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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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    14,188
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    4,834
  • 3 Stars
    998
  • 2 Stars
    251
  • 1 Stars
    118

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    14,578
  • 4 Stars
    3,482
  • 3 Stars
    717
  • 2 Stars
    123
  • 1 Stars
    78

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    12,937
  • 4 Stars
    4,522
  • 3 Stars
    1,106
  • 2 Stars
    258
  • 1 Stars
    135
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    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.

242 of 262 people found this review helpful

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

198 of 215 people found this review helpful

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

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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

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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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

53 of 61 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
  • Tmag
  • San Francisco, CA United States
  • 04-09-14

I'm a chick who loves this series

It's so much fun, so good. The story doesn't fail or falter to please. From a story point of view, Sullivan is true to his characters and weaves, without error, a complex, exciting and romantic story. Women are strong yet feminine, enduring and victorious. The heros charming while deadly. I'm in the middle of the third volume and wonder what life will be like without this story wandering on.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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

A fun if not original listen.

As I read Theft Of Swords, I got into the book pretty quickly, and the story continued to move along at a good pace. I began to realize though, that there was nothing really new or original going on. The fantasy world is nothing special, featuring kings and queens, princes and princesses, and your usual array of nobles and church leaders. There is a wizard who hints of magic not much used in the story. And of course, your main characters must be bad guys with soft hearts, or a child born of poverty who grows to become hero of the world. In the case of Theft Of Swords, the heroes are the former, thieves who are famous for their ability to steal anything, and are also dangerous enough to scare anyone who might want to stop them.

With this said, I still found myself enjoying the book despite it’s short comings. Though there weren’t any wow moments in the book, it didn’t take long to become comfortable with the main characters Royce and Hadrian. It’s like going on vacation to a new place, and when you get there you realize the attractions aren’t much different than where you usually vacation. But you decide since you are there, you are going to enjoy attractions anyway. This book is much like that, a familiar setting, easy to like heroes, and a fun if not original listen.

The narrator is kind of like the book itself, he’s good, but not great. It took me a bit to get used to his reading, but once I did, all was good.

Overall, I’d say this book is worth a listen, especially with the added value of getting two books for the price of one. I wish Audible would bundle more series like this. Maybe even three books for two credits for trilogies and such. I liked the second book better then the first, as the story seemed to improve as it went along. This is a good easy listen for those who are waiting for the release of the next installment of another series. I’m sure I will listen to the next book in the series to see if it continues to improve.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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

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.

5 of 5 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

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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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

Fun

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

The story is amazing. It blends a fast paced story with action, humor and political intrigue. Tim Reynolds does a superb job of drawing you into the story.

Any additional comments?

Great book. I recommend highly! (Big fan of George RR Marin and History books)

5 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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  • 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

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

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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

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

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • 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

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    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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    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 2 people found this review helpful