This book plays on familiar fairy tale tropes (an assassinated king, dragon terrorizes countryside and kidnaps princess, etc.). You might think that kind of story would be boring or predictable, but I loved it.
The story is told from an omniscient third person perspective, which allows the author to drop all these tantalizing clues along the way about the characters. Nothing is ever explained all at once. One character has a brand, the other wears a necklace with a silver pendant. These clues are mentioned casually in passing, and they eventually get explained in little pieces scattered throughout the entire course of the novel. I spent the entire book trying to figure out who the characters are and what happened to them in their pasts. I think that was why it was so fun to listen to, even though all the plot elements were strictly traditional.
Sullivan has the ability to know exactly how much he has to say in each scene without going overboard. He tells you enough to make you feel like you know what's going on, while holding back enough information to keep things interesting. He's got a succinct writing style and a really funny habit of setting up long, dramatic scenes and then undercutting the tension with a joke.
It's a light-hearted book and I truly enjoyed listening to it.
Michael J. Sullivan just went to the top of my list. Sanderson, Weeks move over there's a new player in town...
Here are some reviews that I strongly agree with:
"Mr. Sullivan continues to impress. In Royce and Hadrian he has created some of the best characters the genre has seen in some time, and in Avempartha he shows that he knows what to do with them. These books should be in every bookstore and I really hope that they are someday." --- Speculative Fiction Junkie
"A whirlwind of twists, earth-shattering surprises and deadly betrayal." --- Literary Magic
"Hair-raising escapes, flashy sword fights, and faithful friendship complete the formula for good old-fashioned escapist fun." – Publishers Weekly
"This epic fantasy showcases the arrival of a master storyteller." -- Library Journal
An epic adventure fantasy of tolkienesque quality with unforgettable characters. I felt a loss anytime someone was killed off in the story and I missed them, I haven't felt that way reading a story in a long time. Lord of the Rings perhaps?
Royce and Hadrian are probably my two favorite fantasy characters of all time and the other characters are more interesting then I could have ever imagined. I can't recommend this trilogy enough
I like the fantasy genre. A lot. Unfortunately, much of the time fantasy=detailed, long, drawn out battle scenes that I usually wind up pretty much skimming (in the case of audio books, ignoring). That's why I was so pleased to find this series. I'm working on the last one right now and all the way through it's been about the story, not about the fighting. Leaving out the bits about who whacks whom with a sword when and which flank is being attacked by which of the enemies leaves Sullivan time to really develop the story and the characters. He gets the reader to become emotionally involved, or interested, in the characters and then puts them in situations which create all of the suspense and drama needed. It's a really good listen and I can recommend it to anyone who doesn't thrive on the violence. Not that there isn't any violence at all, but at least he doesn't go on and on and on and on about it like so many fantasy writers seem to do. I've loved every minute of the whole series.
The narrator is really good. Easy on the ear and well spoken. A good choice for these books.
Decent narration, decent writing, decent story, lovable characters.
Having recently struggled with other books with incompatible writing styles, poor narration, or weak stories, I was pleasantly surprised to listen to Theft of Swords. I found Sullivan's writing style easy and approachable and the narrator decently portrayed characters. However, the greatest gift was the characters. I couldn't help but attach to characters, root for my favorites and boo the bad-guys. The story was intriguing and less cliche than other fantasy and the untold back-story seems rich and believable (as believable as fantasy goes).
However, there is one small disappointment with the book/story. I'm a little worn-out with the Tolkien-esque concept of dwarves and elves. Elves and dwarves don't get along. Ok, that's a bit worn-out by now. Also, dwarves are "diggers" and "crafters" while elves are "elegant" and "sophisticated." I get it, I understand what Sullivan et al are trying to do, but I'd like this trope to be shaken up a bit.
But, I got past this annoyance, and easily. There's something to be said for sticking to a comfortable norm. So, I enjoyed the story, characters, writing style and narration. I'll definitely pick up another Sullivan book on Audible.
Great story, great characters, great writing all read in a great voice! I am going to be really sad when I finish the series. Glad to see there are more Royce and Haidrian stories available. I had to purchase the third book in the series. Found myself in the car and not playing an audiobook because I wanted to finish Riyria Revelations!
This is probably my second favorite book i've ever listened to. It has everything you ask from a fantasy world. Deep history, an exciting mythos, tension and prejudice between the races, and a sprinkle of devilish monsters. This book constantly made me smile, due to it's overwhelming logic and awareness. Characters in this book, actually use emphatic reason. There are some awkward decisions here and there, but nothing too head-scrathing; there are far too many books that possess only 'mythic' adaptations of us, with no common-logic, or understanding. These characters actually feel alive, and by the end of it, you could probably guess each member of Riyria's decision before they voice it; which is a good thing in this case. Splendid!
This book is a combination of many wonderful ideas, from many wonderful authors. Lord of the Rings, The Song of Fire and Ice, and many other fantasy books come to mind while reading this, but honestly, Theft of Swords is its own book.
Most every character in this book is fantastically performed, but I would have to say Esrahaddon's early dialogue sticks-out above all the supportive cast, as the best; it even over-shadows Royce and Hadrian's dialogue in some cases.
Like many books, the ending is where all the ideas come to a head, or get escalated into a cliff-hanger. This book's ending is quite memorable, and Esrahaddon's dialogue made me grin from it's masterfulness.
Great read/listen. Highly recommend!!! I'm moving on to the next in the series.
The story moved along very well.
Yes, but it is too long to listen it one sitting.
100%. If you are a lover of great adventure stories that are witty and have great characters then you will love this book.
The main characters, Royce and Hadrian. They are humorous and sharp-tongued master thieves but they have the hearts of heroes.
The freeing of Ezra Hardin. I loved his dialogue.
Royce and Hadrian taking on the mission for the girl in the second part of the book.
If you are looking for a sweeping epic like Lord of the Rings,you won't find it here. But, if you want rousing tales of adventure with lovable scoundrels who are really heroes in disguise and action that is very well paced, I would highly recommend this book. I found my self smiling and laughing from start to finish.
I would recomend this to any in need to get lost in agood tail.
An exelant reader very expresive with good character portrail