The Crown Tower (Riyria Chronicles Series #1)
  • Alternative view 1 of The Crown Tower (Riyria Chronicles Series #1)
  • Alternative view 2 of The Crown Tower (Riyria Chronicles Series #1)

The Crown Tower (Riyria Chronicles Series #1)

4.3 26
by Michael J. Sullivan

View All Available Formats & Editions

Two men who hate each other. One impossible mission. A legend in the making.

Hadrian Blackwater, a warrior with nothing to fight for, is paired with Royce Melborn, a thieving assassin with nothing to lose. Hired by an old wizard, they must steal a treasure that no one can reach. The Crown Tower is the impregnable remains of the grandest fortress ever


Two men who hate each other. One impossible mission. A legend in the making.

Hadrian Blackwater, a warrior with nothing to fight for, is paired with Royce Melborn, a thieving assassin with nothing to lose. Hired by an old wizard, they must steal a treasure that no one can reach. The Crown Tower is the impregnable remains of the grandest fortress ever built and home to the realm's most prized possessions. But it isn't gold or jewels that the wizard is after, and if he can just keep them from killing each other, they just might succeed.

Chronological Order

  • The Crown Tower (Riyria Chronicles #1)
  • The Rose and the Thorn (Riyria Chronicles #2)
  • Theft of Swords (Riyria Revelations #1&#2): contains The Crown Conspiracy&Avempartha
  • Rise of Empire (Riyria Revelations #3&#4): contains Nyphron Rising&The Emerald Storm
  • Heir of Novron (Riyria Revelations #5&#6): contains Wintertide&Percepliquis

*** Fantasy Faction's Top 10 Anticipated Books for 2013 ***
*** Most Anticipated Books of 2013 ****** Ranting Dragon's 50 Fantasy&Sci-Fi Novels to Look Forward to in 2013 ***

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Hadrian Blackwater, a fighter who claims to be done with violence, meets Royce Melborn, an assassin hired by an unknown party to protect Hadrian and to whom the warrior takes an almost instant dislike. When a boy is executed for a crime Royce has committed, Hadrian's dislike becomes hatred—until the enemies are forced to work together to commit a seemingly impossible burglary at the behest of an old wizard. The author of the Riyria Revelations (Theft of Swords; Rise of Empire; Heir of Novron), which chronicle the adventures of Blackwater and Melborn as an established pair, sets his latest series opener 12 years earlier, describing the initial meeting between the two antiheroes. Sullivan's characters are reminiscent of other sword and sorcery (or sword and sword) pairings: Michael Moorcock's Elric and Moonglum, Frtiz Leiber's Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, and Mercedes Lackey's Tarma and Kethry. VERDICT Fans of the original Riyria series should enjoy this return to familiar characters and places.

Product Details

Publication date:
Riyria Chronicles Series , #1
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Sales rank:
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Born in Detroit, Michigan, Michael J. Sullivan has lived in Vermont, North Carolina, and Virginia. He worked as a commercial artist and illustrator, founding his own advertising agency in 1996, which he closed in 2005 to pursue writing full-time. The Crown Conspiracy is his first published work. He currently resides in Fairfax, Virginia with his wife and three children. The author's website can be found at and on twitter @author_sullivan.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

The Crown Tower 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I recently have been looking for a new Sci-Fi series, and was pleasantly surprised to have found these books. This author is nothing short of amazing, he has a way of detailing things so you can be immersed but not over detailing them to where you get lost or end up skipping things. The characters are unique and interesting, and the story itself is engaging. If you are looking for a good read, this is it.
Melhay More than 1 year ago
Hadrian returns to Vernes from Calis to visit Arcadias in Sheridan at the university, an old friend of his fathers and family. Hadrian travels by barge up the river with jewel merchants who claim the strange dark caped man is the killer Vernes is looking for. Hadrian believes in all people, but when people start disappearing and dying Hadrian wonders of this man. Gwen is a young prostitute who wants out from under the employment of her boss, and the men he lets in his establishment. When another girl is killed and he threatens Gwen, she decides it's time to make her move. But she can't leave Medford. She's waiting for something, someone. Royce is quiet, sneaky, quick, and deadly thief. He has an evil in his eyes. He trusts no one but himself. Arcadias puts the fighter and the thief together, thinking they would be a good team. They might be good for each other, IF they can accomplish the job as a team, not separate, and live through it. Gwen younger before she's on her own. Her life in Medford as a Calian, the prejudiced is so strong. How Gwen has come to her own, a hard story. Gwen's tale of coming to Medford and learning her talent. We follow Hadrian and Gwen more than Royce. But Royce is the one we always have a mysterious feel of, and he's not much of a talker. It takes a bit to get our favorite duo together and the banter flowing, but when they do, the blooming of their quick wits are there. Oh, for those who have read the first six (or three Orbit) books, we know the secrets and get to see the forming of them. Those who haven't read the books will have so many clues to what's to come. You will WANT to know more about these characters. I love seeing the clues now and Michael has dropped more in to connect later in the series as well. We learn more of Calis being Hadrian fresh off ship from there. Even touches from Gwen as her mother was from there. Through the over all story plot there are mini-plots, which Michael is amazing at. I really enjoyed these as they are used to tell the story of our characters growth, personalities, world drawing, and to bring the characters together. There's the murderer mystery going on with Hadrian on the barge. Gwen fighting for her own life and those of the girls around her, then coming into her own. Also, Hadrian and Royce meeting and training and trying to compromise to do the job Arcadias requests. There is even troubles at the university that stir. The secrets in Gwen's character! Oh my. She has links that I had never really thought of. Great. Wonderful. Amazing to see this. Her story is a secret that is well to be known. And the grace she is left with, that person could be explained in reading the series - if you haven't yet. I don't know how Michael does it, but when we finally get Royce and Hadrian banter it is wonderful! Just like old friends for me. They click so easily for me as a pair, even when they hate each other and think of ways to kill the other. This is an amazing addition to the Riyria world. The way it all began. I could say you could read this one before or after the series, but if after you might catch more connections.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The adventure continues!  
Eloise_In_Paris More than 1 year ago
I am a complete newbie to this author. I’d seen the books from The Riyria Revelations series and thought about buying them. This book is the first in a pair of prequels to that series, and I am glad I read this first. I prefer to read a series in chronological order rather than it’s published one. If you’re like me and this is your first taste in this world it is extremely important to remember that this is a prequel and that there are four more books to read after this. The story has a very slow start and at times it was hard for me to focus. While it was well written there really wasn’t very much going on action wise, but main characters were being established. The action does eventually pick up, but it occurs in little bursts. And although there was danger it wasn’t until the very end of the book that I felt a sense of urgency. If I had read this book thinking it was a stand alone novel with the potential for more books I would have thought the ending was lame. This book is 400 pages of set up, but from the style of writing and the lovable characters I can see how people fell in love with this series, and I will be sticking around to read the punch line.
Angelina5945 More than 1 year ago
I loved this series, it was so amazing. I could not put any of the books down and had to have the next one as soon as I finished the one before it. It was such an adventure. I suggest this series to anyone. This is my favorite book series of all time and believe me i have read a lot of books.:D
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Glad that i stumbled in to this author. All these books were very good. If i had it to do over again, though, i would probably go with chronilogical order- you know SOME things that are gonna happen. But not in what manner so going back in time with them was pretty fun. Recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read this. Start this series now.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm thinking this is my favorite Riyria story. But then I went back and read the entire set again. I can't decide, but this story is a great introduction to some fantastic, engaging characters. It gives you a lot of the background too, that helps when you read the Revelatoins. Can't recommend this author and this series highly enough!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The descriptions were fantastic. I have found a new author to love. I hope that he finds ways to continue with these characters.
Lucy-neesan More than 1 year ago
Very good, but changed more details of the events as hinted in the Riyria Revelations than I would have liked
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The first Michael Sullivan book I read was Theft of Swords. I was hooked and was delighted to find The Crown Tower to give the history of Hadrian and Royce. I devoured The Crown Tower, even staying up way past my bedtime to finish the book. The writing is superb and the story is well-plotted out. I loved the dialogue between Hadrian and Royce. I am a sucker for character development and this series promises plenty. I also like the "gotcha" moments Mr. Sullivan throws in. I highly recommend this book and hope that Mr. Sullivan continues with more Hadrian and Royce adventures beyond what he has already written.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Erlessard More than 1 year ago
In THE CROWN TOWER, the author writes a prequel to the Riyria Revelations series worth reading first.  It’s clear that the author has spent a lot of time in this world and the world-building is exceptionally well crafted.  There are a few instances of magic, but it’s as low key to the plot as GAME OF THRONES.  The real focus is between the characters and their adventures. Although several of the scenes take place within a brothel, there is no graphic sex or violence (minus a quick and early scene with Shane).  However, there are some characters that are violent towards women, so younger audiences might not be able to handle the subject matter. Royce might possibly be my all time favorite anti-hero with his mysterious demeanor yet chatty outbursts.  I love how opposite he is from Hadrian and how their differences drives them as much apart as together.  Royce doesn’t get a POV spot until late in the book, but it is worth waiting for.  His complexity and view of Hadrian are hilariously different from Hadrian’s view of Royce. For some silly reason, I thought Hadrian was a dwarf at the start of the book.  I think it was the name.  It became clear sooner rather than later that Hadrian is a full sized, very muscular male.  It I were ever to have a crush on a fictional character based on actions alone, then Hadrian might be the guy.  Tormented by his past, yet Hadrian is strong, skilled, loyal, and kind. Gwen’s narrative is less compelling than Hadrian’s.  Her only purpose in life is to prepare for a man she’s never met.  She’s determined but naive.  She doesn’t feel as fleshed out as the male characters of the story.  Even her nemesis, Grue, has a more sympathetic and solid character.  I was surprised how sympathetic he ended up being, considering that he openly strikes women.  For him, it’s business. When it all came together, I was surprised how well everything meshed.  It’s a predictable ending, especially for current fans of the author, though the narrative is so compelling that it still shocks the reader.  Like: “Hey!  Oh, right.  That was suppose to happen.”  If you’re a new fan or old, then THE CROWN TOWER is an excellent starting point to this epic fantasy series.  Highly recommend for all fantasy lovers.
Janmaus More than 1 year ago
A terrific introduction to some of my favorite fictional characters. There is a certain loss of suspense in a prequel, but plenty of excitement anyway. I'm not sure that someone new to the series would have patience with the long setup, and might want both more action and character development early on -- it does take Hadrian a while to smarten up, and it stretches belief that a seasoned soldier and gladiator can still be so naive. Still, adventure is key, humor seasons the mix, and I've plenty of questions for the next episode to answer. As an established fan of the Riyria world, I enjoyed every minute of this well performed listen. Tim Reynolds does an exceptional job as reader
Croter More than 1 year ago
The story lines just pull you in and the characters are devleloped in such a way that you can't help but feel like you know them. I have thoroughly enjoyed the previous Trilogy and this one looks to be the same high quality
Anonymous More than 1 year ago