As you read the reviews on Bookshop Talk, you'll notice that every review is positive. No, we're not a bunch of literary
pushovers who love everything we pick up; we just see no point in telling you about a book if we didn't like it.

December 14, 2012

THEFT OF SWORDS (Riyria Revelations 1 & 2) by Michael J. Sullivan, 2011

Independent thieves Royce Melborn and his partner Hadrian Blackwater make a profitable living carrying out dangerous assignments for conspiring nobles-until they are hired to pilfer a prized sword. What appears to be a simple job finds them framed for the murder of the king! Sentenced to death, they have only one way out, but they soon find themselves trapped in a scheme far greater than the mere overthrow of a tiny kingdom. Can a self-serving thief and an idealistic swordsman unravel an ancient mystery that has toppled kings and destroyed empires to keep a secret too terrible for the world to know? (Amazon)

Reviewed by Kate, book aficionado 

At first I wasn't sure if I'd be up to the challenge of a high fantasy novel that is twice the size of my normal reading (my average 300-350 pages). But I was in for a surprise of the good kind. I found that the book was an omnibus of the two prior published novels (The Crown Conspiracy and Avempartha) now reissued in this edition by Orbit. I was also afraid that the fantasy jargon may overtake me, and it would be like learning a whole new language again. But the author, Mike J. Sullivan, had actually planned his novel series out altogether. This had made the writing in a way palatable for "noobs" to this certain fantasy genre. He used prior fantasy tropes many know about, and crafted a sturdy world structure around them (like a dwarf). He also created a colorful mythos for this world. And the story made the politics understandable for some of the readers who know very little of it. We see how these books together span a larger conspiracy faced with the novel's Nyphron Church and the past empire. Also the author is slowly revealing the main Riyria characters' pasts in the books (which I have my own thoughts and guesses on). My only qualm was the sense of desolation I felt at the end of the Avempartha story for the incidents with Thrace, Theron, and Fanen (still it was probably necessary). Overall, it was done exceptionally well so far. I'm now in anticipation to read of what may come about in Rise of Empire (Omnibus #2).

Market: High Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Fantasy Sword and Sorcery
Language: Mild (Don't even recall anything)
Sensuality: Moderate (Prostitutes appear but nothing happens on-screen there, and a girl is saved from rape)
Violence: Moderate to Explicit (Mostly sword fights, but the beast in the second part stacks up the village body count)
Mature Themes: Violence, Thievery, Betrayal, Murder, Death, Religious viewpoints, and Persecution of elves and magic


Michael J. Sullivan said...

Thanks for reviewing the book - I'm glad you enjoyed. The best is yet to come, as I designed the last book to be a "big finish" and I'm incredibly proud with how the whole series comes together.

Looking forward to hearing what you have to say about the others in the series.

Lyn Merkat said...

Definitely looking forward to starting the next book in the series.