cover image The Wolf’s Call (Raven’s Blade #1)

The Wolf’s Call (Raven’s Blade #1)

Anthony Ryan. Ace, $28 (432p) ISBN 978-0-451-49251-7

Ryan boldly returns to the world of the Raven’s Shadow fantasy trilogy (Blood Song, etc.) with this epic but overextended sequel series launch. After building a reputation for skill in battle and unmatched leadership, Vaelin Al Sorna has chosen the quiet life. But the rumor of war from across the sea is all it takes to bring him out of retirement—that and the knowledge that his lost love, Sherin, is in the grasp of one of the war leaders. Traveling to the realm of Merchant Kings, confronting the evil with whom he shares the title Darkblade, and learning the truth about Sherin are only the start of what makes Vaelin question whether he is strong enough to endure his greatest battle yet. Ryan’s language, often overwritten to the point of obscurity, is the primary road block for this otherwise thrilling deep dive into fantasy warfare. Unseasoned fantasy readers may get lost in a complicated web of action, verbose imagery, and multitudinous characters, but those familiar with Ryan’s work will find this installment immersive as well as highly technical. Agents Paul Lucas, Janklow & Nesbit. (July)