Saturday, 31 January 2015

Starting Down The Dark Path

When I'm coming up with reviews for the blog, I honestly try to change them up. I read at least two hours a day, and can usually get through three books a week, choosing one to post. I can honestly say that I've wanted to post nothing but the Riyria books since I started them. I already reviewed The Rose And The Thorn, the second novel in the prequel series by Michael J. Sullivan, and just finished the second novel of the Riyria Revelations, Rise of Empire, this morning. My heart is still pounding. A series I already praised for strong characters, complex stories, exciting adventures, and thrilling twists, the Riyria Revelations continues its climb into my favorite novels of all time. Definitely going to be on my Best Reads of the year, even though I know the road will be darker for the Hadrian and Royce from here on out. As this is the middle book in a trilogy, a spoiler warning is in effect. It's so difficult to review a novel you want everyone and their dog to read without giving away key elements to the plot, so I'll do my best to keep the surprises on the down low.

These covers are always fantastic!

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 whom are fighting the Imperialists in the south. As the power of the Nyphron Empire grows, so does Royce's suspicion that the wizard Esrahaddon is using the thieves as pawns in his own grab 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...

The book begins with ex-mercenary and troubled ex-soldier Hadrian debating leaving his career as a thief, which means ending his thirteen year relationship with bitter cynic Royce. Before that can happen, Hadrian and Royce engage on a last job. So you know what that means– it's not a last job at all. The duo finds themselves saving a village, battling monsters, and discovering crucial secrets about their past. I had a sneaking suspicion of what Hadrian's was, but did not see Royce's coming. It will clearly be a crucial element to the future novels, and I can't wait to read more about it.

But that's not all the dynamic thieves must endure. The story continues with a high-seas adventure, ominous omens from beautiful women, and treachery unlike which I haven't seen in a long time. I have no idea what will come next, but I can already tell there will be darkness, a lots of bloodshed.

The characters continue to improve and astound. Hadrian is a strong lead and continues to have a unique past that brings up more questions about him. His unwavering loyalty and honor is the stuff of legend, but part of him is still broken and may not be mended... except by a princess.

Arista is growing in fantastic ways. She was already a strong, feisty lead, but her time with Hadrian and Royce turns her into a clever, capable woman who learns that life away from her castle isn't what she thought it would be, nor is it her goal. By the end of Rise of Empire, her adventures were some of my favorites. Not to mention her growing feelings for Hadrian. It's never implicitly stated, but it's not hard to tell. I hope that something comes of their relationship, because I doubt others will be so lucky...

I love Royce. Hadrian is a fantastic character, but Royce is the definition of an anti-hero trying to turn his life around. Even he debates retiring at one point. But his loyalty and trust to Hadrian is paramount, and in a single touching scene, he reveals how lonely he is by telling Hadrian he doesn't want him to leave. But the love of Royce's life forces him to help Hadrian, and the cost will be more than Royce can bear. The past will catch up with the cynical thief, and if the ending is any indication, it will be incredible to watch just how low Royce can sink, and how high he can rise.

The next book will be dark. Pitch black, heart-breakingly dark. But I'm looking forward to it. These two have been on an incredible adventure, and I can't wait to see how it ends. I recommend these novels to everyone. Doesn't matter if you like fantasy or not– these are well written books with strong characters and interesting political intrigue. It's impossible to tell what will happen next, and that's what will keep you reading. Seriously– do not miss out on these novels. Put them on your reading list, or better yet, start them now. Adventures don't get much better than this.



  1. What a wonderful review. I seriously can't wait to hear what you think of Heir of Novron. I saved the best for last, and hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

    1. I just started the second part of the book, Percepliquis, and it's amazing. Wintertide was incredible, and had a heartbreaking ending that will stick with me for a long time. I could hardly sleep after I read that final chapter. They group has just made their first stop in the final journey, and I can't wait to see what happens in the end!

  2. These are some of my favourite books ever so well written and you have left out Myron who in my opinion is one of literatures greatest creations

    1. I do love Myron– he's a lot of fun and is a great character, though Royce, Hadrian and Arista are my favorites. I definitely want to see how Myron's story ends. He has a lot of heart and a good soul.