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Posted March 6, 2012
I picked up Theft of Swords nearly three weeks ago, looking for a new book or series to read. I read the back, trying to get a feel for the book. It looked interesting but I was not going to get my hopes up. All I expected was a decent story. I was proven wrong. The story was not decent. It was brilliant. Sullivan begins the story with the two main characters on a mission. While many books take a while to draw you in, Theft of Swords abandons that, drawing you in on the first page. And it does not relinquish it's hold.
In my reading, I have found that many authors have "filler" sentences and chapters. While these are okay, they often detract from the story. Throughout the Riyria Revelations, I cannot think of a single word, let alone sentence or chapter, that I would call "filler". There were many times that a character was introduced, one whom I THOUGHT was "filler" and would simply disappear. Time and time again, I was proven wrong. The character would be introduced again, be it a chapter or a book later, and would interact with the main characters, Royce and Hadrian, proving vital to the progression of the story.
If I were to identify one thing I think Sullivan does that is truly exceptional, I would have to say CHARACTERIZATION. Throughout the series, Sullivan carefully describes the characters, giving them their own lives and meaning. After reading the series, there is not a single character that I do not identify with (and understand). To use a cliché, the characters "jump of the page", taking over your mind and thought. Ultimately, this is a goal all writers have: to make the reader understand their characters, enjoy them, and find entertainment with them. This does not always happen, however, and the impressive thing Sullivan accomplished is not only pulling it off with one or two characters but each and every one of them. Literally.
I am an avid reader, always have been, and always will be. Bookshelves adorn the walls of my house, the one in my bedroom reserved for my favorite books. The top shelf (on the far left) is specifically reserved for my favorite book, or series. This is where my copy of the Riyria Revelations now reside. I also have each of them on my Nook (tablet), Apple iPad, and Apple iPhone so I can have them wherever I go (literally). I have heard it said many times that a great book is one that you feel you can read over and over again. I do not always agree with this statement. There have been books I have read that I would classify as great that I would not read again, at least for a very long time. Riyria: I will read over and over again. I know it. I cannot now. I am in college, currently struggling my way through a week of midterms before Spring Break, and I want to try out a long list of books I have stored in Notes on my iPhone. But come summer in a couple months, after I have gotten through four or five of the sixty books on my reading list, I have no doubt that I will return to the Riyria Revelations for another, in depth read. For me, Riyria was not just a great series. It is my favorite series and Sullivan, whom I had never heard of before has become my favorite author. I am looking forward to what the future brings in terms of his writing and hope, or pray, that he will return to it (and publish more) someday.
5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 25, 2014
When i read theft of swords i imeditly asked for the second one.
The rating is five stars because of how good theft of swords i can predict that this one will be as good.
Posted October 3, 2013
Posted October 1, 2013
Posted March 6, 2013
Posted September 22, 2012
Posted July 27, 2012
Excellent Character-Driven Fantasy
I’m absolutely blown away. Part of me feels like I’m betraying some of my favorite epics with the new guys on the block, but I find myself so impressed and infatuated, I can’t help but get lost in my admiration. Sullivan is quickly climbing *the list* of my all-time favorite authors, because he’s created such wonderfully exciting characters inside a beautifully constructed adventure. I call it an adventure because there’s a huge difference between reading a story and being pulled into an adventure. Those who’ve experienced a great book know what I’m talking about.
Where to start? How to start? The problem is, I want to go and dive right back into the story, and am a little sad the ride is over. This review comes at the end of the third installation, because I didn’t want to stop after the end of Rise of Empire to write a review, and immediately jumped right into Heir of Novron. In fact, I’ve neglected editing on my own novel to enjoy a few days of adventure in the land of Elan.
Okay, I’m pushing emotion aside and getting down to the stone foundation of the story. After being so impressed and blown away with Theft of Swords, I happily jumped right into Rise of Empire and was so excited to find that it picks right up where the first installation left off. Well …sort of. I expected to instantly meet my new favorite pair of heroes, but instead was introduced to a new character, Amilia. It took only about a page and a half to get over my disappointment at not immediately meeting Riyria, before I was totally consumed with compassion for this poor girl, and dripping with disdain for the wretched hag, Edith Mon. I know how hard it is to introduce a new character into an already established story. But characterization and development is one of Sullivan’s greatest strengths. He doesn’t use descriptions that haven’t been used before, especially in the fantasy realm, but he masterfully uses what’s familiar in such a way as not to bombard or heavily compound them to drown the reader. He delivers just enough saturation to whet the appetite, and then allow the imagination to fill the gaps. I, for one, appreciate that.
The story then re-introduces us to Thrace, a brave girl who overcomes some very difficult obstacles in Theft of Swords, again … sort of. Sullivan does an exceptional job of describing the shell of a person whose survived great tragedy and loss. Anyone familiar with survival would have little problem instantly relating to Thrace’s (now re-named Modina) state, or the compassion and understanding of Amelia’s role in her life. This again, is a testament to Sullivan’s ability to master the art of characterization. I’m a character-driven reader and writer. I’m always more interested in what’s going on in, and about, a character. The personal journey of a character is more important than the physical journey in my book (both metaphorically and literally). I wasn’t expecting this aspect of the story, but definitely found myself completely immersed, both intellectually and emotionally. (Yes, I’m using a lot of “ly” adverbs. LOL! I must be disciplined when using them in writing novels, but when it comes to reviews – I let them fly.)
Just when I’ve about forgotten about Hadrian and Royce, being so completely immersed in Modina and Amilia, the boys make a return, and it’s like diving into a pool of cool water after a time sunbathing. I don’t know why I call them boys, because there’s nothing boyish about them, except their curt sense of humor. But even they are not the same upon arrival in this second book. Hadrian is in a sort of depression because he’s reached a point in his life where he desires to step into maturation – living up to his potential and fulfilling some divine purpose. He’s tired of running from responsibility and facing his destiny. Royce on the other hand, the carefree and careless wanderer, finds himself in love. Both, love and purpose pull our heroes into different directions. There’s so much involved with these two characters that it would probably take several books just to explain it all. And not just these two, but most of the secondary and third characters as well (Princess Arista, Esrahaddon, King Alric, Hilfred, Degan, Mauvin, Gwen, Magnus, Arcadius, etc.,I could go on, but what’s the point. They all have their own stories and development, and I’ve come to love and hate them respectively).
In an effort for Princess Arista to prove useful in her male-dominated world, she leads Royce and Hadrian on a quest to try and partner with the rebel forces fighting against the new empire (Boy! That sounds like a Star Wars episode), but find things don’t happen as easy as she imagines. Her pampered and protected world, and everything she believed and was used to, crumbles around her, and she discovers who she really is beneath the rubble, dirt and persecution, and it happens to made of some pretty strong steel. I’ve come to admire this character. While she has flaws, and makes some bad decisions (she is human after all), she’s not weak and needy. There’s nothing I hate more than a woman who can’t function on their own strength, or find their own identity, without a man. Loving someone should be a choice, not a necessity, and Arista is a great example of the ideal woman in my mind. She’s also one of the great heroes in this story. She may not fight with a sword of metal, but her wit is a very sharp blade. In this second installation (or the third and fourth parts), Sullivan allows us to take that journey with Arista through all her encounters, failures, mistakes, and her achievements, discoveries and successes.
Like I said earlier, the thing I love most about this series is that it is character driven, even when it comes to the back story, as our characters move through the historical, political, and religious chess board. Again, there’s no new elements in this story that can’t be found in a dozen fantasy stories already written, but how those elements are used, displayed and manipulated is what makes this story stand out from the rest. It’s like a painter. All painters use the same colors, but what makes them different is how they mix them and apply them to the canvas. Sullivan is an excellent artist with a great vision, and I love the masterpiece he’s presented.
I don’t want to give too much away with the plot, so I think I’m going to end this review here, and finish it on the last segment of this series. I just hope I was able to convey what I feel is the BEST element of this story and it’s made other readers rush out to experience it for themselves. I wish Mr. Sullivan the best of luck with this series and hope it brings him much, much, much success.
Till next time,
Posted June 13, 2012
What a wonderful fanticy adventure, could not wait to see what would happen next. I fell for the characters in book one and continued my excitement right through this book! The author didn't skip a beat!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 30, 2012
Posted April 23, 2012
This was an excellent follow up to the Theft of Swords. The characters are well developed and I find myself rooting for them. I am enjoying the story line which is fast moving and interesting. I've already started the next book and the series and I find myself anxious to discover the outcome. Don't miss reading this series, it's a real "page turner".Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 13, 2012
Posted April 12, 2012
I want to find this world again! Grips you, drags you along for the ride and leaves you needing MORE! These books are excellent!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 25, 2012
Posted February 20, 2012
I think others have done a good job of reviewing this volume, so i will get straight to the point. I love everything about this entire series, and this book is no exception. Do yourself a favor and purchase it without hesitation.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 10, 2012
Posted January 17, 2012
I'm reviewing the 2 books individual
Once again Michael Sullivan has delivered an amazing story. I love how these stories are complete in themselves yet there is the underlying thread through them all, and growing more evident. Michael gives you all the pieces from the previous books to refresh your memory or if you haven't read them so you know what is happening.
This book has our wonderful thieves; Royce and Hadrian, but also the amazing character Princess Arista. In the story Princess Arista stays true to here character, yet she seems real in that she has her moments of doubts and anxieties in herself and what she is doing - wondering if what she is doing is right for all. Arista is a strong women in these stories and is not a normal princess: in always having beautiful dresses, sitting in the castle doing needlepoint, and not thinking of politics. She is willing to do what it takes to save her country and help others, along with using the magical arts she learned from the powerful wizard Esrahaddan and her professor, in magic, Arcadius.
I have had thoughts and questions on the characters and the plots. In each book Michael has answered these questions and has added to or solved the thoughts on the plots. In doing this I have come to realize the answers are true because I can think back and remember a word here and a sentence there that were used to take me through this remarkable path to the solutions.
Michael has outdone himself, again. With each book I am amazed at how the story has grown, and each book is better than the last - which were impressive in themselves. Michael keeps raising the bar with each book.
The Emerald Storm starts shortly after Nyphron Rising's ending. The first chapter briefly mentions previous happenings, yet blends many new happenings; an assassination plan, and a whole new set of issues now present in the change of seasons and rules.
We visit different areas of the world and learn more about the different races and creatures. We go on a sea voyage, hike through the jungle, and fight a few battles - at sea and on land. Not only does each section of the journey build for the end of the book giving more details of what is happening, but they have their own peaks and valleys to keep me turning the pages and had my heart racing at times all to find out what happens next. This was a book I found very hard to put down. There is a great combination of conspiracy, mystery of a missing person, and a little of magic mixed into this fantasy world.
New dangers are in the works for the world of Avryn. New, threatening enemies and possible destruction come to the surface in this story. But one always seems to remain and working closer to their goal...The Empire.
In the end Michael left me shocked and my jaw hanging open. I enjoy when an author can get a few twist and turns in on me I didn't foresee. This book did not let me down, and actually exceeded my expectations on all levels. I am left wanting to run out and buy the next book!
In both books: Many old characters return, along with new characters who help grow the world. These characters have come to life for me through these books. There is humor in the characters. There is a respect between characters and caring which is all earned. We also start to get more details on some of the ccharacters to help place more pieces of the puzzle together. We come across new creatures, like the Ghazel - goblins in
Posted December 27, 2011
Posted March 25, 2013
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Posted December 31, 2011
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Posted February 21, 2012
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