The Riyria Revelations series was a series I knew I was going to like before I even tried to read it. The series didn’t fail to live up to my expectations. The only issue with this series is the way that the books ended up being packaged in the end. Wintertide, the first book within this omnibus that includes books 5 and 6, was a phenomenal read, easily a 5 star read. Wintertide was so good that I had a serious problem getting into Percepliquis. I took a long break from this book, over a month long because I just couldn’t get into book 6 at all. Finally, once I came back to it and was in the mood for it, I finished it up and it was a great read. If I had one thing to suggest to people reading this for the first time, I would say, give yourself a small break between Wintertide and Percepliquis because it is definitely what I should have done. I cannot wait to read more of Hadrian and Royce in the chronicles.
Rise of Empire by Michael J. Sullivan feels very much like a middle chapter in the series and the most exciting plot line did not really include the series’ dynamic duo of Hadrian and Royce. Rise of Empire is made up of 2 Riyria Revelations stories. The first one is a diplomatic mission to try to talk a kingdom into joining the side of Arista, Hadrian, and Royce against the new Imperialist Empire. We also get a lot more information about the past of all our characters and information on who the actual Heir of Novron is. These character building scenes are fantastic and flesh out the world really well.
Arista becomes the central figure in this book as Hadrian and Royce do all the “dirty work.” Arista’s character is coming into her own as a magic user and as a reader that is exciting. Arista ends up bringing a city together against the oppressors that want to hurt them. In the second book, Arista does a spy like mission into the heart of the Imperialist Empire. Her storyline is just great and I found it to be much more engaging than Hadrian and Royce’s. I also really loved Modina and Amilia’s points of view in this story as well. Basically, the women overshadowed the men in this story.
The second book had Hadrian and Royce on board a boat setting sail for places far away. They are trying to get more information on the rival assassin/thief Merrick but they kind of go on a wild goose chase. I didn’t really like the boat scenes all that much and the plot of them going off, away from Arista, and the people they care about seemed a bit odd to me. Arista seemed to be doing what they should have been doing. I never really bought into the idea that Hadrian and Royce could really out think and go after Merrick.
I really enjoyed this book, it was a fantastic read, but I just wasn’t as excited about the story as I was in the first book. You can tell that Sullivan is building to a great final bind up book with Heir of Novron. Rise of Empire just didn’t capture my love for Hadrian and Royce like I thought it would. This isn’t a bad book at all, it just wasn’t all that impressive, and I think I was expecting a little more out of this one. I’m still excited to read Heir of Novron and how our heroes can set things right.
3/5(a 3.5 for you half star people out there)
15/25 Possible Score
3 – Plot
3 – Characters
3 – World Building
3 – Writing Style
3 – Heart & Mind Aspect
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)
:00-9:25 – Introducing the book
9:28-17:50 – First few pages and the audiobook sample from Goodreads.
17:51-20:38 – My first Impressions
Starting a new book today and it is Theft of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan. I have been really looking forward to reading Sullivan’s work for a long time now. This is my first impressions video.
Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10790290-theft-of-swords
Cover Artist: Larry Rostant
Audiobook Narrator: Tim Gerard Reynolds