Best-selling author Michael J. Sullivan’s mesmerizing Riyria Revelations series has found a welcome home with fans of magic, clashing swords, and daring heroes. This second volume finds Royce and Hadrian on a quest to enlist the southern Nationalists to aid the ever-weakening kingdom of Melengar. Royce suspects an ancient wizard is manipulating them all, but to find the truth he’ll have to decipher Hadrian’s past—a past Hadrian wants to keep secret.
Rise of Empire contains Nyphron Rising and The Emerald Storm, books 3 and 4 of Riyria Revelations.
©2011 Michael J. Sullivan (P)2012 Recorded Books
Overall, I'd say this book is worth listening to. The characters Sullivan creates are interesting and their interactions and relationships are as well. The action and magic are riveting.
However, the plot is just... bland and predictable.
Tim Gerard Reynolds is just incredible in this audiobook. I believe most of the reason I bought the next two novels was due to his fantastic performance. He really brings the characters to life.
Once again I found this fun, interesting story set in an engaging world with interesting characters and conflicts to be undone by the narrator.
This book is too much like The Two Towers, the middle book of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The book keeps the story moving, but I would like to have had a conclusion not a cliffhanger. I have purchased the third book and I am sure the conclusion will be well thought out there.
I can find a book to love in any genre -- a beautifully written classic, an interesting mystery or sci-fi, a trashy romance. Bring it!
STORY (epic fantasy) - Let me start by saying that as of this writing, this book is rated 4.6 by 3,313 listeners. You don't get much better than that. It's a fast-paced adventure back in the days of kings, palaces, wizards and mythical creatures. The story is not dark like most fantasies, which is why I'm listening to the series. It's full of adventure, and the plot is complicated and very interesting. The main characters are two loveable guys (Royce & Hadrian) who roam from town to town on a mission to find a missing heir to the throne. They get into hopeless situations but always manage to escape. They're the best of friends, but their relationship is full of humorous bickering which adds a fun aspect to the story.
It's obviously a popular series and I loved the first book, but I was totally bored during about half of this second book. It's long (26 hours), and IMHO they could have seriously edited down a huge portion where Royce & Hadrian were on a ship and in a jungle. Obviously, I'm in the minority with that opinion if you consider the other reviews.
PERFORMANCE - The narrator does a great job of distinguishing the voices of the main characters, Royce and Hadrian. Sometimes I think he sounds too whimsical and sometimes he accents the wrong word in a sentence and rushes between paragraphs. All in all, though, it was a good performance.
OVERALL (actual rating 2.5) - You should listen to this series in order because it's one big adventure which continues from book to book. There's no cursing or sex. It's an adventure and there is fighting and killing, but it's not the heavy, gory kind. I recommend the series for any audience, but I'm definitely hoping the next book is better than this one.
The first book is an adventure story. Nice mysteries, etc. This story, the second one, wants to be a soap opera. We get to go DEEP with the characters and there are SO MANY of them and things happen to them (a pretense at development) ...and it's another day in TV land acting AGAIN. I got about 12 hours into it but when they start talking about auctioning off another woman's maidenhead (aka marry her off to someone she doesn't want to marry)...I just sighed. This was the second? third? love interest angle in the story. An ADVENTURE STORY? Not again. That was the last straw. With the King Killer Chronicles...the author doesn't bait and switch you... you find out in book one, from the very beginning, that his story is going to be about character and a LOT of detail...but the story will move forwards and a thousand characters will not be developed...just one, really. In the Dresden stories, the author starts out with an adventure story that goes deeper with each book. Layers are slowly allowed to accumulate. Fun stuff really. No bait and switch. It's a slow, gradual process. With the Titus Groans series... you are DEFINITELY made aware that the details will ABOUND and that it will get REALLY surreal and thick. No starting off with an interesting, light and fluffy story in book one that will be lost beneath TV land acting in book two... and stereotypical "character" development that can be handled in quick little bite-sized chunks. VERY EZ to digest. Ugh. And...HECK. I really liked book one. I can't even finish this one. That stinks. I liked the mysteries. Found them interesting. These new characters, etc. .... are mostly boring and predictible. If you like the type of kind of writing found in Game of Thrones, Royal Assasin, etc.... you'll probably enjoy this. Get your popcorn ready freddy baby. I'm outta here. Darnit.
Very little happens in this book, and none of it is good. This book cannot stand on its own. Gone is the fun of the first book. I think you could skip this one and pick right up with the last one. I will be reading reviews carefully before chancing the last book.
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