From the international best-selling author of the Raven’s Shadow and Draconis Memoria series comes the spectacular first novel in an all-new epic fantasy trilogy.
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?
Review: 4 Stars
I’ve had some of Anthony Ryan’s books on my TBR for ages, so when I saw that he was coming out with a new series I requested an ARC. I didn’t really know what to expect with this book and decided to go in pretty bling and right away I knew I was going to love the book. Anthony Ryan’s writing captured me right away and I quickly found myself sinking into this story. The Pariah is a character driven fantasy novel that is full of adventure.
I really loved the writing style. The Pariah is told in first person from Alwyn’s point of view as if Alwyn is telling us the story of what happened. A lot of my favorite stories are told in this manner and I always enjoy this style. I really loved Alwyn as a main character. Despite being an outlaw and doing some immoral things at times, he really is a great guy. Alwyn is loyal to his friends and is pretty honorable in comparison to many around him. He is also pretty clever and always scheming and planning. The story takes many twists and turns though, so despite all of Alwyn’s careful planning he often has to just go with the flow.
While this is definitely a character driven book there is still plenty of action. So much happens throughout the course of this book that I couldn’t even begin to summarize it all. But at times I did feel like the pacing was slow or inconsistent. I also felt like the plot kind of fell to the backseat. It was more like we followed Alwyn on his journeys and adventures rather than following a clear plot, but since the writing was so good I didn’t really mind that it felt like the book didn’t have a ton of direction.
I also have to mention that I really loved the found family vibes I got with the group of main characters. Many characters come and go throughout the novel, but I became really attached to Evadine, Toria and Brewer. All of the characters grew tremendously throughout the story and I am really invested in their stories. I loved Alwyn’s entire character arc, we watch him grow from a boy into a man. In the beginning he idolizes Decklin, but by the end he is his own man making decisions based on what he thinks is right and he is no longer trying to impress anyone.
I really enjoyed The Pariah and am so glad I finally got a taste of Anthony Ryan’s writing. I do wish that the plot was done a bit better and that the pacing was a little more consistent, but overall it’s hard to find reasons to complain. There were so many parts of The Pariah that blew me away. I can’t wait to continue the series.