Should You Read This Series? Riyria by Michael J. Sullivan

should you read this seriesThere are so many published series out there and I know you wonder…which ones are worth the read? In this feature, we tell you which series you should start and which ones you shouldn’t. As a ground rule, series in this feature must have at least 3 books published and the reviewer must have read more than half the series. If you want us to feature a series in the future, please ask in the comments.

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SERIES: Riyria by Michael J. Sullivan

GENRE: Epic Fantasy, Sword & Sorcery
BOOKS PUBLISHED: 6 (in 3 volumes) + 2 prequels

s-typeopts13s-typeopts13s-typeopts13crowntower-2-5The Rose and the Thorn (17)

SERIES STATUS: The Riyria Revelations is completed; The Riyria Revelations is ongoing
D.G. HAS READ: 7/8
SHOULD YOU READ THIS SERIES? YES!

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What Is This Series About? The Riyria Revelations follows two thieves that get embroiled in the struggle for power of an Empire. A thousand years ago, the Emperor was betrayed. But his son escaped and since then, many factions have been trying to find his Heir and reinstate him, while others have tried to destroy him. In the first book, Royce and Hadrian are framed for Regicide, setting the whole story in motion. Although the series has 6 books (published in three volumes, each containing two books), it’s all one overarching story, with the situations in each book building towards an unbelievable end. The prequel series, the Riyria Chronicles, follows Royce’s and Hadrian’s partnership during the 12 years preceding the events in the Riyria Revelations.

Why Should You Read It? The Riyria Revelations is in the “Sword & Sorcery” sub genre of Epic Fantasy. It’s an amazing story, full of twists, adventures and unbelievable escapes. The world building is excellent, with religion and race at its epicenter – very baldsy of Mr. Sullivan. But don’t fear that there’s preaching or sermonizing. This fits perfectly in a world full of monsters, secrets and magic.

The Main Characters: One of the weaknesses of this series is character development. Many times, characters behave in implausible ways to advance the plot, meaning, they do things that you know they would never do given their personality or situation. Hadrian was supposed to be this amazing fighter but I never believed it – he never seem to have the fire for it and a lot of the times, he would put his weapons down instead of kicking ass. Royce was more believable as a cut-throat and he could be scary but except in one instance, he never behaved in a way that made you think he was irredeemable (which is a big driver for a huge plot point.) The series has several strong women who play key roles but I never warmed up to any of them. With a few exceptions, the characters are just a bit flat and I never feared for them, even when they were in really dire situations. Thankfully, the plot makes up for this.

The Audiobooks: Although I listened to the audiobooks, I recommend you read it in print. Fantasy can be confusing in audio (at least for me) so I only understood some of the terminology and the geography when I read the glossary in the first ebook (this is not available in audio.)

Series Tips: Read the Riyria Revelations first. This is the best story and what makes the whole world special. I made the mistake of starting chronologically and I wondered why people were so impressed with this series. Now that I read Revelations, I know what the fuss is all about.

Series Publication Order
Riyria Revelations
1. Theft of Swords (The Crown Conspiracy & Avempartha)
2. Rise of Empire (Nyprhon Rising & The Emerald Storm)
3. Heir of Novron (Wintertide & Percepiqulis)

Riyria Chronicles (prequel series)
1. The Crown Tower
2. The Rose and The Thorn

Prices: Currently, you can buy each volume for $9.99 for Kindle (but each volume contains two books.)  The audiobooks are Whispersync enabled but there’s no discount with the Kindle purchase. You’ll have to pay an Audible credit for each volume.

Series Rating:  ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠ 

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