A seriously enjoyable listen, this "heralds" another fab British fantasy series.Like all of this type of book, once the characters and setting have lodged themselves in your head you can relax and let the individual stories transport you as they meander willfully along towards often surprising destinations. These stories come together pleasingly towards the end but full resolutions & further revelations will have to wait further volumes.
Alongside Mark Lawrence and Luke Scull, Ford is ushering in a mini-Golden Age for "grimdark", where things are never as clear-cut as they seem and characters come in several more than 50 shades of grey.... If you're a fan of GRRM (of course you are), Scott Lynch and Joe Abercrombie, here's another name to swell the ranks. Very well performed by David Thorpe, employing a myriad of apt voices; heartilly recommended!
I'm 60% through this and loving it so far - deceptively simple cast of characters turn out to have much deeper sides to their nature with back-stories to match, plus a non-stop plot that pulls you along from one exciting set-piece to the next. What's not to like? It's been said before I know (sorry Luke!) but if you like the Joe Abercrombie style of fantasy you won't go wrong with this. It's maybe not as polished as Joe's work has now become but it's a fine start. Looking forward to the rest of the series.
BTW Very well read by Joe Jameson - I'd not heard his narration before but I'm impressed. Bodes well for the Mark Lawrence titles I have cued up to hear next.
I’ve been itching to finish this audiobook as I was anxious to post my review and help spread the word. It’s always pleasing to find a new author who can go straight into your own personal A-list. Happily Anthony Ryan falls into that category. His debut novel is a fantasy of the epic order. The main protagonist, Vaelin Al Sorna, is an instant classic fantasy hero and the book is full of other interesting and engaging characters (neither too black nor too white, as befits modern tastes).
The world created will seem comfortably familiar to aficiandos of the genre but with plenty of blank spaces to be uncovered in later novels no doubt. The plot moves along at a cracking pace and I was never less than fully engaged. The storyline was pleasingly familiar whilst being individual enough to render any idle moment an opportunity to reach for the audio-player, which is always a good test of its merits. The framing device used worked very well and I was very quickly drawn into the novel even before the main arc of the story started. I was reminded of Bernard Cornwell’s “Arthur” trilogy, still one of my all-time faves
If you insist on criticism, perhaps the story was a little generic and perhaps the underlying heart of the central conflict was a bit under-developed, but the ending of the novel hinted greatly of an opening-out of the themes in subsequent volumes. Needless to say I am already started on volume 2 “Tower Lord”.
Having seen some negative comments on the narration I have to say I thought Steven Brand was excellent and his voice really fitted the mood of the novel.
If you’re a fan of gritty fantasy and haven’t read this yet, well lucky you, a treat awaits...