The Wolf's Call (Raven's Blade #1)
Anthony Ryan's debut novel Blood Song - book one of the Raven's Shadow series - took the fantasy world by storm. The sequels, Tower Lord and Queen of Fire were both New York Times bestsellers. Now, Anthony Ryan returns to the world of this acclaimed fantasy series with The Wolf's Call, which begins a thrilling new story of razor-sharp action and epic adventure.PEACE NEVER LASTSVaelin Al Sorna is a living legend, his name known across the Realm. It was his leadership that overthrew empires, his blade that won hard-fought battles - and his sacrifice that defeated an evil more terrifying than anything the world had ever seen. Yet he cast aside his earned glory for a quiet life in the Realm's northern reaches.Now whispers have come from across the sea of an army called the Steel Horde, led by a man who believes himself a god. Vaelin has no wish to fight another war, but when he learns that Sherin, the woman he lost long ago, has fallen into the Horde's grasp, he resolves to confront this powerful new threat.To this end, Vaelin travels to the realms of the Merchant Kings, a land ruled by honour and intrigue. There, as the drums of war thunder across kingdoms riven by conflict, Vaelin learns a terrible truth: that there are some battles that even he cannot hope to win

The Wolf's Call (Raven's Blade #1) Details

TitleThe Wolf's Call (Raven's Blade #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 23rd, 2019
PublisherAce
Rating
GenreFantasy, Epic Fantasy, Magic

The Wolf's Call (Raven's Blade #1) Review

  • Petrik
    January 1, 1970
    ARC provided by the publisher—Ace Books—in exchange for an honest reviewThe Wolf’s Call is Anthony Ryan’s best work since the release of his incredible debut.First of all, because a lot of people have asked me on this matter, do not read this book if you haven’t read the first trilogy. Although technically you can understand the main story in this book, it will be impossible to understand the depth of the characters’ background and recollections of their past if you haven’t read the Raven’s Shad ARC provided by the publisher—Ace Books—in exchange for an honest reviewThe Wolf’s Call is Anthony Ryan’s best work since the release of his incredible debut.First of all, because a lot of people have asked me on this matter, do not read this book if you haven’t read the first trilogy. Although technically you can understand the main story in this book, it will be impossible to understand the depth of the characters’ background and recollections of their past if you haven’t read the Raven’s Shadow trilogy. In my opinion, one of the greatest parts about the book lies in Vaelin’s and the other characters’ reminiscences of their bittersweet pasts and how war has harshly affected them; the events being recalled will definitely lose their emotional weight if you jump into this with no knowledge of the previous trilogy. Reading The Wolf’s Call without reading Raven’s Shadow trilogy is equivalent to reading Robin Hobb’s Tawny Man trilogy without reading her Farseer Trilogy or reading Pierce Brown’s Iron Gold without reading his Red Rising trilogy first. At the very least, if you’re really pressed on time and just want to dive into this ASAP, make sure you read Blood Song and Tower Lord; these two are must reads if you want to fully immerse yourself in this book, and then maybe read a summary of Queen of Fire on the net. “An old love, born in youth, but now stained by bitterness and regret. The wounds left by betrayal never truly heal.” The Wolf’s Call is the first book in Anthony Ryan’s Raven’s Blade duology. The story takes place roughly ten years after the end of Blood Song and for almost the entirety of the book, the setting of the book is not in the Unified Realm but in the previously unexplored Venerable Kingdom to the west. I’m super glad for this change; not only I’m feeling the fatigue of reading about Vaelin in the Realm’s Northen Reaches. I also prefer reading the continuation to Vaelin’s story in the familiar two POV’s narrative we had in Blood Song rather than the multi-POV we get in Tower Lord & Queen of Fire. In a way, The Wolf’s Call feels more like a direct sequel to Blood Song in terms of plot, characters, and narration than both Tower Lord and Queen of Fire. This is just my opinion, but I personally believe that Anthony Ryan is at his best when he focuses his storytelling one or two main character’s perspectives rather than multi-POV. This was proven in Blood Song, A Pilgrimage of Swords, and from what I’ve heard, in Many Are the Dead too. “A life of loss and grief will make even the kindest soul close his heart to the divine,” Just like in Blood Song, Vaelin returns as the singular main perspective character in this book. The other POV belongs to a completely new character—Luralyn—and she replaced Verniers as the interlude starter. I simply loved how well-written these two POV characters were. Luralyn’s diary/chapters have some of Ryan’s best prose included in them, and I’ve read all his full-length fantasy novels, so I feel confident saying that. Plus, her perspective offers insight into Kehlbrand’s—the new villain of the novel—character and also the Stahlhast’s culture superbly. As for Vaelin, I don’t think I need to elaborate further on how much I disliked Vaelin’s POV in Tower Lord/Queen of Fire; to sum it up efficiently, I truly feel like Vaelin’s POV in The Wolf’s Call sounds similar to Vaelin in Blood Song, which I absolutely loved reading. If you find yourself disappointed by Vaelin’s character development post Blood Song, I believe that The Wolf’s Call has the potential to bring back your love towards the character. Without giving any spoilers, we also get to see returning characters from the previous trilogy, including the one that’s been missing ever since Blood Song ended. I simply love the new characters more than Lyrna or Reva. It’s not only the protagonists that are better; I also think that Kehlbrand was also so much more interesting as a villain than the main villain featured in Raven’s Shadow. “Mercy requires strength, compassion demands courage and wisdom compels truth.” Admittedly, the structure of the final battle felt a bit repetitive as it was another siege battle just like the climactic scenes featured in both Blood Song and Tower Lord. However, despite the story’s similar structure, I found the battle against the Steel Horde to be utterly engaging. In my opinion, the climax scene in this book was comprised of Anthony Ryan’s finest war scenes so far. It feels great to be invested in the Vaelin’s journey again, and seeing him and his companions struggle against their new opponent was a delight. War takes more than it gives and blind faith results in destruction; I immensely enjoyed reading Ryan’s depiction on the effect of war and deadly faith. “My power amounts to knowledge and skill acquired over many years of study and practice. Heaven had nothing to do with it.” The Wolf’s Call delivers a fantastic storytelling tone that’s attuned to the one sang so brilliantly in Blood Song. Vaelin’s tale continues in an incredibly engaging and evocative fashion; the first installment in Raven’s Blade duology cuts deep to the heart with its bittersweet recollections that are enhanced with deftly written prose. Judging from how much Ryan has improved as an author and how the ending made me truly wish that the next book was available for me to binge read immediately; there’s a very strong chance that Ryan will conclude Vaelin’s story satisfyingly in the next and final installment. Highly recommended for readers who loved Blood Song.Official release date: July 25th, 2019 (UK) and July 23rd, 2019 (US)You can pre-order the book from: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository (Free shipping)The quotes in this review were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.You can find this and the rest of my reviews at Novel Notions
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  • Sean Barrs the Bookdragon
    January 1, 1970
    Release day today!Robin Hobb meets Joe Abercrombie in a story that delivers so many gut-wrenching blows. This is fantasy with a totally legendary feel; it’s epic in every regard and certainly something that needs to be added to your reading list. The best part for me was the villain. The Darkbalde is a rather enigmatic figure and his story is slowly revealed through flashbacks that only build up the suspense. These sections were by far my favourite because they carried with it an echo of prophec Release day today!Robin Hobb meets Joe Abercrombie in a story that delivers so many gut-wrenching blows. This is fantasy with a totally legendary feel; it’s epic in every regard and certainly something that needs to be added to your reading list. The best part for me was the villain. The Darkbalde is a rather enigmatic figure and his story is slowly revealed through flashbacks that only build up the suspense. These sections were by far my favourite because they carried with it an echo of prophecy, an echo of deeds worthy of song. Dark magic was layered on intrigue to create a legend that may be entirely self-deluded, but it is a legend nonetheless. The Darkblade has created an army and he is ready to conquer the world; his men love him, and they worship him as a god and a liberator. They will do anything he asks without question because it’s he that asks. Vaelin (the protagonist from Blood Song) is somewhat reluctant to get involved in all the drama and to take on such a powerful enemy. Vaelin is clearly the most capable and experienced man in the field (even though his magic has faded) though he still wants no part in the war that is to come. Well, that’s until he hears that his lost love has been dragged into the mess caused by The Darkblade. His hand is forced, and he must intervene for the affection he still holds for her. Her life is at risk, so he draws his sword and sets sail. “An old love, born in youth, but now stained by bitterness and regret. The wounds left by betrayal never truly heal.” What unfolds is a story driven by a need for revenge and justice. It’s fast-paced and balanced well with cinematic style action and intense moments of dialogue. And the characters are truly fascinating people, many come with stories I want to hear and history I ought to know. The setting has a Germanic tribal feel in places with its forests and barbarian type aesthetic. It reminded me somewhat of Roman fiction with some fantasy elements thrown in. And it all works rather well. It’s something every fantasy fan will appreciate. This is my first Anthony Ryan novel and it has given me a good feel for his writing and his world; however, before progressing with this series I ought to go back and read his previous trilogy, The Raven’s Shadow. I don’t feel like I’ve missed out much with The Wolf’s Call, in terms of plot, but I think my engagement and investment with the characters would have increased if I knew a bit more about them. It’s all good reading a summary in here about their exploits but reading it first-hand would have been better. Overall though, it’s still accessible to new readers. So, this is a solid first entry in a duology that I just know is going to be incredible. Exciting times ahead for Anthony Ryan fans!FBR | Twitter | Facebook | Insta | Academia
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  • Gavin
    January 1, 1970
    I’m delighted to announce my next novel The Wolf’s Call, the first volume in a two-part series The Raven’s Blade which is a return to the world of Raven’s Shadow and will continue the story of Vaelin Al Sorna. I LOVED Blood Song and Tower Lord but was super disappointed by the way Ryan wrapped up the Raven's Shadow trilogy in Queen of Fire! That Ryan plans to write a new duology in the same world with Vaelin as the lead character has reignited my hopes that Ryan will return to this world and get I’m delighted to announce my next novel The Wolf’s Call, the first volume in a two-part series The Raven’s Blade which is a return to the world of Raven’s Shadow and will continue the story of Vaelin Al Sorna. I LOVED Blood Song and Tower Lord but was super disappointed by the way Ryan wrapped up the Raven's Shadow trilogy in Queen of Fire! That Ryan plans to write a new duology in the same world with Vaelin as the lead character has reignited my hopes that Ryan will return to this world and get the story back on track and finally deliver us the sort of fantastic conclusion both the world and us readers deserve.It always felt like there was more stories to tell in this world and fresh from reading the wrap up to The Draconis Memoria series my faith in Ryan as an author has been restored a good bit. Roll on summer 2019 and the return of Vaelin Al Sorna!Ace Books press release:Ace Books is thrilled to announce that the next book from international bestselling author Anthony Ryan is called The Wolf’s Call and, even more excitingly, it will return to the world of his bestselling and critically-acclaimed Raven’s Shadow trilogy (which comprised Blood Song, Tower Lord, and Queen of Fire).The Wolf’s Call, book one of the Raven’s Blade duology, will begin an epic new adventure for fan-favorite Vaelin Al Sorna, as he travels to the far-flung realms of the Merchant Kings and learns of a grave new threat to the Unified Realm. Needless to say, The Wolf’s Call will feature more of the razor-sharp action, deadly politics and memorable characters that made the Raven’s Shadow trilogy a worldwide sensation, and is sure to delight new readers and existing fans alike.Ace will publish The Wolf’s Call in summer 2019.
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  • Dyrk Ashton
    January 1, 1970
    Okay folks, listen up. For all the readers who had complaints about the last two books in The Raven's Shadow Trilogy—this book has none of those problems. Put that out of your mind and dive into this. I loved it. Vaelin is older, more grizzled, and he's lost his song. He can still wield a blade though, and boy does he. I love this Vaelin, and the group he travels with on a crazy rescue mission that leads to a pending war even more frightening than those from Raven's Shadow are fantastic. This is Okay folks, listen up. For all the readers who had complaints about the last two books in The Raven's Shadow Trilogy—this book has none of those problems. Put that out of your mind and dive into this. I loved it. Vaelin is older, more grizzled, and he's lost his song. He can still wield a blade though, and boy does he. I love this Vaelin, and the group he travels with on a crazy rescue mission that leads to a pending war even more frightening than those from Raven's Shadow are fantastic. This is fun, fast-moving epic fantasy at its best!
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  • Petros Triantafyllou
    January 1, 1970
    Anthony Ryan took the fantasy community by surprise back in 2011 with the release of Blood Song - a book considered by many (including me) as one of the greatest fantasy stories of our times. Now, eight years & two complete trilogies later, he gets back to his roots by continuing the story of Vaelin Al Sorna, Brother of the Sixth Order, Battle Lord of the Unified Realm, and an all-round badass motherfucker. With the war won and his blood song lost, Vaelin is leading a quiet life as Tower Lor Anthony Ryan took the fantasy community by surprise back in 2011 with the release of Blood Song - a book considered by many (including me) as one of the greatest fantasy stories of our times. Now, eight years & two complete trilogies later, he gets back to his roots by continuing the story of Vaelin Al Sorna, Brother of the Sixth Order, Battle Lord of the Unified Realm, and an all-round badass motherfucker. With the war won and his blood song lost, Vaelin is leading a quiet life as Tower Lord of the Northern Reaches under the rule of Lyrna Al Nieren, Queen of the Greater Unified Realm. That is until the Witch's Bastard, ex-servant of the One Who Waits and an old friend-turned-foe of Vaelin's, informs him that a new evil is ready to devour the world, and Sherin, Vaelin's ex lover, is but the first casualty. Or at least she will be, if Vaelin isn't there to save her... "Kehlbrand Reyerik, Mestra-Skeltir of the Stahlhast and Darkblade of the Unseen, rode alone towards the northern gate. He wore no helm but was clad in unadorned armour of pure black that caught the midday sun, the enamelled metal bare of any blemish or scratch. His army stood at his back, a dark line of steel-clad humanity and horses extending a mile in either direction." A lot of fans complained that although Ryan told an excellent story in the books following Blood Song, he shifted the focus from Vaelin to other characters, and more specifically to Reva, Lyrna & Frentis, giving them their own POVs and demoting Vaelin's role. I'm happy to say that The Wolf's Call sports but one POV, and it is none other's than Vaelin's. As a matter of fact, the story itself focuses on Vaelin and his quest, as opposed to the first trilogy that was centered around the fate of the Unified Realm instead. "A life of loss and grief will make even the kindest soul close his heart to the divine." The first installment in the Raven's Blade trilogy features everything that we've come to love in Ryan's books. From a fast-paced story with the right amount of breathtaking action sequences & curative dialogue to an engaging plot with an exciting series of events, and from well-crafted and fascinating characters to a masterfully established world with its many characteristics such as magic system, lore, cosmology and geography, as well as the world's many human inhabitants, their societies and their cultures, The Wolf's Call is everything a fantasy fan could ever wish for.
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  • Mihir
    January 1, 1970
    Full review over at Fantasy Book Critic OVERVIEW/ANALYSIS: “The wolf….. It called…..”Vaelin mentions it called to him and he had to respond. I think it called out to Anthony Ryan as well, hence e heard the fan clamour for this sequel series. As for me, I’m always excited for Anthony Ryan’s work. His debut Blood Song is one of my all-time favourite titles. The Raven’s Shadow trilogy was an exciting one, however the increase of POV focus from a singular one in the first book to the many in the re Full review over at Fantasy Book Critic OVERVIEW/ANALYSIS: “The wolf….. It called…..”Vaelin mentions it called to him and he had to respond. I think it called out to Anthony Ryan as well, hence e heard the fan clamour for this sequel series. As for me, I’m always excited for Anthony Ryan’s work. His debut Blood Song is one of my all-time favourite titles. The Raven’s Shadow trilogy was an exciting one, however the increase of POV focus from a singular one in the first book to the many in the remaining two books caused many a consternation among fans. Their grievances while understandable weren’t shared by me. I still love the ending as it was an all-out action ride that had Vaelin and his brothers facing unsurmountable odds as well as Lyrna who has become a queen in more ways than one. The sequel books really expanded the world and gave us a strong background on the Alpiran and Volarian empires. They also expanded the character cast and gave us more information about the dark and its practices. The books also introduced the Merchant Kings whose kingdoms featured to the West of the unified realm. At the end of Blood Song, Vaelin took a calculated risk and sent his love away with Ahm-Lin. He’s ever been haunted by his actions, not fully knowing how she took it. Plus after the events of Queen Of Fire and faced with the loss of his blood song. He’s no longer able to match his current prowess to that of his legends. Things however are calmer and there aren’t any battles or wars that need his attention. His position as tower lord of the north means that he has to help keep the peace as well occasionally lead forays against slavers. Reva’s daughter Ellese has also joined his court and proves to be a tough ward. One of his essential functions is receiving visiting dignitaries as his fame has indeed spread to many other lands. On such a recent visit from those of the merchant kingdoms, Vaelin comes face to face to again (surprisingly) with his fre-nemy whose actions have long been intertwined with Vaelin’s life. Revealing a new danger that is arising from the lands to the west of the Merchant Kingdoms and one of the first casualties being Sherin leads Vaelin to immediately leave for those foreign lands. However he’s not alone, brother Nortah has been waylaid of late with certain issues and Vaelin chooses to take him along as he sees no other option left for him. There are a couple more people who join our beloved warrior on his quest and he’s not happy about it. Things are much weirder as there’s a new warrior who claims the title of Darkblade while having extra help and he has named Vaelin as the Thief Of Names. As you can surmise, there’s a lot going on and Anthony Ryan has a lot of irons in the mix with this new duology featuring his most beloved character. Firstly the positives, characterization has been Anthony Ryan’s forte and with this book, he returns to the style of his debut wherein everything is filtered through Vaelin Al Sorna. This has two solid benefits, primarily we return to familiar atmosphere of Blood Song and secondarily we get a solidly focused narrative that keeps the readers engaged. The Vaelin we meet is an older, grizzled one but no less charismatic. He’s our narrator and holds the story cohesively. We get to see the other characters such as Nortah, Sherin, Ahm-Lin, and many new folks from the western kingdoms. Everyone is a fully realized character and even with only Vaelin’s third person perspective, we get a solid character cast who intrigue, inspire and arouse disgust. The story is very much a stranger in a strange land mold and the worldbuiding is solidly done from the three Merchant Kingdoms to the Iron Steppe and its inhabitants the Stahlhast. The readers are introduced to a whole new land and its inhabitants and Athe author lays out a very detailed landscape from the canals of Hahn-Shi to the dry, dusty steppes and their iron tors. I enjoyed this East Asian facsimile that Anthony has created. Astute readers will easily be able to figure what regions and history, the author is utilizing. The story also further deepens the aspect of the afterlife and what was revealed in Queen Of Fire with regards to the Black Stone in Volaria. I thought this was a nice tie-in to the original trilogy and we are given more hints about what lies in the beyond. For those readers who might be shy to jump in this new series without reading the previous titles such as Tower Lord & Queen Of Fire. Be not wary, if you have read Blood Song then you can jump into this duology easily. Surely there'll be a few minor things that won't make any sense but given how divisive the opinion is over those two titles. I can safely vouch for this title being the better than both and only needing Blood Song's background and details for one to enjoy this volume.The action sequences aren’t a lot to begin with and the readers will find sporadic scenes until the last third of the story. But it’s during this last third that the story kicks into overdrive. We get a solid taste of what has been promised. The climax even pays a bit of homage to one of Anthony Ryan’s favorite titles namely David Gemmell’s Legend. However the author neatly lays in a twist that’s hard to anticipate and the way it pans out, I really enjoyed it. Lastly the book ends on a big cliffhanger and sets up the sequel superbly. I loved what the author has in store and with that twist, the sequel becomes another must read for 2020. Going on to the things that might not work, one of the confounding things is the structure of the book. It follows the pattern of having first person accounts interspersed between the third person POV chapters. In the first trilogy, it made sense as it was Verniers who was chronicling Vaelin’s legend. With this new duology, I was more than surprised to this style adopted by the author. Maybe it was to draw similarities between both series and in that it works beautifully. However I hope that the author has more in store and can reveal why he chose to structure the new series this way. Secondly we are led to believe that there will be a big conflict between said demigods but that doesn’t happen and I for one was a tad disappointed with it. CONCLUSION: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again “Anthony Ryan is David Gemmell’s natural successor and heroic fantasy’s best British talent”. With this new duology, he proves me right all over again. The Wolf’ Call heralds a successful call back to Blood Song and while it might not be as great as Blood Song was. It’s still a damn good story that will make you want the sequel now.
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  • WhiskeyintheJar/Kyraryker
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsI received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Vaelin gave a very small laugh as a long remembered phrase came to mind. “There’s always another war.” The Wolf's Call starts off the new series Raven's Blade but is also a continuation of the series Raven's Shadow. I would highly suggest reading that series first, as I did not, and was very lost for the first half of this story. For others that did re 3.5 starsI received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Vaelin gave a very small laugh as a long remembered phrase came to mind. “There’s always another war.” The Wolf's Call starts off the new series Raven's Blade but is also a continuation of the series Raven's Shadow. I would highly suggest reading that series first, as I did not, and was very lost for the first half of this story. For others that did read Raven's Shadow, they'll recognize the characters and find that even though the Queen of Fire now reigns, there will still be no peace for Vaelin Al Sorna, Tower Lord of the Northern Reaches.Vaelin learns that his beloved, that he drugged to send away for what he considered her own safety, is now in danger. He hasn't had any contact with Sherin in years but since he sent her away, he feels responsible for her now being in danger. This is an epic fantasy series, so magic plays a big part in the story whether it be mystical orders, people with mystical powers, or mystical beings. Vaelin travels with his stowaway niece, an outlaw boy he is training, and a handful of other secondary characters. Kehlbrand was no longer playing the role of a god. Now he was a god, a living god who would tolerate no worship of any other. He had become the Darkblade, and so was no longer my brother. Vaelin's story is only one side of the coin, the danger he is told Sherin is going to be in, stems from a man named Kehlbrand, renamed Darkblade, now claiming to be a god. Vaelin and Kehlbrand are the overt powers at work in the story. Kehlbrand believing he is a god has decided that he needs to conquer all of the land and people, his Steele Horde army is sweeping the land and while at times physically freeing people, also enslaving their minds, through religious fervor and/or magic. While the two men are at the forefront, covertly are two women. We are first introduced to Luralyn, Kehlbrand's sister and her gift of sight, or what she calls the “True Dream”. Sharing some knowledge she gleamed from her True Dream, she ends up saving Kehlbrand, earning his trust and inadvertently setting events in motion that maybe never should have happened.Hidden even more covertly is the other woman, the Jade Princess, a woman who has lived supposedly for centuries and has the gift of Song. She also has sight and she is entwined with Luralyn and Sherin. Sherin has been with the Jade Princess for awhile and believes in every action the Jade Princess says she must do in order to help save the world from the Darkblade. Vaelin traveling to save Sherin, who is with the Jade Princess, and Kehlbrand declaring Vaelin is a “Thief of Names” and he must be killed because Kehlbrand is the only one true Darkblade, has Luralyn traveling with him and their fates are all entwined. “I was a coward,” he said. “And a fool. I allowed myself to fall victim to the folly of prophecy and the arrogance of believing destiny actually possesses any meaning. My only defence is that in that time and place, I had no doubts. She had to leave and I had to stay.” Besides being a bit lost in the first half, I thought it was a bit slow. The big war seems to have happened in the series before this one and this starts off a bit as a deflated balloon. Again, reading the previous series would help as the pace would fit in better as the middle half starts to ramp things up again. The second half I enjoyed more as I was firmly settled in the world, although still missing some background character relationships, and I enjoyed the building crescendo pace as Vaelin and Kehlbrand were being brought closer and closer together. We do get our climatic scene, but it's around the 70% mark and I once again thought the pace stalled and had to work to rev back up as this becomes a cliffhanger story; I felt this particular story plot could have ended here and elongating it to a second book feels a bit stretching.I enjoyed the character relationships and the two sides of a coin feel merged together but due to not reading the first series or not explanation, going into detail enough, I was left clueless or wanting more at times; I wish I knew the Jade Princess better and the evil stone plot could have used more filling out. This was an intriguing epic fantasy world but even though there was magic running afoot, the author still managed to make our characters' humanity the center and most fascinating part of the story.
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  • Nigel
    January 1, 1970
    In brief - There is always one isn't there and maybe it's me this time. Not bad but I have read better definitely.In fullThis book is set after the author's Raven's Shadow series and I have not read that series. The book starts with an intro about the dynamics - family and other - of the Stahlhast. Kehlbrand becomes Mestra-Skeltir when his older brother is sacrificed by the priests. Luralyn, his sister, narrates this. She supports him and is also capable of assisting him through visions she has In brief - There is always one isn't there and maybe it's me this time. Not bad but I have read better definitely.In fullThis book is set after the author's Raven's Shadow series and I have not read that series. The book starts with an intro about the dynamics - family and other - of the Stahlhast. Kehlbrand becomes Mestra-Skeltir when his older brother is sacrificed by the priests. Luralyn, his sister, narrates this. She supports him and is also capable of assisting him through visions she has - the True Dream. I confess I was a little unsure what to make of this. I guess I was even more confused when the book then actually started in a completely different place. Vaelin, Tower Lord, is dealing with thieves and bandits. However he quickly finds that he has far worse problems that this to deal with. He journeys far with various people. The book follows Vaelin and his companions on their travels. Inevitably they encounter the might of the Stahlhast and battle can be the only outcome.The writing here is of a very high standard. However there is also plenty of history in this initially - maybe if I had read the previous series it would have meant more and been more important. The action when it comes is excellent. While the first 50% of this left me rather disinterested the pace (& the action) increase progressively. I certainly never wanted to stop reading this.There are a number of characters who I felt should have been far more interesting that I found them. The Jade Princess and Sherin would be among these. Equally there were many more minor roles which had good characters such as Vaelin's brother and his niece. However none of them really came alive for me.The last 20% or so was very good indeed. But in the end I was never really as gripped by this as I have been in some fantasy series I've read. Was it the pace early on or the fact that there was quite a lot of retrospection about the previous series? I guess it could have been the characters. Either way I need to be "taken" by a fantasy book and held. Others have been however I was not. I doubt I would read the next book in the series.Note - I received an advance digital copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair reviewhttps://viewson.org.uk/fantasy/the-wo...
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  • Dianne
    January 1, 1970
    Fans of epic fantasy will devour Anthony Ryan’s THE WOLF’S CALL as this rapid-fire tale unfolds, revealing layer upon layer of action and adventure, deceit, magic and characters that feel larger-than-life. The world building is phenomenal, the attention to detail pulls readers in and hold them captive!One man will become a legend to his people, defeating evil with his sword. When a new threat emerges, he must once again take up arms to save his realm and the woman he left behind.What this book l Fans of epic fantasy will devour Anthony Ryan’s THE WOLF’S CALL as this rapid-fire tale unfolds, revealing layer upon layer of action and adventure, deceit, magic and characters that feel larger-than-life. The world building is phenomenal, the attention to detail pulls readers in and hold them captive!One man will become a legend to his people, defeating evil with his sword. When a new threat emerges, he must once again take up arms to save his realm and the woman he left behind.What this book lacked was background on the characters and to my dismay, there is a previous trilogy that lays the platform and fills in many missing pieces. That said, this is powerful epic fantasy told by a very talented author!I received a complimentary ARC edition from Ace!Series: Raven's Blade - Book 1Publisher: Ace (July 23, 2019)Publication Date: July 23, 2019Genre: Epic FantasyPrint Length: 432 pagesAvailable from: Amazon | Barnes & NobleFor Reviews, Giveaways, Fabulous Book News, follow: http://tometender.blogspot.com
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  • Flying Monkey
    January 1, 1970
    4 Stars!Great to see Anthony Ryan back to form in the The Wolf's Call. Plenty of action, fast paced, good character development and worldbuilding. Looking forward to Raven's Blade, #2.
  • Reggie Kray
    January 1, 1970
    2.5*. I really wanted to like this book. I enjoyed the villain more than the protagonist. Probably not what the author desired. So, um......Blood Song was awesome!
  • K.V. Johansen
    January 1, 1970
    A thoroughly satisfying return to the world of Vaelin al Sorna. This is some time after the end of Queen of Fire, but the world hasn't stood still. In the far west, new powers are rising, threatening even the distant continent where Vaelin guards a remote frontier for his queen. Old characters are back, still struggling with the legacy of past torments; young people are growing up and into new roles. One fascinating new central character is Luralyn. A young woman of the Stahlhast, a people of th A thoroughly satisfying return to the world of Vaelin al Sorna. This is some time after the end of Queen of Fire, but the world hasn't stood still. In the far west, new powers are rising, threatening even the distant continent where Vaelin guards a remote frontier for his queen. Old characters are back, still struggling with the legacy of past torments; young people are growing up and into new roles. One fascinating new central character is Luralyn. A young woman of the Stahlhast, a people of the west, she has a gift of foreseeing and is the sister of her tribe's new leader, a man driven by an ancient dark power to conquer the world and make himself a god. Luralyn's courageous conspiracy against him, which reaches across continents and oceans, lies at the heart of this story.Although this book continues Vaelin's life from the previous trilogy, it can be read as the start of something new; a reader unfamiliar with the world's and the characters' previous history shouldn't be lost. Necessary backstory is sketched in, not left to memory. Someone just entering the world at this point will definitely want to go back to Blood Song and the first trilogy while waiting for the next Raven's Blade novel, though. As always, Ryan's writing is excellent. The characters are vivid and complex; his heroes are compassionate, driven, thoughtful people struggling with hard choices; his fight scenes and battles are exciting, grimly-felt, and nailbitingly tense. Vaelin's up there with Else/Piper as one of my favourite fantasy-fiction soldiers -- someone facing inhuman dark forces that seem far beyond his abilities, yet persevering, because someone has to.
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  • Etienne
    January 1, 1970
    3,5/5. Where to start... I was disappointed by it can't deny the fact. It was good, but I was expecting something way better. The first half consist mostly of going here and there and having to battle various group of enemies, very thin plot and repetitive action. The second half is better with a clearer objectives and stakes. The ending is great and I will continue for sure, hoping it will be better. For the characters part now! The new characters are mostly all failed, very hard to get attach 3,5/5. Where to start... I was disappointed by it can't deny the fact. It was good, but I was expecting something way better. The first half consist mostly of going here and there and having to battle various group of enemies, very thin plot and repetitive action. The second half is better with a clearer objectives and stakes. The ending is great and I will continue for sure, hoping it will be better. For the characters part now! The new characters are mostly all failed, very hard to get attach to them or caring for them (except one but he/she died so we won,t get more from him/her, staying blurry on purpose here to avoid spoiler). Even Vaelin seem kind of off for most of the book, not much evolution from his part, not deep enough, I would almost say a bit blank. I care for him because of the previous series, but with this book alone... can't say I grew up with him on this adventure. And this character element was for me the biggest disappointment of this book. The action is good and well describe like always. So it was good but not great. I would have like it to start faster and putting in more work in the character development, again, Vaelin should have been better, when I saw that it was always focus on him (we don't follow various character from chapter to chapter, the action stay around Vaelin from start to finish) I was glad because I like him a lot, but even while staying close to him we just don't get into his mind, his psychology, his thoughts enough for me. I'm glad I read it and will look for the publishing of the next one, it sure look promising with the ending, but some issues has to be work on in my opinion.
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  • Beth Cato
    January 1, 1970
    I received an advance copy of this book via NetGalley.The Wolf's Call is an engrossing epic fantasy that takes the usual tropes and mixes them up in an intriguing world. The setting in some ways feels like a mirror of Earth; there's a place and people clearly inspired by China. Against this backdrop, a man dubbed Darksword strives to make himself a god, leaving death and destruction in his wake. Meanwhile, Vaelin is an experienced swordsman in a far distant land. He has no desire to seek out mor I received an advance copy of this book via NetGalley.The Wolf's Call is an engrossing epic fantasy that takes the usual tropes and mixes them up in an intriguing world. The setting in some ways feels like a mirror of Earth; there's a place and people clearly inspired by China. Against this backdrop, a man dubbed Darksword strives to make himself a god, leaving death and destruction in his wake. Meanwhile, Vaelin is an experienced swordsman in a far distant land. He has no desire to seek out more wars, but when he finds out a long-lost love is in the future path of this so-called god, he gathers a stalwart party of allies and ventures to save her. This woman isn't exactly the sort in need of saving. There are numerous fantastic female characters in this book, including Darksword's own sister.I found this to be an enjoyable read, an epic fantasy that felt familiar and fresh at the same time. Until I was deep into the book, I was unaware that the author had already written a full trilogy about Vaelin. Therefore, I can say that the The Wolf's Call stands well on its own. There's no need to have read Ryan's previous books first, though I imagine you'd get more out of the story if you did.
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  • Solemn
    January 1, 1970
    These people may have forgotten about queen of fire but I have not. These reviews need to be balanced. You cannot be trusted.
  • ThePaintedMan
    January 1, 1970
    I wasn’t even aware Ryan was returning the the world of Blood Sonf I absolutely loved that series and am constantly re reading it, can’t wait to see what Ryan has in store for Vaelin
  • The Nerd Book Review
    January 1, 1970
    Alright. This one isn’t the 5+ that book 1 was but it’s a good solid book and I can’t wait for book 5! We get back to the 1 POV character, Vaelin! I think most people who are reading this series agree with me that this is a positive.Vaelin, Nortah, Ellese, Erlin, and a couple of new characters to this book make their way to the far west and the Merchant Kingdoms where they search for Sherin and Alum’s(one of the new peeps) missing children. The crew will basically be conscripted by the Merchant Alright. This one isn’t the 5+ that book 1 was but it’s a good solid book and I can’t wait for book 5! We get back to the 1 POV character, Vaelin! I think most people who are reading this series agree with me that this is a positive.Vaelin, Nortah, Ellese, Erlin, and a couple of new characters to this book make their way to the far west and the Merchant Kingdoms where they search for Sherin and Alum’s(one of the new peeps) missing children. The crew will basically be conscripted by the Merchant King to bring back the Jade Princess who is with Sherin. Along the way they find they are about to become embroiled in a war with a Mongol Horde type of bad guys whose leader has crafted himself into a living godlike character bent on conquering the world. That pretty well sums up the plot. I really enjoyed going back to Vaelin as a single PoV because he’s so well written and while he’s a definite badass he has a lot of depth as a character that I didn’t quite feel some of the many POV characters had in the last 2 books. For those of you who hated book 3 you can safely read this one and know you’re getting a book in the mold of the first novel. One last thing, I’ve been asked several times if it’s necessary to read books 2&3. Definitely need book 2. It sure doesn’t hurt to read book 3(Nortah’s experience in book 3 informs the state his character is in for this book for example) but you don’t have to have read it to know what’s going on
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  • Jared
    January 1, 1970
    4.5/5 I was lucky enough to win an early copy of The Wolf's Call. In his latest release, Ryan continues the story that he crafted in the Raven's Shadow trilogy. I was a disappointed in the way Queen of Fire ended things, so I was unsure of how I would feel about another series continuing the story of Vaelin. Though, The Wolf's Call continues the story in a believable and interesting manner that made me feel right at home and answered some of the questions I saw left with at the end of Queen of F 4.5/5 I was lucky enough to win an early copy of The Wolf's Call. In his latest release, Ryan continues the story that he crafted in the Raven's Shadow trilogy. I was a disappointed in the way Queen of Fire ended things, so I was unsure of how I would feel about another series continuing the story of Vaelin. Though, The Wolf's Call continues the story in a believable and interesting manner that made me feel right at home and answered some of the questions I saw left with at the end of Queen of Fire. Ryan also uses a good combination of returning and new characters throughout the novel, and introduces an interesting and powerful evil force that sends Vaelin and his group on a wild adventure. I really enjoyed my time reading The Wolf's Call and would highly recommend it to all Raven's Shadow fans. The only thing that kept it from being a 5 for me was because I felt a certain portion to be structured very similarly to other Raven's Shadow novels. (view spoiler)[ To elaborate, the ending battle becomes the tower defense that we saw at the ends of both Blood Song and Tower Lord. It is still a great battle with its own differences, but I felt it to be a bit repetitive. (hide spoiler)]
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  • Connie
    January 1, 1970
    I didn't realise that this book was a follow up to Anthony Ryan's Raven's Shadow series - they're in my TBR pile so will need to move them up the queue. I loved The Wolf's Call, it has everything you want from a good fantasy story, action from the start, magic and larger than life characters. I look forward to the next.Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.
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  • Belle Manuel
    January 1, 1970
    **ARC provided in exchange for honest review from publisher** This book was good, well fleshed out and well written. My biggest issue was the damn prologue. It is done in italics for nearly 30 pages and is in 2nd person. So it was jarring for me. Other than that, the world building is astounding. I was able to lose myself within these pages easily. Very entertaining and very well paced.
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  • Hillary
    January 1, 1970
    **A massive "THANK YOU" to ACE and Penguin Random House (and GoodReads!) for providing me with an Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review.** Firstly, I feel the need to preface this review by stating that I listen to audiobooks almost exclusively. I listened to Anthony Ryan's first trilogy, "Raven's Shadow," in the audiobook format, and I re-listened to them again before reading Wolf's Song. However, I couldn't pass up the chance to enter the giveaway for an ARC. I'm explaining this **A massive "THANK YOU" to ACE and Penguin Random House (and GoodReads!) for providing me with an Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review.** Firstly, I feel the need to preface this review by stating that I listen to audiobooks almost exclusively. I listened to Anthony Ryan's first trilogy, "Raven's Shadow," in the audiobook format, and I re-listened to them again before reading Wolf's Song. However, I couldn't pass up the chance to enter the giveaway for an ARC. I'm explaining this so that readers know that my 4-star review may very well jump up to a 5 after I listen to the audiobook (which I will DEFINITELY be doing) since I enjoy that format more. I am an editor by day, so my eyes are often more tired in the evening!Secondly, I answered this in the question section earlier, but I highly recommend that you do NOT read this book without reading the first trilogy. It is that you couldn't follow it or that you wouldn't enjoy it, but rather that you would be doing yourself a disservice. If you truly enjoy epic fantasies of this sort, you will get far more out of this series if you read the other first.Okay, on to the review:Mr. Ryan really hit the Speculative Fantasy scene with a bang with his first novel Blood Song (I'm sure there is a way to italicize this?!). I would argue that the premiere for "Wolf Song" was just as poignant and powerful. Overall, I enjoy these characters more than those in the "Draconis Memoria" trilogy, though both have fantastic magic systems.Vaelin Al Sorna is back and is definitely older now. His naivety is long gone. One of the best things about these characters is that they are extremely dynamic. I know there are many people who were unhappy with the way things were wrapped up in "Queen of Fire," but while it wasn't my favorite of the three, I still enjoyed it well enough. I hope that those who were first drawn into Ryan's world that may have reservations about starting this Duology give it a chance. Many of the storylines which were not wrapped up in the previous trilogy are now at the forefront. Plus, we get to see the Merchant Kings lands!! Ryan's action-packed scenes are extremely well-written and possess the right amount of grit to be truly believable.I really enjoyed the POV of a new character named Luralyn (but had a lot of difficulty with the italicized type!). She provides context behind the rise of the antagonist, much in the same way Vernier did in "Blood Song." I really like this format Ryan uses as it humanizes all sides of the coming conflict and adds a depth to the characters that I often find lacking in other Author's works. His level of world-building is really on point as well. World-building and character development are the two most important aspects for a 5-star review (in my literary bubble at least). Anthony Ryan does an amazing job with both here. Though I really missed Reva, her ward made for an interesting new character. I can't say I missed the absence of Lorna though! With a few old favorites and a bit of new blood, the rag-tag bunch of misfits that set out on this new journey will keep you entertained for sure. And if this isn't enough for all you skeptics who've read the first trilogy, I have just one word for you: DARKBLADE.
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  • Debbie
    January 1, 1970
    "The Wolf's Call" is an epic fantasy novel. This is the first novel I've read by this author and it's the first in a new trilogy, but Vaelin has already been in battle all over the western continent in a previous trilogy. Details and outcomes that were needed to understand this story were "spoiled" in this book, so you may wish to start Vaelin's story at it's beginning. I'll also mention that the author ended this book with the main characters still in immediate danger and distress, which I didn "The Wolf's Call" is an epic fantasy novel. This is the first novel I've read by this author and it's the first in a new trilogy, but Vaelin has already been in battle all over the western continent in a previous trilogy. Details and outcomes that were needed to understand this story were "spoiled" in this book, so you may wish to start Vaelin's story at it's beginning. I'll also mention that the author ended this book with the main characters still in immediate danger and distress, which I didn't find a satisfying way to end hours of tense reading.The novel started off with the first part of a three part narrative by the sister of the main enemy. She described how her brother came to power and made himself into a living "god" to his fanatical army. Deft world-building quickly brought the culture alive in my imagination without slowing the story of how she came to love her brother then came to see how dangerous and manipulative he was. There wasn't much character building except for the villain's sister. When we switched to Vaelin, the first part was mostly showing what had become of some of the main characters that he'd previously fought with and to add a few new companions. Then it turned into a story of constant danger, running from one battle to the next.Still, I enjoyed the story (4 stars) up to 95% of the way through, and then it all fell apart for me as I lost my willingness to suspend disbelief. I'll be vague as possible. (view spoiler)[Waves of soldiers were running at a certain point and dying by the thousands, creating a pile of bodies. Bodies are wobbly, uncertain ground to walk on let alone run on, so I was already starting to disbelieve the events. Then a single rider raced his horse at the pile of bodies. In real life, that horse is going to trip and fall. In the story, it bulldozed through the pile and cleared a path. (hide spoiler)] Whoa. I simply couldn't get back into the story after that.The "magic" in this world shows up as random Gifts that people are born with, things like seeing visions of the future or living for centuries or the ability to create and toss fire balls. There was sex but no sex scenes. There was some bad language (mostly b**** and f***).I received an ebook review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.
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  • Daniel Cuthbert
    January 1, 1970
    (I received an ARC of this novel in a Goodreads giveaway. All opinions are mine and mine alone.)Solid world-building in a kind of sand and sandals fantasy epic, Anthony Ryan’s “The Wolf’s Call” is a well-plotted adventure about a man drawn back out of self-imposed “retirement” in the name of honorable conquest one more time. Vaelin Al Sorna is practically a god amongst men, having won hard fought battles and put his blood, sweat and tears into conquering enemy empires. Yet much like Al Pacino in (I received an ARC of this novel in a Goodreads giveaway. All opinions are mine and mine alone.)Solid world-building in a kind of sand and sandals fantasy epic, Anthony Ryan’s “The Wolf’s Call” is a well-plotted adventure about a man drawn back out of self-imposed “retirement” in the name of honorable conquest one more time. Vaelin Al Sorna is practically a god amongst men, having won hard fought battles and put his blood, sweat and tears into conquering enemy empires. Yet much like Al Pacino in the second Godfather movie, just when he thought he was out, they pull him back in. For though he has decided to adopt a quieter life, there is an army, fearing no one, that demands his attention. Because when they decide to make things personal for Vaelin, he has to put everything on the line to win the day. The sign of a solid fantasy novel, at least for me, is how well the author can create the world in which these characters exist in. In this respect, Anthony Ryan has done a terrific job. It’s not hard to practically smell the sea breezes and hear the sound of swords clashing in this. Having read this in conjunction with another novel that was much more deliberately paced, this one really just kicks into gear and puts the “action” in action and adventure. All fantasy novels also usually have some memorable sidekicks and this novel is no exception. I really liked the often conflicted and troubled Nortah Al Sendahl character and thought the way he was written was done in a more complex way than many sidekicks often get. He could have been just a moody and “damaged” character, but Ryan invests much more into him, making for a truly more enjoyable tale overall. While I don’t often read fantasy books, ones like this I could certainly get behind! The emphasis here is building and sustaining the story, and for that, Ryan proved to be more than capable of holding my attention. The one small caveat I would have with this is, though it is a stand alone novel, or at least the beginning of a new series, Vaelin was part of a previous series that I have not read. While it didn’t seem necessary to read any earlier novels to like this, I imagine there are probably some small things to Vaelin’s story in the earlier novels that would have likely added to my enjoyment. Nonetheless, Ryan seems certainly in his element here!
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  • Sara
    January 1, 1970
    Very nicely done. The excerpts at the start of each chapter from the POV of another character were especially interesting and really fleshed out the story.
  • Soumyadeep Ray
    January 1, 1970
    Magnificent....His best since Blood Song
  • Gary
    January 1, 1970
    *ARC provided by Mr Ryan after being randomly chosen after signing up to his newsletter, which I would highly recommend*Holy Hell, did I love this book. Vaelin Al Sorna is definitely one of my favourite male characters. I will definitely be purchasing a finished copy when released in a couple of weeks to add to my growing collection of Anthony Ryan Books. I cannot wait to see what happens in the next installment.
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  • Hannah Langendoerfer
    January 1, 1970
    Words cannot describe how excited I am for this book! I was unsatisfied with the ending of Queen of Fire so it will be great to revisit the world and find out what Vaelin has been up to and what he does next. July can’t come fast enough!
  • Will
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 / 5 ✪https://arefugefromlife.wordpress.com...About two months ago—when I requested the Wolf’s Call—I was cautious, though not terribly excited. While I loved Blood Song like I’ve loved no book since, the Tower Lord and Queen of Fire subsequently killed any passion I had for Anthony Ryan. I hated QoF so much, in fact, that it got DNFed after I skimmed a few more of Vaelin’s chapters around the 50% mark. I had heard that this new book was supposed to be all about Al Sorna in a way unseen since 4.5 / 5 ✪https://arefugefromlife.wordpress.com...About two months ago—when I requested the Wolf’s Call—I was cautious, though not terribly excited. While I loved Blood Song like I’ve loved no book since, the Tower Lord and Queen of Fire subsequently killed any passion I had for Anthony Ryan. I hated QoF so much, in fact, that it got DNFed after I skimmed a few more of Vaelin’s chapters around the 50% mark. I had heard that this new book was supposed to be all about Al Sorna in a way unseen since Blood Song, but wasn’t sold.Upon my request being approved a month ago, the first thing I did was download the book and skim the first few chapters. The first features an account from someone else—like it did in Blood Song—then sticks to Vaelin like glue. By this time I was more cautiously optimistic, if guarded.I finished the book on Saturday. And it was a total surprise: I loved it. Not as much as Blood Song, as Wolf’s Call is not without its faults, but they are few enough in number that the story itself can make up for them. I really loved this book. It was great. But when I started this review I noticed an unwillingness to recommend it a 100%. It’s not anything to do with the ending (there’s a bit of a cliffhanger), the pacing (it could be better), or the lack of Vaelin’s song (remember, he lost it). It’s because of Tower Lord.Tower Lord was a good read. But compared to Blood Song it was awful. Sorry, but it was. Now, I know that Anthony Ryan would be crazy to repeat the same mistake he made before. Kinda like in DBZ when the creators attempted to transition on from Goku. It was so awful and the uproar so great that there’s no way it’d happen again. Except. Except that he already did it once.So. Anyway.The Wolf’s Call is set years after the events of Queen of Fire. The Volarians defeated, their lands now in possession of the Unified Realm, the Queen of Fire—Lyrna—now rules over them with an iron fist. But the queen is away, touring the Volarian Empire. So when there is unrest in the Realm, her Tower Lord departs to deal with it. Vaelin Al Sorna is greatly changed from the boy we first met in Blood Song. He has lost friends, lovers, a child, his song, and more besides. He is different, but not so much. And when whispers come from across the sea—a living god, an unstoppable army, a mustering Darkness, Vaelin’s once lover, Sherin—he departs to confront them. Though Vaelin may not wish to see another war, he will not abandon any of his own to such a fate without a fight.…I mean, it sounds good.All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the return of Vaelin Al Sorna. I think his character development, as well as Nortah’s, is key to the success of the Wolf’s Call. There are a few other returning characters—Sherin, Ahm Lin, etc—but none others that were featured in every book in the original trilogy like the Sixth Order brothers. The secondary characters definitely helped, but in the end, it’s all about Vaelin. His story guides the plot in Wolf’s Call in a way not seen since Blood Song. While I enjoyed the world, the overarching plot and to a lesser extent the setting, the story’s real triumph is its characters. And say what you want about the Raven’s Shadow—but its character development and depth were top notch. I’m happy to report that this carries over quite well.There’re but a few issues I have with it. I’ve mentioned the future, the pacing, a cliffhanger, the setting—I’ve nothing much more to say about them. The future I can’t control; the pacing’s not too much of an issue, more an annoyance; I don’t care for cliffhangers in general. The book is set in the Venerable Kingdoms, which are pretty much just Dynastic China complete with their own Steppe and Mongol Horde. I mean, it’s obviously China and Mongolia and whatnot, but the author has made an attempt to flesh it out on his own rather than cutting and pasting everything. I would’ve liked to see more of an effort in terms of culture and influence and stereotype, but whatever. It’s hardly anything to ruin the entire book. It’s just a bit disappointing.The biggest issue I had was that sometimes, more than a little, it feels like Ryan is forcing it. Like he’s forcing everything to go through Vaelin. That’s the issue with having a single primary character. In the first Raven’s Shadow, he told Vaelin’s story. In subsequent books, he split the story between other characters to expand and tell a story about the world. Now, I didn’t enjoy it, but I know why the author chose to do it that way. In the Wolf’s Call, it seems like he’s trying to tell the story of the world, but through Vaelin alone. Meaning that Al Sorna has to be everywhere for everything, and central to every event. And it’s making him feel… stretched thin. And somewhat unrealistic.And that’s it. That’s my biggest issue with the text. I mean, yeah—I’d definitely buy it. Hardcover, straight-up. And I’m usually pretty cheap. I always loved Blood Song because it could be read on its own, as a single tale. The Wolf’s Call, instead, definitely will connect directly to its sequel. Now I don’t know what that will be. It might be another Tower Lord or Queen of Fire. But, as I said before, I’m cautiously optimistic.
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  • Will
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 / 5 ✪Upon my request being approved a month ago, the first thing I did was download the book and skim the first few chapters. The first features an account from someone else—like it did in Blood Song—then sticks to Vaelin like glue. By this time I was more cautiously optimistic, if guarded.I finished the book on Saturday. And it was a total surprise: I loved it. Not as much as Blood Song, as Wolf’s Call is not without its faults, but they are few enough in number that the story itself can ma 4.5 / 5 ✪Upon my request being approved a month ago, the first thing I did was download the book and skim the first few chapters. The first features an account from someone else—like it did in Blood Song—then sticks to Vaelin like glue. By this time I was more cautiously optimistic, if guarded.I finished the book on Saturday. And it was a total surprise: I loved it. Not as much as Blood Song, as Wolf’s Call is not without its faults, but they are few enough in number that the story itself can make up for them. I really loved this book. It was great. But when I started this review I noticed an unwillingness to recommend it a 100%. It’s not anything to do with the ending (there’s a bit of a cliffhanger), the pacing (it could be better), or the lack of Vaelin’s song (remember, he lost it). It’s because of Tower Lord.The Wolf’s Call is set years after the events of Queen of Fire. The Volarians defeated, their lands now in possession of the Unified Realm, the Queen of Fire—Lyrna—now rules over them with an iron fist. But the queen is away, touring the Volarian Empire. So when there is unrest in the Realm, her Tower Lord departs to deal with it. Vaelin Al Sorna is greatly changed from the boy we first met in Blood Song. He has lost friends, lovers, a child, his song, and more besides. He is different, but not so much. And when whispers come from across the sea—a living god, an unstoppable army, a mustering Darkness, Vaelin’s once lover, Sherin—he departs to confront them. Though Vaelin may not wish to see another war, he will not abandon any of his own to such a fate without a fight.…I mean, it sounds good.All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the return of Vaelin Al Sorna. I think his character development, as well as Nortah’s, is key to the success of the Wolf’s Call. There are a few other returning characters—Sherin, Ahm Lin, etc—but none others that were featured in every book in the original trilogy like the Sixth Order brothers. The secondary characters definitely helped, but in the end, it’s all about Vaelin. His story guides the plot in Wolf’s Call in a way not seen since Blood Song. While I enjoyed the world, the overarching plot and to a lesser extent the setting, the story’s real triumph is its characters. And say what you want about the Raven’s Shadow—but its character development and depth were top notch. I’m happy to report that this carries over quite well.There’re but a few issues I have with it. I’ve mentioned the future, the pacing, a cliffhanger, the setting—I’ve nothing much more to say about them. The future I can’t control; the pacing’s not too much of an issue, more an annoyance; I don’t care for cliffhangers in general. The book is set in the Venerable Kingdoms, which are pretty much just Dynastic China complete with their own Steppe and Mongol Horde. I mean, it’s obviously China and Mongolia and whatnot, but the author has made an attempt to flesh it out on his own rather than cutting and pasting everything. I would’ve liked to see more of an effort in terms of culture and influence and stereotype, but whatever. It’s hardly anything to ruin the entire book. It’s just a bit disappointing.The biggest issue I had was that sometimes, more than a little, it feels like Ryan is forcing it. Like he’s forcing everything to go through Vaelin. That’s the issue with having a single primary character. In the first Raven’s Shadow, he told Vaelin’s story. In subsequent books, he split the story between other characters to expand and tell a story about the world. Now, I didn’t enjoy it, but I know why the author chose to do it that way. In the Wolf’s Call, it seems like he’s trying to tell the story of the world, but through Vaelin alone. Meaning that Al Sorna has to be everywhere for everything, and central to every event. And it’s making him feel… stretched thin. And somewhat unrealistic.And that’s it. That’s my biggest issue with the text. I mean, yeah—I’d definitely buy it. Hardcover, straight-up. And I’m usually pretty cheap. I always loved Blood Song because it could be read on its own, as a single tale. The Wolf’s Call, instead, definitely will connect directly to its sequel. Now I don’t know what that will be. It might be another Tower Lord or Queen of Fire. But, as I said before, I’m cautiously optimistic.
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  • Lashaan Balasingam (Bookidote)
    January 1, 1970
    You can find my review on my blog by clicking here.There are heroes that stick with you forever and who have gone through hell and back to achieve the impossible for the survival of humanity with their life on the line. To be able to follow them around for more life-threatening and epic adventures is just a fan’s wish that only an author could fulfill. It has been a couple of years now that I have been meaning to try something from the epic fantasy writer Anthony Ryan who has only garnered posit You can find my review on my blog by clicking here.There are heroes that stick with you forever and who have gone through hell and back to achieve the impossible for the survival of humanity with their life on the line. To be able to follow them around for more life-threatening and epic adventures is just a fan’s wish that only an author could fulfill. It has been a couple of years now that I have been meaning to try something from the epic fantasy writer Anthony Ryan who has only garnered positive reviews for all of his books so far in his career. Now the author of the Raven’s Shadow trilogy and The Draconis Memoria trilogy, Anthony Ryan returns to one of his cherished worlds to revisit his hero Vaelin’s story as new threats arise in the horizon.What is The Wolf’s Call about? Living legend Vaelin Al Sorna lives a comfortable life within the Unified Realm’s Northern Reaches as his accomplishments in the past shines brilliantly and repels all evil from contemplating any activity within his premises. Across the sea, an army is, however, growing under the leadership of a new individual who claims to be God himself. Upon discovering that a woman he once lost is within their grasp, he embarks on a mission to rescue her and bury the hatchet before another war comes to disturb the peace. Traversing strange lands, including the realms of the Merchant Kings, leads him to discover that destiny isn’t exactly on his side and such a truth isn’t one that he can simply ignore this time around.There’s plenty to appreciate in Anthony Ryan’s latest novel set in the same universe as his Raven’s Shadow trilogy but this duology relies heavily on the reader’s experience of the main character’s past adventures. The journey that Vaelin has been through often reemerge in the form of memories, decisions, and consequences that he bears with him as he tackles his latest quest. Although it isn’t necessary to read the original trilogy first, the weight of spoken words and the emotions relived by characters throughout this novel aren’t fully seized by the reader without all the context and details that come with them. You are thus left riding through this novel without ever knowing when to stop and smell the roses.What’s sure to be in the bag for the author is the prose, both effective and exquisite. Told entirely through a singular point of view, that of Vaelin Al Sorna, Tower Lord of the Northern Reaches, the story brilliantly captures his sense of humour and evident experience in warfare. The story also contains several interlude chapters that are narrated by Luralyn Reyerik, sister to Kehlbrand, the main antagonist of this novel. Her chapters allow the reader to have a glimpse at their background and the transformation of Kehlbrand into who he is today.The writing style in this novel also conveyed the author’s ability to both develop his characters, deliver decent banter and expose world-building information, without ever boring his readers to sleep. In fact, the way the story is constructed presents the reader with a linear mission with several obstacles that force the protagonist into compromising in order to move forward and achieve his one and only goal. Fortunately for us, Anthony Ryan writes some very cinematic and deadly action sequences to spice up the adventure and depict the character’s perception of war throughout the story.The Wolf’s Call is an epic adventure set in the Raven’s Shadow trilogy with a touch of reminiscence of past warfare and interspersed with excellent and thrilling action.Yours truly,Lashaan | Blogger and Book ReviewerOfficial blog: https://bookidote.com/
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