The Tower Lord by Anthony Ryan

Posted On 19 June 2015

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Last year I finally got round to reading Bloodsong by Anthony Ryan which I loved.  For some reason The Tower Lord kept getting put off – and I admit that I’d heard Vaelin didn’t play as big a role in the story which kind of give me pause for thought.  I was wrong.  There it is.  This was so good.  I really enjoyed it.

Without doubt Vaelin Al Sorno captured our hearts and imagination in Bloodsong.  There was such a wonderful coming of age feel to the first half of the story as we watched Vaelin become a part of something much bigger and so to confront us with a story told from many perspectives and with less time for our favourite character, well, I can’t deny it seemed like such a risk by Ryan.  However, for me personally, he has managed to pull of this change of style in the most successful way.  There is plenty of gripping action and a number of different points of view – and they’re all really good to read.  I confess that I never had that sinking feeling when you move away from a character you love to one with less appeal – all of these povs are good.

At the start of the story Vaelin is travelling with a clear purpose.  Along the way however he seems to have picked up a shadow.  Reva is also on a mission – to kill Vaelin and take from him the sword that belonged to her father.  And yet, in spite of that, Vaelin wants to help Reva – she’s had a very strange upbringing, beaten regularly and drilled with one purpose in mind.  You know – I’m going to forgo the plot and move straight to the characters and their different POVs – this will be all your need.

This time we share space with Vaelin of course.  Along the way he reunites with his sister but just as they start to become reacquainted Vaelin is made Tower Lord and sent to the Northern Reaches.  Here he will help those in need and make allies in the places last imagined.

We spend a good deal of time with Frentis who really does have a helluva lot to put up with you – you really feel for him.  He’s in the most dreadful situation.  Bespelled (or something) by a woman with hideous intentions.  She uses him to commit her awful crimes.  By the end you’re almost begging for Vaelin to come to his rescue!

Reva – as mentioned, she’s sort of been brainwashed by the priest who raised her.  She’s very conflicted and in fact Vaelin is the first person to treat her with kindness and in doing so raise doubts within her own mind.  He helps her along the way, progresses her training (not always a wise decision to train somebody to perfection when they’re trying to cut your throat but Vaelin has a feeling about Reva and his feelings are never wrong).  Anyway, Reva and Vaelin forge a tentative friendship but unfortunately part ways after words.  Reva is such an excellent character – I really enjoyed reading her POV and thought she was a fantastic addition to the story.  On top of this she plays a pivotal role and proves to be the focus for Vaelin – the beacon drawing him back if you will.

Princess Lyrna – known of course from the first book – is sent on a mission, a peace mission really where she herself makes friends, receives predictions and proves herself worthy to rule a kingdom.  Lyrna really does come into her own in this story – she herself has trials to withstand, and your heart really goes out to her, She travels back and forth being chased by adversaries, scaling volcanos and pulling together the oddest bunch of misfits who are totally loyal to her.

Finally, Vernier – the chronicler from the first book.  Taken a slave and being used by the ambitious Volarian who is currently leading his army to, presumably, world domination! Vernier is required to record the days events – and, of course, to greatly embelish them.  What I particularly enjoyed about this was the unpicking of events.  Pay careful attention to Vernier’s accounts as they’ll be very relevant as the story progresses.

I really enjoyed this – I’ve probably not elaborated enough but let me just reinforce it here.  The writing is strong.  The storyline is intriguing but, the characters – outshine everything else, and I do so love good characters.  On top of this there are different races and cultures explored, fighting and war that is totally gripping, in fact the siege scenes will have you on the edge of your seat!  And that end – what!!  Really, What?

Fortunately there is very little wait and you can believe I won’t be leaving book No.3 for quite as long before picking it up!  I can totally understand that some people would perhaps be shocked by the change of style but I really liked it to be honest and in fact think it’s a bonus.  It doesn’t feel like we’re getting the same old same old and given that Vaelin is so awesome that could easily have become the case if this had simply been a one man band.

I simply can’t wait to read the next!

11 Responses to “The Tower Lord by Anthony Ryan”

  1. jessicabookworm

    I haven’t heard of this series, but I love good characters too. I hope you enjoy book 3 🙂

    • lynnsbooks

      I think you would like it – the first is Bloodsong. Very good. And, yes, I can’t wait for No.3 😀

      • jessicabookworm

        I will have to keep this series in mind. I have got to finish some of the series I am already reading first though!

  2. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    Yes, me too! This has been a very enjoyable series so far and I’m really looking forward to the conclusion of the trilogy, it should be epic.

    • lynnsbooks

      I’ve got a review copy of it – just finishing Dark Haven and then it’s my next book! So excited!
      Lynn 😀

  3. Lisa (@TenaciousReader)

    It was an interesting switch to the multiple POVs, but I think it worked well (as long as someone isn’t expecting more of the same). I’m also looking forward to book 3!

  4. Danya @ Fine Print

    You describe that inevitable reaction to a POV you don’t like so well, Lynn! I definitely get that sinking feeling when a book swaps to a less well-done POV, so I’m glad that didn’t happen to you here. While I haven’t read Bloodsong, I *do* love a tough and smart princess character and Lyrna seems to fit the bill…may have to give this series a go! 🙂

    • lynnsbooks

      Lyrna is so good in this book – in fact I enjoyed all of the POVs – I think you would like this series. The first book is excellent too and written in a completely different format.
      Lynn 😀

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    […] The Tower Lord by Anthony Ryan – action packed and wonderful characters […]

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  7. “Our lives are all different and yet the same.” (Anne Frank) |

    […] The Tower Lord by Anthony Ryan – in which we meet the character Reva who seeks revenge for her father’s death.  Reva has been brought up in the religion of the World Father, she’s a conflicted character – being a lesbian and strict worshipper of a faith in which same sex relationships are not tolerated. […]

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