Könyvkritika

Anthony Ryan: A vér éneke – kritika


Anthony Ryan brit sci-fi, fantasy író, történész végzettségével éveken át  kutatóként dolgozott, majd a 2011-ben saját kiadásban megjelent A vér éneke sikere után főállású íróvá lépett elő. A hat év alatt írt regény a Hollóárnyék-trilógiának csak az első kötete, a folytatás angolul még idén megjelenik, magyarul pedig vélhetőleg 2015-ben.

A vér éneke szerencsére nem illik bele azon első kötetek közé, amelyek önmagukban élvezhetetlenek, értelmezhetetlenek, lezáratlanok, vagy még rosszabb esetben kiadáspolitikai szempontok alapján látványosan vékonyka és szellősen szedett „félkötet”. Anthony Ryan regénye meglehetősen vaskos, és nem csak a mennyiségre, a minőségre sem lehet panasz: az olvasó egy részletesen kidolgozott, letehetetlen és főként kerek egész történetet tart a kezében. A cím egy sci-fi kedvelőnek kezdetben kicsit zavaró volt  Greg Bear A vér zenéje című klasszikusa miatt, de a „vér éneke” annyira kidolgozott és központi motívuma a regénynek, hogy ez az áthallás nyom nélkül szívódott fel.

a-ver-enekeA vér énekét az író maga vérbeli epic fantasynek nevezte, és a történet egy Vaelin Al Sorna nevű harcosnak vérben és küzdelmekben gazdag (nagyjából) húsz évét öleli fel, aki egyszerre Reménységünk gyilkosa, Sötétkard és a Királyság Pallosa. Maga a cselekmény öt részből áll össze, és voltaképpen lehetne akár két különálló regény is. Az első része egy coming of age/beavatás történet, kisfiúként Vaelin Al Sorna bekerül a Hatodik rendbe, hogy a Hit harcosává váljon. Ezek az iskolában eltöltött évek Ottlik Géza Iskola a határon című regényét idézték fel bennem, ami talán a legnagyobb dicséret, amit „katonai iskolában” játszódó könyvre lehet mondani. A Rendbe való belépést követően az idő összefolyik  a fiúknak alkalmazkodni kell, tanulni, túllépni önmagukon, próbákat kiállni, és aki nem bírja, elküldik, rosszabb esetben az életét veszti. Azonban nincs visszaút, nem lehet nem felnőtté válni, és a kemény körülmények a megmaradó fiúkból összetartó, erős férfiakat farag. Ez a lélektanilag jól eltalált, hiteles fejlődéstörténet a főszereplő Vaelin Al Sornát és társait élő, lélegző, háromdimenziós emberekké formálja. A jellemek háromszáz oldalon tartó kialakítása megalapoz a második résznek, amikor a Rend még mindig fiatal testvérei már a rendház falain kívül kapnak hivatalos megbízásokat a Hit védelmére. A rendház szűk világa után ez a háromszáz oldal képet ad a zűrös Királyságról, annak vezetőiről, belső viszályairól, majd a háborúk és ostromok során az emberek ezerszámra halnak meg, és ennek komorságába csak a visszafogott szerelmi szál visz némi fényt. A véres-monumentálissá váló cselekmény lebilincselő, Ryan részletesen és sodró lendülettel mutatja be a csatákat, miközben a háttérben egyre fontosabbak az ősi titkok és természetfeletti erők, amelyek azonban sosem szorítják a háttérbe a karaktereket, az emberi tényezőt.

A regény legnagyobb erőssége mindenképp a karakterábrázolás, a főszereplő személye az első pillanattól magával ragadja az olvasót. Vaelin Al Sorna egyszerre kiválasztott, akit a vér éneke kísér, és átkozott, kinek nyomában halál és pusztulás jár. Egy nagyszabású, tragikus hős, az emberek gyűlölik, félik és szeretik, akár egyszerre. A lehengerlő főhős mellett a mellékszereplők is nagyon valóságosak, részben mert sosem fekete-fehérek (vagy legalábbis Vaelin Al Sorna nem látja őket annak), részben mert a jellemzés sosem túl direkt, tetteik árulkodnak a jellemükről, ráadásul döbbenetesen következetesen.

Már az ilyen erős karakterábrázolásra is nyugodtan lehet egy trilógiát építeni, de Anthony Ryan megcsavarta az elbeszélésmódot is, ami ritka a fantasy zsánerében. Rendkívül aránytalanul, de voltaképpen két elbeszélője van a történetnek, Verniers birodalmi krónikás és a regény főhőse. A történet kezdetén a fogoly Vaelin Al Sorna beleegyezik, hogy „elmesél mindent”, és ez a kerethelyzet azt sugallja, hogy az olvasó a regényt a halálra számító rab visszatekintését olvassa. Ez a nézőpont szükségszerűen szubjektív, és a rendházban felnőtt Al Sorna tudása saját világról sokáig csekély. Pont ettől teljesen őszintének és hitelesnek tűnik a beszámolója, aztán kiderül, hogy a krónikás kevesebbet hallott, amit mi a több száz oldalon olvastunk. Mos akkor magának/ az olvasónak nem hazudik, de a krónikásnak igen? Ezt a meglepő helyzetet egészítik még ki a birodalmi krónikás dőlt betűvel szedett egyes szám első személyű jegyzetei, melyekben az első pillanattól kívülről látjuk Vaelin Al Sornát, sőt egyes események csak az ő elmondásából derülnek ki, nyilván egészen más előjellel. Ryan ezt a játékot a két elbeszélővel és két szemszöggel kiválóan használja a főszereplő karakterének további árnyalására, és az információk tökéletes ütemű adagolására. Engem külön érdekelne az is, hogy mi jelentősége lesz még Verniers krónikás félmondatának, hogy ennyi titok, féligazság és mese közt „Hol van az igazság ebben az egészben?”

Anthony Ryan írói stílusa pont olyan, mint a főhőse: pontos, precíz, halálos és célratörő, de hiányzik belőle minden játékosság, humor vagy irónia, amitől a történet összességében sötétebbnek hat, mint ami az eseményekből egyenesen következne. Talán csak az (egyébként nagyon szép) borító nem illik ehhez az eredendően komor regényhez. Összességében A vér éneke kiváló regény, nem lehet hibát találni benne, nincs gyengéje. Anthony Ryan kegyetlen világában a gyengék hamar elhullanak.

Verdikt

Cselekmény 100%
Karakterek 100%
Atmoszféra 100%
Stílus 95%
Final Thoughts

Röviden: zseniális! Kicsit hosszabban: egy különlegesen izgalmas férfi sorsát elmesélő, lebilincselő epikus fantasy regény, amely egyaránt erős a karakterábrázolásban, monumentális csataleírásokban és az apró részletekben.

Overall Score 98% Kötelező
Readers Rating
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