I was quite impressed with Theft of Swords. Despite some minor shortcomings, the story and characters are compelling, which are the two most important factors in any book for me.
The story is a fairly common one: a fantasy setting, which revolves around a small group of people living outside the law. They get called on for a job, which turns out to be much more than they bargained for. Pretty basic. I believe I heard somewhere that this is actually two smaller books put together, and you can certainly tell, but I'll touch on that later. The two stories that Theft of Swords tells are both interesting and we can tell that there is something larger that will happen in future installments.
Characters are good. They're not one-dimensional, but I don't think I would really go so far as to say that they are fully fleshed out and realized. It could be that the author didn't feel it necessary to go into details, and it could be that he wants to keep us guessing as to the origins of certain characters. In either case, it doesn't make much of a difference since that's not what is keeping our attention.
As mentioned earlier, the downsides are fairly minor. Since it feels like two different books combined into one, the transition between the two can be a little jarring. It's kind of like the first story was to test the waters so the author could tell if it was going to be successful. It is a complete story in and of itself, but leaves a few questions unanswered, which allowed for a sequel--in this case, the second half. That's one thing that I noticed as being a little odd. The second and more pervasive is the world itself. My wife said that it felt like somebody's tabletop RPG in book form--I wouldn't go that far, but I will say that the world feels like a carbon copy of Dungeons and Dragons. Elves, dwarves, magic and all the bells and whistles seem essentially untouched as far as the basics of each, and the only thing that is different is the relations between each group. Except for elves and dwarves. They always hate each other. This can be particularly irritating to a nerd like me, because many of the revelations that are supposed to be shocking in later chapters are all things that I guessed halfway through. Once we were both done, I told my wife that I had such-and-such figured out before I started the second half, and she was shocked. But then again, she never really played D&D.
The narration is good. There was nothing particularly outstanding about the performance, other than the fact that the main characters' voices fit their personalities: one is quite warm and outgoing, while the other is more of the brooding, I'll-look-at-you-from-the-safety-of-my-cloak type.
In all, there are more pros than cons to this book. But the size of each is the reason I feel good in giving Theft of Swords four stars. It's entertaining and moves quickly. You won't find any mind-shatteringly new ideas or worlds like are fairly prevalent in the Fantasy genre nowadays. Just the tried and true stuff.
I'd definitely recommend this series to a fan of the fantasy genre. It's essentially a buddy tale about a warrior and assassin, each one masters of their craft who make their living as elite thieves. Their abilities are renown and sought by the wealthiest clients, letting the pair rub elbows with upper crust nobility. Yet they also know their way in the criminal underground.
The two have hearts of gold though. So one can't help but grin when their clashing personalities cause them to banter and bicker while they get into and out of trouble, despite being fast friends.
The setting is fantasy-familiar with enough new perspectives on magic, other races like elves and dwarves, and geography to keep things interesting. Add to that murder-mystery intrigue, action-adventure rescues, and a relatively lighter air than Joe Abercrombie or George RR Martin, and this makes for a really nice listen.
An additional bonus is a great narrator, and a pretty impressive length that stays engaging. Add to that the fact that this is only the first in a trilogy, and I think you'll find it's a great deal.
This is an excellent series if you're looking for something engaging, but also not too mentally draining.
Some of the great perks of this series:
Consistant and hilarious characters and banter, I actually found myself snorting aloud!
A LOT of delightfully unexpected turns! For being a rather light-hearted series, there are a lot of things that I just didn't expect to happen, I was happily surprised, and it kept me on my toes
These characters aren't undefeatable. But at the same time, they are wholesome-ly likable
The series has a clear ending, it's NOT 15 books long
There is light magic that doesn't run amok. It's powerful, but limited
There are strong female characters. (although, this doesn't really show up as much until later in the series. It's slow to rise, but believable)
Will I listen to this series again? Absolutely, I had a lot of fun with it the first time, and I can't wait to do it again. It's not sophisticated reading by any means, but it's a really fun lark that really wants you to enjoy yourself while you listen.
So I picked this book almost randomly from a $4.95 sale thinking it would be as quick fantasy troupe. I was blown away by this book. No mere troupe, that is for sure. Sullivan mastered the art of manipulating readers into believing the wrong conclusions that kept me guessing where the conspiracy was turning.
Sullivan envisioned great characters for his books. I loved the witting byplay between the thieves, and Harian's "annoying" need to do good deeds that gets them deeper and deeper into the conspiracy. I loved watching the prince transform out of a petulant boy into a leader.
You can count on the next two books I buy being books 2 and 3 of the Riyria Revelations.
This story stand out for its humor and heart along with wizardry and swordplay. Many interesting characters including a charmingly naive monk and some brave women. The two thieves have more to them than at first meets the eye. Narration is terrific. This actually includes 2 sections of a 6-part book. I'm going to go right into the next 2-parter immediately!
Wow! Do yourself a favor and listen to this book and the ones that follow. The story is amazing and engaging. The characters are fascinating and you just want to get to know them more and more. There is laughter and there are tears. The narrator brings everything to life. Not to mention the great value of two books for the price of one!! You will not regret it!
From the open scene where they two are ambushed on the road, I loved how this book flowed and the personality of two main characters. When I finished the book I knew I wanted to listen to the full series. The author leaves a few questions hang as the story is told, but thankful answers the mysteries instead of leaving them unanswered.
I occasionally lost tract of who was who as I stated listening but it not the readers fault, it takes some time for you to get a feel for the characters. Great listen.
Action Packed Wonder-ride, sorry that was four, but you get what I mean.
At the end when they put the head in the bed, and it is not what you think. It wasn't a human head.
This is the first and second in a six book series that been compacted into three audible book. It is a great series and pays for itself.
I read/listen purely for enjoyment and any reviews are based on that. Mostly fantasy, mystery, suspense.
I found this series through a good reads book club. As the price was small I thought I would give it a shot. I'm so glad I did. I Read the entire series non stop an found a new favorite. About six months later I joined audible and again the first book price was super low an a it was a great read I thought I'd give it listen. I loved it again. It Is a great story with fantasy, politics, war, and hero's and villains. For me it was a fast paced fun read that got better with each book. I've discovered several low priced fantastic books but this was one of the best.
I listened to all three books in this series. Each one was better than the last. The narrator is perfect. He is able to perform a large number of characters flawlessly. The story is also very captivating. I highly recommend.