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This is my most favourite Michael J Sullivan book! Love the character development and the revealing of the actual heir of Novron. I guarantee you will love this series, whether you start with The Crown Tower (the first of the pre-quels) or Theft of Swords.
I can't begin to describe how much I enjoyed reading this, and how much I enjoyed the series. The only thing i disliked about it was that it ended. No doubt in a couple of month's time I will go back and re-live the journey again.
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.
Much like the first title and second, this Riyria Revelations was meant to be a time filler until the third book in the Stormlight archive came out. It failed in that regards as I finished the three books in a 3 day back to back marathon :/
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.
Okay, so we come to the end of either an epic trilogy or a six-part series, depending on how you look at it. This final omnibus contains the final two installments of Royce and Hadrian's story, Wintertide and Percepliquis. And I'm pleased to report that the are probably the best yet.
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.
This is the third of a series of three books regarding the adventures of a couple of medieval-style scoundrels who call themselves Riyria. It is a fantasy-world story of epic proportions told in six stories paired-up into the three books. I don't want to give much away else it will spoil the pure reading enjoyment for those readers yet to discover this world. It's serious business but told in an enjoyable and light-hearted way that detracts nothing from the gravity of the battles and political intrigue; the tension heightened by the writer's willingness to kill off main characters when called-upon by a sense of reality in the storyline. The whole of the main, over-arching story that runs through the books has been carefully planned and not just made up as it went along - and it's all so neatly tied up at the end I could have cried. The twists and turns are unpredictable as each of them could go in any one of several directions right up until the point when it happens - a very cleverly and skilfully crafted piece of epic writing that had me turning pages and desperate for more almost throughout the whole of the three books (six stories), and that's the first time in ten years I could have said that about any book (or, better still, series of books) that I've been reading. Please read No. 1 THEFT OF SWORDS and No. 2 RISE OF EMPIRE, in that order, first.