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
Overall I would give the first volume in the trilogy 4 stars for the enjoyment factor. The first half especially felt fresh, with plenty of wit and humor, and a plot that unraveled at just the right pace to keep you interested. This is a much lighter and more positive fantasy than the dark, gritty, "realistic" stuff that seems to be taking on out there, and to me that is a good sign. The main characters, Royce and Hadrian, really grow on you and become more and more fully fleshed out as the story progresses. Most of the side characters aren't as developed as one might expect in an epic fantasy, though there are a few standouts: the wizard Esrahadden, the princess Arista, and the monk Myron (though he is frustratingly absent from the second half).
The second half was an interesting quest that tied into the main story and expanded the world quite a bit, even though I felt it dragged on at times and had a few too many common fantasy tropes. But the ending had a couple of twists that redeemed it and gave us a great set up the next books. I am looking forward to seeing where the story goes from here.
I also love how the author, Michael Sullivan, interacts with his readers, more so than I've seen any other author. I love that, and love that it seems to be a growing trend among authors, especially those who have started from a self-publishing background like Sullivan. They seem to connect better with readers, remembering that they were once in the same position and appreciating how hard it actually is to get published.
I think Sullivan is off to a great start, and am looking forward to seeing him and his work grow as he puts more titles under his belt.
This is the very best Fantasy series I have heard or read.
It made me laugh and cry
The descriptive prose is outstanding. The dialogue is tight and witty and never became boring or confusion.
Sci-Fi, Fantasy, historical fiction, mystery, thrillers with sarcasm are my favorites.
Michael Sullivan is a master at bringing the listener (or reader) into the world he has created and quickly sucking the listener into an emotional bond with the lead characters. The beginning of the book had me so hooked that I had trouble turning the ipod off and had me purchasing the next book in the trilogy before finishing the previous book.
Tim Reynolds was outstanding at bringing the words to the world of audible books.
Riyria Revelations should be a staple of those who enjoy epic tales of courage, adventure, struggle, friendship, and honor. Spend the credit, you will not be disappointed.
Relaxed readable epic
The main characters are wonderfully vivid and real. The story starts slow and even sounds a little bit generic, but it builds and builds until it's absolutely capitvating. It doesn't really need set-piece battles, world-shattering doom, or magical pyrotechnics; this is a fantasy story you want to get lost in.
He's a great narrator.
"Not your ordinary pair of thieves."
The sequels are even better...Sullivan is like the Terminator of fantasy authors; he relentlessly batters his way into your heart.
Avid listener of Scifi and Fantasy. I've found so many great books with the help of member reviews. Hopefully I can return the favor.
The Riyria Revelations series begins as enjoyable if not light adventure fantasy, but grows into much more. The story initially centers on a pair of elite thieves for hire who are renowned for doing the impossible. Following one ill advised job their lives become much more complicated as they're swept into the middle of an ancient struggle for the fate of humanity. As the story progresses you are introduced to more characters and a complex intriguing world emerges.
Michael J. Sullivan has a real talent for feeding you a lot of detail mixed in with action so you don't feel burdened by the number of names or individual histories. While the characters and world are well developed at no point did I have to study the story to make sure I didn't miss anything(ie GRRM). There are no long winded descriptions or data dumps but at the end you realize how much you've learned about the history of the world.
The author strikes a nice balance between moral ambiguity and an overall sense of right and wrong. While no one would claim that a pair of professional thieves are model citizens it's clear that they are good people when it really counts. In fact it's somewhat refreshing to read a fantasy series that doesn't center on backstabbing politics. There are evil characters and betrayals of course, but this isn't one of those stories where you feel conflicted rooting for the main characters. You really feel as though you get to know the cast of characters and grow to love many of them.
If I have to admit some criticisms it would be based on a few of the romantic elements. While he does a great job with some of the character's relationships(ie Royce/Gwen), some of the series' early love interests seemed a little forced. I found this improved as the the story goes on so don't worry.
These books are so much fun they feel much shorter than they really are. Be careful, the hours fly by as you listen. Do yourself a favor and give it a listen. I think any fan of fantasy will really fall into these books.
This was a good book with a well thought out plot, interesting and like-able characters, and terrific narration.
Sci-fi/Fantasy geek :)
This book spends quite a bit of time talking about magic, but almost none is ever shown. It's a good book overall, but not great. For me, the narration brings it down a notch. I can normally get past most narration, but the narrator has an odd way of highlighting sentences that are meaningless and giving a deadpan delivery to the exciting bits which serves to remind you that someone is "reading" this book to you. Most narrators fall into the background and become the voices of the book, that didn't happen for me.
My biggest impression is that the book is just not that smart. Not many surprises, the characters are fairly standard for a fantasy book, they have one or two dimensions at most, and at the end I was left with the feeling that the author left many things out on purpose because he knew he was writing another book. Characters are introduced, not fully fleshed out, and some even go away (when they logically would not). Overall, the characters, plot, narration, and lack of detail left everything feeling a bit contrived.
I'm not a literary snob by any means, but I do have two fully function brain hemispheres that I like to have engaged when reading. This book was good enough so that I have purchased the second book, so there is plenty to enjoy here, just not as much as I wanted. What I really wanted was less talk about magic and a little more actual magic.
Do you remember that"day after Xmas feeling" you got as a kid? That's the feeling I can't seem to shake since I finished this book series last week. I found myself charging through this wonderful series always anxious to get to the next line, next paragraph, next chapter, next book and the moment the last word on the last page of the last book left the narrators mouth I felt that "day after Xmas feeling" flowing in. All the build up, the excitement, the momentous conclusion and then... it was done.
Tim Gerard Reynolds brings such depth and texture to this series. I honestly don't know how he created such different voices for so many characters. When he began to speak I could tell which character was talking. I can't imagine these books being narrated by anyone else.
Not a single flaw in the narrator's performance... Brilliant.
I really enjoyed this. I spent a credit on it because I LOVED the narrator, Tim Gerard Reynolds on Red Rising, which I'd picked up as a Deal of The Day. Both the author and the narrator are top notch; I'm invested in the series and moving on to the second 2-book audio (can't beat that deal)!
Intrigue, action, fun
The Gentelman Bastards series.
There were many...
The interactions between Royce and Hadrian made me laugh on numerous occasions.
Perfect companion for a long commute.
"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.
"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.
"An Unexpectedly Excellent Story"
I have read/heard lots of stories in the same genre but there were twists in this plot that I really didnt see coming. Enjoyable rogues with well rounded characters and a plot that keeps your interest throughout. The pace doesnt really slacken and it remains good right to the end of the final book.
All the main characters are interesting - the more minor ones also have more depth than usual.
"took a while to get going and then !! i did!!!!!!!"
I enjoy fantasy and this audio book made it difficut for me to turn it off..
I used to read and now I listen and this was a good listen. A really good listen.
theft of swords
excellent and addictave,i lost all concept of time. lm starting the bext in the series imediatly . i dont know when i will be able to sleep again
"Good story, aweful reading"
Not really. I enjoyed the story, but the reading was incredibly distracting. The story pulled me along to the point where I had invested too much of my time to give the story up, although the reading often made me want to.
No huge surprises for me here. The story is reliably (perhaps comfortably) predictable which suited my listening needs at the time.
Tim Gerard's performance ruined this story for me. I found his intonation/inflection hugely distracting and inappropriate. It often trivialised the point and shaped characters into something I'm not sure the author intended. I haven't checked his CV, but I suspect Tim has done a great deal of theatre work, if not perhaps he should. I feel he over played each part and as a result the characters weren't natural or believably,
I suspect I would have enjoyed this book far more if I had read it rather than listened to it.
"great book. can't wait to cracking into the rest."
can't wait to crack into the other books in the series. need four more words.
Nothing could have worked that kind of Magic i'm afraid. A differant author and a differant narrator.
Not really, no.
I got this book because of the great reviews. I lasted longer than normal, presuming things to pick up, but alas they didn't. It is like a children's book, and the narrator talks as though he is reading a children's book to children. My tastes are abercrombie, Martin, Sanderson. This is nothing like them and i'll be returning it i'm afraid.
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