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Theft of Swords

Riyria Revelations, Volume 1
Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
Series: Riyria Revelations, Book 1
Length: 22 hrs and 38 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (22,622 ratings)

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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

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    15,916
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    1,076
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Performance

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Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A GOOD START TO A SERIES

I got this book as an on sale item, and sometimes these are disappointing. This was a easy to listen , fun book.This book follows Royce and Hadrian as they mistakenly enter an epic adventure. Royce and Hadrian are Michael Sullivans reoccurring characters. This is the first of three books in this tale.

89 of 92 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Not Polished, but Extremely Readable

First of all, I think it's admirable how author succeeded through self-publication. Way to go! That in itself makes a good story for believing in yourself and your product.

The story itself is a good yarn with fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, monsters, chases, escapes, miracles... It's one giant and true love short of being the Princess Bride. To make up for this, Sullivan offers the intrigue of an evil church conspiracy bent on remaking the world to conform to their will. So it is a very interesting story that keeps you engaged.

The characters are well composed and endearing. Both the author and the reader play their parts in bringing them to life. Reynolds really brings the individuals into contrast with very subtle changes in voice. His characterizations are not super bold, but they are enough to make individuals recognizable. I am not the largest fan of his overuse of the British, West Country for low-born accents, but that is a very minor thing. Mostly very good.

My only issue with the book is that it lacks a bit of polish. Sullivan tends to overuse the word "guy," which sort of messes with the medieval setting. There are also editing flubs in the track, where words are repeated. The text could be tightened up a little bit. But all this is just quibbling; if you don't sweat the small stuff, it is a really fun read.

31 of 33 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Fantasy without detailed battle scenes?

I like the fantasy genre. A lot. Unfortunately, much of the time fantasy=detailed, long, drawn out battle scenes that I usually wind up pretty much skimming (in the case of audio books, ignoring). That's why I was so pleased to find this series. I'm working on the last one right now and all the way through it's been about the story, not about the fighting. Leaving out the bits about who whacks whom with a sword when and which flank is being attacked by which of the enemies leaves Sullivan time to really develop the story and the characters. He gets the reader to become emotionally involved, or interested, in the characters and then puts them in situations which create all of the suspense and drama needed. It's a really good listen and I can recommend it to anyone who doesn't thrive on the violence. Not that there isn't any violence at all, but at least he doesn't go on and on and on and on about it like so many fantasy writers seem to do. I've loved every minute of the whole series.

The narrator is really good. Easy on the ear and well spoken. A good choice for these books.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lori
  • Marietta, GA, United States
  • 02-07-14

Great writing, great narration, great story!

What made the experience of listening to Theft of Swords the most enjoyable?

The writing is just amazing, there are no annoying author "habits" that can get on your nerves, like catch phrases or bad characters. Tim Gerard Reynolds is a great narrator and is as smooth as glass to listen to.

What did you like best about this story?

It's just good. I mean really good. Fantastic characters, amazing writing, just a perfect book.

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

This is my first time with Tim Gerard Reynolds, but it won't be the last. I plan to listen to the whole series as well as the follow up series the Riyira Chronicles.

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

These thieves will steal your heart!

Any additional comments?

I couldn't be more happy with a book and I'm so pleased that this is a series so I can get to know all the wonderful characters and backstory even more.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent

What a great series!! It's a complex story with very likeable characters who come to life with believable emotions and lots of humor. Plenty of twists and turns that keep you very interested for many, many hours. I was sorry when Volume 3 ended.
I Loved the narrator, very talented!

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good Clean Fun!

If you are in the mood for a light, fun read without gore, sex, and foul language, this is the book for you. It is clean enough for an 8 year old to listen to it, exciting enough to keep a pre-teen enchanted through the entire telling, and deep enough to entertain adults.

Theft of Swords is probably the worst of the trilogy, but it really is a very good book (4 stars out of 5). The two that follow it are even better. This is one book (and series) that won't disappoint

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Longer Commute Times Are a Joy

If you could sum up Theft of Swords in three words, what would they be?

Likable Characters, Splash of magic, Good adventure

Who was your favorite character and why?

I love the way Royce's life is revealed as his adventure is unfolded. You will find he is a loyal friend and a man who has deep love for one woman. If you were a leader, you would want Royce's council and witty character as part of your life. You can sense that he is a friend who would make trials bearable and that he would tell you the hard truths. At the same time, he seems to know when to give his best friend, Hadrian, the space he needs to figure things out. Lastly, if you were in a battle, you would want Royce at your side.

Which character – as performed by Tim Gerard Reynolds – was your favorite?

Royce was my favorite.

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

This audio book makes long commutes a joy. I found myself listening in the car and at home. The story and characters compelled me to turn off the television and play just a few more chapters before bed.

Any additional comments?

Some of the puzzles that Hadrian and Royce must solve are a bit predictable. A few you are even able to figure out before the character does. It does not make the book any less likable, but it does demonstrate that Sullivan is still in the process of mastering the unexpected.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

246 of 286 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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"

27 of 31 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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.

199 of 235 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 😊

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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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.

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..

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.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • 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

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • 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

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • 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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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • 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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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • 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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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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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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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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 :)

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-02-19

fun and imaginative

high fantasy with plenty of adventure and some comedy to keep it easy listening. an enjoyable ride throughout.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-26-18

one of the best cast books

awesome story! very well portrayed by the narrator! hard to stop listening. this is my third time through the series. keep up the good work guys!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • 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

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • 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 3 people found this review helpful