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Theft of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan
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9975812,930 (4.05)54



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Showing 1-5 of 56 (next | show all)
This series has been on my radar for some time now, the kind of series I keep telling myself I need to start, sooner or later, but for some reason always ends on the back burner. With the announced publication of a new series that would act as a sort of prequel to the Ryiria Revelations, I knew it was high time for me to jump on this train, and finding the first two volumes of the series in a very convenient omnibus seemed like the kind of final nudge I needed.

Read the full review at SPACE and SORCERY Blog ( )
  SpaceandSorcery | Dec 25, 2018 |
The first two books in the Riyria Revelations series is a high fantasy tale of two thieves for hire that end up on an adventure of intrigue and corruption. The first book focuses on getting to know the characters and the world. The story is only okay and the writing is not very good. The second book puts them on a new adventure that is more exciting and a markedly improvement in the writing style. The author does a good job of slowly revealing different aspects of the world and political environment that the reader can focus on the adventure for an easy read. The two main characters are fun, but the side characters shine even more. I think this series is going to be really enjoyable once it picks up and this first Omnibus sets the stage nicely. ( )
  renbedell | Dec 24, 2018 |
This epic fantasy includes a little breaking and entering, plenty of snarky insults, political intrigue, magical beasts, and a chaotic neutral maimed mage. For me, the tale started off fun but not particularly special. It wasn’t until about a quarter of the way through the book that the tale grabbed me. Royce and Hadrian are a lot of fun. They’ve known each other for years and each is well into their adult years. This was a nice break from all those epic fantasy adventures that feature teen/young adults bumbling through their first adventures.

Royce was my favorite because we have the same dark sense of humor and have to sometimes be talked into doing the right thing. Hadrian is an enthusiastic believer in honor and all things good. It’s a very good thing these two have each other to balance things out. Each has a history veiled in questions and half truths. I look forward to Book 2 revealing more on this note.

The one weakness to this tale is the ladies. It’s not all bad, but for the most part they are comforters and romantic interests and need to be rescued. Arista shows promise with her wit and ability to grasp politics. Also young Thrace has a shining moment at the end of the novel. The ladies aren’t the worst I’ve seen in epic fantasy but I did want just a bit more from them.

There’s a big fat mystery with the elves. Ancient conflict and truces are eluded to and I expect that will become a big deal later in this series. There are a few elvish slaves in some areas of the human realms, but no elves roam free… or if they do, they can pass for human. The maimed mage Esra provides most of what we know about the elves. He’s ancient and was imprisoned for perhaps 900 years (if I recall correctly). Esra is a big enigma. I don’t know what he wants and he might not know either. He has to keep his head down as he’s still a wanted criminal.

Then there’s Myron. I adored this character because of his wide eyed wonder of the bigger world. He grew up in a monastery and had never been off the grounds. He had seen a few horse but never rode one and he’s never seen a woman. As he gets swept up into the adventure, he provides several chuckles. I too wish there were blue horses.

By the end, I had fallen in love with the main characters. I really look forward to adventuring further with Royce and Hadrian. 4/5 stars.

The Narration: Tim Gerard Reynolds gave a great performance for this book. He had distinct voices for all the characters and his female voices were believable. He sounded like he had a lot of fun narrating this story too. I did notice a few short repeats but there were no other technical issues with the recording. I loved his voice for Myron (always full of wonder), his skeptical voice for Royce, and his honorable voice for Hadrian. 4.75/5 stars. ( )
  DabOfDarkness | Sep 26, 2018 |
Very interesting Q&A with the author at the end of the book which explained a lot for me. He says he's intentionally practicing "invisible writing," where you notice the characters and plot but not the mechanics of the writing itself. And that's the bit that's missing for me--because I love reading, and therefore I love reading writing--if I want a movie or tv show, I'll watch a movie or tv show.

So he hovers in a high 3 stars, rounding to 4, because as delightful as the cast is, and as entertaining as the plots are, this is TV on the page. One of those shows that's episode but slightly advanced the overarching plot each episode ... and probably each episode is three times as long as what we're used to, but otherwise it's that kind of thing. And it's fun, and according to the author, it's intentional (though he'd say he's aiming for film, rather than television).

It's not bad writing--it's clear, it's descriptive, you know what's going on, where they are, and what most things look like (e.g. "a vast gray volume rushed by him ... the dark gray became a swirling translucent green as it reached the edge. The moment it fell, the water burst into white foam" etc.). But I do love my writerly writers, like Catherynne Valente, or A.A. Milne, or Dickens, to cite a disparate bunch.

And yet, I'm eagerly awaiting the next one (I don't have to wait, but I'm not a binger--I'll read a few other books before I go back to the next in a series). ( )
  ashleytylerjohn | Sep 19, 2018 |
"She was a vision of youthful beauty and Hadrian guessed she could not be more than seventeen."

In “Theft of Swords” by Michael J. Sullivan

"You're going to ruin all your pretty makeup" -- said to Thrace by Hadrian as she was crying....

In “Theft of Swords” by Michael J. Sullivan

"I mean, sure, she's cute as a button..." said by Hadrian about Thrace

In “Theft of Swords” by Michael J. Sullivan

I could go on and on on bad this novel is, but I won’t. I think the quotes above will suffice. As always I’ll go on a tangent when I’ve just finished reading a really bad book.

What I'm thinking is to listen to that nagging voice that might be warning the reader of wasting time on the treadmill of publisher's 'hilarious' and 'must-reads'. The analogy of publishers to the RTP (our state TV) may not be out of place as it seems, nor strange, to one who see SF as part of a whole culture and so the same attitudes permeate the culture - the attitude that bombards the consumer with valueless products and doesn't care much how people are affected by it so long as they dominates the production. Three sets of “speakers” all in close proximity to each other all blaring out hip hop is an abuse of the rights of the public; there's a certain careless mentality there. They were gone today, the huge lorries, but RTP were back with a smaller van and set up a tent with six speakers on stands and I presume were about to start blasting again on the local radio station level. What I'd like to see is a more interrogative attitude, and a critical one, on the part of the consumer. The consumer should assert his/her power and reject those things that don't add value to their lives. I mean if people expect good culture can they get it without exercising their discretion and value judgments. I don't think they can. I don't think the residents of SF city are being given the type of culture which they would benefit from, but are having things foisted on them. It's more difficult to make this point in the realm of fiction publishing - except from personal experience: that much of what is published is effete and some of it stomach-turning. I find myself turning more and more away from SF in recent times because there's very little you can feel good about taking and interest in; the market goes in for shifting large quantities so that the book celebs are always the big news. Some tosser gets the status that belongs to the Chekovs, who are dying in the gutter as I write. The way some publishing houses are taking over the town square is an iconic example of what's wrong with the arts/culture today. Three sets of “speakers” all blasting off at once with the hip hop within a few metres of each other doesn't show that there is any message but that sort of thinking that if we blast the traditional off the face of the earth we can make room for something new - it's a culture of abuse for its own sake and some just love it because it is the antitheses of meaning and value. It's the 'get fat' consciousness of the boys with the 'burgers' to sell and get rich. The Publishing Houses are the forefront of the grossly moronic culture which is today pervasive and allows books like these to see the light of day.

SF = Speculative Fiction. ( )
  antao | Sep 15, 2018 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Michael J. Sullivanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Reynolds, Tim GerardNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my wife, Robin, my partner in life and in the adventure of making this series, whose hard work and dedication made it all possible.

To my daughter Sarah, who would not read the story until it was published.

To Steve Gilllick for his feedback, and Pete DeBrule, who started this whole thing

And to the members of Dragonchow, my original fan club
First words
Hadrian could see little in the darkness, but he could hear them -- the sanpping of twigs, the crush of leaves, and the brush of grass.
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Includes The Crown Conspiracy (first published Oct. 1, 2008) and Avempartha (first published Mar 31, 2009).
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Book description
Royce Melborn, a skilled thief, and his mercenary partner, Hadrian Blackwater, make a profitable living carrying out dangerous assignments for conspiring nobles-until they are hired to pilfer a famed sword. What appears to be just a simple job finds them framed for the murder of the king and trapped in a conspiracy that uncovers a plot far greater than the mere overthrow of a tiny kingdom.

Can a self-serving thief and an idealistic swordsman survive long enough to unravel the first part of an ancient mystery that has toppled kings and destroyed empires?

And so begins the first tale of treachery and adventure, sword fighting and magic, myth and legend.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316187747, Paperback)

They killed the king. They pinned it on two men. They chose poorly.
There's no ancient evil to defeat or orphan destined for greatness, just unlikely heroes and classic adventure. Royce Melborn, a skilled thief, and his mercenary partner, Hadrian Blackwater, are running for their lives when they're framed for the death of the king. Trapped in a conspiracy that goes beyond the overthrow of a tiny kingdom, their only hope is unraveling an ancient mystery before it's too late.

When author Michael J. Sullivan self-published the first books of his Riyria Revelations, they rapidly became ebook bestsellers. Now, Orbit is pleased to present the complete series for the first time in bookstores everywhere.

Theft of Swords (contains: The Crown Conspiracy Avempartha)Rise of Empire   (contains: Nyphron Rising & The Emerald Storm)Heir of Novron   (contains: Wintertide Percepliquis)
The Crown Tower (coming Aug 2013)The Rose and the Thorn (coming Sep 2013)

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:38 -0400)

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"Two thieves in the wrong place at the wrong time are on the run in this fact-paced adventure fantasy"--Provided by publisher.

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Orbit Books

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