About a month ago I reviewed Anthony Ryan’s fantasy debut, Blood Song, exceptionally well. I’ve at last gotten around to listening to it’s sequel, Tower Lord, which dropped this year. And ultimately it’s the most disappointing sequel I’ve ever read. And it’s perhaps the worst audiobook I’ve had the chance to listen to. A series like this deserves a reader that can afford to change his inflection, pitch, and voice when the need arises. But unfortunately it’s the flattest of narrations a book can receive, along with the fact that this sequel was rather boring to begin with. As a heads up, this won’t be a legitimate book review, just a rant, and it does include spoilers.
All the highlights, stylistic or creative, I grew to love in the first book have been dropped. Instead of Vaelin (the main character) telling his story, he is now almost a secondary character in this book. Whereas the first is written similarly to Rothfuss’ Kingkiller Chronicles, this book follows a more Martin/Sanderson approach of different perspectives – which frankly just doesn’t work with his style of writing.
The story splits off into 5 narratives: Princess Lyrna, Reva, Brother Frentis, Vaelin Al Sorna, and the poet Vernier. I’ll keep this brief as I can’t wait to have this book behind me as soon as possible. Princess Lyrna’s tale is pointless (but hey she has a pet shark), Reva’s self-discovery after a life of brainwashing is kinda dull after she leaves Al Sorna’s side, Frentis’ story is quite interesting until his partner is “killed”, and Vaelin saves random tribes of people that have nothing to do with the outcome of the book at all, only to show up and save the day for everyone else at the end, and lose his powers. Vernier’s account is actually the most interesting viewpoint, but his chapters come fewest and farthest in-between.
It literally took everything in me to keep going on with this novel. For those following me on Twitter, you may have noticed that there were a few moments where I seriously couldn’t cope with how boring the book was. My attention was elsewhere 75% of the novel (in part because of such a bad audio narration), which really never happens to me. So yeah. Didn’t like Tower Lord. Some parts were good. Some parts were bad. All parts were boring. I hope the author doesn’t read this. I’ll give the series a chance to redeem itself when the next book arrives, and I won’t be doing so via audiobook.