I was a little worried to read this prequel. I totally LoVeD Hadrian and Royce in the Riyria Revelations and it is a completed series. Did I really want to go back to their beginnings to see how it all started??? And the answer is….
MJS is not that author who couldn’t figure out what to write next and so decided hey I’ll write more books in the same world because $$$. Nope not at all, he wrote it because his wife fell in love with another man.
***It’s the classic story of a husband whose wife falls for another man—a more dashing and charming gent. It sounds tragic, but this tale is a bit different because the love affair is between a real woman and a fictional man. My wife—let’s call her Robin (because that’s her name)—has developed an infatuation for Hadrian Blackwater. I’m not sure how I feel about enabling my wife’s relationship with another man, but at least I know this guy is trustworthy ***
As soon as I read that in the dedication I KNEW that MJS was not just pumping out more books for the sake of $$$ but definitely for the love of the world, the characters and his wife. After that I just relaxed and had a great time with it.
Can you read this first???
Yes, there aren’t any spoilers for the future series. BUT….that said I will say that I really liked catching the little hints and cameos of characters that we get to know better later on. My personal recommendation is to read The Riyria Revelations first and then move on to these.
But won’t I be a little bored since I already kind of know what happens from Riyria Revelations?
I was also a little worried about that. The answer is a resounding NO…you will not be bored at all. There are so many great things in this. One of the first things I was really excited about is that we get a Gwen PoV and it is fantastic.
***Why did we leave Calis? Why did you give me a northern name? And most importantly, Why does it mean so much to you for us to go to this mythical place called Medford? Stubbornly her mother had refused to answer, except to say that God had told her to go. When Gwen asked which god, her mother had replied, “The one who walks as a man.”***
The second thing is that Royce and Hadrian are just starting out and you can see how completely different they are from each other. Hadrian is pretty naive and trusting…while Royce well he was raised by wolves so trust isn’t something he understands at all.
***“You have any friends?”
“Where is this friend?”
“When was the last time you saw him?”
“When he framed me for murder and sent me to prison.”
“I don’t think you understand the meaning of the word friend.”
“And I think you live in a fairy-tale world where words have consistent meanings…”***
I really enjoyed this getting to know each other part of their relationship. You can see the threads of the bromance that it will become but you can also see the rocky road they will travel to get there.
This story went so fast for me and I couldn’t wait to get to some of the moments I knew had to be coming because of the snippets we were told in Riyria Revelations.
As MJS said he could write one book covering a year in Harian and Royce’s life leading up to Riyria Revelations which is 12 books. You know what…. I WOULD READ THEM ALL if they are even close to as good as this one.