Two thieves want answers. Riyria is born.
For more than a year, Royce Melborn has tried to forget Gwen DeLancy, the woman who saved him and his partner, Hadrian Blackwater, from certain death. Unable to get her out of his mind, the two thieves return to Medford but receive a very different reception - Gwen refuses to see them. The victim of abuse by a powerful noble, she suspects that Royce will ignore any danger in his desire for revenge. By turning the thieves away, Gwen hopes to once more protect them. What she doesn't realize is what the two are capable of - but she's about to find out.
©2013 Michael J. Sullivan (P)2013 Recorded Books
My experience with the Riyria books started with Theft of Swords and proceeded forward in publishing order, which means I finished the Riyria Revelations series before starting on the prequel stories of the Riyria Chronicles. I believe such a path increased my enjoyment of The Rose and the Thorn simply because of the knowledge I have regarding a lot of the main characters. Arista, Gwen, Reuben Hilfred, and even Percy Braga are fleshed out in this book and I really enjoyed learning more about them. This is a prequel story done right.
Unlike the Crown Tower, the time Royce and Hadrian have a more established relationship which allows Michael J Sullivan to really bring to life the world around them. This approach combined with a compelling story line makes this book as good as the latter works of The Riyria Revelation series. It also reveals the root causes for certain events that will happen much later in the series so MJS is working his magic in both directions making both Chronological and Publishing viable listening orders.
Either way you can't go wrong with this book. Tim Gerard Reynolds is well established as the voice of the Riyria characters and he does not disappoint. Note that if you pick this one up then there is no need for you to also grab The Viscount and the Witch as that is fully contained as a chapter within this book.
I definitely would, and have. The story is fast paced and hard to stop reading. Perhaps the worst thing about this book is how tired I am at work since I can't find a good place to stop for the night. The characters are extremely funny but deep in a very real sense. Unlike in some Fantasy stories where the main characters are some sort of untouchable demi-gods Royce and Hadrian just seem like average Joes that aren't so average, in fact nothing like average....wait what is average anyway? The point is I like the characters, and I feel like I could sit down and have a beer, or two, with Hadrian, or be adequately unnerved by Royces presence, They feel real, and while the story may at times seem implausible the restraint shown on the use of magic by the author to connect plot dots and a world populated with similarly fully developed characters makes everything work beautifully.
The narrator does a great job of putting you in the time period, I'm not sure exactly what that means but his voice just makes me feel like I'm in the medieval ages. A certain drawback however is he does not have a good variety of male voices, but I never had any trouble figuring out who was talking.
Don't start with this book or you may find the beginning boring, as you have not yet been introduced to the characters and will likely completely miss certain jokes that were intended to make a scene. Also the whole barge trip would probably seem slightly interminable if you don't know Royce and Hadrian yet. As that whole adventure is comprised mainly of trying to figure out who's who based on given clues and character traits you've learned in previously (or post-viously I suppose is more accurate) situations, Kind of like murder mysteries aren't any fun if there's no character depth.Anyway for Maximum enjoyment start with Theft of Swords, it's the best way I promise.And now off to read The Rose and The Thorn. can't wait any longer.
The story is great on its own, but I could never conjure up the personalities the way Tim Reynolds does. His tone of voice for Royce and Hadrian is always perfect.
Fans sometimes call themselves Team Hadrian and Team Royce, I'm torn as I adore them both. I especially liked seeing Royce fall in love in spite of himself and have no idea how to cope with that.
I think his performance of Hadrian, with his genial attitude, is most distinctive.
Yes, if I could have, although I also wanted it to last.
Thank you, Audible, I doubt I would have discovered this author in print or appreciated him half so much. The whole works of Sullivan are probably my favorite listens of the year!
Sci-Fi, Fantasy, historical fiction, mystery, thrillers with sarcasm are my favorites.
If you read the first three books you know the outcome but WOW the details leading up to those three books make this & the first prequel hard books to stop listening to (aka put down). Just when you think all is lost (though you know it is not because you read the first three books) something truly inspired (with a dab of insanity) happens.
Michael J. Sullivan's books with awesome narration by Tim Gerard Reynolds are brilliant, unforgettable, action packed, a discovery of love and self, showing the struggles of the low & mighty and are definitely riveting.
I would start with the original books and then go onto the prequels as they will have more meaning that way; otherwise you will find yourself re-reading the prequels after you finish the original 3 anyway..... oh wait... you will want re-read all of them again & again.
This series goes way beyond 5 stars on all counts.
This whole series is great. These are some of the best this genre has to offer. You will not be disappointed. I would recommend reading them in the order of publishing starting with the Ryria Revelations Trilogy. I hope Michael Sullivan keeps writing these because I love his characters, world, and stories. If you haven't read any of this series yet you are in for a treat.
Professional Disc Golfer from Maine. Fantasy/Epic/War History are the preferred genres.
If you have not read or listened to this one yet, I am incredibly jealous, as I will never get to experience this as a first timer ever again. There is something to be said for going through a book for the first time, you might get to see the layers of the book exposed, but you always know whether they go left or right at the fork of the road.
The Rose and Thorn is the next installment in the Royce and Hadrian experience and Sullivan does not disappoint. The story continues where it left off and takes you in directions that you never expected. Familiar faces from the Riyria Revelations pop up and garner extra enjoyment for those who have previously met some of them. By the conclusion of this book, you'll once again be chomping at the bit for the next installment.
And a point also worth noting is the stellar job that Tim Gerard Reynolds has done narrating this book. He really brings alive Royce and Hadrian - giving them distinctive personalities and memorable scenes.
Purchase with confidence.
I read/listen purely for enjoyment and any reviews are based on that. Mostly fantasy, mystery, suspense.
Another great adventure with Riyria. I love seeing the things happen that we only heard about in Revelations. This installment was a look back at how it all started and a look into Royce's extremely violent past. It was great! I highly recommend this book to all Riyria fans. On a side note, if you are going to read this don't bother with The Viscount and the Witch as it is one of the sections of this book.
I love all the Riyria books. After listening to and being addicted to the Riyria Revelations series, I jumped on the audio books for the two prequels in the Riyria Chronicles. And I wasn't disappointed. Michael J. Sullivan has created characters that become like old friends. I think much of this is due to the superb narration of Tim Gerard Reynolds.
Truthfully, I'm not sure I would enjoy reading these books as much as I enjoy listening to them. When Hadrian and Royce speak, I feel as if I know them. When I finished The Rose and the Thorn I went back and listened to all 60+ hours of the Riyria Revelations; the second time was a good as the first.
Unlike some reviewers, I think it is best to read the books in the order they were written. The Riyria Chronicles focus on the backstory of several important but secondary characters in the Revelations series. I think it is more powerful to understand the fate of these characters, such as the Pickerings, Hilfred and Count Albert Winslow, first in the Revelations and discover their backstory later in the Chronicles.
I can't wait for the next book be it prequel or sequel.
From 4/12/15 on, I will only rate a book 5 stars if it so good I will listen to it again. To date, the Bino series tops that list.
If you've read the Riyira Chronicles, this is another back story involving the two Muskateers, Royce and Hadrian. The author suggests you read the trilogy first, and I heartily agree.
I love this entire series because I love the two main characters. In fact, the author's wife fell so hard for Hadrian she inspired her husband to write this prequel. Their banter and swashbuckling are fun, funny and exciting.
And this is exactly why it's important to listen to the Chronicles first. This story confines explains the history of the partners as well as that of their lovers.
While this story has little in the way of elves, trolls, magic, warlocks and witches, it is a terrific adventure that captured my imagination.
The saga of Royce and Hedrian continues. The second in this series is actually more balanced than the first (Crown tower), not quite as dark, and provides the context for the loss of the Queen. The narration adds great depth to this story. What a pleasure. If you are looking for an epic with complex characters and intriguing plot twists, give this series a try. Don't start with this story, start at the beginning. You won't regret it. My highest recommendation for all ages. A wonderful story about two odd characters that are thrown together and become inseparable.
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