Author Anthony Ryan has a degree in Medieval History.
His Raven’s Shadow series was recommended to me. Book 1 Blood Song (2013) is very well written. He initially self-published Blood Song “in a fit of desperation and bitterness following utter rejection by the publishing industry” before getting picked up, finally, by Penguin.
… When 10-year-old Vaelin Al Sorna is delivered by his father, Battle Lord to King Janus, to the House of the Sixth Order, Vaelin is told that he has “no family now save the Order.” …
Through years of brutal training, Vaelin endures and rises as a leader among his fellow students. Along the way, he also learns that giving him to the Order was his late mother’s idea, and that she hoped to protect him—but from what, he has no idea.
Hints of a long-lost Seventh Order and questions about King Janus and the Dark cause Vaelin to question his loyalties. Ryan balances brisk action with tangled intrigue in this promising debut.
review – Blood Song
That all said, it didn’t hook me enough to continue to the next books in the series:
Tower Lord (2014)
Queen of Fire (2015)