Theft of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Why did it take me so long to get into this one? I bought the Audiobook from Audible during a huge 2 books one credit sale last year based on the reviews of numerous Goodreads members being so promising... AND THEY WERE NOT WRONG!!!!
I love these books - I'm so sorry I didn't write my review back in July when I finished, I just couldn't form the words to express how wonderful this series is! There isn't just one thing that I can put my finger on that says this, THIS is why Theft of Swords is so phenomenal. I grew up knowing that Fantasy was for me - it was the genre that I adored and I devoured The Lord of the Rings trilogy, fell in love with Dark Towers Boxed Set, and who hasn't delved in to A Game of Thrones? Riyria Revelations ranks right up there with them for me!
So, the beginning of the endless list of things I love about Riyria Revelations:
1) The Characters
Hadrian and Royce are PERFECTION! They're sarcastic, self deprecating, playfully antagonistic, but beyond that they are family. I could read stories about them daily for the rest of my life and be perfectly happy! A cynical thief and scrappy do-gooder at heart being the best mercenary team on the market? YES PLEASE! They fight together, and separately. They fight with each other and against enemies, but they are always there for each other as best friends should be.
Of course, they aren't alone in all of this and Michael J. Sullivan has constructed complex characters that are rich with history and that leave themselves in your imagination wanting to know more about what happens to them and where they come from. The characters are wonderful, and I have to tell you I have adored Myron since the moment he appeared in the story and Gwen... Well, let me sum that up for you in a review of later books how much I love Gwen. The characters really drive the story and I love that.
2) Oh What a WORLD!
One of the biggest pitfalls in Fantasy is not having your world fleshed out. You see those name mentioned above of books that I loved? They were stories that had whole worlds, languages, governments, systems of magic, etc, that remain rich and fertile that we have barely scratched the surface of understanding for. I think even their authors may sometimes feel that they have barely scratched the surface of the stories they could tell within their secondary worlds. This is how Theft of Swords felt to me. Races, religious factions, civil uprisings, there was so much here that I feel like there were stories that we haven't heard, stories that Royce and Hadrian hinted at during their banter between each other and with Alric and it's something that doesn't end.
I've never imagined what sort of kidnapping but not quite kidnapping a king would be like, especially if said king was rather noble and very inflated sense of his new title. It was the road trip story set in a magical (and less modern) world that really did it for me. There wasn't just one conspiracy occurring in the story, there were
and all of them supported by little magical elements, religious elements, or racial elements (dwarves and their powers over stone, elves and their near immortality, etc) that wouldn't have been possible if the world of Elan wasn't so solidly constructed.
3) The Intrigue...
You know how to reel a reader in with your words and deliver a hook right at the end just when we think everything is ending it cliffhangers into the next adventure! That's something that a hallmark of great story telling - to be able to hook your reader and be able to frame the next adventure of a series up enough to grip them and make them DEMAND to hear the what happens next. (Or it makes them scream "HOW DARE YOU?!" in all caps on twitter at you for making them wait for the next edition to be published!)
Slowly but surely, I'm going review all of these books... But just this one for now.
Thank you for an incredible series, and one that I will read over and over I am sure! And thank you to Tim Gerard Reynolds for the incredible acting throughout the series. I can't wait to continue adding on to my list!
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