The Crown Tower: The Riyria Chronicles, Book 1 starts with a nice forward from the author, Michael J. Sullivan, where he explains why he decided to wr..Show More »ite the prequel stories, The Riyria Chronicles, after having published The Riyria Revelations. And in the forward he says that he wrote them in a way that readers could enjoy reading the stories in order of publication (Revelations first, then Chronicles) or in order of events (Chronicles first, then Revelations). Having read all The Riyria Revelations books and now having listened to the first of The Chronicles, I think that is mostly true - you could follow the story in either order. However, The Crown Tower is bound to be a joy and great fun to anyone who enjoyed The Revelations, but isn't likely to be as compelling to those who have not. All the world building and plot setup is done in The Revelations and you just aren't going to understand what it means when someone says, "By Maribor,....", the hostility toward "the church", and some other references in The Crown Tower without reading The Revelations books. The Revelations is the place to fall in love with Michael Sullivan's world and its characters; The Chronicles provide icing on a really great cake.
If you have already read and loved The Revelations, you are gonna be thrilled with The Crown Tower. The boys (Hadrian and Royce) are back, but not quite the amazing pair they came to be in The Revelations. The Crown Tower goes through their first adventure together forced on them by Professor Arcadius (remember him??) and we get some wonderful insights into how these opposites came together to make such a great team. Michael Sullivan's style is consistent - quick paced, great settings, good plotting, even minor characters have dimension, and very witty dialog. One other similarity with The Revelations; Sullivan writes great fight scenes even for a reader like me who isn't too into the normal violence of high fantasy. In addition to taking us back to the beginning of the daring duo, The Crown Tower gives us an origin narrative for Gwen which I found surprisingly compelling. I will admit that I wasn't overly fond of the Gwen character in The Revelations books - mostly only liked her for her protectiveness of Royce. However, when you get the back-story on Gwen, she becomes a much more sympathetic and understandable character.
I really like the pairing of Sullivan's writing with Tim Reynolds narration. Not only did Reynolds do the narration for The Revelations books which keeps The Crown Tower sounding nicely consistent, but Reynolds seems a natural for Sullivan's books. Reynolds shades his voice more than changing it for character voices/accents, but it is plenty to make the dialog easy to follow and keeps Sullivan's very adventuresome writing from sounding "over the top" while still maintaining a nice narrative tension throughout the book.
If you haven't read The Riyria Revelations books, please start there and if you like high fantasy at all you will love them. If you have read The Riyria Revelations, dive into The Crown Tower and be prepared to not want to stop until the end of the book. This is a totally satisfying listen that will still leave you wanting MUCH more!!
I have read all three of the Riyria Revelations and they were all excellent fantasy. This short story is a part of the Riyria Chronicles which are the..Show More » first three books in the Riyria adventures. Similar to Star Wars where the last three books/movies came out first. A little confusing. Anyway, this is the second chapter of the second book in the Riyria Chronicles, "The Rose and the Thorn" and what a great teaser, it made me jump right back into Michael Sullivan's wonderful, epic fantasy series. I surely miss the characters and Tim Gerard Reynolds's fantastic narration, so I'm onto, "The Crown Tower". If you like fantasy at all, or even if you don't, you will not be disappointed with any of these books. Highly recommend.
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 sinc..Show More »e 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.
Remember the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark where a whole adventure happens before the opening credits? This is sort of like that, plenty happen..Show More »s in a brief time. It's probably not as much fun for those who don't already know our heroes, but I hope people try it out and go on to listen to the whole series. The ending made me laugh out loud. I hope there is a law that Tim Reynolds is the only person allowed to read Riyria books, as I wouldn't be able to stand any different voice.