Monday, October 2, 2017

The Death of Dulgath~Michael J Sullivan | Review

Title: The Death of Dulgath (Riyria Chronicles #3)
Author: Michael J Sullivan
Genre: Fantasy
Length: 448 Pages
Release: December 2015

Ever since I read Age of Myth in June I can't seem to get enough of Michael J Sullivan's books. Now that I've finished the first two Legends of the First Empire, the Riyria Revelations, and the first three Riyria Chronicles, I just have his science fiction novel Hollow World left to read. And then I'm waiting for December, when the fourth Chronicles book will come out. I might even start rereading before then. Who knows. 

But anyway, let's get to talking about this novel, since that should be the focus of this review. I just wanted to give you a little outline of my journey with Michael J Sullivan thus far. 

This is probably the strangest of the entire collection of Riyria novels. There is a lot of interesting information and some connections with the Legends series, but it felt so odd at times. That's now to say that I didn't like it, because I did, I really did. It just felt a little different than the other novels and there was this otherness about it that I hadn't really expected. But those connections to Legends were pretty insane and make me even more curious about that series. 

We also get to meet some new characters that don't play into the events in Revelations, which was interesting. It was nice to see another job that Royce and Hadrian were hired for and not have all of the connections to Revelations, since it meant that a lot of the information would be entirely new and fresh. 

So let's talk some about what makes these books great: the characters.
"Now that you've met Hadrian, let me introduce myself. I'm the one you don't want to know."

Anyone who has followed along with my reading and any of my reviews for the Riyria novels probably already knows how much I love Royce, but I will highlight that again. His character fascinates me. And it feels like he gains depth with every single novel. I also really like that Sullivan was able to show his progression from meeting Hadrian to the Royce that we know in Revelations, because they are quite different. 

Royce learns a lot about himself in this installment. It answered a few questions I had from Revelations about how he knew the things he knew about himself, so it was nice to have that side of the story tied in. And once again I have to praise Sullivan's storytelling technique with that. It was well executed and just worked

"What good is a world--what is the point of living--if generosity and kindness are myths?"

And then of course we have Royce's near opposite, Hadrian. Just like with Royce, it's nice seeing where Hadrian started and what he progresses toward. I can't really connect with Hadrian quite as much, or don't find him quite as compelling as Royce, but I do really enjoy his character. Still, he does and thinks some things that annoy me. But I think that Sullivan has also done an excellent job of showing what a younger Hadrian was like. In some ways there is more of a difference in Hadrian from when they met to when Revelations start than there is with Royce. Mostly because he has grown up more. 

"Royce wasn't so much a closed book as one that was chained shut, locked in a box, and thrown into the sea."

The friendship between Royce and Hadrian is really the best thing about these books. I love getting into each of their heads and seeing what they think of each other. It's a really beautiful bond they have and I think I could keep reading about it forever. I could probably write about it forever as well. Instead I'll give you a few quotes that I liked involving these two. 

"If he suffers so much as a stubbed toe, I'm coming after you first."

"You have no idea how stupid I think you are, and honestly, we don't have time for that conversation."

"Royce didn't buy the story of Hadrian's death. But if it was true, dagger or no dagger, hands or no hands, (spoiler) would never leave this room alive."

Those are just a few I had marked, but really any scene with these two is great. Or any time they think about each other. They are so different, but they make the best of friends. I just love it. 

The side characters in this were quite likable. Sherwood was probably my favorite. He's an artist who sees more than anyone else and I found him really interesting. Scarlette, Fawkes, Lady Dulgath, and the other characters in the town are all quite interesting, but I don't want to get too spoilery about anything so I will stop there. 

We also get a little bit of Gwen, which I always appreciate. 

Overall this was another great installment in Royce and Hadrian's story and I am looking forward to the next phase of their adventures.

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