Published: July 23, 2019
Publisher: Ace Books
Series: Raven’s Blade #1
Pages: 432 (Hardcover)
My Rating: 4.0/5.0
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Anthony Ryan’s debut novel Blood Song–the first book of the Raven’s Shadow series–took the fantasy world by storm. Now, he returns to the world of this acclaimed series with The Wolf’s Call, which begins a thrilling new story of razor-sharp action and epic adventure.
Peace never lasts.
Vaelin 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. He won titles aplenty, only to cast aside his earned glory for a quiet life in the Realm’s northern reaches.
Yet whispers have come from across the sea – rumours 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 honor 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 may not be strong enough to win.
A RETURN TO THE GREATNESS OF BLOOD SONG!!!
This is the Anthony Ryan books I’ve been waiting for since I read that absolutely fantastic book years ago. Don’t get me wrong, I did like Tower Lord and Queen of Fire, but not nearly so much as Blood Song. The Wolf’s Call gives readers a great story with only two POVs – Vaelin al Sorna and Luralyn, seer and sister to the man who leads the Steel Horde.
Luralyn is the sister of the man who will lead the Steel Horde across the seas and she also happens to be a seer. She quickly comes to see that her brother is no longer who he once was and is a danger to the world. Vaelin al Sorna is still Tower Lord of the Northern Reaches and he’s still his good ol’ self. After a man possessed by the Dark assassinates envoys from the Merchant Kings, he decides to take a small trusted group across the sea to check things out, but mostly to see if his long lost beloved Sharon is safe. Spoiler – she was, but she wasn’t happy to see him and still holds a bit of a grudge after fifteen years.
Vaelin weirdly reminds me of Jon Snow if he decided to stay with the Night’s Watch and was both a just man and brooded elegantly. Don’t judge – I just can’t explain it and it totally works.
This was a pretty awesome, action packed story that sets up high stakes for future installments. It introduces an exciting new continent that readers have heard about in the previous trilogy, though if I remember correctly it was pretty brief. You may recall a particular stone carver who also had the blood song – he was from these lands and obviously, he went back to them with Sharon in tow.
This has all the checks – proper villains, interesting culture and lore, magic, romantic tension, journeys on horseback across endless miles, battles. You know, all the good stuff! The things we fantasy readers absolutely LONG for in a good fantasy book. All facetiousness aside, it was a great read though I sometimes forget how Steven Brand narrates literally every character with the same voice. It takes a few chapters to get used to and then it’s hardly noticeable. I’d highly recommend you check this out if you enjoyed Blood Song, because this is very much a return to that style and quality.