Review: MANY ARE THE DEAD by Anthony Ryan
Raven’s Shadow Novella, Fantasy
For decades the brothers of the Sixth Order have fought a savage war against the Lonak clans amidst the frozen peaks of their Dominion.
When word reaches the north of a fresh outbreak of the dreaded Red Hand, Brother Sollis, the finest swordsman in the Order, leads a small band to a long-abandoned castle in search of a potential cure but discovers a far greater threat lurking in the mountains.
Enemies become allies as Sollis leads an increasingly desperate fight against an inhuman enemy steeped in the power of the Dark.
It was wonderful to revisit the characters and world from Mr. Ryan’s debut series THE RAVEN’S SHADOW.
In this tale, the character who becomes Master Sollis, trainer to Vaelin Al Sorna in THE RAVEN’S SHADOW series is the main character. Grumpy, a bit sullen, and cares so much about everything!
It’s a short story and excellent, as I’ve come to expect of Mr. Ryan’s work. If you read Blood Song, you’ll probably love reading this one too, it takes place a bit earlier than the goings on in Blood Song, so it’s technically a prequel novella, though it’s fantastic as a standalone or even an introduction to Mr. Ryan’s work.
Bloody battles, hard choices, tortured characters, inter-cultural misunderstandings and conflicts, epic journeys, voracious beasts, it’s all here in this novella.
As always, Mr. Ryan made me care about his characters, and made me really feel for who Sollis was (considering I didn’t like him much in Raven’s Shadow, that’s a feat in and of itself.)
Readability: Kept me up late, almost dropped my tablet on my face. I really am gonna break my nose one of these days.
ARCS: For a novella, this can be hard to figure out, because they’re so short, but both the story and character arcs were well fleshed out and complete.
Craft: 5/5 As usual with Mr. Ryan’s work, his prose is so gorgeous it makes me feel like I have no idea what I’m doing as a writer. Beautifully put together and tightly written.
Buy the book!