The Riyria Sampler

The Riyria Sampler

by Michael J. Sullivan

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Three short stories and an excerpt from the upcoming novel (The Death of Dulgath) provides an introduction to Riyria, a team of rogues featuring Hadrian Blackwater (an idealistic swordsman) and Royce Melborn (a cynical thief). This sampler provides some examples to help the reader determine if the full-length novels are a good fit for their reading preferences.

The Thieves: Originally, this was a scene written for Nyphron Rising (the first novel in the Rise of Empire omnibus). Eventually, it became the opening of Theft of Swords when Orbit purchased and republished the series as three, two-book volumes. Here is a bit about that story: A band of thieves sets upon two lonely riders in the middle of the night. They had a larger party. They had the element of surprise. There was no reason to be concerned, but they didn’t realize who they were dealing with.

The Viscount: Originally titled “The Viscount and the Witch,” this was published in the fall of 2011. It was written to provide a gift to my fans after my books were removed from the market to make room for Orbit’s versions. It’s also the seed that later became The Riyria Chronicles, and this short now appears as the second chapter of The Rose and the Thorn. Here is a bit about this short: Eleven years before they were framed for the murder of a king, before even assuming the title of Riyria, Royce Melborn and Hadrian Blackwater were practically strangers. Unlikely associates, this cynical thief decides to teach his idealist swordsman partner that no good deed goes unpunished. Will Royce wind up proving his point or be schooled himself?

The Jester: Originally released in the Unfettered anthology (edited by Shawn Speakman and published by Grim Oak Press), I did something a bit unusual with this short story. Faced with the word count restrictions inherent with anthologies, I wrote what is essentially the climax for what could have been a full-length novel. I throw the reader into the middle of the story and make only brief illusions to what had come before. It’s an interesting experiment and seems to have worked out well based on the high praise it has received. Here is a bit about this story: Stop me if you’ve heard this one. A thief, a candlemaker, an ex-mercenary, and a pig farmer walk into a trap…and what happens is no joke. When Riyria is hired to retrieve a jester’s treasure, Royce and Hadrian must match wits with a dwarf who proves to be anything but a fool. Difficult choices will need to be made, and in the end those who laugh last do so because they are the only ones to survive.
The Death of Dulgath excerpt isn’t a short story. It’s the opening scene to the new novel, which will be coming out before the end of 2015. Here is a bit about that book.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940151946735
Publisher: Ridan Publishing
Publication date: 05/31/2015
Sold by: Smashwords
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 167,379
File size: 394 KB

About the Author

After finding a manual typewriter in the basement of a friend’s house, Michael inserted a blank piece of paper and typed: It was a dark and stormy night and a shot rang out. Well, he was just eight years old at the time, so we’ll forgive him that trespass. But the desire to fill the blank page and see what doors the typewriter keys would unlock wouldn’t let him go. For ten years Michael developed his craft by studying authors such as Stephen King, Ayn Rand, and John Steinbeck. During that time, he wrote twelve novels, and after finding no traction in publishing, he gave up and vowed never to write creatively again. Michael discovered that never is a very long time, and he ended his writing hiatus after a decade. The itch returned when he decided to create a series of books for his then thirteen-year-old daughter, who was struggling in school due to dyslexia. Intrigued by the idea of writing a series with an overarching story line, he created the Riyria Revelations. Each of the six books was written as an individual episode but also included intertwining elements and mysteries that develop over time. Michael describes this endeavor as something he did “just for fun with no intention of publishing.” After presenting the first manuscript to his daughter, he was chagrined that she declared, “I can’t read it like this, can’t you get it published?” So began his second adventure on the road to publication, which included: drafting his wife to be his business manager; signing with an independent press; and later creating a small press. After two and a half years, the first five books sold more than 70,000 copies and ranked in the top twenty of multiple Amazon fantasy lists. In November 2010, he leveraged his success and received his first commercial publishing contract for three novels from Orbit Books (the fantasy imprint of Hachette Book Group, USA). In addition, Michael reached international status with more than fifteen foreign rights translations including France, Spain, Russia, and Germany, just to name a few. Michael’s work has been well received by critics and readers alike, earning him thousands of positive ratings/reviews, interviews, and articles. He has attributed much of his success to the fantasy book blogging community. Dubbed “the little indie that could” he found his books pitted as the only independent in major competitions such as the 2010 and 2012 Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Fantasy and the 2009 Book Spot Central’s Fantasy Tournament of Books, which he won. His traditionally published edition of Theft of Swords was short-listed for the 2013 Audie Award for Fantasy. Today, Michael continues to fill blank pages and in working on his third series tentatively titled The First Empire. Contact Information Website/blog: Twitter: @author_sullivan Email: Facebook (author): Facebook (series): Michael Sullivan’s Works Novels The Riyria Revelations Theft of Swords (contains The Crown Conspiracy and Avempartha) Rise of Empire (contains Nyphron Rising and The Emerald Storm) Heir of Novron (contains Wintertide and Percepliquis) The Riyria Chronicles The Crown Tower The Rose and the Thorn Standalone Novels Hollow World Antithesis (coming soon) A Burden to the Earth (coming soon) Short Stories Sold Individually The Viscount and the Witch (Fantasy: The Riyria Chronicles) Greener Grass (Dystopian Science Fiction) The Jester (Fantasy: The Riyria Chronicles) Anthologies The End—Visions of Apocalypse: Burning Alexandria (Dystopian Science Fiction) Triumph Over Tragedy: Traditions (Fantasy: Tales from Elan) Unfettered: The Jester (Fantasy: The Riyria Chronicles) Fantasy Faction: Autumn Mists (Fantasy: Contemporary) Help Fund My Robot Army!: The New and Improved Monkey Paw (Fantasy: Contemporary)

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