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Theft of Swords: Riyria Revelations, Volume 1 | [Michael J. Sullivan]

Theft of Swords: Riyria Revelations, Volume 1

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

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  •  
    Lore SAN JOSE, CA, United States 05-26-14
    Lore SAN JOSE, CA, United States 05-26-14 Member Since 2008

    Fantasy/Sci-Fi Fan

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Entertaining from beginning to end!"

    The basic ingredients here are pretty typical for a fantasy series: multiple races, a religious mythos, plots & politics, and of course, swords & sorcery. However, Michael J. Sullivan and Tim Gerard Reynolds combine to prepare those ingredients in a masterful way that makes the whole greater than the sum of the parts. Reynolds in particular does an excellent array of voices and seems to fits the material very well.

    The main characters, Royce and Hadrian, both have a sense of humor which keeps the tale humorous and entertaining throughout. Although they are both thieves who take jobs for morally ambiguous individuals, they maintain their own moral code so it is easy to root for them to succeed when things go awry. At times it can be hard to tell if Royce and Hadrian are one step ahead or one step behind but that's all part of the fun.

    This audiobook is actually two books in one and well worth the single credit. The first book, The Crown Conspiracy, is a nice introduction to the characters and their surroundings and thus allows the listener to get oriented within the world. There is clearly more than meets the eye going on but the details remain hidden for the most part. In the second book, Avempartha, those details come to the forefront and the bigger picture starts to paint itself. For a while things get confusing but eventually enough details surface for it all to make sense. When book two ends there is still a lot left to sort out so the story won't feel complete without continuing on.

    Theft of Swords is a worthy listen for both Fantasy veterans and newbies alike and it will leave you wanting more.

    15 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    AudioAddict 09-27-13
    AudioAddict 09-27-13

    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!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "And I didn't think I liked fantasies..."

    STORY - (Epic fantasy) I have never listened to a fantasy audiobook before, but I read several reviews that mentioned this was not the typical dark, depressing midieval tale that I so dislike. I decided to give it a try, and I'm really glad I did. It's not depressing, but it's not cute or silly either. The main characters, Hadrian and Royce, are very likeable thieves who constantly attempt impossible tasks to help people in trouble. They get into all kinds of sticky situations, giving the story exciting twists and turns. And don't forget that a fantasy must have a kingdom, a wizard, a dragonlike creature, elves, dwarves... that also keep things interesting. It is a long book that never, ever drags down or gets boring.

    There is sword-fighting and killing, but I wouldn't consider it overly violent or gory. While the names of some characters and places are unusual, they're not so difficult that you can't keep them straight. The book comes to a satisfactory "semi-conclusion" that ties up a lot of loose ends, but you will definitely want to continue the series.

    PERFORMANCE - Good job distinguishing between multiple voices.

    OVERALL - (Actual overall rating 4.5) Highly recommended for men, women and older teens. There is no sex, and I don't remember any bad language.

    29 of 30 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Magpie USA 08-21-12
    Magpie USA 08-21-12 Member Since 2007

    You'll find me chattering and chasing shiny things.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Two books in one - keep listening!!"

    If there were a way, I'd have given the story 3.5 stars. It says it in the description, but in case you missed it - this audio is two books combined into one audiobook. Which is good choice on the part of the audio publishers. If I'd listened to just the first book, I may not have continued. It's not bad, it's just not something that would inspire me to listen to 5 more books. I didn't really care about the characters and it seemed like a pretty cookie cutter sword and sorcery.
    HOWEVER - in the second book, the story really hits it's stride. It's nothing revolutionary, just solid writing with fun characters and an enjoyable storyline. Which, in my opinion, is more than we're getting from a lot of fantasy writers of late. By the time I got to the end of all three audio books I was hoping to find more by this author.
    To quote from the author himself about this series: "The Riyria Revelations, especially in the beginning, is little more than fast-paced light fantasy. As the series progresses, I think you'll see more depth both in the world of Elan and the characters. This was a purposeful decision and a dangerous one. It means that by design the first book is the weakest of the set, but enables me to end it with a resounding bang."
    And he absolutely did.

    91 of 97 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adnan Chula Vista, CA, United States 04-29-12
    Adnan Chula Vista, CA, United States 04-29-12 Member Since 2009
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    "Potentially a start to an incredible story"

    This story has a potential to become a very high quality epic fantasy. One of the great things about the book is that events take place at a very rapid pace and story moves very fast. I thought that author would spend a lot of time at certain points, but story moved on to next chain of events which was surprising.

    Narrator did a great job, and I hope the same narrator is used for future books by same author.

    Author builds the world carefully, and provides a lot of details. One of the interesting aspect of the story is the handling of elf which are pretty much are second class citizen in human society.

    I didnt enjoy a story about thieves as much since 'lies of locke lamora'. Book has pretty good sense of humor and just the right amount of dark.

    The struggle between wizard and a religious order is very interesting and it is not entirely clearly which one is less brutal.

    I highly recommend this book for reader looking for good epic fantasy.

    56 of 62 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cayce Atlanta, GA, United States 04-30-14
    Cayce Atlanta, GA, United States 04-30-14 Member Since 2006
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    "Do yourself a favor and listen to these books!"

    I just went back and listened to the entire series again (something I almost never do) after the Riyria Chronicles came out. I'm so glad I did! I had forgotten what a treat these characters were. I had also forgotten how sorry I was after it was over. You know something is good when you mourn the loss of the characters in your daily life.

    Enough people have given a synopsis of the books, so I'll skip that part. I'll just say if you're on the fence about whether or not to buy these books, don't be. You'll drive further or sit longer at your desk (I listen to books while editing photos) because these stories are like visiting with wonderful old friends. You never want them to go home.

    If you've had a bad experience with fantasy, don't worry, you'll be fine with these books. The story and the characters will carry you straight through any willing suspension of disbelief you need during the process. And Tim Gerard Reynolds is superb at rendering the different voices. I would recognize Royce and Hadrian anywhere, just by hearing them speak.

    A note to Michael J. Sullivan: More please!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gwendolyn Middletown Springs, VT, United States 05-24-12
    Gwendolyn Middletown Springs, VT, United States 05-24-12 Member Since 2007
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    "Two Separate Stories in One Book"

    The first two installments of Riyria Revelations are found in this volume: "The Crown Conspiracy" and "Avempartha." I find it's easier to recall some of the plot later on in the series if you remember what book it's in. It's easy to get over the cliche characterization of the main characters (what fantasy novel doesn't have the good-natured, under-estimated fighter and his sullen-yet-clever, secretive sidekick?) because they are so well portrayed. They have pasts that are alluded to with just enough detail to make the story progress, but not so much that you have to wade through unnecessary history. No character in this series is a mere device to move along a scene. Every character comes back later in the series with an important role to play. I rather like that. This is an epic fantasy, so it is intended to be escapist entertainment. So long as you keep that in mind, this series is a lot of fun!

    21 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jacob Salem, OR, United States 06-24-12
    Jacob Salem, OR, United States 06-24-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Entertaining Tolkienian Fantasy"

    Sullivan is a fan of the Traditional Tolkienian Fantasy and it shows. There are dwarves, elves, and wizards. If you're like me, that doesn't bother you when the mood strikes to read familiar or predictable mythologies. Just don't anticipate Sullivan breaking any new ground in Fantasy story telling like an Abercrombie or Rothfuss.

    That said, the story is fast paced and action packed. The characters are believable and likeable. The main characters feel familiar, a brotherhood of thieves that follow a conveniently honorable code of ethics a la Steven Lynch. There is an occasional chapter that is full of mythology--necessary, but extremely boring.

    Tim Reynolds projects his voice well and is intelligible. He has above average accents and character voicing. However, a couple of his character are so similar, there are times it is difficult to tell which character said what.

    31 of 36 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christa Decatur, Georgia, United States 05-04-12
    Christa Decatur, Georgia, United States 05-04-12 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fun adventure fantasy!"

    Theft of Swords is a compilation of the first two books of this series, "The Crown Conspiracy", and "Avempatha". "Crown" is a nice introduction to our main characters, Royce and Hadrian, the best thieves in the realm, Princess Arista, who is clever in some ways, but very naive in others, and Ezra Hardin, the mysterious ancient wizard bent on finding a mysterious missin heir to a long-gone Empire. There is also a powerful Church, also seeking this heir, for reasons of their own. Mainly the first book is a fast, fun romp.

    "Avempatha" starts giving the characters and the situation more complexity. We learn some things about Royce's and Hadrian's pasts, and more about the Church's plans. The plot revolving around Thrace and her father and the monster destroying her village is less interesting and a bit predictable, except for the end.

    I hope Audible gets the rest of the series up soon! I want to know what happens next!

    31 of 36 people found this review helpful
  •  
    yohance 04-24-12
    yohance 04-24-12 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Reader, good story"
    Where does Theft of Swords rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Its in my all time favorite list which includes: Wheel of Time Series, Shadow Prowler Series and Warded Man Series.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Theft of Swords?

    The part when we see exactly how good Hadrian is with his swords.


    What about Tim Gerard Reynolds’s performance did you like?

    the way he reads the story makes it feel like it was a part of history and not fantasy. Very well done.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I don't listen to books in one sitting. However I could not wait to get on the train to listen to this book. I even volunteer to do the dishes more so i can listen to the book. :)


    Any additional comments?

    This book develops the characters in a way I'm not used to. This approach to character development felt wierd even flawed in the beginning however you get to know the characters well as the story progresses.

    Its refreshing and fun. I love the characters and can't wait for the next book to become available on audio.

    20 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ron Basehor, KS, United States 01-03-13
    Ron Basehor, KS, United States 01-03-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Really good fantasy adventure."

    I really enjoyed this book it was actually two books in one. So my credit seemed to go twice as far. Hadrian and Royce were great they seemed to feed off each other and I am looking forward to seeing more of them. This was a light hearted fantasy novel filled will adventures. The narration was all you could hope for and will keep you captivated.

    18 of 21 people found this review helpful
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  • Adam
    London
    11/11/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Worked - in parts"
    Where does Theft of Swords rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    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.


    What about Tim Gerard Reynolds’s performance did you like?

    The narration was great.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Patricia
    7/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A brilliant story read beautifully"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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


    What other book might you compare Theft of Swords to, and why?

    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.


    What about Tim Gerard Reynolds’s performance did you like?

    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


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Two friends, one job, a whole load of trouble


    Any additional comments?

    After listening to Theft of Swords continue with the other two parts of the trilogy

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Amo
    UK
    5/2/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • D Mills
    Surrey, United Kingdom
    9/8/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Superbly Entertaining"

    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.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Marion
    Woodstock, United Kingdom
    7/22/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An Unexpectedly Excellent Story"
    What made the experience of listening to Theft of Swords the most enjoyable?

    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.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    All the main characters are interesting - the more minor ones also have more depth than usual.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • gordon
    Gloucester, United Kingdom
    7/12/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • tony
    3/28/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "





    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

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Circos
    Lincoln, England
    2/22/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good story, aweful reading"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    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.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    No huge surprises for me here. The story is reliably (perhaps comfortably) predictable which suited my listening needs at the time.


    What didn’t you like about Tim Gerard Reynolds’s performance?

    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,


    Did Theft of Swords inspire you to do anything?

    Not really


    Any additional comments?

    I suspect I would have enjoyed this book far more if I had read it rather than listened to it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mr MacKenzie Barker
    2/11/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Zac
    tunbridge wells, United Kingdom
    2/4/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Childs book"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Nothing could have worked that kind of Magic i'm afraid. A differant author and a differant narrator.


    Has Theft of Swords put you off other books in this genre?

    It hasn't.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Tim Gerard Reynolds’s performances?

    No thankyou


    You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Not really, no.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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