The first in the “powerful” (SFFWorld.com) New York Times bestselling fantasy series.
Vaelin Al Sorna was only a child of ten when his father left him at the iron gate of the Sixth Order to be trained and hardened to the austere, celibate and dangerous life of a warrior of the Faith. He has no family now save the Order.
Vaelin’s father was Battle Lord to King Janus, ruler of the Unified Realm—and Vaelin’s rage at being deprived of his birthright knows no bounds. Even his cherished memories of his mother are soon challenged by what he learns within the Order.
But one truth overpowers all the rest: Vaelin Al Sorna is destined for a future he has yet to comprehend. A future that will alter not only the Realm but the world.
Ryan hits all the high notes of epic fantasy a gritty setting, ancient magics, ruthless intrigue, divided loyalties, and bloody action in this originally self-published launch title for the Raven's Shadow trilogy. When 10-year-old Vaelin Al Sorna is delivered by his father, Battle Lord to King Janus, to the House of the Sixth Order, Vaelin is told that he has "no family now save the Order." Although the Sixth Order is charged with smiting its enemies, particularly servants of the Dark, Vaelin sympathizes with the heretic rebel Deniers. Through years of brutal training, Vaelin endures and rises as a leader among his fellow students. Along the way, he also learns that giving him to the Order was his late mother's idea, and that she hoped to protect him but from what, he has no idea. Hints of a long-lost Seventh Order and questions about King Janus and the Dark cause Vaelin to question his loyalties. Ryan balances brisk action with tangled intrigue in this promising debut.
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Spectacular Epic Fantasy
An Epic Fantasy written for adults, with well developed realistic characters, and set in a unique, engrossing world. I can't wait to read the next book in the series. (And hopefully many more after that.) This book would be a bargain at twice the price.