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.
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.
Maybe - the story is good and entertaining, but I'm not sure there is enough depth to listen to the series over and over again. As another reviewer mentioned it's sometimes annoying in how easily the conflicts are overcome.
It might be one worth bringing out again later when I just need a fun "light" listen. The adventures are fun and move at a good pace.
Yes, but I wouldn't expect to be wowed.
I'm not sure, but he is a very good narrator and would like to see what other stories he's narrated.
tim reynolds performance is flawless...
the plots and suspense will have you listening every moment you can and drooling for next book
Dept Q, Harry Hole... where are you?
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.
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.
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?
Oh wow, it's over and left me hanging. After all those hours of listening, there are giant twists and turns in the end that will propel you right on to the conclusion in volume 3. Royce and Hadrian are on a quest to find Merek, which will lead them to the emperor. Arista is on her own quest to find the abducted emperor. What they do find is full of surprises, deceit, death and heartbreak. This is an excellent series, will recommend it to all those that love epic fantasy.
All fantasy is cut from the same block. The same characters, creatures and kingdoms are tweaked and reused. That's fine for most fantasy fans: more of what already works isn't a bad thing. Truly great fantasy, however, is more. Riyria, while tough to pronounce, is just that. The action, swords, magic and creatures that make fantasy great are all present. But the fast paced, interweaving story lines and suspense of unknown political perils unfolding keep it fresh.