Just like the first book, this is two novels in a single volume, and my opinion stands that it is an enjoyable adventure story. The two protagonists Hadrian and Royce have only gotten better as the books have gone on. With this type of the book, Sullivan could easily have gotten away with making them flat and standard characters, and I would have been more than happy. So imagine my surprise and glee when they turn out to have depth and purpose.
Something great about Riyria Revelations is that each book isn't a new paint job on the previous. The first book was an adventure romp, the second was a little town under attack, the third a besieged city, and the fourth a high sea adventure. Sounds pretty exciting eh? With each consecutive book, the story has grown and developed. I would be remiss to not admit I am a little disappointed in the book leaving its shallow relaxing origin to be something of more depth and meaning. Not a bad thing, good for most in fact. Though since the humor and laugh out loud moments have stuck around, I'm good, and have in fact already begun the third volume.
One thing that drives me up the wall in irritation is when a book constantly changes perspectives, resulting in numerous stories going on in a single book. This book has, I'd say three of these, but they didn't bother me. In fact I barely noticed them. There were the occasional "son of a gun" moments as the perspective switched at a cliffhanger point, but then I got treated to another storyline that I was missing. I liked all three, believe it or not.
This series and author are great since he doesn't bother with the boring parts. Yes those boring parts build up the story and suspense, but hey, as Sullivan proves, if you have just the good parts, you can do the same.
So, if you read the first book, Theft of Swords, then read on, it only gets better.
After reading the second Riyria book, I am starting to understand some of the good reviews for the series. While the first two books were more single stories within the same setting, with Rise Of Empire, author Sullivan begins to expand the story beyond the exploits of Royce and Hadrian, and with this, the series begins to become a new and much more enjoyable experience. Characters from the first two books take on expanded roles, and new characters form to provide the listener with a larger epic fantasy type world.
I really enjoyed the larger roles for the women, Arista, Thrice/Modena, and new character Amelia. Their additions opened up what was an average story to something much more grand.
The narrator Tim Gerard Reynolds continues to be solid, and I think his voices are growing on me despite some of characters sounding the same.
Overall, I am enjoying this series very much, and have already moved on to the next book in the series.
This review is being written after having completed the entire series, which was very satisfying. This second in the series picks up where the first book left off and follows our two main characters through one swash buckling adventure after another. Tim Reynolds voices are consistent with those used in the first book and continue to be very enjoyable. I cannot imagine listening to this book without having listened to the first in the series, as Sullivan continues to develop the characters and their relationships with one another and continues towards the ultimate climax in book three. It does remind me a little of the LOTR trilogy in that respect but Sullivan is completely original in his plot development. Some pretty graphic violence, but not over the top and fits with the time period that the story appears to be written in. Thoroughly entertaining, and I would venture if you listen to this and the first in the series, you will not be disappointed with the final story.
Don't miss the Bino Phillips series by AW Gray. They are largely unknown, but as good as any ive read!
Sometimes I pass up books just because they are fantasy. It's not that I don't enjoy the genre, I do. This second book in the trilogy, like the first, stands on its on as just a fantastic story for any lover of fiction. It's no wonder its one of the best rated books on audible.
Sullivan weaves magic, trolls, elves into the tale so subtly that it seems more natural than supernatural. The characters are so well developed, their conversation so modern that I had no problem believing in the validity of the tale.
There are obvious parallels between the fantasy empire's totalitarian rule and that of Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia. In this case, elves and dwarfs are considered "the problem" by the ruling class. And like the European jews in the early 20th century, all the ills of the world are blamed on them. There are even extermination camps.
Then there is the power of the Church. However, though there are cathedrals, bishops, monks and priests, there is no semblance of Christianity that i could find. There is a sense of it's goodness and how it is used to manipulate and gain power by a few evil men.
The two Ryiria Muskateers are once again back with all their cavalier charm. They bring humor and inject life into every scene.
I have to cut this short, but let me say I enjoyed this book as much as any mystery/thriller
I've ever read. The narration is great.
5 Stars all the way.
Yes it is a highly entertaining listen and the narrator does a fantastic job. This is book 3 and 4 in the series and you really get to see the characters grow and you come to love them more. I will not give a description as you can read that for yourself. But I will say the 2 main Characters Royce and Hadrian are now two of my favorite fantasy heroes. The other characters in the book really are good also: Princess Arista and Amelia in book 3. This Author has done a great job and I sent him an email and he actually replied twice!
I think it would have to be Hadrian for a male character and Princess Arista for female. I just love Hadrian's sense of humor and even though he is a thief he has a very good heart. With Princess Arista you get to see her grow form a spoiled princess to a true heroine who is just learning her abilities as one of the gifted (magic wielder).
It is too hard to say as he does such a good job. He makes different voices for all the characters and even does a great job for the females so you can truly imagine the characters talking.
Yes definately, I do not want to give away any spoilers but a few tears where shed and many laughs.
I really suggest you give this series a chance as I am sure you will add it to your all time favorites. I listen at work sometimes and the story is so good hours will pass and I will not even realize it. When I leave work I will plug my phone into my car stereo and find myself driving slower to get home so I can listen longer!
Yes, I would. I'll probably listen to it again after the year prequels come out. It's just great story, with great narration.
Absolutely. I listen at work, so it only took a few days anyway.
If you've read the first book, and found it lacking in certain areas, listen to this anyway. Much better and leaves toy ready for the third. Highly recommended. I put Michael J Sullivan up there with the likes of Patrick Rothfuss, and Brandon Sanderson.
The story was great. Narration was great.
It kept me guessing, had great twists and turns, and great character development.
I'm not sure if I have. But he is superb.
I definitely laughed. I'm too much of a man to cry.
This is Book 2 in the Riyria trilogy and it's as good as the first. It was great to spend more time with Hadrian and Royce.
The Riyria Revelations are fast becoming one of my favorite series. Michael J Sullivan might not be the equal of Tolkien as some have written, but one Tolkien is enough for me. I enjoy Sullivan as he is. The continuing story of Hadrian, Royce, Arista, Thrace, et al, is fast-paced, with enough humor to keep the pathos from becoming overwhelming. Elves, dwarves, and goblins interweave through like threads of gold through silk - not taking away from the main story, but adding sparkle to the tale. I am looking forward to the last of the omnibus series - The Heir of Navron.