Heir of Novron: Riyria Revelations, Volume 3 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
A rising star in the fantasy genre, Michael J. Sullivan has built an ardent following for his Riyria Revelations saga, which draws to its epic conclusion in Heir of Novron.
On the holiday of Wintertide, the New Empire plans to burn the Witch of Melengar and force the Empress into a marriage of their own design. But they didn’t account for Royce and Hadrian finally locating the Heir of Novron—or the pair’s desire to wreak havoc on the New Empire’s carefully crafted scheme.
Heir of Novron contains Wintertide and Percepliquis, books 5 and 6 of Riyria Revelations.
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|Listening Length||31 hours and 48 minutes|
|Author||Michael J. Sullivan|
|Narrator||Tim Gerard Reynolds|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com.au Release Date||08 August 2012|
|Best Sellers Rank|| 19,653 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
197 in Historical Fantasy (Audible Books & Originals)
787 in Fantasy Action & Adventure
802 in Historical Fantasy (Books)
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This is just an incredible series. Heir of Novron includes books 5 (Wintertide) and 6 (Percepliquis) and concludes the Riyria Revelations.
There are so many plot threads and twists going on that I couldn't do them justice in a review but I can say this: everything is resolved brilliantly and I was very satisfied with the ending. The author has so many plates spinning but he is in complete control throughout. The pacing is perfect with a healthy balance of dialogue, plot, exposition, mystery and description of places.
Hadrian and Royce are wonderful creations and really drive the plot but I have to single out two other characters who were a pleasure to read about.
First is the princess/ wizardess Arista. She's a fully realised protagonist. She's: smart, talented, resourceful, brave and kind but also impulsive, reckless, dangerous and mercurial. Every time Arista is on the page, be it bantering with Hadrian or exploring her powers I was mesmerised. She is one of the best characters I've ever encountered in the genre.
Next is the antagonist Merrick Marius. Yet another superlative creation. What I love about him is that he's such a genuine foil for Royce, Hadrian and Arista. He's not some cardboard cut out bad guy; he's highly intelligent and he understands that Royce and Hadrian are not to be taken lightly. I loved any time he was on the page; his dialogue with Royce and Hadrian sizzles and is a pleasure to read.
I really cared about these characters and the author deserves a lot of credit, because it takes skill to reach the reader in such a deep and meaningful way.
There are many other honourable mentions (Ameilla, Myron); further enriching the world. This feels like a world full of a multitude of personalties and they're not simply there for Royce and Hadrian's benefit. There was only one character I didn't care for: Modina. She was too aloof, smug and condescending for my liking; especially when as a reader you know that she was once the pleasant and humble girl Thrace but that's a minor gripe.
The plot is labyrinthine but at the same time easy to follow and the subtle reveals, twists and turns keep the story fresh and exciting; the bind up is 900 pages long; but it's such a joy to read that you'd never think it. Once again we have a massive story arc but at the same time two complete stories; it's real talent to execute this.
This series and this book in particular is very unique. Its one of the few I have read that has left me with a close to perfect ending as I could imagine. When I put the book down, I was very satisfied with the conclusion and that's fairly rare as I am always aggrieved by endings.
The characters have evolved by the end of this book and are all understandable characters. We see a deeper reason for what they do and why they do things such as Royce's pragmatic approach to things all the time when compared to initially meeting him thinking he is merely after the most money possible. Other characters we see come in to their own such as Arista and Modina (Thersa) and they feel organic rather then forced. I do very much love in this series how the females are amazing characters in their own right.
The final journey the band take is great content. The banter, sorrow, love, pain, joy etc are all shown and as above feel natural rather then forced.The first half of the book is about knight games and that is also well written but keeps on point throughout.
The other aspect about this book and series in general that is spot on is the pacing. he pacing is fluid and natural throughout with there being action or soon to be action. There are plenty of cruveballs at times to keep you guessing and soon you also realize if you did not already, there were signposts in the prior of titles of what may possibly happen.
I can't praise this series enough. I was not expecting to love the series and merely be something to pass the time, but Sullivan has crafted a great story that is compelling and riveting. Great stuff.
The first story resolves the New Empire plotline, as Hadrian goes undercover as a knight in order to save both the titular heir and the captive Arista. Meanwhile, the evil heads of the empire ready themselves to take full control, with only the shattered, isolated Empress Modina standing in their way.
This installment, while dark and heartbreaking in places, was a joy to read as it wrapped up a whole bunch of characters' destinies, as well as readying everything for the grand finale. The ending of Wintertide in particular (I certainly won't spoil it here) is a real emotional suckerpunch.
The second segment, Percepliquis, sees the return of the elves to the world, sweeping all before them in an unstoppable wave of destruction. Hadrian, Royce and all their surviving allies must form a desperate band in order to find the one thing rumoured to be able to stop them...
Again, the story was a delight; we finally get answers to all the mysteries of the series so far, some of which were signposted, some of which come entirely out of left field. Revelations will break, characters will die, and desperate last stands will decide the fate of the world.
The great thing about this series has been its feel of classic fantasy nostalgia, allied to snappy modern writing. Sullivan is a real find, and I would recommend that any self-respecting lover of the genre search out all three omnibi and devour the whole lot at once. Great stuff.
For the most part, Wintertide is a book focused on Hadrian, with Royce and particularly Arista taking a backseat to a lot of the action. We get to see Hadrian in some really entertaining scenes. Wintertide is Sullivan's biggest Riyria book yet (until Percipliquis) - it's packed with action, tension, revelations and a lot of darkness. But cutting through this is the humour. It's not overdone, but I'd say this is the funniest book in the series, as well as being the tension filled climax it needs to be.
Percipliquis, on the other hand, is as dark and twisted as you're likely to ever see Sullivan become. It's a difficult book to review without spoilers, as most of what happens is related to the overall mythology of the world which Sullivan has layered in since the start of Book One. If Wintertide ties up the plots of books three and four, Percipliquis harps back to Theft of Swords and the history of Elan. It's not clear until you reach this point how Sullivan has lined up his pieces, all ready to come together for this final book. Royce and Hadrian are very much at the centre of the novel, but this time they are not alone. Nobody is left hanging in Percipliquis - everyone has their part to play. It's a huge book, but the pages move ten times quicker.
Sullivan answers everything and ties up the series with an amazingly tight ending. There are moments of joy, sadness and even Myron the monk gets his moment to shine. More so than any of the other books in the series, Percipliquis is like classic fantasy - a quest novel with elves and dwarves, wizards and dragons (kinda). But don't let that stop you - the difference here is that behind everything is a rich tapestry of worldbuilding, careful plotting and characterisation that Sullivan has been careful to line up throughout the series, meaning no matter how clichéd it may look on the outside, there is always a shock coming round to smack you in the face.
Heir of Novron is that rare beast in fantasy: an ending to a six book fantasy epic. It's an ending that feels well justified and foreshadowed to near perfection. Royce and Hadrian have come a long way together, and this is the ending they deserve. A fantastic conclusion to one of the most entertaining fantasy series in recent memory. If you want a deep, engrossing read that's nothing but entertaining at every step, please give the Riyria Revelations a go. It's the story of two thieves who become embroiled in an epic story to save the world. What more could a fantasy fan want?