A Fantasy Series Book Review
Genre: Sword and Sorcery, 13+, Adventure
Publisher: Aspirations Media Inc (October 1, 2008)
Paperback: 310 pages
Read a Chapter (PDF)
They killed the king. They pinned it on two men. They chose poorly.
Royce Melborn, a skilled thief, and his mercenary partner, Hadrian Blackwater make a profitable living carrying out dangerous assignments for conspiring nobles until they become unwitting scapegoats in the murder of the king. Sentenced to death, they have only one way out and so begins this epic tale of treachery and adventure, sword fighting and magic, myth and legend.
This book was a pleasant surprise. Great characters, delightful misdirection, good world building, and just the right amount of humor. If I had to describe this book with one word, that word would be fun!
This is the first in a planned six book series titled The Rivria Revelations. Each book will be written, as this one was, as a standalone. You will not need to read previous books to enjoy them. However, let me warn you, if you read this one you will find yourself impatiently waiting on the next. It is that good.
If you follow my reviews, you know that my first love is great characters. I can forgive a lot if the characters come alive for me. I am happy to say that each character in this book has a distinct personality and their own voice. They also develop, which is another bonus. I do not mind if the antagonists remain static but I want to see the protagonists change and grow. I will give you an example. There is one scene in the book that hit me as exceptional. The Crown Prince is examining his feelings regarding becoming a king. He compares his innocent perceptions as a child with the reality of what it actually means to be a ruling monarch. In this one scene, you watch as the Crown Prince leaves his childish dreams behind, faces his future and discovers a greater appreciation for his father. It was beautifully done.
I also felt that the pacing was solid. While the story really did not "grab" me until the third chapter, after that I was hooked. I read the whole thing in two settings! In addition, I thought the descriptions of individual scenes were well done. Michael Sullivan gave just enough detail to fuel my imagination, without going into a lengthy info dump. He handles the world building in a similar manner; you get only as much information as you need and only when it is needed to advance the plot. My favorite source of information came in the form of a cloistered monk who has never seen the outside world. His observations are often hilarious and when he is fed information it feels natural, this poor guy is honestly, and believably, naive.
As far as content, this is very readable for the YA crowd. The violence is not overly graphic, the few instances of sex are implied, and the language is mild. There is magic, but not much of it, instead there is plenty of loyalty, betrayal, intrigue, humor, and conspiracy. This is not a book for romance lovers, but adventure and mystery lovers will be thrilled. The plot twists and turns, then twists again and you will not be sure of "who done it" until close to the end. As I said before, a fun read. I HIGHLY recommend this book to any fantasy lover.
The next book in the series, Avempartha,is due out in April of 2009. I am eagerly looking forward to it!
Read an interview with Michael Sullivan
Review at Fantasy Book Critic
Shelfari Rating 5/5
Librarything Rating 4.67/5
Amazon Rating 4+ out of 5 stars
(18 Customer Reviews)
What Should I Read Next?
|Kindle: The Crown Conspiracy (The Riyria Revelations)|
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