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Publisher's Summary

Audie Award Nominee, Fantasy, 2013

Acclaimed author Michael J. Sullivan created instant best sellers with his spellbinding Riyria Revelations series. This first volume introduces Royce Melborn and Hadrian Blackwater, two enterprising thieves who end up running for their lives when they’re framed for the death of the king. Trapped in a conspiracy bigger than they can imagine, their only hope is unraveling an ancient mystery - before it’s too late.

Theft of Swords contains The Crown Conspiracy and Avempartha, books 1 and 2 of Riyria Revelations.

©2011 Michael J. Sullivan (P)2012 Recorded Books, LLC

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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    11,522
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Performance

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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  • Ron
  • Basehor, KS, United States
  • 01-03-13

Really good fantasy adventure.

I really enjoyed this book it was actually two books in one. So my credit seemed to go twice as far. Hadrian and Royce were great they seemed to feed off each other and I am looking forward to seeing more of them. This was a light hearted fantasy novel filled will adventures. The narration was all you could hope for and will keep you captivated.

22 of 27 people found this review helpful

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Tremendous Work of Fiction. Fascinating and Clever

I'm not sure how I found this, but it's one of the most fun stories I've ever experienced. With clever and humorous banter, two thieves (in the tradition of Dumas' Musketeers) take on a job that quickly goes horribly wrong. A King is dead. Treachery is everywhere.

This is a great fantasy, but the book (and hopefully the trilogy), is is a rare gem for any genre. If you've ever read or listened to The Three Musketeers, youve experienced the timeless humor of Porthos, which is simply priceless. Sullivan's duo are every bit as resourceful and fun as any of Dumas' characters.

There are elves, dwarfs, a impaired wizard, evil priests and political intrigue. 20 hours simply flew by. The narration is good, never getting in the way of the story.

For me, it's a solid 5 star listen.

14 of 17 people found this review helpful

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Just the Good Parts

Riyira Revelations was undoubtedly my favorite Fantasy series from 2012. Sullivan clearly has a firm grasp on the series and where everyone's headed from the first pages of the novel. The result is a deeply engrossing tale with fleshed-out characters, a rich, imaginative setting, and plenty of swashbuckling roguery. It's a satisfying story from beginning to end.

I'm reminded of a notion from The Princess Bride by William Goldman. The frame of the Princess Bride is that it's actually an abridgment of a much longer, much more boring story. Goldman later discovered that his grandpa cut out a lot of this boring stuff when reading it to him as a kid. The version he heard was just the action, adventure, and fun stuff. You know, "the good parts". Well, Theft of Swords is very much a "just the good parts" novel.

25 of 31 people found this review helpful

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  • Christa
  • Decatur, Georgia, United States
  • 05-04-12

Fun adventure fantasy!

Theft of Swords is a compilation of the first two books of this series, "The Crown Conspiracy", and "Avempatha". "Crown" is a nice introduction to our main characters, Royce and Hadrian, the best thieves in the realm, Princess Arista, who is clever in some ways, but very naive in others, and Ezra Hardin, the mysterious ancient wizard bent on finding a mysterious missin heir to a long-gone Empire. There is also a powerful Church, also seeking this heir, for reasons of their own. Mainly the first book is a fast, fun romp.

"Avempatha" starts giving the characters and the situation more complexity. We learn some things about Royce's and Hadrian's pasts, and more about the Church's plans. The plot revolving around Thrace and her father and the monster destroying her village is less interesting and a bit predictable, except for the end.

I hope Audible gets the rest of the series up soon! I want to know what happens next!

36 of 45 people found this review helpful

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An Adventure With Depth ... Sometimes Too Much

What did you love best about Theft of Swords?

I liked how the characters stayed within their characters from start to finish and did not wander from their mannerisms in order to get around potential road blocks. I also liked the depth of the main characters.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Hadrian because he has that cocky swagger of knowing he is better than everyone else with a sword and only shows it if necessary. Royce is his straight man through the entire novel.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Heck no. Way too long.

Any additional comments?

Story drifts at times and doesn't leave a lot of intrigue as the author pops in and out of the minds of secondary characters to let the reader know all the nuances of the politics going on in the world. Often I wished that much of this was left out but what can you do?

29 of 37 people found this review helpful

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  • Sterling
  • Decatur, Illinois, United States
  • 04-22-16

Solid foundation for an epic tale.

Riyria Revelations has all of the elements for a classic epic fantasy. A thief and a warrior with far more talents and abilities than any others in their profession, both with a legacy that is yet to be fully revealed are deeply entwined with the politics of Empire Building, dogmatic clerics, an the rebirth of magic. Men Elves and Dwarves and reside in this world with other races. The church of mankind seeks to reestablish the human empire under their control. Many human kings are in opposition of this and the other races of this world might make their feelings known. This is a fast-paced story with good characters and I look forward to reading the other volumes.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Great book!

I really enjoy this book. About to start on the next and I can't hardly wait!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Kingdoms, empire and elves, dwarves and so on

Where does Theft of Swords rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Anti-hero types is a big plus. The world building is weak, but better than many. I'd say it falls middle of the road. I failed to grasp the size and scope of the world, and it often felt small, which could be because it was. Having read all three books, I never did understand how the elves fit into the picture. They needed more individuality as a race, same with the dwarves. These rolls were too weak. On the plus side there was adventure, women in power rolls (at least later on), and characters weren't invincible; they can die. This book rates rather high here and it certainly is a worthy listen. Tim Reynold's did a great job. I thoroughly enjoyed his work on the books. Clear reading, nice pace and individual voices that were distinct and on point, character-wise to what I imagined them to sound like. Michael is a fine writer and I know I will hear more depth in future titles and listens he publishes.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A Great Start

I was quite impressed with Theft of Swords. Despite some minor shortcomings, the story and characters are compelling, which are the two most important factors in any book for me.

The story is a fairly common one: a fantasy setting, which revolves around a small group of people living outside the law. They get called on for a job, which turns out to be much more than they bargained for. Pretty basic. I believe I heard somewhere that this is actually two smaller books put together, and you can certainly tell, but I'll touch on that later. The two stories that Theft of Swords tells are both interesting and we can tell that there is something larger that will happen in future installments.

Characters are good. They're not one-dimensional, but I don't think I would really go so far as to say that they are fully fleshed out and realized. It could be that the author didn't feel it necessary to go into details, and it could be that he wants to keep us guessing as to the origins of certain characters. In either case, it doesn't make much of a difference since that's not what is keeping our attention.

As mentioned earlier, the downsides are fairly minor. Since it feels like two different books combined into one, the transition between the two can be a little jarring. It's kind of like the first story was to test the waters so the author could tell if it was going to be successful. It is a complete story in and of itself, but leaves a few questions unanswered, which allowed for a sequel--in this case, the second half. That's one thing that I noticed as being a little odd. The second and more pervasive is the world itself. My wife said that it felt like somebody's tabletop RPG in book form--I wouldn't go that far, but I will say that the world feels like a carbon copy of Dungeons and Dragons. Elves, dwarves, magic and all the bells and whistles seem essentially untouched as far as the basics of each, and the only thing that is different is the relations between each group. Except for elves and dwarves. They always hate each other. This can be particularly irritating to a nerd like me, because many of the revelations that are supposed to be shocking in later chapters are all things that I guessed halfway through. Once we were both done, I told my wife that I had such-and-such figured out before I started the second half, and she was shocked. But then again, she never really played D&D.

The narration is good. There was nothing particularly outstanding about the performance, other than the fact that the main characters' voices fit their personalities: one is quite warm and outgoing, while the other is more of the brooding, I'll-look-at-you-from-the-safety-of-my-cloak type.

In all, there are more pros than cons to this book. But the size of each is the reason I feel good in giving Theft of Swords four stars. It's entertaining and moves quickly. You won't find any mind-shatteringly new ideas or worlds like are fairly prevalent in the Fantasy genre nowadays. Just the tried and true stuff.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Exceeds Expectations

So I picked this book almost randomly from a $4.95 sale thinking it would be as quick fantasy troupe. I was blown away by this book. No mere troupe, that is for sure. Sullivan mastered the art of manipulating readers into believing the wrong conclusions that kept me guessing where the conspiracy was turning.

Sullivan envisioned great characters for his books. I loved the witting byplay between the thieves, and Harian's "annoying" need to do good deeds that gets them deeper and deeper into the conspiracy. I loved watching the prince transform out of a petulant boy into a leader.

You can count on the next two books I buy being books 2 and 3 of the Riyria Revelations.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • mr
  • 04-20-16

Nothing you've not heard before

Full of clichés & improbable coincidences. Reads like it's written for teens. Narration is a bit flat.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr MacKenzie Barker
  • 02-11-15

great book. can't wait to cracking into the rest.

can't wait to crack into the other books in the series. need four more words.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • William
  • 01-15-15

A stunning start to a Rising start of a series

Would you consider the audio edition of Theft of Swords to be better than the print version?

as ive never read it ill assume yes

What did you like best about this story?

the seamless interaction of the two main characters royan and hadrian to thieves who are two different sides of the same coin.

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

he is a great narrator i highly appreciate his work

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

laughter. some of the quip are stunningly good.

Any additional comments?

two men one a mast swordsmen one a master assassin are the dual team of extreme odd jobbers who steal anything or any one for the right price. this book follows their first adventure ( well their first written adventure). please listen and enjoy people you will enjoy.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Chey
  • 01-03-15

Outstanding

Series is outstanding. Totally involved and have a bit of a crush on Hadrian Blackwater he is perfect Royce loveable too

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • A. M. Hughes
  • 12-12-14

Thrilling engaging characters

Where does Theft of Swords rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of the best fantasy books I have read / listened to in ages. Its the start to an excellent story that is easy to read / listen to and keeps you coming back for more.

Who was your favorite character and why?

It's very difficult to choose between Hadrian and Royce, they are alomst opposites and both can make you laugh, feel for their position, Hadrian's endless optomism and Royce's cautious cynicysm creates a good blend for the pair of adventurers.

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

His dipiction of Hadrian especially captures the character - an upbeat voice full of enthusiasm for everything he encounters.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Two antiheros captured in events outside their control.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • George
  • 11-27-14

Literature this is not .

Would you try another book written by Michael J. Sullivan or narrated by Tim Gerard Reynolds?

No , if I wanted a comic I would have bought a comic , this is more along the lines of Jack and Jill went up the hill , it has about the same literary content .

Would you ever listen to anything by Michael J. Sullivan again?

No .

How did the narrator detract from the book?

I suppose he did his best .

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Not for me .

Any additional comments?

No

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kevin
  • 02-15-14

Fantastic start to a great trilogy!!

Would you consider the audio edition of Theft of Swords to be better than the print version?

Great book regardless of print or audio however the narration is fantastic and characters bought to life before your ears!!

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

Have only listened to revelation's trilogy and chronicle's books but consistent voices throughout.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Certainly keeper me enthralled throughout.

Any additional comments?

Excellent set of books. Written well and thoroughly enjoyed especially with the humour element which broke up the dialog very well.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • G. Steele
  • 06-21-13

Excellent book and a joy for gamers.

Firstly, let me clarify that I rarely - if ever - give 5* reviews. I like to have somewhere to go if next week I hear a better book so four stars should be treated as an "excellent".

Michael J Sullivan's work is a joy to listen to, especially since Tim Gerard Reynolds does such a good job on it. There are a couple of errors but nothing that slightly better editing wouldn't have fixed and he has instantly shot into my list of favourite readers, alongside people such as Steven Pacey and Toby Longworth. The stories in this volume hit all the right fantasy tropes without overusing any or feeling too cliched and the characterisations are interesting and well rounded. I like the heroes and loathe the villains just as I'm obviously supposed to. The stories motor along reasonably well and there are just enough twists to stop them getting predictable and dull. Overall an enjoyable, workmanlike performance from both writer and narrator.

My review title said this was a joy to gamers and I stand by that. If there are any role-players reading this review then I urge you to buy this audiobook, you'll not find another book which feels more like a game session. The heroes act like PCs, the better PCs at least, and this is a grand inspiration to have playing while you write up plot for something like Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder or even Rolemaster.

As a final note, congratulations to the narrator for not having the dwarf speak with a cod Scottish accent, I never understood that. Tolkein's dwarves were obviously Welsh in inspiration and yet there is an inexplicable trend to make dwarfs Scottish. I am very glad that doesn't occur here.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Chris M.
  • 11-04-16

great listen

this is the second time i have listened to this volume and it is still quality

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  • Bashy
  • 09-28-16

Brilliantly funny

A very well written fantasy, great fun with two of the best leading characters I've come across. The performance adds to the story, extremely British which is as it should be. Looking forward to the second volume which I've downloaded.