tim reynolds performance is flawless...
the plots and suspense will have you listening every moment you can and drooling for next book
There are a few series that, after finishing a volume, leave me with an almost obsessive urge to get the next volume and continue the story. The Dark Tower books by Stephen King and The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan are two examples (I actually had "Michael Jordan" written... glad I caught that). After finishing the second volume of Michael J. Sullivan's Riyria Revelations I am left with this same feeling. I want the next book...right now! I think I will just have to go buy the print version - if the local book store has it - because this story is really, really good. Definitely do not buy it if you haven't read the first volume though. In that case, go get "Theft of Swords" and hope that by the time you get to the end of "Rise of Empire" audible has released the next book in the series.
former nuclear scientist
I really enjoyed Theft Of Swords, the first installment of this series. The main characters, Royce and Hadrian, have an enjoyable banter - if literally superhuman skills and luck - and a skill for adventure. This set of two books further explores the mystery set up in the first two: mainly, there is some big event coming that threatens humanity, and a powerful manipulative force fighting for chaos, and the duo known as Riyeria are needed to save the world as they know it.
The book further develops the back story and explores the relationship of the partners, as well as the characters Arista, Thrace (Modina), Magnus the Dwarf, and minor but crucial characters such as Myron and Saldor. The adventures of the cast are tempered by sad tragedies, and the author doesn't shy away from depicting the senselessness of death and the grotesque bloodthirstiness of certain elements of humanity.
I've read a short story by Michael J. Sullivan, and he is careless with his grammar and punctuation to a degree that is distracting. I'm so glad that I listened to these books instead. The narrator does a great job of creating distinct voices for everyone and imbuing each scene with appropriate shades of everything from humor to heartbreak in a way that enhanced the experience.
More of the same from the first book, which in this case is a good thing. Like-able characters, good plot, great narration - what's not to like?
This volume contains "Nyphron Rising" and "The Emerald Storm." With these books, the story really begins to develop toward the ultimate climax (which I'm hoping will be released on Audible sometime soon). Volume one fleshes out the players and leads us to the goal of the various players. Volume two is more plot driven than character development. But that's not to say that the characters don't develop, they do. But it's more of a lateral movement rather than a growth toward betterment. The end of "The Emerald Storm" leaves you hanging! If you don't like cliffhangers, hold off on this series until all three volumes have been released (or see if you can find it in print). Still, I'm rather enjoying this series. No dreadful mid-series lull that is so often found in fantasy series.
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.
Another long dual-installment of stories of the charismatic duo Hadrian and Royce. The Riyria tales are quality high fantasy: large, sweeping worldbuilding with all the requisite kings, princesses, maidservants, pirates, priests, knights, mercenaries, magic users, prostitutes, merchants, spies, soldiers, and thieves. Hadrian is the big strong mercenary with incredible luck, and Royce is the dark, aloof sneaky lock-pickign master-thief, and together they go by "Riyria", available to do tasks if you are able to pay their fees. Somehow they end up usually getting embroiled in a bigger pickle than the job was originally described as, and often doing something because it seemed "right" despite being dangerous. Their friendship and banter is fun, and the intricate political intrigue deepens with each story. This is some great high fantasy. A bit reminiscent of Scott Lynch's Gentlemen Thieves series or GRR Martin's ASOIAF. Excellent narration by Tim Gerard Reynolds brings every character and peril to life.
I really enjoyed all of the books up to this one. But somewhere in the middle of this book I began to get...distracted, unable to suspend my disbelief and enjoy the story. Or maybe it was that nagging feeling that the author had to "tell" us how Royce was instead of showing us.
It became really hard to believe that Royce was bad at all. We're constantly told that he has no morals or conscious and is really dark, but its tough to reconcile this with the fact that he always begrudgingly makes the right choice.
The fact that the characters and lifestyles of this world are so completely foreign, but so similar to ours is hard to grasp. I constantly find myself cursing like they would, or saying their phrases... I forget that Marabor, Novron, Arista, Royce, and Hadrian aren't real.
I absolutely love the characters, love the world that has been created for them, and love that in general the characters stay true to what they are. However, there have been times where I want to skip ahead because I feel like things are being over explained, or just... Over emphasized. I do love the writing, but at times I am disappointed that he continues to rehash certain circumstances, or explanations of why people act a certain way. If you've made it this far, you shouldn't have to be reminded constantly of the general circumstances of this world. At least not the ones that have clearly been explained from different perspectives. I also feel like the story has climaxed too soon. I guess I'll see at the end of Heir of Novron.