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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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    11,249
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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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Two books in one - keep listening!!

If there were a way, I'd have given the story 3.5 stars. It says it in the description, but in case you missed it - this audio is two books combined into one audiobook. Which is good choice on the part of the audio publishers. If I'd listened to just the first book, I may not have continued. It's not bad, it's just not something that would inspire me to listen to 5 more books. I didn't really care about the characters and it seemed like a pretty cookie cutter sword and sorcery.
HOWEVER - in the second book, the story really hits it's stride. It's nothing revolutionary, just solid writing with fun characters and an enjoyable storyline. Which, in my opinion, is more than we're getting from a lot of fantasy writers of late. By the time I got to the end of all three audio books I was hoping to find more by this author.
To quote from the author himself about this series: "The Riyria Revelations, especially in the beginning, is little more than fast-paced light fantasy. As the series progresses, I think you'll see more depth both in the world of Elan and the characters. This was a purposeful decision and a dangerous one. It means that by design the first book is the weakest of the set, but enables me to end it with a resounding bang."
And he absolutely did.

163 of 174 people found this review helpful

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And I didn't think I liked fantasies...

STORY - (Epic fantasy) I have never listened to a fantasy audiobook before, but I read several reviews that mentioned this was not the typical dark, depressing midieval tale that I so dislike. I decided to give it a try, and I'm really glad I did. It's not depressing, but it's not cute or silly either. The main characters, Hadrian and Royce, are very likeable thieves who constantly attempt impossible tasks to help people in trouble. They get into all kinds of sticky situations, giving the story exciting twists and turns. And don't forget that a fantasy must have a kingdom, a wizard, a dragonlike creature, elves, dwarves... that also keep things interesting. It is a long book that never, ever drags down or gets boring.

There is sword-fighting and killing, but I wouldn't consider it overly violent or gory. While the names of some characters and places are unusual, they're not so difficult that you can't keep them straight. The book comes to a satisfactory "semi-conclusion" that ties up a lot of loose ends, but you will definitely want to continue the series.

PERFORMANCE - Good job distinguishing between multiple voices.

OVERALL - (Actual overall rating 4.5) Highly recommended for men, women and older teens. There is no sex, and I don't remember any bad language.

109 of 117 people found this review helpful

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  • Lore
  • SAN JOSE, CA, United States
  • 05-26-14

Entertaining from beginning to end!

The basic ingredients here are pretty typical for a fantasy series: multiple races, a religious mythos, plots & politics, and of course, swords & sorcery. However, Michael J. Sullivan and Tim Gerard Reynolds combine to prepare those ingredients in a masterful way that makes the whole greater than the sum of the parts. Reynolds in particular does an excellent array of voices and seems to fits the material very well.

The main characters, Royce and Hadrian, both have a sense of humor which keeps the tale humorous and entertaining throughout. Although they are both thieves who take jobs for morally ambiguous individuals, they maintain their own moral code so it is easy to root for them to succeed when things go awry. At times it can be hard to tell if Royce and Hadrian are one step ahead or one step behind but that's all part of the fun.

This audiobook is actually two books in one and well worth the single credit. The first book, The Crown Conspiracy, is a nice introduction to the characters and their surroundings and thus allows the listener to get oriented within the world. There is clearly more than meets the eye going on but the details remain hidden for the most part. In the second book, Avempartha, those details come to the forefront and the bigger picture starts to paint itself. For a while things get confusing but eventually enough details surface for it all to make sense. When book two ends there is still a lot left to sort out so the story won't feel complete without continuing on.

Theft of Swords is a worthy listen for both Fantasy veterans and newbies alike and it will leave you wanting more.

45 of 49 people found this review helpful

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Little Choice For Thou Exist For Choosing

THE FLIES ARE THICKER THEN THE STEW
Keep in mind that you are getting two books for the price of one. All the books in this three volume set were self-published. Volume 1, includes The Crown Conspiracy and Avemparthu. Many reviewers seemed to like book 2 the best, I liked book 1, The Crown Conspiracy best. Book 1 by itself would have received 5 stars and book two would have received 4 stars. This is a fun adventure. There is some comedy, but it is not a book of one liners as so many books of today are. There are some really good adventures and it is very entertaining. The plot has several twists and turns and will keep you guessing.

I HATE DWARFS
I enjoyed the second book, but not as much as the first. It seems MJS spends more time in book two setting up the universe he has built. There are more history lessons and some of it was fairly dry. For the most part it was entertaining and will keep your attention. Volume 1, ends with you not sure who are the bad guys and who the good guys.

HELLO, MAGNUS, KILL ANYBODY LATELY.
The Narrator is excellent

28 of 31 people found this review helpful

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  • Adnan
  • Chula Vista, CA, United States
  • 04-29-12

Potentially a start to an incredible story

This story has a potential to become a very high quality epic fantasy. One of the great things about the book is that events take place at a very rapid pace and story moves very fast. I thought that author would spend a lot of time at certain points, but story moved on to next chain of events which was surprising.

Narrator did a great job, and I hope the same narrator is used for future books by same author.

Author builds the world carefully, and provides a lot of details. One of the interesting aspect of the story is the handling of elf which are pretty much are second class citizen in human society.

I didnt enjoy a story about thieves as much since 'lies of locke lamora'. Book has pretty good sense of humor and just the right amount of dark.

The struggle between wizard and a religious order is very interesting and it is not entirely clearly which one is less brutal.

I highly recommend this book for reader looking for good epic fantasy.

76 of 88 people found this review helpful

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Better than many, not as good as some.

Some fun and witty banter between main characters and some (and I mean some) complexity of plot. A bit predictable at times with typical rehashed characterizations represented in Tolkien style fantasy.
Overall a worthy listen for some decently paced storytelling.
One thumb up for "Theft of Swords"

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • greg
  • Puyallup, WA, United States
  • 01-22-13

Fantastic Adventure!!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

100%. If you are a lover of great adventure stories that are witty and have great characters then you will love this book.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Theft of Swords?

The main characters, Royce and Hadrian. They are humorous and sharp-tongued master thieves but they have the hearts of heroes.

Which scene was your favorite?

The freeing of Ezra Hardin. I loved his dialogue.

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

Royce and Hadrian taking on the mission for the girl in the second part of the book.

Any additional comments?

If you are looking for a sweeping epic like Lord of the Rings,you won't find it here. But, if you want rousing tales of adventure with lovable scoundrels who are really heroes in disguise and action that is very well paced, I would highly recommend this book. I found my self smiling and laughing from start to finish.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Great Reader, good story

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

Its in my all time favorite list which includes: Wheel of Time Series, Shadow Prowler Series and Warded Man Series.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Theft of Swords?

The part when we see exactly how good Hadrian is with his swords.

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

the way he reads the story makes it feel like it was a part of history and not fantasy. Very well done.

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

I don't listen to books in one sitting. However I could not wait to get on the train to listen to this book. I even volunteer to do the dishes more so i can listen to the book. :)

Any additional comments?

This book develops the characters in a way I'm not used to. This approach to character development felt wierd even flawed in the beginning however you get to know the characters well as the story progresses. <br/><br/>Its refreshing and fun. I love the characters and can't wait for the next book to become available on audio.

27 of 32 people found this review helpful

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  • Jacob
  • Salem, OR, United States
  • 06-24-12

Entertaining Tolkienian Fantasy

Sullivan is a fan of the Traditional Tolkienian Fantasy and it shows. There are dwarves, elves, and wizards. If you're like me, that doesn't bother you when the mood strikes to read familiar or predictable mythologies. Just don't anticipate Sullivan breaking any new ground in Fantasy story telling like an Abercrombie or Rothfuss.

That said, the story is fast paced and action packed. The characters are believable and likeable. The main characters feel familiar, a brotherhood of thieves that follow a conveniently honorable code of ethics a la Steven Lynch. There is an occasional chapter that is full of mythology--necessary, but extremely boring.

Tim Reynolds projects his voice well and is intelligible. He has above average accents and character voicing. However, a couple of his character are so similar, there are times it is difficult to tell which character said what.

45 of 55 people found this review helpful

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Two Separate Stories in One Book

The first two installments of Riyria Revelations are found in this volume: "The Crown Conspiracy" and "Avempartha." I find it's easier to recall some of the plot later on in the series if you remember what book it's in. It's easy to get over the cliche characterization of the main characters (what fantasy novel doesn't have the good-natured, under-estimated fighter and his sullen-yet-clever, secretive sidekick?) because they are so well portrayed. They have pasts that are alluded to with just enough detail to make the story progress, but not so much that you have to wade through unnecessary history. No character in this series is a mere device to move along a scene. Every character comes back later in the series with an important role to play. I rather like that. This is an epic fantasy, so it is intended to be escapist entertainment. So long as you keep that in mind, this series is a lot of fun!

24 of 29 people found this review helpful

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  • Patricia
  • 07-07-14

Great, brilliant. A must for fantasy lovers

I have finally got round to stating how fabulous these books are - all hail Royce and Hadrian brought to life by the fantastic Tim Gerard Reynolds from the mind of Michael J Sullivan - I have lost track on how many times I have listened to these books and I am never bored - to all new readers get these books and I guarantee it will be money well spent 😊

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Adam
  • 11-11-14

Worked - in parts

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

This was a decent fantasy romp with lots of the right ingredients. I liked the main characters, the plot was good & unpredictable.<br/><br/>However .... I get really turned off when the main characters do things I wouldn't expect after coming to know them. Or when events just fit (too) neatly together..<br/><br/>For example (SPOILER) .. two thieves, part of a underground hidden mysterious guild, suddenly become kings protectors (really? what about avoiding the limelight?) ... donate the financial reward to a monk (arent they thieves?) ... help a young woman for a couple of silver... It just didnt add up for me - I didnt buy into it. So whilst I kinda enjoyed the story, liked the main guys, it never really held me by the short & curlies.

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

The narration was great.

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

No.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Amo
  • 05-02-14

An Old-fashioned Same Old Same Old

To be honest I'm only a third the way through. Nothing has grabbed me and I'm forcing myself to listen to more of it. It really is all the other books from the '70's and '80's re hashed. I think this is one to send back. Even the narrator is mildly annoying and would do better in children's books. Perhaps it grows further along but I'm not willing to grit my teeth any longer.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • The Circos
  • 02-22-15

Good story, aweful reading

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Not really. I enjoyed the story, but the reading was incredibly distracting. The story pulled me along to the point where I had invested too much of my time to give the story up, although the reading often made me want to.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

No huge surprises for me here. The story is reliably (perhaps comfortably) predictable which suited my listening needs at the time.

What didn’t you like about Tim Gerard Reynolds’s performance?

Tim Gerard's performance ruined this story for me. I found his intonation/inflection hugely distracting and inappropriate. It often trivialised the point and shaped characters into something I'm not sure the author intended. I haven't checked his CV, but I suspect Tim has done a great deal of theatre work, if not perhaps he should. I feel he over played each part and as a result the characters weren't natural or believably,

Did Theft of Swords inspire you to do anything?

Not really

Any additional comments?

I suspect I would have enjoyed this book far more if I had read it rather than listened to it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Zac
  • 02-04-15

Childs book

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Nothing could have worked that kind of Magic i'm afraid. A differant author and a differant narrator.

Has Theft of Swords put you off other books in this genre?

It hasn't.

Would you be willing to try another one of Tim Gerard Reynolds’s performances?

No thankyou

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

Not really, no.

Any additional comments?

I got this book because of the great reviews. I lasted longer than normal, presuming things to pick up, but alas they didn't. It is like a children's book, and the narrator talks as though he is reading a children's book to children. My tastes are abercrombie, Martin, Sanderson. This is nothing like them and i'll be returning it i'm afraid.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-03-15

Solid Fantasy

I liked this book so much I downloaded the next ones in the series to follow on with. I thought the two main characters were interesting and had room for development in further books. This is not as good as Joe Abercrombie in my opinion but that could have been the narrator. I liked Tim Gerard Reynolds narration of Red Rising, but felt that he was wrong for this book. I got used to him but I think his voice lacked the characterisation needed to carry this off well.
This is a good solid fantasy series to get stuck into but it's no Patrick Rothfuss or Joe Abercrombie. This is not going to stop me from listening to all of his stuff though!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Marion
  • 07-22-15

Fun

A well crafted story that is really fun to read/listen. The next two books only improve. Recommended.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Dee
  • 09-08-13

Superbly Entertaining

My first experience of Michael J Sullivan and I will be returning for more. The adventures of Royce & Hadrian kept me entertained for hours. I really like the pace of the story and how it quickly unfolded but kept the intrigue there, beckoning me on wanting to know more. Hadrian's optimistic character is a good balance for Royce's darkness. A great adventure story with a dark side.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Debs
  • 06-06-16

Brilliant!

Having picked up The Jester on Audible, simply because it was free, I had to get the full story. I was instantly hooked and loved the two main characters and had to find out more. The Theft of Swords contains the first two books of the six part series and they lived up to my expectations of a great story, and more! Highly recommended if you enjoy fantasy/action and read brilliantly. Now I can't wait to get the rest!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-19-16

Brill will be starting the next book straight away

Great fantasy book very well read would recommend ,not for a young age though has a lot of adult material . The books seems all too follow on after each other making you want too know more about the world and the events that are soon to follow .

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Ciara
  • 06-21-15

Loved it!

Exciting full of adventure! Smart, Witty, Funny. Fell in love with the characters. can't wait to hear the next one :)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Pania
  • 08-02-16

Absorbed

Performance was great! Loved it so much I purchased the next book when I saw there was only 13 minutes of listening left for this book

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  • Jeremy
  • 04-24-15

Let down by the narration

Honestly, I had to stop listening! I did listen to the first story and got part way through the second, so feel it's enough to write a review on.

The story was quite good, though a little formulaic, with some decent characters and good action. It has the bones to go the distance over the next couple of books I would suggest.

There was just something about the narrator's intonations that was wrong and really off putting. His voice was quite easy to listen to - the problem was how he would say sentences and stress various words, particularly in dialog, which sounded unnatural and jarring. In the end I had to stop listening.

I'd suggest you listen to the sample prior to buying.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful