Author: Michael J. Sullivan
Series:
 The Riyria Revelations #3-4
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Orbit
Pages: 816
Published: December 1st 2011
Source: Personal Copy
Read: January 3 – January 28, 2022 (on Kindle)
Rating: 4 of 5 stars (I really liked it)

First Sentence:
Amilia made the mistake of looking back into Edith Mon’s eyes.

Blurb

A puppet is crowned. The true heir remains hidden. A rogue’s secret could change everything.

War has come to Melengar and once more Royce and Hadrian are hired to make a desperate gamble and form an alliance with the Nationalists who are fighting the Imperialists in the south. But Royce has plans of his own and uses this opportunity to discover if an ancient wizard is using Riyria as pawns in his own bid for power. To find the truth, he must unravel the secret of Hadrian’s past–what he discovers may end their friendship and break Riyria in two. And so continues the next volume of treachery and adventure, sword fighting and magic, myth and legend.

Thoughts

“There are no honourable causes. There is no good or evil. Evil is only what we call those who oppose us.”
― Michael J. Sullivan, Rise of Empire

One of the things I love most about Sullivan’s work thus far is how well he keeps each story so self-contained without losing interconnectivity into the overarching narrative.

Everything is always moving forward with nary a moment feeling wasted or unimportant. There is that perfect balance of action, character development and world-building that is a form of magic all of its own. Magic with the power to keep you wanting to power forward in your reading from one book to the next without pause.

It’s beyond clear that Sullivan has a plan. There is a destination in mind.

I’m torn between wanting to hurry up and get there, to find out what it is — and savouring the experience, to keep the adventures of Hadrian and Royce going for as long as I can.

So if that doesn’t tell you I’m really quite loving my time with the Riyria Revelations, then I’m not sure how else to adequately convey it. Depending on how this series does, in fact, end I could easily see myself retrospectively considering the series as a whole as 5 out of 5 stars (it was amazing). Azuriel recently wrote a piece, in follow-up to Rohan’s on the same topic, asking whether you would recommend something great but marred by a poor ending.

In this case, the journey has been fantastic and I would want to recommend it even if the end doesn’t ultimately come out as good as I hope. But it has entered that dangerous territory where my expectations are so high that even an ‘OK’ ending might feel disappointing.

That, however, is getting far, far ahead of myself.

“Royce hated keeping secrets from Hadrian, and it weighed heavily on his conscience, which was amazing, because he had never known he had one. Royce defined right and wrong by the moment. Right was what was best for him—wrong was everything else.”
― Michael J. Sullivan, Rise of Empire

The worldbuilding has set the scope of the story such that it has so much room to move. Possibly more than this single series can, or will, conclude. I think I already know roughly where this will wrap up, but I could be completely off the mark given I’ve only just begun the first book of the final volume — Heir of Novron (The Riyria Revelations #5-6).

Whether I’m right or wrong, I’m looking forward to finding out.


Naithin

Gamer, reader, writer, husband and father of two boys. Former WoW and Gaming blogger, making a return to the fold to share my love of all things looty.

2 Comments

Sunnybunny251 · March 1, 2022 at 9:55 am

Ok so I’m stealing this setup. I always want to review the books I read but never know a good way to do it. Thank you for the inspiration.

    Naithin · March 1, 2022 at 5:50 pm

    Feel free! You’re more than welcome to the format, will be keen to see what you do with it! :)

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