"A gritty, heart-pounding tale of betrayal and bloody vengeance. I loved every single word." —John Gwynne
The Pariah begins a new epic fantasy series of action, intrigue and magic from Anthony Ryan, a master storyteller who has taken the fantasy world by storm.
Born into the troubled kingdom of Albermaine, Alwyn Scribe is raised as an outlaw. Quick of wit and deft with a blade, Alwyn is content with the freedom of the woods and the comradeship of his fellow thieves. But an act of betrayal sets him on a new path - one of blood and vengeance, which eventually leads him to a soldier's life in the king's army.
Fighting under the command of Lady Evadine Courlain, a noblewoman beset by visions of a demonic apocalypse, Alwyn must survive war and the deadly intrigues of the nobility if he hopes to claim his vengeance. But as dark forces, both human and arcane, gather to oppose Evadine's rise, Alwyn faces a choice: can he be a warrior, or will he always be an outlaw?
"This makes a rich treat for George R.R. Martin fans." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
For more from Anthony Ryan, check out:
Raven's Shadow Trilogy
Queen of Fire
Raven's Blade Duology
The Wolf's Call
The Black Song
The Draconis Memoria Trilogy
The Waking Fire
The Legion of Flame
The Empire of Ashes
Ryan (the Raven's Shadow series) impresses with this fantasy trilogy opener set in the kingdom of Albermaine. The author makes buy-in easy thanks to three-dimensional characters and intelligent prose that grips from the opening sentence: "Before killing a man, I always found it calming to regard the trees." These words are Alwyn's, a quick-witted young man who belongs to a gang of thieves headed by a duke's bastard. Alwyn is introduced while pretending to be witless in order to halt a procession of carts thereby enabling his comrades to steal the loot and massacre those protecting it. The haul includes a confidential message concerning King Tomas Algathinet's ongoing war with challenger for the throne Magnis Lochlain. Thanks to an epigraph teasing dramatic changes for Alwyn, readers know from the start that he will rise in station to become a knight in the king's army and that eventually Lochlain himself will describe Alwyn as the "far bloodier man" of the two of them. Ryan manages to make this early warning not to be charmed by the roguish Alwyn recede in readers' minds until a shocking betrayal brings it back to the fore and catapults Alwyn on his journey. Gritty and well-drawn, this makes a rich treat for George R.R. Martin fans.
The author has penned a novel with great pace and fun. Characters come in and out of the story focused around the protagonist. Real loss and intrigue Enough action to keep everyone interested. I can’t wait to read the next one.
The best of I have read in quite some time! Amazing story with well drawn characters. I can’t wait for the next installment!
As an avid listener of audiobooks I found myself enraptured with the main character almost immediately. The story flowed beautifully if unexpectedly at times. I can go on and on however… I find myself writing this most likely sloppy review with a singularly pure intention to express. “It’s worth every penny, and you shouldn’t hesitate.”