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The Crown Tower (The Riyria Chronicles) Paperback – August 6, 2013
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"Hair-raising escapes, flashy sword fights, and faithful friendship complete the formula for good old-fashioned escapist fun."―Publishers Weekly on Theft of Swords
"A whirlwind of twists, earth-shattering surprises and deadly betrayal."―Literary Magic
"Mr. Sullivan continues to impress. In Royce and Hadrian he has created some of the best characters the genre has seen in some time, and in Avempartha he shows that he knows what to do with them. These books should be in every bookstore and I really hope that they are someday."―Speculative Fiction Junkie
From the Author
If you're new to the world of Elan, you might want to read this introduction to help determine where to start your journey, because it might not be here. If you're a veteran of The Riyria Revelations you might want to read this just for a bit of perspective for future books.
The Riyria Chronicles are prequels to my debut series, the Riyria Revelations (initially released by Orbit from Nov 2011- Jan 2012). If you prefer your tales in chronological order, please start with The Crown Tower, as I've taken great care to avoid spoilers. That being said, Chronicles were actually designed to be read after the Riyria Revelations, and veteran readers will be treated to Easter eggs made possible by having the inside scoop on the entire story arc. These won't be significant plot points, just little extra surprises for those in the know. For those desiring to read in publication order, start with Theft of Swords. The bottom line is that readers, both old and new, should find a rewarding experience with either approach, and no prior knowledge of Revelations is expected or required.
One thing I'd like to mention is the difference of structure between the two series. For those that don't know, I wrote all six books of The Riyria Revelations before publishing any of them. This was absolutely necessary for that particular tale. While I gave each book its own conflict and resolution, there were a number of threads interwoven across the entire series. Mysteries were hinted at, geese needed chasing, and everything was built to support the grand finale. Being a first work, I could afford such luxury. It didn't matter that it took more than a decade to create. After all, no one would be waiting on the next installment.
I'm approaching The Riyria Chronicles quite differently. I have no idea how many there will be (beyond the first two books, which are already released), so I'm designing this as an open-ended series rather than a single tale divided into episodes. The stories are intended to be more like stand-alone novels with less integration from one book to another. The reason is simple. I'm very sensitive about having Royce and Hadrian overstay their welcome. We all know of series, both book and television, that went on longer than they should have. It's sad to see something that was once loved and cherished becoming a shadow of its former self. So by designing Chronicles in this way I can play it by ear when determining whether to release the next adventure.
I'm fortunate enough to make my living from writing, and a story, no matter how much I enjoy writing it, doesn't put food on the table if no one is interested. Being a writer in this day and age provides the possibility for more interaction then when Hemingway or Steinbeck wrote. Emails, forum posts, tweets, blog comments, and even a survey I crated to collect feedback made it clear that I hadn't yet reached the point where my characters were being asked to politely find somewhere else to go. So it is the readers who are partially responsible for this series' existence and their feedback will also play a major role in any additional books. To that end, when you finish this book, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org (or answer this short poll) and let me know whether you want more or would prefer me to go on to something else. After all you provide me with the income to support my family, the least I can do is give you want you want to read.
12/12/12 Edit: Thank you to the folks at Fantasy Faction for including The Crown Tower in their Top 10 Anticipated Books for 2013. I'm honored to be included with such industry greats as Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson, Brent Weeks, Peter V. Brett, Scott Lynch, and Mark Charan Newton as well as new authors Mark Lawrence, Myke Cole, and Douglas Hulick
12/15/12 Edit: Thanks also to the people at BestFantasyBooks.com for including The Crown Tower on their own Most Anticiated Fantasy Books for 2013. It is joined by some familiar faces from the other list: Jordan, Sanderson, Brett, Lawrence but is also joined by Daniel Abraham, Neil Gaiman, Robin Hobb, Guy Gavriel Kay, and Richard K. Morgan.
12/20/12 Edit: I'm honored that The Crown Tower was named by Ranting Dragon as one of their 50 Fantasy and Science Fiction Novels to Look Forward to in 2013. It is joined by: Scott Lynch, Peter V. Brett, Kevin Hearne, John Scalzi, Daniel Abraham, Robin Hobb, Mark Lawrence, Brandson Sanderson, Neil Gaiman, Guy Gavriel Kay, and several others.
12/2/13 Edit: I'm honored that The Crown Tower was a 2013 Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Best Fantasy. It is joined by: Scott Lynch, Peter V. Brett, Robin Hobb, Mark Lawrence, Brandson Sanderson, Neil Gaiman, Guy Gavriel Kay, Terry Goodkind, R.A. Salvatore and several others.
More About the Author
Michael stayed away from writing for a decade and returned to the keyboard in his forties...but with one condition: he wouldn't seek publication. Instead, he wrote a series of books that had been building in his head over his hiatus. His first reading love was fantasy, and his hope was to help foster a love of reading in his then thirteen-year-old daughter, who struggled due to severe dyslexia. After reading the third book of this series, his wife insisted the novels needed to "get out there." When Michael refused to jump back onto the query-go-round, she took over the publication tasks and has run "the business side" of his writing ever since.
Michael is one of the few authors who has successfully published through all three routes: small press, self, and big five. Some key accomplishments of his career include:
* Named to io9's Most Successful Self-Published Sci-Fi and Fantasy authors
* Sold more than half a million English copies
* Been translated into twelve foreign languages
* Spent more than a year on Amazon's Bestselling Fantasy Author's list
* His Death of Dulgath Kickstarter is the third-highest funded fiction project of all time.
* Had his books named to more than 100 "best of" or "most anticipated" lists including those compiled by Library Journal, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads.com, and Audible.com
Today, Michael continues to fill blank pages with nine released novels, six awaiting publication, and a new series in the developmental stages. These include:
* 2011 - 2012: His six-book self-published series, The Riyria Revelations, were re-released through Orbit (the fantasy imprint of Hachette Book Group).
* 2013: The launch of his Riyria Chronicles series with two additional books released with Orbit.
* 2014: Hollow World, a sci-fi novel released by Tachyon Publications (print) and self (ebook)
* 2015: The scheduled release for The Death of Dulgath (third Riyria Chronicle novel).
* 2016: The scheduled release for The Age of Myth, the debut novel in The First Empire series from Del Rey (fantasy imprint of Penguin Random House).
* 2017 - 2010: The scheduled release of three more books with Del Rey. This will be a mixture of First Empire titles and other books in "Elan" such as a Riyria story or a spin off with other characters from the Riyria books.
* Riyria Blog: www.riyria.com
* Hollow World Blog: www.hollowworldnovel.wordpress.com
* First Empire Series Blog: www.firstempireseries.com
* Twitter: @author_sullivan
* Riyria Facebook: www.facebook.com/riyria
* Author Facebook: www.facebook.com/author.michael.sullivan
THE RIYRIA REVELATIONS (Omnibus Editions)
* Theft of Swords: contains The Crown Conspiracy & Avempartha
* Rise of Empire: contains Nyphron Rising & The Emerald Storm
* Heir of Novron: contains Wintertide & Percepliquis
THE RIYRIA CHRONICLES
* The Crown Tower
* The Rose and the Thorn
* The Death of Dulgath (coming Nov 2015)
* Blood of Thieves (Omnibus that contains The Crown Tower and The Rose and the Thorn)
THE FIRST EMPIRE (signed to Random House's Del Rey imprint)
* The Age of Myth (coming Summer 2016)
* The Age of Swords (release TBD)
* The Age of War (release TBD)
* The Age of Legends (release TBD)
* The Age of Empire (release TBD)
* Hollow World (time-travel science fiction)
* Hollow World sequel (in development)
ORIGINAL BOOKS OF THE RIYRIA REVELATIONS (out of print)
* The Crown Conspiracy
* Nyphron Rising
* The Emerald Storm
* The Viscount and the Witch: A Riyria Short
* The Jester: A Riyria Short
* Professional Integrity: A Riyria Short
* Greener Grass (time-travel science fiction)
* The Riyria Sampler (compilation of several Riyria short stories)
* Traditions: (traditional fantasy, coming soon)
* God's Game: (contemporary fantasy, coming soon)
* Burning Alexandria: (dystopian science fiction, coming soon)
* Autumn's Mist (contemporary fantasy, coming soon)
SHORT STORIES IN ANTHOLOGIES
* Unbound (coming soon)
* The End - Visions of Apocalypse
* Triumph Over Tragedy
* Help Fund my Robot Army
Top Customer Reviews
For those who have read Revelation: this book has the same feel without feeling like a rehash of those book. I was actually surprised at how different the character's personalities were- they were all definitely recognizable, but they felt younger, and untried. The developing relationship between Hadrian and Royce really felt perfect knowing how they turn out much, much later. I was happy to see Gwen make a large appearance, and I think her story line is one of the things I am most looking forward to next. It should be really cool to see how a lot of the threads that came together in Revelations started.
For those who haven't read Revelations: You can jump right in with this book, you don't need to have read the earlier, but later books first. I don't think reading this book would change how you view the story of the later books, either, but I haven't reread them, yet.
The only concern I can muster is that sometimes I wished the pacing slowed down and maybe offered a little more description of the people/world. It really didn't bother me much, but I feel like I have to offer some balance to the unremitted praise.
I highly recommend this book, and this author. It's an excellent, fast-paced read.
Spoilers (general theme)
This book deals with the first encounters between Hadrian Blackwater and Royce Melborn... a relationship initially filled with suspicion, distrust and a huge amount of animosity.
Some Pros and Concerns...
1.) well written and deftly told in the professional style that is readily apparent in all of the books of this series.
2.) a nice sense of pace and timing... important pieces of info were released in proper sequence and at intervals that kept the story moving along while maintaining the suspense.
3.) map... there is a very good map with markings for topographical features and the names of major places. (See Concerns below)
4.) I thought the author did a terrific job in highlighting both Hadrian's and Royce's initial character traits. Hadrian with a degree of youthful naivety and innocence and Royce's uncaring ruthlessness. Two clashing personality traits that were slowly and often painfully softened by the books end.
5.) some interesting confrontations between our heroes and several other groups and individuals. These moments are tense, exciting and typical of Michael J. Sullivan skill with prose for action-based scenes.
6.) bantering conversation... because this tale documents their initial meetings, it took a while for them to develop their kibitzing style of repartee...Read more ›
For all of you familiar with the Riyria Revelations books, Hadrian Blackwater and Royce Melborn are the Dynamic Duo of fantasy: Hadrian the great warrior with three swords for any occasion and Royce the dark, mysterious assassin waiting to put a dagger in you. Two partners who are as polarly opposite in their personality and outlook on life as in their styles of fighting. No matter their differences however, these two night and day characters are the most dedicated of partners and friends.
But how could they have ever gotten past these issues to form a partnership called Riyria?
This is the story Michael J. Sullivan sets out to tell in The Crown Tower, and he accomplishes it with a flair long time readers have come to expect from him. The tale he pens is one of those very rare prequels: a stand alone story which - while tipping its hat so subtly to the older novels - never fails to understand it is a story unto itself. Indeed, Hadrian, Royce and Gwen grabbed the readers attention from the first, drawing them along involuntarily in the turbulence of their story as all three are inevitably drawn together.
Naturally, our story takes place before the events of The Theft of Swords, which is the first set of books set in the world of Riyria. Here, Hadrian Blackwater is a young man, still holding onto his youthful naivety yet having seen and done bloody deeds that even he refuses to recall. Our youthful optimist has wandered over half the world since he left his father's blacksmith shop as a youth, eager to find glory and a worthy cause that his unvanquishable sword skills could be used for. Yet, none of the glory or gold satisfied Hadrian: they made him feel hollow inside actually.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
.The whole Riyria series, great characters enough twists and turns to keep me involved in the story. A really fun read...Published 9 days ago by Gary L.
I read this after reading the Ryiria Revelations trilogy. I enjoyed learning more about the two main characters and their origins.Published 20 days ago by Zach's Mom
Great writing style, good characters, pulls you in and doesn't let go.Published 20 days ago by FR_328
Cant believe I have read so many fantasy authors and missed this one!
Really good book(s) - I bought and read all three books in this triology and all was well worth... Read more
This is the first book of the Riyria Chronicles series which is a prequel to the most excellent Riyria Revelations series. Read morePublished 1 month ago by TinaW
I wasn't sure how to approach this series--read the six books originally published (Revelations) or this prequel that shows how the duo got together (Chronicles). Read morePublished 2 months ago by Jonathan Wood