This will be quick and to the point.
If you like rich fantasy, as I do, you'll want to listen to the "Riyria Revelations" trilogy by Michael J. Sullivan. When you do, you're in for hours of incredibly rich and rewarding listening that you'll re-visit long after the first listen. But, not just yet.
This isn't about THAT series...Well, in a way, it is.
Before you move to that fantastic trilogy, start HERE, with this prequel to the series. If you don't, you're truly missing out on an incredible listening ride worth your hard-earned Audible credit.
Why start here? Easy.
Conceived and written after the trilogy was published, the author was urged by his wife to do a series of short stories that further establish and solidify what you'll read in the awesome "Revelations" trilogy. Sullivan takes an already well-written series, and uses the opportunity to set multiple stages for what's ahead. And THAT makes the trilogy an even more enjoyable listen, once you get there.
Herein you'll find a EXTENSIVE world created and enriched to satisfy any listening appetite ready for adventure, depth, storyline, mystery, intrigue, shadowy secrets, plans within plans, detailed characters and VERY good dialogue...and here's the best part: All of it is well written, and a pleasure to experience. And the narrator, Tim Reynolds, does a respectable job to bring the characters to life!
Again, as usual, ZERO plot secrets, spoilers or giveaways - That's cheating YOU, dear Audible listener, out of the fun of enjoying Sullivan's journey for the first time, with all of the surprises, captivation and enjoyment he originally intended for you to experience.
You want shallow, boring writing, steer clear. Otherwise, you should dip your toe into Sullivan's waters with this awesome prequel, and if you do, I'm betting that you'll dive headfirst the Revelations trilogy.
Just like I did. And by the way, the water's fine!
Poet, Writer, Novice Planetary Scientist, Musician, Hooligan, Former Audience Guy, Protector of Stupid Princesses.
It was very easy for me to slip back into Sullivan's world. This first prequel was great fun to listen to and the characters were old friends but still new to me. I was hesitant after the author's long introduction. I've read prequels that are just back-story published to extend a series and this is NOT the case here. It is, as promised, a complete novel, beginning to end, and not the beginning of another "Wheel of Time." (For those who are not familiar with the reference, that series was finished by Brandon Sanderson after Robert Jordan died. Jordan knew he was dying and set the stage, but the chances of another epic being finished that way are slim.) Other series go on and on like zombies, and this author wants to avoid both situations. Sullivan proposes to write a large number of prequels, all complete novels. I applaud that. I have abandoned series in the past, particularly if I have met the author and it is clear that there never will be an end to the story. I like these characters and look forward to hearing more of their adventures. I already know how the story ends, but now I'm beginning to know how it began. I am not going to email him with a request for more. This review and my purchase will have to serve.
Yes, I would recommend it to a friend. I have read the last three books and even though I already knew the "final" outcome, I was enthralled with the beginnings.
To me, one of the most memorable moments came when Royce realized that Hadrian had come back for him. Royce would not have done the same for Hadrian and found it so hard to believe that someone could be good, to care about another person enough to endanger their own life to save them.
Yes, He is awesome!
I laughed out loud through out my reading and cried with both Hadrian and Royce. It was wonderful
I am dismayed that the next two books are not yet available.
Tim Reynolds's and the team involved in producing the audio book did a great job. Coupled with Michael Sullivan's writing makes for a great experience.
Whether you've read/listened to the Riyria Revelations or not, Book 1 of the Riyria Chronicles is great. Can't wait for the next.
Tim Reynolds's did a great job as he did with the Riyria Revelations audiobooks.
Joyful return of 2 great characters.
The origins... and the easter eggs for those who have already read the other books.
I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)
This is my first book by Sullivan - and, it seems, it is meant as a prequel to a more popular (or perhaps just older) series.
Anyway, I had no issues following the story or understanding the characters based on reading this one story alone. Are there references to other things/characters that might have played a role in other books, maybe (i.e. Merrick, Wren, Arcadius), but since I don't know them, and Sullivan didn't drag on and on about stuff that happens outside of this story, I don't feel like I missed out on anything.
As the story started, I had some fear that it was going to be slow and pondering - and perhaps it is (it is not an action novel, after all), but the characters are interesting and distinct and we grow to care what happens to them.
The story seemed to stop rather suddenly, but even that makes sense since it is a multi-book series, and the events in this book were adequately concluded... with lots of room for future adventures with these same characters.
The narration is very good. There nothing gory/graphic here, no sex, and I don't recall any swearing. The theme is mature though (dark, poor and violent world).
Myst/thrillers, some contemporary and ✨fun fantasies✨are my favorites but always open for a good story.
A wonderful start to a fantastic series that is centered around two very audacious characters. Hadrian Blackwater was raised by his father who taught him the blacksmith trade but beyond that, demanded relentless, everyday practice, in the art of combat. Royce Melborn is an odd fellow, never accepted by society and raised by a group of thieves called, The Wolves. These two men are brought together by Arcadius, a Professor, (who some think to be a wizard), at a college for Royals. Arcadius often visited Hadrian and his father when he was but a child and now has summoned him to return from a foreign battlefield. Arcadius has also rescued Royce from a salt mine for criminals, where he was serving a life time sentence for thievery. Neither Hadrian nor Royce know why he has chosen them for a mission to steal a book from the Crown Tower, only to have them return it, but both know that they are indebted to Arcadius and must complete his request. The obstacles that they encounter during their quest are deadly and endless, and somewhere along the way, they realize, that their strength as a unit is undeniably beyond compare. These two men are not at all fond of each other, have completely different morals, and would both like nothing better than to be rid of the other, and yet, as their journey comes to an end they understand that together, they may just make an infallible team.
I loved the Riyria Revelations so this is a treat to go back to the beginning and see where it all began. All of the books in this series are always excellent and over far too fast because the characters and their daring adventures are so exciting, humorous, and addictive. These stories do not have a great deal of magic like some fantasies but Michael Sullivan's meticulous writing and Tim Gerard Reynolds skillful narration make for a splendidly, rare coupling.
Can Michael J Sullivan tell a story or what. Loved the way he way able to tie in the first three and still was able to set up this book as a stand alone story. Can't wait for the next one.
Nailed it again!
Have read all of his books so far and loved them and this one didn't disappoint! Really looking forward to the next book!
Just fantastic!! Soooooo so so fantastic! No words. Esp after just listening to the 3 Revelations series. I ate up every word, it was so great to better understand the back story. Reynolds is the best narrator ever! Don't even think about it, just get this book, but read the 3 Revelations Rirhia, sorry, wrong spelling, but read those first. Wish Michael, or anyone could write this well! I found myself wanting to see the movie, I could easily see what Hadrian and Royce looked like, and all the characters were so excellently done, it just amazes me. If only I could find more books like these. I've already gone through Martin, Sanderson, Jordan, Butcher, & Patrick, etc. I've looked high and low and don't think I'll find any author except those I mentioned can even compare. If anyone knows of one please let me know, thank you.