Last night, I finished Blood Song, by Anthony Ryan.
It’s been a while since I’ve loved a book so much. I found the writing, pacing, and story to be excellent, with a subtle but powerful magic woven throughout the story.
In a number of ways, the story borrows from your typical “boy becomes a hero of the realm” pattern, but it constantly veers in directions I found fascinating.
It’s tempting to rave about this book for many, many pages, but I’ll avoid the temptation and choose my highlights.
First, I loved the structure of the story. Each part of the novel begins with a scene that takes place years after the primary events in the book. The protagonist is retelling his story, but the attentive reader already notices that some things are out of place. The protagonist isn’t telling the exact same story. There are differences, important differences. Mr. Ryan doesn’t doubt the intelligence of the audience. There’s almost as much not said as said.
Second, I loved the manner in which mysteries were constantly unfolding. Around every turn there’s a revelation that alters our perception of the characters or the world, and it’s been some time since I’ve flipped through pages so fast in my eagerness to find out what happens.
I’ll have to go back through my records to see what else I’ve read this year, but I’m pretty comfortable saying right now that Blood Song is my favorite fantasy that I’ve read in 2017.