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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

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What listeners say about Theft of Swords

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    19,941
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    6,061
  • 3 Stars
    1,234
  • 2 Stars
    293
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Performance
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    88
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    18,003
  • 4 Stars
    5,699
  • 3 Stars
    1,362
  • 2 Stars
    307
  • 1 Stars
    156

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  • 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

101 people found this helpful

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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.

122 people found this 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.

58 people found this 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

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.

59 people found this 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"

32 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    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!

18 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

261 people found this 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

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.

23 people found this helpful

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

Slowly, relentlessly wins you over

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

Relaxed readable epic

What did you like best about this story?

The main characters are wonderfully vivid and real. The story starts slow and even sounds a little bit generic, but it builds and builds until it's absolutely capitvating. It doesn't really need set-piece battles, world-shattering doom, or magical pyrotechnics; this is a fantasy story you want to get lost in.

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

He's a great narrator.

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

"Not your ordinary pair of thieves."

Any additional comments?

The sequels are even better...Sullivan is like the Terminator of fantasy authors; he relentlessly batters his way into your heart.

17 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

17 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Adam
  • 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 people found this 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
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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.

6 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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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.

4 people found this 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
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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.

7 people found this 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
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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 people found this 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
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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 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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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 people found this 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
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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 person found this 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
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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 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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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 person found this 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 :)

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sweetheart1
  • 09-14-19

brilliant as always

the team of Michael and Tim really make the audible experience just perfect. A good book beeds the perfect narrator and this is spot on. ive already down loaded the rest of the series:)

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

2 people found this 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
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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-06-21

My new favourite author

I have never enjoyed a story as much as this one, the characters are excellent too. I could not stop listening and as soon as I finished this book I had to download the next then the next until the series was finished. AMAZING AUTHOR

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kevin F
  • 06-20-21

Entertaining

Good solid story, well constructed and very entertaining.
Looking forward to the next instalment.
Wonderful narration.