Audie Award Nominee, Fantasy, 2013
Acclaimed author Michael J. Sullivan created instant best sellers with his spellbinding Riyria Revelations series. This first volume introduces Royce Melborn and Hadrian Blackwater, two enterprising thieves who end up running for their lives when they’re framed for the death of the king. Trapped in a conspiracy bigger than they can imagine, their only hope is unraveling an ancient mystery - before it’s too late.
Theft of Swords contains The Crown Conspiracy and Avempartha, books 1 and 2 of Riyria Revelations.
©2011 Michael J. Sullivan (P)2012 Recorded Books, LLC
The setting, story, and characters have great potential for an original fantasy epic. That potential got me through the first book (there are two in this recording). Unfortunately, it never quite lives up to that potential. The two main characters are not well fleshed out, and the glimpses of greatness that you see in them is never fully realized. What is lacking is depth; characters have motivations and histories that are barely glimpsed but never seen, and what results is a lot of action without consequence, and danger without drama. When the dialogue is witty it is funny, but gets lost when it's trying to be meaningful. Narration is okay, but not well served by the material. I had to stop about one hour into the second book once I realized that I didn't care for these characters anymore.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story, but I found the narration to be confusing.
The tale of the thieves, Hadrian and Royce, starts off simple enough but it quickly snow-balls when they become embroiled in a conspiracy to kill a king and anoint a new emperor.
I found this story entertaining, and was very quickly caught up in the lives of the characters.
Sullivan's voice runs through the narrative with a quirky sense of humor that had me laughing out loud, and a vivid imagination that had me so caught up in the story I was very disappointed when it ended.
The only negative thing I have to say is that the narrator sometimes confused me. He did a great job, but sometimes the dialogue was difficult to discern. He did voices for different characters, and sometimes they wandered and melted into one another so that it was difficult to distinguish who was speaking.
And it's "Ry-ri-a" not "Ri-year-a"
I'd recommend to a friend. It is a good, easy, clean story where integrity (even among thieves) is the basis for action. I didn't have to listen to careful details and it was enjoyable.
So lets start with my favorite things about this book. It is adult fantasy, and when I say adult I do not mean it is a romance with a few vampires mixed in to be able to loosely call it fantasy. This is not to say I don't enjoy a romance from time to time or YA fantasies but it is refreshing that the fantasy has a strong plot and is not entrenched in the romance to keep the story going.
The book is classic in its structure. You have your thieves who somehow get involved with saving the royal family and the kingdom. You have commoners who have historical royal or noble connections, and you have magic. You may think I am belittling this when I say it that way but I'm not. This story has its own twists and turns and you do have to pay attention.
It is worth the read, and I'm excited that it is an epic fantasy. This is a long story and has several more long installments. It does not appear to be Wheel of Time epic but I think that is more than ok. I loved the Wheel of Time series but it is quite the commitment to say the least.
Read this because the characters are strong. None of them are perfect but you don't hate them either. They just have their own little piccadillos. Neither the women or men are stereotypical versions of their gender roles. Thank heavens! You don't have to worry if you have a teenager reading the books that you will be disappointed by what they might inadvertantly absorb.
The narrator Tim Gerald Reynolds did a fantastic job. I believe this is one I might prefer to listen to than read, but not having read it first, I can't be sure. He is very good at differentiating his characters, and he has quite a few, so that is saying something.
The first time i heard this book preformed was a wonderful and refreshing adventure. the narration is fantastic and i found myself easily engulfed in the storyline. I am just finishing listening to the trilogy of books and fully intend to immerse myself in this adventure again before long.
A story about a pair of adventurous lead characters that find themselves thrust into a game of kingdoms and intrigue. Not since the Shannara series have i found a story so carefree and compelling.
Tim Gerard does a great job of differentiating the characters. he is very diverse in his skills and i continually found myself impressed by how captivated i became during this story telling.
While this novel is truly a set up for the following books there were lots of moments that stick out to me. without ruining the story line you should just know that there are few times that things work out like you expect them to
a good read i would recommend for anyone.
Most of my reviews are good because I only tend to listen to books I like. Funny how it works out like that.
That make you write something here but I think my title says it all.
Easy listen, good characters a bit of humour quite an interesting story all in a tried and true format I am looking forward to the next book.
I have listened and loved many books but this series ranks up there with the best.
Tim Gerard Reynolds is a great storyteller, I loved the voices so distinct, rich, and consistent. I would purchase a book just to hear him tell it.
Well now I don't want to give anything away, but there were several moments especially later in the series that really got to me.
Listen to this series right now! Don't wait, don't stick it on your wishlist for some future date... start it now and you won't be able to put it down till all three books are done. I can't wait for his prequel books coming out later this year. Kudos on a great series and a great reader.
I haven't read the book but the audio was wonderful.
It doesn't really compare to any other book I've read yet. This is a great adventure story which made me giggle, warmed my heart and at the same time made me root for professional thieves, of all things :)
I loved the different voices and how he brought forth the characters sense of humor. He did a brilliant job.
Most definitely yes!
I loved how the author focused on the adventure and even though every character was real and human in their own way he didn't write this book like others taking place in similar "times". There are many authors who, with the understood attempt of making their characters "realistic" to the period or situation, write hard moments and make many characters, especially men, into pigs. I like that this book is very "grown up" but it was tasteful when it came to "adult" situations. Can't wait to listen to the others!
"A brilliant story read beautifully"
I cannot recommend more strongly the Riyria Revelations as it tells the story of good vs bad, the Gods, love and all the ingredients a great fantasy novel should have
I think a comparison that Audible could use that readers/listeners may enjoy would be Homer's Odessey as it shows what a person may have to go through in order to get what is wished for.
Tim Gerard Reynolds's narration was excellent. He incorporated the humour, sadness excitement and the magic of the written word seamlessly and could listen to him all day
Two friends, one job, a whole load of trouble
After listening to Theft of Swords continue with the other two parts of the trilogy
"An Old-fashioned Same Old Same Old"
To be honest I'm only a third the way through. Nothing has grabbed me and I'm forcing myself to listen to more of it. It really is all the other books from the '70's and '80's re hashed. I think this is one to send back. Even the narrator is mildly annoying and would do better in children's books. Perhaps it grows further along but I'm not willing to grit my teeth any longer.
My first experience of Michael J Sullivan and I will be returning for more. The adventures of Royce & Hadrian kept me entertained for hours. I really like the pace of the story and how it quickly unfolded but kept the intrigue there, beckoning me on wanting to know more. Hadrian's optimistic character is a good balance for Royce's darkness. A great adventure story with a dark side.
"Thrilling engaging characters"
One of the best fantasy books I have read / listened to in ages. Its the start to an excellent story that is easy to read / listen to and keeps you coming back for more.
It's very difficult to choose between Hadrian and Royce, they are alomst opposites and both can make you laugh, feel for their position, Hadrian's endless optomism and Royce's cautious cynicysm creates a good blend for the pair of adventurers.
His dipiction of Hadrian especially captures the character - an upbeat voice full of enthusiasm for everything he encounters.
Two antiheros captured in events outside their control.
"Literature this is not ."
No , if I wanted a comic I would have bought a comic , this is more along the lines of Jack and Jill went up the hill , it has about the same literary content .
I suppose he did his best .
Not for me .
"Worked - in parts"
This was a decent fantasy romp with lots of the right ingredients. I liked the main characters, the plot was good & unpredictable.
However .... I get really turned off when the main characters do things I wouldn't expect after coming to know them. Or when events just fit (too) neatly together..
For example (SPOILER) .. two thieves, part of a underground hidden mysterious guild, suddenly become kings protectors (really? what about avoiding the limelight?) ... donate the financial reward to a monk (arent they thieves?) ... help a young woman for a couple of silver... It just didnt add up for me - I didnt buy into it. So whilst I kinda enjoyed the story, liked the main guys, it never really held me by the short & curlies.
The narration was great.
"Fantastic start to a great trilogy!!"
Great book regardless of print or audio however the narration is fantastic and characters bought to life before your ears!!
Have only listened to revelation's trilogy and chronicle's books but consistent voices throughout.
Certainly keeper me enthralled throughout.
Excellent set of books. Written well and thoroughly enjoyed especially with the humour element which broke up the dialog very well.
"Excellent book and a joy for gamers."
Firstly, let me clarify that I rarely - if ever - give 5* reviews. I like to have somewhere to go if next week I hear a better book so four stars should be treated as an "excellent".
Michael J Sullivan's work is a joy to listen to, especially since Tim Gerard Reynolds does such a good job on it. There are a couple of errors but nothing that slightly better editing wouldn't have fixed and he has instantly shot into my list of favourite readers, alongside people such as Steven Pacey and Toby Longworth. The stories in this volume hit all the right fantasy tropes without overusing any or feeling too cliched and the characterisations are interesting and well rounded. I like the heroes and loathe the villains just as I'm obviously supposed to. The stories motor along reasonably well and there are just enough twists to stop them getting predictable and dull. Overall an enjoyable, workmanlike performance from both writer and narrator.
My review title said this was a joy to gamers and I stand by that. If there are any role-players reading this review then I urge you to buy this audiobook, you'll not find another book which feels more like a game session. The heroes act like PCs, the better PCs at least, and this is a grand inspiration to have playing while you write up plot for something like Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder or even Rolemaster.
As a final note, congratulations to the narrator for not having the dwarf speak with a cod Scottish accent, I never understood that. Tolkein's dwarves were obviously Welsh in inspiration and yet there is an inexplicable trend to make dwarfs Scottish. I am very glad that doesn't occur here.
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