The Wolf’s Call by Anthony Ryan

details
Title: The Wolf’s Call.
Series: Raven’s Blade #1.
Writer(s): Anthony Ryan.
Publisher: Ace Books.
Format: Advance Review Copy.
Release Date: July 23rd 2019.
Pages: 432.
Genre(s): Fantasy.
ISBN13:  9780451492517.
My Overall Rating: ★★★★☆.

thoughts

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.

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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.


EXHIBITA

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Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada and Ace Books for sending me a copy for review!

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36 comments

  • I never made it past the first book in his Tower Lord series. Nothing bad that I can remember it just simply failed to keep my interest. And waiting a year or more between releases did me no favors either.

    Hope this series stays strong for you. Do you think you’ll go back and read the Tower Lord trilogy?

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s definitely nice to know that you have tried Blood Song though. And I just saw that there were multiple years in between book 1 and 2. Welp. At least it’s better than no sequel at all I guess. And… now I see why you don’t read any series if they aren’t all out yet hahah

      For now, I’ll maybe complete this duology and if I ever run into a copy of Blood Song, I’ll try it out. I mean, The Wolf’s Call wasn’t bad at all so I have no good read to give up on it all.

      Liked by 1 person

      • In regards to the whole “series” thing. That’s a more recent (like 2-3 years) development in how I read. I don’t know if I could have done that even 5 years ago. One of the side benefits of mapping out a year or two in advance I guess 🙂

        Your description of “not bad at all” was how I felt. But it wasn’t good enough to draw me on either. Sigh :-/

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Scarlett! I do hope you’ll enjoy it if you ever decide to give it a go. If it can be done, I’d also recommend the trilogy first, starting with Blood Song. I think people will appreciate The Wolf’s Call more, then.

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  • Sounds like another amazing read Lashaan. But as you say the book relies heavily on the reader’s experience of past adventures, I should read the previous books first. And that is not going to happen soon with my current backlog of books. Looks like I have to give this a pass for now, but still enjoyed your review as always. Oh and that cover looks really cool!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yep. If I had more time in my hands, I would have started with the original trilogy first and then jumped into this new duology. Based on The Wolf’s Call, Anthony Ryan sure can write and I’d be curious to read more of his stuff now. 😀 Thank you for your kind words, Michel! I appreciate it. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  • I loved Bloodsong, but didn’t think the next two books were as strong, though I did enjoy the entire trilogy. Never really got into his dragon series though, stopped after book one. I’m really excited about The Wolf’s Call because it takes us back to the Raven’s Shadow world!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I definitely want to give Blood Song a shot, at least. It sounds really good. Oh man, that sucks… I actually learned about the author because of his dragon series and would love to give it a try too. Hope you enjoy The Wolf’s Call when you get the chance to read it, Mogsy! 😀

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  • I’ve been wondering if this can be read without reading the first series, and it sounds like the answer is “probably not.” I have a copy and I’ve been waiting to learn more about it. Thanks for the review, Lashaan😁

    Liked by 1 person

  • I wonder if you thought reading the previous books is somewhat necessary because you have read them yourself. What if you had not? Are you able to make an unbiased comment? Would you be any wiser had you NOT read the previous ones? I sometimes find the prequels to be a necessity, but not always.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I haven’t read the original trilogy. Throughout the story you could tell that a lot of key moments rely on the reader’s knowledge of the past accomplishments by the hero (e.g. he won a war and had to make sacrifices, now people he sees again always start it off by mentioning how great he is and all). I can imagine that if I knew the details of those past events, I would have found these encounters much more stimulating, and that is why I believe that anyone who reads the original trilogy will find this spin-off duology much more compelling. 😀

      Then again, just like I did, reading the original trilogy isn’t a necessity. You can definitely enjoy this without having read anything else by the author. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  • I’ve got a copy of this but been on the fence about reading it. I loved Bloodsong so much but didn’t enjoy the following two books in the trilogy and never bothered with his following series (which I can’t currently remember the name of). Glad to see another positive review for this and well, it’s the return of Vaelin.👍📚

    Liked by 1 person

    • I heard a similar comment about the sequels of his original trilogy and it sure does sound like they disappointed a lot of fans. I do want to give Bloodsong a shot though, it sounds truly epic. I actually heard of the author because of his Draconis Memoria trilogy too. Hope you enjoy The Wolf’s Call when you feel like picking it up! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think it was because they were such a departure from Bloodsong. Bloodsong is solely Vaelin’s story, in the first person with him telling his story and then the sequels, because the trilogy was picked up by a publisher changed to third person and brought in more point of view characters.👍📚 Bloodsong is well worth a read though even if you don’t carry on with the entire trilogy.

        Liked by 1 person

  • Great review, Lashaan! Haven’t read anything by Ryan yet, heard it was something of a hit and miss, but from your review the Bloodsong seems definitely like an intriguing and worthwhile read – and maybe the Wolf’s Call later on ;).

    Liked by 1 person

  • I have this to read too! I didn’t commit to it though because I have no time in my reading schedule and felt like I may be on the fence about it. I’m not a fan of needing previous series or books to get back into a character’s life. I never reread books even for a long awaited sequel and haven’t felt like I needed to. So that is very disappointing to hear. I’m glad the writing worked for you though. I’ve already passed on some adult fantasy I was hyped to read because of poor translation. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahhh, I do find it sad when we have new spin-off series that rely on its predecessors to push the story forward. But if I had read the original series, I’d probably have been a huge fan at the idea of “more books in the same universe/the same hero”. Guess we just have to pick our books wisely hahah and yes! Poorly translated books are not fun. 😦

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