I’ve been putting off reading the Riyria Revelations series for at lease two years. I knew I was going to enjoy this series just because of the interactions that I’ve seen and had with Michael J. Sullivan and from everything I’ve heard about this series. There was no doubt in my mind I was going to enjoy this book, so I waited. I waited until the perfect time to read these books and you know what happened? No perfect time presented itself, so I finally jumped in. Right after I jumped in, I had to read a ton of other books, and put this off to the side. 100 pages in and I put it back on the shelf. I picked it up 2 months later and really enjoyed it. Most books that I take long breaks from, sometimes the break hurts my enjoyment of the book, but not with this. I wanted to mention all of this because if I had to do it over again, I would have started reading it as soon as I got it, and I believe everyone should move this up on their TBR if they haven’t read them.
Theft of Swords is actually two books put together. Each of these new volumes has 2 books in each volume. I think that Theft of Swords and the Riyria Revelations is the evolution of pulp fantasy from the 80s and 90s. The basic story structure is rather familiar to many fantasy readers but where Sullivan differs in his story-telling is the execution. Michael J. Sullivan wrote the entire series before putting out the first book. This allowed him to edit the previous installments knowing how everything would end and in so doing, create a more complex and enriching series.
The series definitely does not start out complex. It is a basic premise, two men for hire doing jobs for individuals, sometimes a bit unsavory. They are given a job and it goes really badly. They find themselves in jail, accused of killing the King. They soon find themselves enveloped in a conflict to clear their name and save a kingdom. As this story continues, more pieces to the puzzle of this world, and the political situation becomes revealed. This isn’t a “throw you in the deep end” type of book. Even though I love those type of books it is sometimes worth it to be led through a book by the storyteller. Because the author knows what is going to happen in the other books, there is a faith, a confidence in the author to deliver on where he is taking us, and that is why I really enjoyed this book.
This book showed me something very important. If you really want to read a book, do it now. Don’t be bullied into thinking you have to read other things first. Read what you want now. I enjoyed this enough that I picked up Rise of Empire to read almost instantly after finishing. Sullivan is an excellent storyteller and I can’t wait to learn more about this world.
Plot – 4(Strong)
Characters – 4(Strong)
World Building – 3(Good)
Writing Style – 4(Strong)
Heart & Mind Aspect – 3(Good)