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Publisher's Summary

Michael J. Sullivan garnered critical raves and a massive readership for his Riyria Revelations series. The first book in his highly anticipated Riyria Chronicles series of prequels, The Crown Tower brings together warrior Hadrian Blackwater with thieving assassin Royce Melborn. The two form a less-than-friendly pairing, but the quest before them has a rare prize indeed, and if they can breach the supposedly impregnable walls of the Crown Tower, their names will be legend.

©2013 Michael J. Sullivan (P)2013 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.8 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
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Way better than expected

Not that I didnt expect the book to be good but after absolutely loving the debut series I figured this would be okay but nowhere near as good as it was. i put off buying it because i just wasnt sure about the whole prequel thing. im usually not a big fan of prequels but after running out of current books i just couldnt decide what to read next. i finally settled on the crown tower and it blew me away. i remember why i loved riyria revelations to begin with. Sullivans books rank with, mistborn, the entire and the rose, sovereign of the seven isles, and a couple others ive enjoyed over the past couple years. ive read and listened to the entire series and its one of the few I regularly recommend to friends. Cant wait for the rose and the thorn. Im in the camp of reading the Riyria Revelations first for sure. i know that it is said that this book could be a stand alone novel but being a RR veteran i think that reading this book first would result in the book not being as enjoyable as it was. Knowing the people and places beforehand gives the book a more intimate feel that just wouldnt be there if you start your adventure here. This book and series is a 100% must read for fantasy fans and a 200% must, hafta, required read for Riyria fans. I am officially on the RR prequel bandwagon. KILLER READ!!!!!!!!!

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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So happy to have these characters back!!!

What made the experience of listening to The Crown Tower the most enjoyable?

I absolutely love a "buddy" book and these two characters just fit together even if they don't realize it. After reading the Riyria Revelations it was wonderful to see where it all started.

What did you like best about this story?

Watching Hadrian and Royce learn about each other and surprise each other with their talents!

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

I think Tim Reynolds fantastic narration brings Hadrian's optimistic outlook and Royce's pessimistic one to his voice so very much better than if I were reading it in my head.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

A thief and a soldier thrown together for one impossible heist!

Any additional comments?

Please Audible, bring us the next books in this series: The Rose and the Thorn and The Viscount and the Witch!!!!!

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Cayce
  • Atlanta, GA, United States
  • 03-14-14

Fell in love with these characters all over again

This was so much fun hearing the front story to Hadrian and Royce's relationship as well as gaining a better understanding of Gwen. After the next book, I'm going to go back and listen to the Riyria Revelations again (something I never do with audio books) just to hear it all in one neat package.

Some have said don't start here, but I don't think it would hurt anything. I do think understanding the characters before you hear this book might be useful and give you a better appreciation of it, but you would still understand the story with no problem.

If you're on the fence about reading any of these books, don't be. I have over 500 books in my audible collection and this is one of my favorite series of all of them. The only bad thing about the series is it eventually ends and you have to leave all these guys behind. Do yourself a favor and add Royce and Hadrian to your collection of fictional friends.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Bruce
  • Knoxville, MD, United States
  • 08-13-13

Old Friends in a New Light

It was very easy for me to slip back into Sullivan's world. This first prequel was great fun to listen to and the characters were old friends but still new to me. I was hesitant after the author's long introduction. I've read prequels that are just back-story published to extend a series and this is NOT the case here. It is, as promised, a complete novel, beginning to end, and not the beginning of another "Wheel of Time." (For those who are not familiar with the reference, that series was finished by Brandon Sanderson after Robert Jordan died. Jordan knew he was dying and set the stage, but the chances of another epic being finished that way are slim.) Other series go on and on like zombies, and this author wants to avoid both situations. Sullivan proposes to write a large number of prequels, all complete novels. I applaud that. I have abandoned series in the past, particularly if I have met the author and it is clear that there never will be an end to the story. I like these characters and look forward to hearing more of their adventures. I already know how the story ends, but now I'm beginning to know how it began. I am not going to email him with a request for more. This review and my purchase will have to serve.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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Riyria begins

The story of how Royce and Hadrian became friends and partners. Hadrian with his trusting nature, and Royce with his brooding suspicious nature makes for an unusual partnership, but one that's always a bit humorous from the readers point of view. After listening to the Revelations series, this was a real treat to find out how the duo began. I did find myself trying to recall from time to time, the fate of certain characters in the Revelation series, bringing about the question of which series to read first. At any rate, both are equally enjoyable with the excellent narration of Tim Gerard Reynolds.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael
  • Montclair, NJ, United States
  • 10-05-16

Boring

Any additional comments?

I found this book boring and slow. ABSOLUTELY nothing happens to keep your interest in the first 5 hours.
The dialog is forced and I think Michael Sullivan was paid by the word for the conversations and arguments...it's all 'you can't do that' and 'yes I can' 'no you can't' and 'yes I can'...
What a waste. I recommend not waste money nor credits.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Sullivan converted me into a true fan.

When I started listening to Riyria Revelations, it was after just having listened to Way of Kings and Game of Thrones. In other words, the bar was really, really high. In that light, I found his first book to be rather lightweight and fluffy. It was fun, but lacked substance.

It took me a long time to come back and continue with the series. When I did return to Riyria, I was very impressed by how the story developed. Sullivan doesn't have anything on Sanderson and Martin where world building is concerned, but his dialog and character development is superb. Also, the tone of his books is great fun throughout.

By the end of the original trilogy I was hooked. The prequels kept the energy and tone pitch perfect, and I tore through this novel and the next in record time.

I will happily buy any future audiobooks in this series. Oh, and Reynolds does an excellent job narrating.

I highly recommend this book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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This Is What Was Missing!!!!

This is what we needed to know, how it all started. How Royce and Hadrian got to do their first quest, and what each person thought of the other guy.

I would recommend reading the Riyria Revelations series first then start with this one. You can easily start with this one first, but as the author said Riyria Revelations was written with the mystery that comes with Royce and Hadrian and the other characters.

One of my favourite things in this book is you get to really know how evil Royce was before knowing Hadrian and that was a bit shocking.

Narration is good as always !!!!

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Like Coming Home

So, I just finished a book, and need a new book to listen to before the release in one of my favorite series comes out in a few weeks. I need something not to long, but that I know I will enjoy. I decided to come back to the Riyria series that I loved so much with the first trilogy.

Beginning this book, it was like coming home. While the Riyria books aren't complex like the Wheel Of Time or A Song Of Ice And Fire, there is something endearing about these books that just simple make you happy when you read them. The tales of Royce and Hadrian are like following along with two old friends on grand adventures.

Author Micheal J. Sullivan has created a wonderful series in the Riyria Revelations and Riyria Chronicles, especially in the audio format. It's just the right mix of setting, characters, and narration, that makes you want to come back again and again.

Hope for many more of these books.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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From the "Start Here" perspective

The foreword offers different ways to begin the Riyria collection - either chronologically, beginning with the Riyria Chronicles and concluding with the Riyria Revelation series or the Revelation series (published first) and then the prequel (newly published) Chronicles. I began here at the Crown Tower, with no prior knowledge of the series and only going by the high ratings by thousands of other readers.
First, the writing itself is entertaining. Michael Sullivan is quite inventive in his descriptions and dialogue and the contrasts between Hadrian and Royce should set up enjoyable dialogues over the course of the next volumes. A big personal thanks to Mr. Sullivan for keeping the scene descriptions and dialogue respectfully clean. (When a brothel is a major component of the story, it would have been easy for things to get tawdry.)
Second, the story prompted some disturbing questions, Some examples: why does the professor take such a personal interest in Royce, knowing what a murderer he is? It has to be more than believing "there is a human being in there." He knows that letting him run loose is going to lead to the deaths of the innocent as well as guilty. Another: Could people such as the "ladies" of the brothel and the boy Royce really not survive outside the city? And how did someone as naïve and gullible as Hadrian appears to be survive war and other challenges? Talent with a sword will only get you so far.
Third, the narrator is good, particularly with the voice of Royce, but his voice for Hadrian, lost some credibility for me. He sounded timid and childish at times, stretching Hadrian's reluctance too far. Also at times the narrator sounded like Edward Everett Horton doing "Fracture Fairy Tales," which was personally amusing but drew a little too much attention to himself.
In conclusion, Sullivan laid a solid foundation for a series, which promises to offer hours and hours of listening pleasure ahead.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful