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July 11, 2014

Book Review - Blood Song: Born for Battle, Bred for War by Anthony Ryan

I try not to read new series until they are all published because I don't like to wait for the next installment but I'm glad I broke my rule for this one. It contains all the classic elements of the fantasy genre and they are put together in a very classy way. A young boy, Vaelin Al Sorna, is sent by his father to a warrior monk's enclave after his mother's death. He hates his father for this but commits himself to this future. With a group of companions, he endures training and hardship, forging links of steel within his cohort. By the end of this book, we have learnt more of why his father acted as he did and that it was not as black and white as Vaelin first thought. We understand a little more of the personal, political and religious forces at work. We have met several enigmatic and significant women and we have endured with Vaelin and his companions through physical and moral challenges. The author has followed the best examples in fantasy writing in introducing the world of the book to our consciousness slowly, as the boy, Vaelin, learns about it himself. No worrying about who is related to whom or what the social mores are, we learn about them through the action of the story. Each element of the story adds seamlessly to our knowledge of the complexity of this world. This is excellent and I can't wait for the next one.

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