Sullivan is a fan of the Traditional Tolkienian Fantasy and it shows. There are dwarves, elves, and wizards. If you're like me, that doesn't bother you when the mood strikes to read familiar or predictable mythologies. Just don't anticipate Sullivan breaking any new ground in Fantasy story telling like an Abercrombie or Rothfuss.
That said, the story is fast paced and action packed. The characters are believable and likeable. The main characters feel familiar, a brotherhood of thieves that follow a conveniently honorable code of ethics a la Steven Lynch. There is an occasional chapter that is full of mythology--necessary, but extremely boring.
Tim Reynolds projects his voice well and is intelligible. He has above average accents and character voicing. However, a couple of his character are so similar, there are times it is difficult to tell which character said what.
I just went back and listened to the entire series again (something I almost never do) after the Riyria Chronicles came out. I'm so glad I did! I had forgotten what a treat these characters were. I had also forgotten how sorry I was after it was over. You know something is good when you mourn the loss of the characters in your daily life.
Enough people have given a synopsis of the books, so I'll skip that part. I'll just say if you're on the fence about whether or not to buy these books, don't be. You'll drive further or sit longer at your desk (I listen to books while editing photos) because these stories are like visiting with wonderful old friends. You never want them to go home.
If you've had a bad experience with fantasy, don't worry, you'll be fine with these books. The story and the characters will carry you straight through any willing suspension of disbelief you need during the process. And Tim Gerard Reynolds is superb at rendering the different voices. I would recognize Royce and Hadrian anywhere, just by hearing them speak.
A note to Michael J. Sullivan: More please!
Relaxed readable epic
The main characters are wonderfully vivid and real. The story starts slow and even sounds a little bit generic, but it builds and builds until it's absolutely capitvating. It doesn't really need set-piece battles, world-shattering doom, or magical pyrotechnics; this is a fantasy story you want to get lost in.
He's a great narrator.
"Not your ordinary pair of thieves."
The sequels are even better...Sullivan is like the Terminator of fantasy authors; he relentlessly batters his way into your heart.
This was a good book with a well thought out plot, interesting and like-able characters, and terrific narration.
I love to read. I also love to write. I'm a harsh critic and very, very, very rarely give five star reviews to anything. Three stars for me is an average representation of literature and not a bad review by any stretch.
I liked how the characters stayed within their characters from start to finish and did not wander from their mannerisms in order to get around potential road blocks. I also liked the depth of the main characters.
Hadrian because he has that cocky swagger of knowing he is better than everyone else with a sword and only shows it if necessary. Royce is his straight man through the entire novel.
Heck no. Way too long.
Story drifts at times and doesn't leave a lot of intrigue as the author pops in and out of the minds of secondary characters to let the reader know all the nuances of the politics going on in the world. Often I wished that much of this was left out but what can you do?
I absolutely love Royce and Hadrian! I just find them to be so completely interesting, in how they interact with each other and with people around them. They have that really strong almost-brothers type of relationship, and their personalities complement each other so well that I just can't get enough!
Lynn Flewelling's Nightrunner series shares the same light, psuedo-epic, adventure tones that makes it so much fun to read, and it seems I am a huge fan of thief partnerships. Both series also have larger intrigues that the protagonists get sucked into and have to deal with in unconventional ways.
It's always pretty close race between Royce and Hadrian, but I think I'm going to have to go with Royce for this book. I do admit, there are a couple of voices in this book that grate on me, but Reynolds has Royce and Hadrian down pat! Hadrian is idealistic, optimistic and basically more open, and Royce is suspicious, withdrawn, and curt, and you can hear it in how their voices are portrayed. I can't picture them sounding any other way.
Oh yes! Taking breaks for sleep and work were awful, and I put my headphones back on at the earliest opportunities! And my "sleep breaks" were basically listening to the story until I fell asleep, so those weren't really voluntary...
I would and have. It grows on you all the way through until you're completely hooked!
There are so many! The interplay between the lead characters is addictive. Harshness and humor so brilliantly mixed.
I wasn't sure about Tim's narration at first, but it grew on me quickly. I can't imagine any other talent for this story now.
Not sure, but I'd change the title. "Theft of Swords" really doesn't do it justice.
Such well-developed, multi-dimensional characters! It gave the story richness to have continued exposition of all key characters.
Avid listener of Scifi and Fantasy. I've found so many great books with the help of member reviews. Hopefully I can return the favor.
The Riyria Revelations series begins as enjoyable if not light adventure fantasy, but grows into much more. The story initially centers on a pair of elite thieves for hire who are renowned for doing the impossible. Following one ill advised job their lives become much more complicated as they're swept into the middle of an ancient struggle for the fate of humanity. As the story progresses you are introduced to more characters and a complex intriguing world emerges.
Michael J. Sullivan has a real talent for feeding you a lot of detail mixed in with action so you don't feel burdened by the number of names or individual histories. While the characters and world are well developed at no point did I have to study the story to make sure I didn't miss anything(ie GRRM). There are no long winded descriptions or data dumps but at the end you realize how much you've learned about the history of the world.
The author strikes a nice balance between moral ambiguity and an overall sense of right and wrong. While no one would claim that a pair of professional thieves are model citizens it's clear that they are good people when it really counts. In fact it's somewhat refreshing to read a fantasy series that doesn't center on backstabbing politics. There are evil characters and betrayals of course, but this isn't one of those stories where you feel conflicted rooting for the main characters. You really feel as though you get to know the cast of characters and grow to love many of them.
If I have to admit some criticisms it would be based on a few of the romantic elements. While he does a great job with some of the character's relationships(ie Royce/Gwen), some of the series' early love interests seemed a little forced. I found this improved as the the story goes on so don't worry.
These books are so much fun they feel much shorter than they really are. Be careful, the hours fly by as you listen. Do yourself a favor and give it a listen. I think any fan of fantasy will really fall into these books.
Sci-Fi, Fantasy, historical fiction, mystery, thrillers with sarcasm are my favorites.
Michael Sullivan is a master at bringing the listener (or reader) into the world he has created and quickly sucking the listener into an emotional bond with the lead characters. The beginning of the book had me so hooked that I had trouble turning the ipod off and had me purchasing the next book in the trilogy before finishing the previous book.
Tim Reynolds was outstanding at bringing the words to the world of audible books.
Riyria Revelations should be a staple of those who enjoy epic tales of courage, adventure, struggle, friendship, and honor. Spend the credit, you will not be disappointed.
I would recommend this book to a friend because it is a good story and the characters are ones that you can enjoy. There is enough comic relief that it doesn't become to dry and you can actually like the characters. It was a fun listen.
Any classic thief become hero's book.
He does a good job fleshing out the characters and adding nuances that you wouldn't get from reading the book.
As an avid listener of books, I enjoyed this one a lot more than I did other ones, it doesn't take long to get into it and you can guess the bad guys but the writer has done such a good job that it really doesn't matter. I look forward to audible getting the next book or books in the series.