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Publisher's Summary

WHO WILL HAVE THE LAST LAUGH?

Stop me if you’ve heard this one. A thief, a candlemaker, an ex-mercenary, and a pig farmer walk into a trap…and what happens to them is no joke. When Riyria is hired to retrieve a jester’s treasure, Royce and Hadrian must match wits with a dwarf who proves to be anything but a fool. Difficult choices will need to be made, and in the end those who laugh last do so because they are the only ones to survive.

This is a standalone short story of 7,200 words. No prior knowledge of The Riyria Revelations or The Riyria Chronicles is required to enjoy it to its fullest, making this a perfect introduction for new readers or a chance for Riyria veterans to spend a little more time with old friends. The Jester is a story of adventure, bonds of friendship, and a recognition that the choices we make dictates the future we find.

©2014 Michael J. Sullivan (P)2014 Audible Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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    3,831
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    2,212
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    1,084
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    317
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Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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  • 3 Stars
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  • 2 Stars
    310
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    221
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What Jester?

This was okay, but nothing to get all excited about. I am certainly glad it was free. I have read the first book in both of the series he has out right now and I like them and will continue the rest of those two series. I just believe MJS does better in the long form then he does in short form. It is free, so your only investment is 54 minutes and it is certainly worth that.

39 of 40 people found this review helpful

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  • Carol
  • Massachusetts
  • 01-29-14

Short and Very Satisfying

To me, one of the most best things about the three volumes of "Riyria Revelations" was the seamless way everything came together over the course of the saga and, especially, at the end. There are no bewildering meanderings by pointless characters; the whole enterprise is beautifully conceived and well written (and the narration is also very good). "The Jester" encapsulates all these qualities into a short, neat 1-hour package. Immediately, we are plunged (literally) into the adventure with no idea of what's going on, but over the course of a few pages all becomes clear and winds up in a poignant "wow" moment that's very satisfying.

It probably helps to have a little "Riyria" background -- at least enough to know who Hadrian and Royce and Riyria are -- but in terms of the story "The Jester" stands alone. Well done, Mr. Sullivan!

23 of 24 people found this review helpful

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  • Terri
  • Colorado
  • 03-19-14

Kept hearing the Jaws theme song in my mind

Action, action, and more action from start to finish. This is a short story with a lot of bang for it's size.

The Riyria books are written so well that you form a very quick attachment with the two lead characters. Even in this short story you see how different they are on the surface but a lot more alike when you burrow deeper.

I also really enjoyed the forward written by Michael Sullivan telling about his struggle writing something to be successful and then deciding to write just for himself. Gave wonderful insight to the entire series, original; & prequels.

Tim Gerard Reynolds brings these characters to life and I am always amazed of the variety of voices and inflections he brings to these stories.

If you have not read any of the Riyria books, please give them a try. You won't be disappointed though I do recommend starting with the original Riyria Revelations and then diving into the prequels.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Short story with no shortage of events

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 happens 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.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Ccbilbo
  • Next stop, unknown
  • 01-29-14

Just pure bliss

What did you love best about FREE: The Jester (A Riyria Chronicles Tale)?

I can't even put into words how I was excited about learning that Michael J. Sullivan had written something new about Royce and Hadrian. For the first time, I had been depressed when a series ended. I got so emotionally wrapped up in the Riyria Chronicles, that when I read the last word, I honestly didn't want to read another book for a few days.<br/><br/>When Mr. Sullivan informed me that there was a new short story out, "The Jester," I was actually jumping up and down for joy. Then to find that this was in audio book format made me even more excited. Once checking out "The Jester" I noticed it was free! There was nothing that was going to stop me from getting this story RIGHT NOW! I had always used the text-to-speech mode on my books when I was working around the house or driving. The mechanical voice that my kindle uses can sometimes drive you mad.<br/><br/>There is no way to explain how blown away I was when I finally listened to the opening of this story. There was this beautiful and magical voice of Tim Gerard Reynolds flowing through my ear buds. I have no clue what dialect I was hearing, English or Irish, but it made me just melt. The smile that I had plastered on my face was making those around me question what I was listening to. It's unfortunate for those that I made listen, because they didn't appreciate what was being spoken the way I did. But then, they also don't appreciate books the way I do.<br/><br/>"The Jester," is a stand alone story that falls between the books of "The Rose and the Thorn" and "Theft of Swords." We find Royce and Hadrian in stuck in the middle of another adventure that is turning into a huge mess. They have fallen into a cave that holds some sort of treasure that belongs to "The Jester." Along on this adventure, Royce and Hadrian have Wilmer, the pig farmer and Myra the candlemaker. (Sounds like the set up of a joke.)<br/><br/>Royce being the dry witted man that he is, tries to find the path that they are to follow. Hadrian, now suffering from a broken leg and other injuries, is trying to make sure that Wilmer and Myra are safe from their fall into the cave. Once everyone is accounted for, and that all has survived, the task of the treasure is at hand.<br/><br/>This is such a short tale, only 7,200 words, I can't give much in detail of what is going on. All I can say is that Royce and Hadrian have their hands full with the two additional companions on this trip.<br/><br/>I was laughing at how Myra and Wilbur were bickering between themselves. The way Tim Reynolds would narrate Myra and Wilbur was just comical. I have an active imagination that has always allowed me to see and hear what I thought characters sounded like. But to actually hear this being narrated was just priceless.<br/><br/>This was just a magical 54 minutes for me on so many levels. I had never listened to an actual "audio" book. So the magic of hearing it being told with the beautiful voice of a narrator was perfect. Then to find that Mr. Sullivan hadn't forgotten Royce and Hadrian, just tickled me pink.<br/><br/>I would tell anyone that has read even one of the Riyria books, to grab this up now! It may be short, but it's just oh so sweet.

What does Tim Gerard Reynolds bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

His voice is like honey...smooth and sweet

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I loved when he was doing the arguments between the Wilbur and Myra

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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Enjoyable narration and tight story (with message)

What other book might you compare FREE: The Jester (A Riyria Chronicles Tale) to and why?

I wouldn't compare The Jester to another 'book', per se, as it think it's quite unique. However, there were some elements in it that I likened to, believe it or not, the "Saw" franchise of movies. And not because there's blood, gore, torture, and the like. Because there isn't. Instead, I thought of this given the predicament Hadrian and Royce find themselves in. And like any 'ticking time bomb' storyline, they have to think fast before it's too late.

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

Everything. Tim's an excellent narrator who I happily followed through all six (three) of the Revelations books. He's in my top five narrators for fantasy, hands down. He's a "purchase maker" in my view.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Janice
  • Sugar Land, TX, United States
  • 03-09-14

You have chosen wisely

The write-up for The Jester assured me that no prior knowledge of the characters or their previous stories is necessary to enjoy this short story. So for free and less than an hour it seemed like a good bet to test drive what sounded like interesting new (to me) literary territory. And what a ride. From the first words, thrown top speed into action that had already started and never let up, yet caught the reader up on the events with clean direct writing. To survive, they need to solve a puzzle that reminded me of Indiana Jones having to choose the right cup in the "The Last Crusade". Loved the characters and the narration. If the author hoped to attract new readers, he certainly attracted me. I'm adding to my Wish List now.

15 of 17 people found this review helpful

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A quick enjoyable listen

Any additional comments?

I like that this story was not one that you needed to know the universe that the other stories were created in to enjoy it. I like the fact that it was a stand alone and you did not feel the need to have read the other books in the series to understand what was going on.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Susan
  • Bartonville, TX
  • 03-19-14

Challenging Choices

I loved this short from Michael Sullivan, he always writes with such originality. Royce and Hadrian are hired, along with some others that they don't really trust, to retrieve a treasure that has been buried with a Jester. To obtain the treasure they must go spelunking and the choices that they each make will determine who makes it out of the cave alive. Only the wise and true of heart will be successful.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Lore
  • SAN JOSE, CA, United States
  • 02-15-15

Free Riyria - Nuff Said

I am not going to waste time on a lot of words. If you are a fan of Riyria there is no downside or risk in listening to this free short story. It is Royce & Hadrian read by Tim Gerard Reynolds and that is all you need to know.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Yvonne
  • 01-05-16

Reviews

Very good. Clear and easy to understand. For a short story I still expected more will definitely read more from this author

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Adrian
  • 04-29-16

Well worth a listen

Enjoyed the characters especially the two main ones. It was fun to listen to and well constructed.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • MISS
  • 12-28-15

Nice short story

I enjoyed this and thought the characters and narration were very enjoyable. How they got into the situation wasn't made that clear. Overall I liked it. Good for a free one.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • smiffy31
  • 11-12-15

fantastic story

Great fun to listen to. I got this as I wanted to get an idea of the story series. haven't regretted it.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Salter
  • 12-01-14

Didn't enjoy it....

What would have made FREE: The Jester (A Riyria Chronicles Tale) better?

Okay for a freebie, but I wouldn't have paid for it. <br/>Narration was poor, and the story could have been SO much better...

How could the performance have been better?

It was simply poor across the board.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from FREE: The Jester (A Riyria Chronicles Tale)?

Sorry, but I'd have to re-write it. Just didn't enjoy it at all.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Susan
  • 02-08-14

Entertaining

Where does FREE: The Jester (A Riyria Chronicles Tale) rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I enjoyed this short story so much that I have ordered the first book in the series. Very entertaining, and manged to delineate the characters and back story in a short space of time, often by what was not said.

What was one of the most memorable moments of FREE: The Jester (A Riyria Chronicles Tale)?

Stuck in the sealed room discussing the murder of the old man to get the pieces of the treasure map.

Have you listened to any of Tim Gerard Reynolds’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Not listened to any others

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The ending. Though I thought the greatest treasure might be life.

Any additional comments?

Excellent entertainment, and a slightly different take on the sword and sorcery genre.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Culwen
  • 12-13-16

An amusing affair in a D&D style

If you could sum up FREE: The Jester (A Riyria Chronicles Tale) in three words, what would they be?

Dungeon<br/>Treasure<br/>Fools

What did you like best about this story?

The characters are unique (although perhaps stereotypical ~ but that in itself was quite amusing). A fighter, a thief, a candlestick maker and a pig farmer!

What does Tim Gerard Reynolds bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Expression of voice, accents.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Made me laugh and made me eager from suspense.

Any additional comments?

Really enjoyed this short story. Would recommend. Will probably look into the series.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-12-16

Neat and tidy story.

A very enjoyable story that encapsulates the whole series. Narrator could be better I reckon.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Graham
  • 11-08-16

Small but perfectly formed

Short but Intriguing, perfect as an interlude between other stories. Found myself thinking about it after the end. Certainly worth a read.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • andrew dodgson.
  • 11-03-16

Blooming Surprised!!!

I didn't. Think it was going to be as good as it was, boy what a surprise I got ,I'm a massive reader off e books and I've never heard an audio book before I cannot wait for a full one rather than a short story

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Sowmya Vemula
  • 11-17-17

must listen

this book has a great narration and worthwhile for listening in free time for sure.

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  • Sarai
  • 03-28-17

love riyria

the narrator was average but the last line was magical - well worth an hour of your time!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-30-16

Beautiful stOries

Thanks this book was really interesting to read. This tale had beautiful process.. the author was extremely good with the story... such a warm story to listen.. thanks once again for this beautiful stories. We are expecting more stories from the author...

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  • Kev
  • 04-13-16

Great short story

Easy listen, will definitely be getting more from this author & narrator, best of all this title was free 👍🏼

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  • Adrianne
  • 08-06-15

Read this book ! RIYRIA will CAPTURE YOU!

EXCELLENT IN LESS THAN 5 MINUTES I WAS HOOKED. YOU MUST READ ALL THE RIYRIA BOOKS IN ORDER.

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  • Angela
  • 04-06-15

enjoyed the time

the story line was enjoyable enough ... wasn't quite my cup of tea. .... nevertheless it was ok

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  • GarethB
  • 03-01-15

An advert to the series

Plenty of tie ins for riyria listeners. Nice complete clever story arc. On the whole it felt like an advert for the rest of the series, introducing characters and referring to other adventures. As a Riyria fan, I enjoyed it.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • samuel
  • 02-09-15

need to get the full book

loved the story the narrtor is also good easy to listen to. will look for more from this author

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-10-16

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1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-05-16

loved it.

really loved this story. narrator was great and the story was well worth hearing

0 of 1 people found this review helpful