unfortunately, it seems that this has gone to his head a little. In order to make sure he can pump out these novels for quite some time, the pace of the book has slowed down dramatically in comparison to the first book. Much worse though, is that we now suddenly have a million different viewpoints. This is a common trap that fantasy authors often fall into on the success of a first book, even when that success and book are based primarily around a single viewpoint.People liked the first book because Valen is an interesting character. It is a massive mistake to go from 80% Valen, 20% other in the first book to 25% Valen in this one. It's a bildungsroman, and should focus on Valen. people don't care much about the other, much less interesting characters.It's Wheel of Time/Sword of Truth all over again. The authors realise the series may be the only one people ever really read, so they need to make them much bigger and with more books than originally planned. Unfortunately this comes at the cost of quality, with so many viewpoints introduced that we barely see the characters (in this case, character) we came to see.