In Defence of Anthony Ryan - On telling a story

The Fantasy Genre is easily the greatest genre in my opinion, to be able to tell a truly great story. There are no restrictions in this genre about how you can write, what you write and from whose perspective you write from.

Anyone who knows me or my reading habits will be aware of my love for the fantasy genre and the places that it can take you. One of the most intriguing fantasy series to come out in recent times is The Raven's Shadow by Anthony Ryan. This is dark fantasy at it's best, gritty, violent, political clashes and those attempting to excerpt their will over others. It is also a series that criticises Religious differences as well.

I remember being recommended the first book, Blood Song, to try from a acquaintance on and i was seriously impressed. The novel is a coming of age story (which is rather brutal), mixed with some shocking revelations. The story focuses on Vaelin Al Sorna, the newest recruit to the sixth order and his journey to becoming the greatest warrior of his age. The story is set over three books, Blood Song, Tower Lord and Queen of Fire, the last two are told somewhat differently then the first in the fact they have several viewpoints, the first book is told from Vaelin's. This is something that appears to have ruffled some feathers of fans of the books, so much so that negative reviews are appearing, slamming this change in style.

I believe this to be necessary, after all the author is writing this, not the people reading it, it has allowed for the story to arc and for some some surprising and wonderful revelations to unfold in a manner of which i had not thought possible in a fantasy novel.

In the end this is a wonderful fantasy series, one that all should read and enjoy and not come out with phrases like "This is how I would have written it...", the author is the person in control and Anthony Ryan did not let anyone down with this wonderful series.

Treat yourself to it, you will love it.

Warning : Not to be tried by those who do not like multiple perspectives.

Up next: On something quite un-expected - Rough Magick by Kenny Soward