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The Wolf's Call: Raven's Blade #1    by Anthony Ryan order for
Wolf's Call
by Anthony Ryan
Order:  USA  Can
Ace, 2019 (2019)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Anthony Ryan's The Wolf's Call continues the extraordinary exploits of living legend Vaelin Al Sorna (first met in Blood Song), ejecting him from the relatively calm life he has earned as Tower Lord of the Northern Reaches. Readers are given a glimpse of that life, alternating with views of the Stahlhast Steel Horde, from the perspective of its leader's beloved sister and seer, Luralyn.

Luralyn uses True Dreams to helps her brother Kehlbrand gain control of the Steel Horde, but is dismayed to see him change from a man she loves into a monster, seeking to wreak havoc on the world. One of her dreams gives the name Darkblade to Kehlbrand, but another already has that name, Vaelin. Kehlbrand frees the Horde's slaves from the brutal conditions they'd suffered under, but enslaves them to his will instead.

After Vaelin learns from an assassin that healer Sherin (his former lover, who has not forgiven him for sending her away by force) resides in the Venerable Kingdom and is in danger from the Stahlhast, he leaves his post to seek and save her. He's accompanied by drunkard Nortah (a former Sixth Order brother); young Ellese, sent to him for an education; Moreska hunter Alum; and others (old friends and new acquaintances) they meet along the way.

There are many adventures in the lands of Merchant Kings, where Vaelin learns that the immortal Jade Princess has left the High Temple, accompanied by Sherin. He helps defend a city besieged by the Horde. When he catches up with Sherin, she tells him to leave her alone, but he can't do that. He follows for a confrontation with Kehlbrand himself, and with the evil within him. This episode ends on a cliffhanger, during which Vaelin regains power. I can't wait for more.

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