Volume 1 of the Riyria Revelations
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Hadrian could see little in the darkness, but he could hear them—the snapping of twigs, the crush of leaves, and the brush of grass. There were more than one, more than three, and they were closing in.
“Don’t neither of you move,” a harsh voice ordered from the shadows. “We’ve got arrows aimed at your backs, and we’ll drop you in your saddles if you try to run.” The speaker was still in the dark eaves of the forest, just a vague movement
among the naked branches. “We’re just gonna lighten your load a bit. No one needs to get hurt. Do as I say and you’ll keep your lives. Don’t —and we’ll take those, too.”
Hadrian felt his stomach sink, knowing this was his fault. He glanced over at Royce, who sat beside him on his dirty gray mare with his hood up, his face hidden. His friend’s head was bowed and shook slightly. Hadrian did not need to see his expression to know what it looked like.
“Sorry,” he offered.
Royce said nothing and just continued to shake his head.
Before them stood a wall of fresh-cut brush blocking their way. Behind lay the long moonlit corridor of empty road. Mist pooled in the dips and gullies, and somewhere an unseen stream trickled over rocks. They were deep in the forest on the old southern road, engulfed in a long tunnel of oaks and ash whose slender branches reached out over the road, quivering and clacking in the cold autumn wind. Almost a day’s ride from any town, Hadrian could not recall passing so much as a farmhouse in hours. They were on their own, in the middle of nowhere—the kind of place people never found bodies.
The crush of leaves grew louder until at last the thieves stepped into the narrow band of moonlight. Hadrian counted four men with unshaven faces and drawn swords. They wore rough clothes, leather and wool, stained, worn, and filthy.
With them was a girl wielding a bow, an arrow notched and aimed. She was dressed like the rest in pants and boots, her hair a tangled mess. Each was covered in mud, a ground-in grime, as if the whole lot slept in a dirt burrow.
“They don’t look like they got much money,” a man with a flat nose said. An inch or two taller than Hadrian, he was the largest of the party, a stocky brute with a thick neck and large hands. His lower lip looked to have been split about the same time his nose was broken.
“But they’ve got bags of gear,” the girl said. Her voice surprised him. She was young, and —despite the dirt—cute, and almost childlike, but her tone was aggressive, even vicious. “Look at all this stuff they’re carrying. What’s with all the rope?”
Excerpted from the book Theft of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan. Copyright © 2011 by Michael J. Sullivan. Reprinted with permission of Orbit, New York, NY. All rights reserved.
Independent thieves Royce Melborn and his partner Hadrian Blackwater make a profitable living carrying out dangerous assignments for conspiring nobles—until they are hired to pilfer a prized sword. What appears to be a simple job finds them framed for the murder of the king! Sentenced to death, they have only one way out, but they soon find themselves trapped in a scheme far greater than the mere overthrow of a tiny kingdom. Can a self-serving thief and an idealistic swordsman unravel an ancient mystery that has toppled kings and destroyed empires to keep a secret too terrible for the world to know?
Theft of Swords by Michael Sullivan includes The Crown Conspiracy and Avempartha—the first two novels of the ebook series sensation!
Hardcover Book : 704 pages
Publisher: Hachette Book Group Usa ( November 23, 2011 )
Item #: 13-487758
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 inches
Product Weight: 27.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Enjoyable story. Nothing complicated with the 'world building'. With a clear start and unhurried finish that has become rare in fantasy today. Loved and cannot wait for the prequels. Be sure to check out the new short story in anticipation for the prequels.
Reviewer: Richard F
First here is a series with a beginning, a middle and an ending. A most enjoyable ending at that. Unlike some tirelessly never ending story's like Game of thrones or Wheel of time, these books build on a plot over the length of six story lines and culminate into a solid resolution. I enjoyed the ride so much that I read the books a second time to catch all the hints that were there but missed in the first reading. If you like swordsmanship and thievery, fast paced story telling, complete building of a world, and friendship and loyalty, then I highly recommend this series to you. These books were the most enjoyable ride I have been on in a long time.
Though less than thrilled by "The Riyria Revelations" as the series name (not sure how to pronounce "Riyria", I suppose), I really enjoyed this trilogy. Royce and Hadrian make for engaging heroes and the cast of supporting characters is rich and well-rounded. I could quibble about a lack of foreshadowing here and there and some of the changes in our hero's background stories feeling a little manufactured, but that could easily be my fault for not paying proper attention at a critical juncture in my reading and doesn't really detract from how purely entertaining this series is. All in all, however, this is a highly enjoyable series and I heartily recommend it.
Reviewer: Don G
I loved this book right from the beginning - the intrigue and twists start in the first couple of pages. Royce and Hadrian are like friends but each has a mysterious air about them that make you want to know more. Hadrian's willingness to jump into any dire situation is only barely balanced by Royce's somewhat more calculating nature. The story is adventurous, action-packed with plenty of strong supporting characters who bring their own intrigues to the tale. I loved it.
Just finished reading the first novel, The Crown Conspiracy. This novel was written by the author help his 13 year old daughter practice her reading skills and it seems like it was written for a 13 year old. Not that there's anything wrong with this, but if you're looking for something a little more sophisticated you won't find it here.
The plot seems to be a repeat of other fantasy stories. The characters seem borrowed from Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser, except not as likeable. After all they are a thief and thug who pair together and hire themselves out those in need of thieves and thugs. Elves and dwarves are mentioned but only one dwarf is seen and only one half-elf is heard from.
I don't want to say this book was pulp like a Conan novel but it's getting close.
Reviewer: Vu P