The Pariah – Anthony Ryan

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?

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review

My Rating: 3.5 Stars

I’ve heard such incredible things about Anthony Ryan’s books that he’s been high on my TBR for ages. Based on other reviews and blurbs from authors (I’ll read anything John Gwynne tells me to read), I really expected this book to grab me by the collar and drag me straight into this incredible and action packed revenge plot. I think going in with that expectation was really detrimental to my overall enjoyment of the story.

Alwyn is a really compelling character and I really enjoyed getting to see his story from the very beginning. He changed so immensely over the course of the book, but I still loved his character every step of the way. Alwyn was constantly put in situations that tested his resolve. Watching the plot slowly unfold as he became just a bit more jaded with each chapter really kept me interested.

I’ve seen other reviewers mention that Anthony Ryan tells his stories through a series of small stories each with their own individual climax, leading to one large payoff at the end. This made so much sense to me when I rad it as there would be these incredible spurts of action, promptly followed by chapters of plot that seemed a bit aimless.

Overall I feel like this read as more of a prequel than anything, and I look forward to seeing how Alwyn’s story continues to progress.

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