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Theft of Swords, Vol. 1(Riyria Revelations) Paperback – November 23, 2011
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Praise for the Riyria Revelations:
"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
"A whirlwind of twists, earth-shattering surprises and deadly betrayal." --- Literary Magic
"Hair-raising escapes, flashy sword fights, and faithful friendship complete the formula for good old-fashioned escapist fun."
"This epic fantasy showcases the arrival of a master storyteller."―Library Journal
From the Author
The tale had actually banged around in my head for over fifteen years in one form or another. I kept adding characters and plot lines until I had, at least to me, a compelling story with likeable characters. Because of the complexity of the plot in the overarching story, it was imperative that I wrote all of the books before releasing the first one. While I don't recommend this technique to other writers, it allowed me the opportunity to weave threads in previous books as I fully developed later ones.
While I'm on that subject, one of the most rewarding aspects of this series is the numerous "Easter eggs" that I've hidden along the way. There are small things that, upon first reading, you'll not consider as having any significance. For those that re-read the series, where all the pieces have been put into place, hopefully you'll see incidents or dialog in a whole new light. In retrospect, these clues should appear obvious, and if I've done my job properly they will remain buried until the proper time. In this respect, I hope the book will be a lot like the movie The Sixth Sense.
The Riyria Revelations, especially in the beginning, is little more than fun, fast-paced fantasy. As the series progresses, I think you'll see more depth both in the world of Elan and the characters. This was a purposeful decision and a dangerous one. It means that by design the first book is the weakest of the set, but enables me to end it with a resounding bang. This technique may mean that some will stop after reading the first book, assuming I have little talent. They may not feel "connected" to the characters because there was not enough for them to latch onto. All I can say is that I feel the reward of incremental discovery outweighed my alternatives. If after completing the entire story, you feel I lack ability, at least I'll know you came to the conclusion having all the facts on which to judge me.
The last thing I'd like to say about this series is that I wrote it for pure enjoyment--both for you and myself. First and foremost it was meant to entertain. My goal was to write a book that I would like to read, to be with friends that I wanted to spend time with and go on an adventure filled with surprises and some heartfelt moments. While I wrote the books for adults, I kept it free of foul language, sex, and graphic violence so that it could be enjoyed by people of all ages.This series is reminiscent of the fantasies I read as a youth and wasn't meant as any kind of commentary on current trends in modern fantasy. Yes, it incorporates archetypes and familiar themes, but hopefully they are used in a way that will make them feel fresh. What I was striving for was to create a series that felt as familiar and comfortable as your favorite pair of shoes. Hopefully there are people out there with similar tastes, and if you are one of them, I predict you'll enjoy the journey very much.
Top Customer Reviews
Hadrian and Royce battle for the greater good in the midst of intrigue, false promises, action, adventure, and love. They know what it means to walk a careful line between competing interests, and before the end of the book I knew that they were two of my most favorite fantasy characters ever.
The world of the Riyria Revelations is well imagined and the backdrop for the sudden plot twists is sweeping and inspiring. I couldn't put this book down, and didn't want it to end. A great story, start to finish.
When I could part with the book, I loaned it to my 75-year-old mother, who loved it. She decided that Hadrian was her favorite name. Shortly thereafter, I loaned it to my 13-year-old grandson, and he LOVED IT! He liked different characters and different parts of the story, but the very idea that we could read a book through the generations and all delight in the story was absolutely something to celebrate.
If you love fantasy, you will not be disappointed with this excellent offering by Michael Sullivan. Do yourself a favor. Read it.
Michael J. Sullivan's Riyria Revelations series is already a proven success, with both small press and self-published editions of the books selling well. Orbit have picked up the series and recast the original six books as three omnibuses, bringing them to a wider audience. Whilst this laudably rewards the author's success, it also raises the stakes: standing out from the crowd in self-publishing is one thing, but how does Sullivan's work stack up compared to the current fantasy heavyweights?
The answer is...okay, actually. Sullivan's ambition with this series was to create a series that in a way beat against the current trend for adult, edgy, violent and explicit fantasy novels in favour of something more straightforward or 'classic'. Something that evoked the spirit of say Eddings or Brooks without being as dire. Sullivan lists Harry Potter as an inspiration, particularly the way it welded together accessibility and a classic structure with darker elements (such as major character deaths), and that's certainly a reasonable ambition.
Theft of Swords (which combines the first two novels in the series, The Crown Conspiracy and Avempartha) is a fast-paced, straightforward read with a fast-moving plot and easy-to-read writing.Read more ›
The book is about two partners in crime, Hadrian and Royce, as they get hired to pull a couple of heists involving swords (hence the title). Both start off simply enough but as such things are wont to do in fantasy novels, events go all Murphy's Law on them. It's really more like two novellas set one after the other with an ongoing plot linking them loosely together.
Usually the biggest pitfall I have with sword and sorcery is the main characters. This was not the case for this book. There was no brooding over Royce's and Hadrian's pasts (which was refreshing). Little tidbits and hints about their pasts were noted without dragging the pace of the story down or distracting me with some tale of woe. There were one line acknowledgements where I could look back at that character's actions up until that point and go "yup I suspected that, but thank you for confirming it" without interrupting the story one whit.
I loved the social dynamic between the two of them and how opposite Hadrian and Royce were by nature and by trait, but how little true antagonism there was between them. I found myself very happy with the ribbing of who's got a soft spot for what, the "if we listened to me, we wouldn't be in this mess" reiterations and of course the ever entertaining "Well we could just kill the twit" spiel.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love epic fantasy of the David Gemmell sort and am very happy I came across this book. It has swordsmen and thief with morals, skills and interesting backgrounds set against a... Read morePublished 3 days ago by Devin H
I've gotten a lot of people hooked on Royce and Hadrian, even my mom, who usually gravitates towards Amish romances or other more tame fictions. Read morePublished 9 days ago by Denise Need
This book was awesome. And I recommend it to everyone. Great series. Wonderful story great characters and enjoyable plot. Mike brings it.Published 10 days ago by Myke Harris
This was a fun book with a couple of interesting main characters, both well-enough developed (though not as deeply as could have been) and with a compelling story that he weaves... Read morePublished 12 days ago by timothy davis
I thoroughly enjoyed the pace, characters, blending of Age of Myths. I like not being bogged down by reading details not necessary to the stories. Read morePublished 12 days ago by Barb
Poorly-written and unimaginative. Don't be fooled by all the 5-star reviews.Published 15 days ago by X
Reader thoughts: This book feels a lot like The Legend of Eli Monpress, except in a more traditional fantasy setting. Read morePublished 19 days ago by Denae C