Author: Michael J Sullivan
Length: 681 Pages
Release: November 2011
This is a bindup of two novels that were released previously. So in total the series is really six books that fall between three hundred and four hundred pages.
The Crown Conspiracy
I am reading Theft of Swords which is the bindup of both books one and two in this series, but decided to write separate reviews for them as well.
This first book in the Riyria Revelations series was really good. Michael J Sullivan is quickly climbing the list of my favorite authors, so let me tell you why.
A lot of the plot in this was quite predictable, really, but that didn't make it any less enjoyable. Any book with great characters can have a somewhat lacking plot and still be excellent for me, and this was one of those cases. Each character breathed life into this story, and that's what made it so fun. And most of the characters actually grew a lot, which was wonderful.
One thing that I love in books (particularly fantasy books, for some reason), is a great bromance. And this has a great one. I love that for Royce and Hadrian it's always we. It doesn't seem like it ever crosses their mind to split up, no matter if it's a job they are taking on right now or some future plan they might hatch. And I loved that. They seemed like real brothers, despite their differences.
Ok, let's talk about the characters a bit.
Royce is probably my favorite of our main duo. He's quiet and unnerving and has a past shrouded in mystery. He makes people uncomfortable, gets angry at odd times, picks locks, and, well, he's just cool. I really want to know more about him, however. I feel like we get barely a glimpse into who he really is. Since this is only the first in a six part series (three binups of six novels), I'm sure there is more to be revealed.
Hadrian is also really likable, he just wasn't as compelling as Royce for me. He definitely has his own mysteries I would like unfolded. How did he become such a skilled swordsman? There are hints here and there, but, as with Royce, not a lot of deep looks. Hopefully we get more.
Myron was my favorite of our side characters. His innocence was endearing and his curiosity so believable. Plus, he loved horses a lot, so he gets bonus points. I really hope we get more of him in the future.
Alric and Arista were both likable enough and I felt that both of them grew as the novel progressed. Particularly Alric, who really wasn't that likable in the beginning, actually. These are probably two of the characters we found the most out about. I'm not sure how that will play into the rest of the series, but it will be interesting to see.
The other side characters were all interesting, whether good or evil. There are some that I expect to see in the future, causing more trouble for our duo. And it might not go very well. And as far as good people go, I really hope we get more of Gwen. I want to know more about her.
I'm really glad that I read Age of Myth before I read this, if only because it makes me even more curious what is going to happen as that series continues. How did they go from that to this? Now I am even more eager to get my hands on book three!
"It's elvish for two."
Here's the thing, I really liked The Crown Conspiracy. But I loved Avempartha! The first book made me like Royce and Hadrian, but this one made me love them. Particularly Royce.
Some time has passed since the previous book, but that doesn't mean that Royce and Hadrian have forgotten about the events of The Crown Conspiracy. In fact, they seem to be playing a big role in the lives of our duo. Which means that we get to see some of the characters from the previous book, which I really enjoyed.
Since I read Age of Myth before starting this series, I am really enjoying all of the connections and trying to figure out how everything ties together. It makes me even more excited to continue that series as well as this one.
I felt more connected to the characters this time around. Both Royce and Hadrian felt more real to me than they had before. Their stories were explored a little more, giving us some background. Particularly Royce. We find out quite a bit--and early on, too--about him. And then there are little snippets of information dropped here and there, giving the characters and their stories more depth the further we go. Which is fantastic and works really well with this type of story.
Royce and Hadrian spend most of the novel in a small town called Dahlgren, which is near the elvish tower Avempartha. All of the characters in this little town were amazing. Honestly, there are a few of them I would love to see again. And the descriptions of Avempartha were wonderful. I wanted to be there with Royce and Hadrian, finding out its secrets.
There were characters from the first book that popped back up here and I really loved seeing all of them. The Pickering brothers are probably some of my favorites. Their interactions with Royce and Hadrian really made me smile.
Alright, let's talk about our two main guys a little more. I really fell in love with Royce here. He was my favorite in the first book as well, but I liked him even more here. There's still a lot of his story that I want to find out, but I really like what we did get. And I'm sure we'll get more as the series continues. While I don't enjoy Hadrian quite as much as Royce, I do really like him. We still don't know a whole lot about his background, but we got a few nuggets of information to help us out.
Royce and Hadrian together are wonderful. Their banter had me smiling as I read and the ways they make it out of impossible situations always has me in awe. They don't always get along, but it's obvious they are very loyal to each other and care about each other.
Michael J Sullivan is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. He can craft some great fantasy tales and his characters are lifelike and vivid. I will definitely be reading the rest of his books in the coming weeks.
Let's end with a quote I really liked:
"It was beautiful yet disturbing, like swimming out too far, delving into unknown, unseen, and untamed places."