WHO WILL HAVE THE LAST LAUGH?
Stop me if you’ve heard this one. A thief, a candlemaker, an ex-mercenary, and a pig farmer walk into a trap…and what happens to them is no joke. When Riyria is hired to retrieve a jester’s treasure, Royce and Hadrian must match wits with a dwarf who proves to be anything but a fool. Difficult choices will need to be made, and in the end those who laugh last do so because they are the only ones to survive.
This is a standalone short story of 7,200 words. No prior knowledge of The Riyria Revelations or The Riyria Chronicles is required to enjoy it to its fullest, making this a perfect introduction for new readers or a chance for Riyria veterans to spend a little more time with old friends. The Jester is a story of adventure, bonds of friendship, and a recognition that the choices we make dictates the future we find.
©2014 Michael J. Sullivan (P)2014 Audible Inc.
Remember the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark where a whole adventure happens before the opening credits? This is sort of like that, plenty happens in a brief time. It's probably not as much fun for those who don't already know our heroes, but I hope people try it out and go on to listen to the whole series. The ending made me laugh out loud. I hope there is a law that Tim Reynolds is the only person allowed to read Riyria books, as I wouldn't be able to stand any different voice.
Rating scale: 5=Loved it, 4=Liked it, 3=Ok, 2=Disappointed, 1=Hated it. I look for well developed characters, compelling stories.
The write-up for The Jester assured me that no prior knowledge of the characters or their previous stories is necessary to enjoy this short story. So for free and less than an hour it seemed like a good bet to test drive what sounded like interesting new (to me) literary territory. And what a ride. From the first words, thrown top speed into action that had already started and never let up, yet caught the reader up on the events with clean direct writing. To survive, they need to solve a puzzle that reminded me of Indiana Jones having to choose the right cup in the "The Last Crusade". Loved the characters and the narration. If the author hoped to attract new readers, he certainly attracted me. I'm adding to my Wish List now.
Good writing has ... a balance and a rhythm. You can feel that much better when it's read aloud. --Laura Hillenbrand, author of Unbroken
To me, one of the most best things about the three volumes of "Riyria Revelations" was the seamless way everything came together over the course of the saga and, especially, at the end. There are no bewildering meanderings by pointless characters; the whole enterprise is beautifully conceived and well written (and the narration is also very good). "The Jester" encapsulates all these qualities into a short, neat 1-hour package. Immediately, we are plunged (literally) into the adventure with no idea of what's going on, but over the course of a few pages all becomes clear and winds up in a poignant "wow" moment that's very satisfying.
It probably helps to have a little "Riyria" background -- at least enough to know who Hadrian and Royce and Riyria are -- but in terms of the story "The Jester" stands alone. Well done, Mr. Sullivan!
Sci-Fi, Fantasy, historical fiction, mystery, thrillers with sarcasm are my favorites.
Action, action, and more action from start to finish. This is a short story with a lot of bang for it's size.
The Riyria books are written so well that you form a very quick attachment with the two lead characters. Even in this short story you see how different they are on the surface but a lot more alike when you burrow deeper.
I also really enjoyed the forward written by Michael Sullivan telling about his struggle writing something to be successful and then deciding to write just for himself. Gave wonderful insight to the entire series, original; & prequels.
Tim Gerard Reynolds brings these characters to life and I am always amazed of the variety of voices and inflections he brings to these stories.
If you have not read any of the Riyria books, please give them a try. You won't be disappointed though I do recommend starting with the original Riyria Revelations and then diving into the prequels.
I wouldn't compare The Jester to another 'book', per se, as it think it's quite unique. However, there were some elements in it that I likened to, believe it or not, the "Saw" franchise of movies. And not because there's blood, gore, torture, and the like. Because there isn't. Instead, I thought of this given the predicament Hadrian and Royce find themselves in. And like any 'ticking time bomb' storyline, they have to think fast before it's too late.
Everything. Tim's an excellent narrator who I happily followed through all six (three) of the Revelations books. He's in my top five narrators for fantasy, hands down. He's a "purchase maker" in my view.
I am not going to waste time on a lot of words. If you are a fan of Riyria there is no downside or risk in listening to this free short story. It is Royce & Hadrian read by Tim Gerard Reynolds and that is all you need to know.
Christie C. Bilbo
I can't even put into words how I was excited about learning that Michael J. Sullivan had written something new about Royce and Hadrian. For the first time, I had been depressed when a series ended. I got so emotionally wrapped up in the Riyria Chronicles, that when I read the last word, I honestly didn't want to read another book for a few days.
When Mr. Sullivan informed me that there was a new short story out, "The Jester," I was actually jumping up and down for joy. Then to find that this was in audio book format made me even more excited. Once checking out "The Jester" I noticed it was free! There was nothing that was going to stop me from getting this story RIGHT NOW! I had always used the text-to-speech mode on my books when I was working around the house or driving. The mechanical voice that my kindle uses can sometimes drive you mad.
There is no way to explain how blown away I was when I finally listened to the opening of this story. There was this beautiful and magical voice of Tim Gerard Reynolds flowing through my ear buds. I have no clue what dialect I was hearing, English or Irish, but it made me just melt. The smile that I had plastered on my face was making those around me question what I was listening to. It's unfortunate for those that I made listen, because they didn't appreciate what was being spoken the way I did. But then, they also don't appreciate books the way I do.
"The Jester," is a stand alone story that falls between the books of "The Rose and the Thorn" and "Theft of Swords." We find Royce and Hadrian in stuck in the middle of another adventure that is turning into a huge mess. They have fallen into a cave that holds some sort of treasure that belongs to "The Jester." Along on this adventure, Royce and Hadrian have Wilmer, the pig farmer and Myra the candlemaker. (Sounds like the set up of a joke.)
Royce being the dry witted man that he is, tries to find the path that they are to follow. Hadrian, now suffering from a broken leg and other injuries, is trying to make sure that Wilmer and Myra are safe from their fall into the cave. Once everyone is accounted for, and that all has survived, the task of the treasure is at hand.
This is such a short tale, only 7,200 words, I can't give much in detail of what is going on. All I can say is that Royce and Hadrian have their hands full with the two additional companions on this trip.
I was laughing at how Myra and Wilbur were bickering between themselves. The way Tim Reynolds would narrate Myra and Wilbur was just comical. I have an active imagination that has always allowed me to see and hear what I thought characters sounded like. But to actually hear this being narrated was just priceless.
This was just a magical 54 minutes for me on so many levels. I had never listened to an actual "audio" book. So the magic of hearing it being told with the beautiful voice of a narrator was perfect. Then to find that Mr. Sullivan hadn't forgotten Royce and Hadrian, just tickled me pink.
I would tell anyone that has read even one of the Riyria books, to grab this up now! It may be short, but it's just oh so sweet.
His voice is like honey...smooth and sweet
I loved when he was doing the arguments between the Wilbur and Myra
The only problem I have with this is that it is not a full book but just a short story.
Come on Michael Sullivan, write some more books for this series. We demand it!
I like that this story was not one that you needed to know the universe that the other stories were created in to enjoy it. I like the fact that it was a stand alone and you did not feel the need to have read the other books in the series to understand what was going on.
If you're familiar with the Riyria duo you'll already know and love the characters. It's like a scrumptious morsel of something you already have a taste for. What's not to like?
what a great story read really well I enjoyed this alot and the questions in the cave were good aswell
"Great little short story"
Well read by the narrator, good characters, fine plot, gonna get myself book 1 :)
"Well read, OK story - not my genre to be honest!"
It's not my genre preference so I must be fair to it. I tried it because it was free and something different. I am glad I tried it, it wasn't bad but I wouldn't go and buy anything else like it because of it...quite the opposite.
Pleased I suppose....
I like the line where the character is offended to be accused of being a poisoner because she is, in fact, a smotherer...made me chuckle.
This short story is supposidly independant of the other books so there was no need to spend so long at the begining discussing the authors history, if i want to hear about the other put it at the end when i have had a chance to decide if i like his work or not
"Didn't enjoy it...."
Okay for a freebie, but I wouldn't have paid for it.
Narration was poor, and the story could have been SO much better...
It was simply poor across the board.
Sorry, but I'd have to re-write it. Just didn't enjoy it at all.
I only downloaded it as it was free and was thoroughly engaged by the characters from the start. Made me want to read the Riyria Chronicles.
Well that would be a spoiler!
"Introduction to Riyria"
This was a free download. I have never read anything by Michael Sullivan before so I approached this as an introduction to his other books.
This is a short story about the main characters from the books they are based on with a small group of other people who are trying to resolve the Jesters puzzle. It was a fun and engaging story, but you kinda knew how it would end. As I have never read the other books before, I was a little lost who the main characters were, but that did not distract me away from the story.
While this short story has not put me off his books, it did not demand that I should leap straight to them. The first book (Theft of Swords) is on my to read pile.
"Fun, but nothing special"
Parodying Adventure Titles
It's free, first of all, and it's funny at times. The story felt full of cliches, but if viewed as a parody it works okay. If you have nothing else to listen to and have an hour spare, it's a perfectly okay plot.
I enjoyed this short story so much that I have ordered the first book in the series. Very entertaining, and manged to delineate the characters and back story in a short space of time, often by what was not said.
Stuck in the sealed room discussing the murder of the old man to get the pieces of the treasure map.
Not listened to any others
The ending. Though I thought the greatest treasure might be life.
Excellent entertainment, and a slightly different take on the sword and sorcery genre.
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