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Publisher's Summary

New York Times Audio best seller | Amazon Editor's pick | Audible Editor's pick

After more than 500 years of exile, the heir to the empyre is wary about his sudden reassignment to active duty on the Goblin War’s front lines. His mission to rescue an outpost leads to a dead-end canyon deep inside enemy territory, and his suspicion turns to dread when he discovers the stronghold doesn't exist. But whoever went to the trouble of planning his death to look like a casualty of war didn't know he would be assigned to the Seventh Sikaria Auxiliary Squadron. In the depths of an unforgiving jungle, a legend is about to be born, and the world of Elan will never be the same. 

From Michael J. Sullivan, the New York Times, USA Today, and Washington Post best-selling author, a new adventure begins with the first book in The Rise and Fall trilogy. Although this series is set in the same world as the Riyria novels and the Legends of the First Empire books, it is a stand-alone tale. As such, no prior knowledge of the other works is required to enjoy this tale to its fullest.

©2021 Michael J. Sullivan (P)2020 Audible, Inc.

Go Behind the Scenes of Nolyn

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From the Author

  • Nolyn
  • Author's Note
  • Nolyn
  • Preview: Chapter 1

About the Creator

Michael J. Sullivan is a New York Times, USA Today, and Washington Post bestselling author, and no one is more surprised by those facts than he. When just a boy, Michael found a typewriter in the basement of a friend's house, inserted a blank piece of paper, and typed, "It was a dark and stormy night." He was just ten years old and mimicking the only writer he knew at the time: Snoopy. That spark ignited a flame, and Michael's desire to fill blank pages became a life-long obsession.
As an adult, Michael spent more than ten years developing his craft by studying authors such as Stephen King, Ernest Hemingway, and John Steinbeck. During that time, he wrote thirteen novels but found no interest from the publishing industry. Since insanity is repeating the same action while expecting a different result, he made the rational choice and quit, vowing never to write creatively again. Never turned out to be too long for Michael, and after a decade, he returned to the keyboard in his forties, but with one condition: He wouldn't seek publication. Instead, he wrote a series of books that had been building in his head during his hiatus.
His first reading love was fantasy, and he hoped to foster a similar reaction in his then thirteen-year-old daughter who struggled due to dyslexia. After reading the third book of this series, his wife insisted that the novels had to "get out there." When Michael refused to jump back onto the query-go-round, Robin took over the publication tasks, and she has run the business side of his writing ever since.

About the Performer

Tim Gerard Reynolds is a graduate of the Samuel Beckett Centre, Trinity College Dublin. With 200+ titles recorded, he has narrated books in multiple genres including authors such as Salman Rushdie, Colm Tóbín, Michael J. Sullivan, and Pierce Brown. He has also narrated classics such as Lorna Doone, and Alice in Wonderland.
Tim was nominated for Best Performance by a Male Narrator in the 2019 Audie Awards, and has been the recipient of multiple Audiofile Earphones Awards. In 2016 he was awarded a listener-voted Reddit "Stabby"for his contributions to the Fantasy genre. That year, Tim read 3 out of the top 5 bestselling Fantasy audiobooks.
Tim lives in the greater NYC metro area. He is a senior student at The Village Zendo. In his spare time he enjoys hiking, painting, and listening to loud music.

What listeners say about Nolyn

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Tremendous First Entry in the Rise and Fall series

Rating: 8.5/10

Rapid pacing, intense battles, and captivating characters make Nolyn a tremendous first entry in the Rise and Fall series. Fans of Sullivan’s previous works, and even new readers, will find a ton to love here.

First off, another winner from Marc Simonetti, amirite? His art never ceases to amaze and I’m always happy to see what he has in store for a Sullivan release.

So, set between Legends of the First Empire and the Riyria novels, we have Nolyn. Fans of either series will find plenty to enjoy here, along with some Easter eggy goodness, but like with any other series Michael puts out, it can be a starting point for new readers, too. New characters, new adventures, and new machinations with the same fantastic writing you have come to love from Sullivan. The one thing I definitely did not expect were all of the plot twists. Just when you think you have it all figured out.

The majority of the story is told from two (2) POVs, Nolyn and Sephryn, both of whom you get acquainted with fairly quickly in the onset. The chapters have character breaks throughout so you are getting the “real-time” perspectives of the characters as the story progresses. I quite enjoy when chapters aren’t 100% focused on one character at a time as it can feel like playing catch-up once you hit the next chapter, sometimes having to rehash pieces already explained – only from a different vantage point.

I have to say that I enjoyed Nolyn’s storyline over Sephryn’s, mostly because it dealt with the Goblin War and him blazing a trail to find who put him in his current predicament. I mean, if someone wants you dead and you don’t, in fact, die, you’re going to be pretty pissed, right? Having said that, Sephryn’s arc definitely appealed more to my emotions and I felt more of a connection with her because of that. Having a child of your own really changes your perspectives, even when reading fiction, and my heart went out for her during the entirety of the novel. I honestly figured Nolyn was going to be fine once I got to a feel for the Seventh Sikaria Auxiliary Squadron.

I don’t want to deep-dive into the story because it is one you need to experience for yourself. If you enjoy high fantasy with war, magic, betrayal, a little dose of humor, and likeable characters, this is one to definitely add to the list.

40 people found this helpful

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What are you doing Michael?

Let me start by saying I travel for a living and own over 200+ audio books. I happened across the Ryiria Chronicles and absolutely loved every bit of it, and Revelations. Masterpieces.

But this one?..

Ever watch a movie that was made from a book?
And you know how it's missing the meat of the story because they tried to cram too much into the time slotted?

That's what this book is. Only I would dread the thought of a movie cramming anymore of this already thin story down any further.

*Slight spoilers*
Way too rushed.. and plots were exposed far to simply... like... seriously Mike.. the villain exposing his "elaborate" plan every chance he got? After he supposedly plotted for centuries?
Then to decide he would still be the whiney little brat he was from the previous books even after a dispensation of time that vast?

And you mean to say that centuries of planning with Trilos as an ally, would produce THIS?

All in all the Ryiria books are the only stories with substance and care I've seen from this author so far. I had hoped, but my hopes seem dashed.

It appears the comfort of success has dampened the mind in such a way that the attention to detail has been thrown aside for the sake of an expedient return to the financial income that is Elan.. dissonance embraced in a hurried rush to produce mediocrity.

And that is a shame.

P.S. Tim, as always - did great

39 people found this helpful

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usually I like his work but this story dragged.

The story started and ended with some pace and variation,t the the long middle of the book had one slow pace regardless of the activity. i skipped some of the middle chapters because they were so slow, paragraphs were used where sentence would have been sufficient.

19 people found this helpful

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A Great Beginning

To get it out of the way, Reynolds is one of the best narrators I've ever listened to. I could listen to him read a phone book.

The book itself is set hundreds of years after the end of Age of Empyre. It follows Nolyn, the son of Emperor Nephron and Persephone. This book isn't meant to lead into a continuation of his life after, so it is more of a 1-off than it is the beginning of a trilogy. You see a lot of how humans will change history into legends and legends into religion. If you've never read the Age of Myth series, I would suggest that before this or you may not get as much enjoyment out of it.

The world of Elan is dark and magical with a complicated history that MJS and his wife, Robin, have done a great job fleshing out for us. I am biased when it comes to MJS, as he has been my favorite author for years now, but I have never gotten someone to read one of his series that didn't enjoy it.

8 people found this helpful

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I don’t care about the main characters.

I have enjoyed all of Mr. Sullivan’s books but I’m not really a fun of this one. You get into the book and dramatic things start happening immediately. It really feels like you’re supposed to care about what’s going on but I really don’t care about anything that because I don’t care about the characters. I feel like this book might have been a very good book two. If I had time to get to know the characters I think I would have liked it.

7 people found this helpful

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Michael J Sullivan is always a great read

So glad to get another book from this world. Although it wasn't my favorite, it kept me listening almost non-stop from beginning to end. I wish it had been longer because unlike the rest of his books, this one felt rushed. I think it missed the usual emotional connection from it's characters. Other than Nolyn, I didn't feel attached to the new characters, so their fates weren't very important to me.
Tim Gerard Reynolds narration was perfection as always.
Looking forward to the next release!

7 people found this helpful

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Skip this title

I am a huge fan of the Riyria books. This book, however, was a dull and boring read. Only the performance by Tim Gerard Reynolds kept me going forward. The main character was plain and the plot simple. I actually cringed during the epilog when the authors wife gave the book high praises. Be sure to read his other books but save time and money and skip this one.

5 people found this helpful

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Shoddy writing

I regret purchasing this book. The writing is shoddy. For example,

Right at the start, the main character and his legion is made aware that they are going into an ambush. The leader attempts to relinquish command and is incredibly dismissive of the fact that he is about to die. Essentially dismisses his army. They stay and fight of course… it isn’t believable in the least.

Then in the next chapter there is an elf that is some 800 years old. She encounters a human cleric early in the book and the human uses the term “brother” to refer to another cleric. The 800 year old elf is perplexed by the usage of the term “brother” despite having lived with humans for 800 years - also the human is confused at how this woman could have known the founder of his order (as that would have been some 800 years ago) despite being fully aware of the fact that elves live for thousands of years.

The forced story telling makes it impossible to suspend reality.

2 people found this helpful

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OK at best.

Not bad, but I have no desire to see what happens to anyone in this story. All of the character development is only so-so. Maybe if I read all of his previous works, it would be better. However, for a "first in a series, it should stand on its own....it doesn't. I won't stick around for the next book.

2 people found this helpful

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The magic of Pickles ?

I have listened to every book written by Michael ever since he set the hook with the brilliant world built around Hadrian and his chance meeting with Pickles in the Riyria Chronicles series. If I use the example of Pickles, he represented a short character weave that continued as new characters entered the story line to love and hate, in a world you never wanted to leave. Yet I found Nolyn to be too much of a bridge between established series without the customary hooks and turns to give it stand alone power. I realize that subsequent books may prove me wrong. But I have listened to the writing in Riyria at least once a year to get my "fix". To me Nolyn was a necessary task with the hope of more "magic" down the road. I guess you have to cross some bridges to get to the mountains. TGR is 5 stars as always and MJS will hopefully find his "Pickles" in book 2 and 3.

I am a true believer in the talent of this author that something special awaits.

2 people found this helpful

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  • I. Morgan
  • 08-17-21

another great addition to a great series

another great book in the series starring the journey of tying all the series together

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sean
  • 11-23-21

I love it

can't wait to get stuck into the next instalment,love the way it all flows and fits together like a jigsaw and TGR does it his usual justice,great work.

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  • C S Gunaratnam
  • 09-08-21

Michael has let me down

I’m a long term fan of The Riyria Chronicles and Royce and Hadrian made me addicted to books again. Michael is just a beautiful soul of a writer and Tim Reynolds makes you feel like you are just in the story. Short pieces that followed were just amazing

Legends was yet again a great listen/read

I often go back to the crown or Percepliquis when I’m on a long drive

But this instalment feels rushed. Feels it’s been written to please the publishers rather than the fans.

I just fell this book has let me as a fan down.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still pre order the next two instalments but like all great instalments.. the end is always poor as author is just done… a comparison is line of duty and the tv series game of thrones… should have just made an effort to finish off

I’m still thankful for the original as it’s something I’ve already read nth teen time and probably will do another nth teen but Nolyn… I’ll just leave it in the archives

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  • Alexandra
  • 09-03-21

Loved!

Big fan of all his books and loved this story. Looking forward to the rest of the series

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-12-21

An Empire on the Edge - One of M.Sullivan's best!

From the dense jungles of the Empire's Edge to the majesty of Percepliquis Michael J. Sullivan's return to Elan is a stunning tour d'force, from both him and the narrator. Indeed this is one of the absolute best depictions of Half-Elves I have ever encountered, Nd the nuanced story will have you on the edge of your seat from minute one, alternately cheering and wide eyed in suspense.

With both clear and enjoyable introductions to this new era in Elan's history, and plenty of scattered Easter eggs for long time readers, Nolyn is a stellar read that is a must for lovers of High-fantasy!

lastly shout out to Michael and Robyn Sullivan for their wonderful Fore & After-words, and to the incredible Tim Gerard Reynolds who delivers another brilliant performance!

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 08-10-21

Can't wait for the other 2 books.

I've listened to all the books in this Elan saga multiple times and I'd have to say my thrill and excitement remains. For me, Nolyn shows just how much MJS's artistry and skill as a storyteller gets better and better, with TGR inhabiting the skin of the characters in this masterful symbiotic relationship between writer and narrator. I particularly liked trying to unravel the threads linking characters, themes and events across all the books (ahh Malcolm, I knew you'd be there!). I smiled a lot at the myths held of past events. I'm wondering, just like with real history, how much of the 'facts' of the past uncovered in the 'Heir of Novron' , in which this thread unfolds (or does it?), will turn out to be true.

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  • Azeem
  • 08-09-21

Still loving Elan

Nolyn is another great entry to a series that I rank as one of favourites. Ever since finishing the Legends of the First Empire I've been eagerly awaiting to learn more about the time period between LotFE and Riyria, and the ever unfolding battle between Trilos and Turin; and this book delivers adding some really likeable characters like Nolyn and Amicus.

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  • Tahn
  • 10-18-21

Another master piece

I really enjoyed it, the whole thing.
thanks, can't wait until the next book

Tim's performance is as always epic.

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  • J. Hoare
  • 09-11-21

Predictable

I’ve enjoyed books by this author before and enjoyed them immensely. This fell short as the story line was largely predictable.