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