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Theft of Swords (The Riyria Revelations #1-2)

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  23,734 ratings  ·  1,698 reviews

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 two enterprising rogues who end up running for their lives when they're framed for the murder of the king. Trappe
Paperback, 694 pages
Published November 23rd 2011 by Orbit
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Michael No it doesn't. It's actually one of the things that sets it apart from many of the current books in fantasy. My goal was to write a book that was…moreNo it doesn't. It's actually one of the things that sets it apart from many of the current books in fantasy. My goal was to write a book that was aimed at adults, but could be read by people of all ages. So to that end there is no sex, graphic violence, or explicit language.

Originally, I was writing this book for my then thirteen-year-old daughter to help her get into reading (she struggled due to dyslexia). So again, it's no a YA book by any means, but it is something that can be enjoyed by a wide range of ages.(less)
Michael I would concur to start with Revelations (Theft of Swords). As for completeness. Revelations was one big tale broken into six individual episodes so…moreI would concur to start with Revelations (Theft of Swords). As for completeness. Revelations was one big tale broken into six individual episodes so yes it all wraps up there. Chronicles isn't designed that way. The first two tell the complete origin story and subsequent books in that series will be mainly standalone adventures. My approach will be to put out a Chronicle then see what the readers thing as far as wanting more. If they do, then I'll write another. I have ideas for 10 more books stacked up but I'll only release them if it's still something people want to read. I don't want the pair to overstay their welcome.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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I'm the author of this book, so I'm not going to do a rating but I did want to take just a moment to say a few words about what I was trying to do in this book.

For those who don't know, I wrote all six books in the series before publishing any of them (truth be told when I wrote the books I had no intention on publishing at all). This allowed me to weave threads between the books, but I made sure that each title had its own conflict and resolution. My intention was to start small and end big, wi
Theft of Swords is an omnibus of the first two books in the Riyria Reveleations, The Crown Conspiracy and Avempartha. It's also somewhat the story of an independently published author turned major publishing success as is nicely explained here by Iceberg Ink.

I have to first confess that this is exactly the type of story I love, so pardon my overlooking of any of the faults.

The first thing that comes to mind when I think of Theft of Swords is that it's "traditional" fantasy. It deals with good
This is a brilliant piece of storytelling that any fantasy or action/adventure lover should go and read this. However before I divulge more information in that manner I would like to raise a few points. My first point being about fantasy in general while my second point will be about cliché and storytelling.

Fantasy as a genre in many ways was formed with The Lord of the Rings and then shortly afterwards, as much as people dismiss it, The Sword of Shannara. Subsequent books appeared such as The
Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths Reviews

Theft of Swords was a novel I was tentative about beginning. Not because I did not want to sample this series, which I had read and heard so much about from its numerous followers on Goodreads, but for the simple reason that I have grown to like Mr. Sullivan a great deal since joining Goodreads: I’ve been his “friend” in the GR sense for many months, followed his reviews/blogs, and enjoyed his comments in numerous groups. However, as I sat there debating
Two words.

It's elvish for two.

What happens when a sarcastic thief/former assassin and an idealistic mercenary/brilliant swordsman get in the way of a conspiracy for world domination?Epic fantasy at its finest,that's the answer.Include some legends about a God's heir who is going to unite the world,a plotting Church with a secret agenda,Elves who are waiting for the opportune moment to gain their lands back,swordfights,prostitutes,monks,hidden prisons and witches and that's

So I've given this book 3.5 stars as the 1st half (Theft of swords) is 3 star quality and the 2nd half (Avempartha) is 4 star (This book is the compilation of 2 previously published books). It chronicles the adventures of the legendary thief partnership Riyria, which is Elvish for 'two' (all the years I spent studying Elvish are finally paying off).

Theft of Swords- 3 Stars

For the most part Theft of swords was an enjoyable, lighthearted fantasy adventure. However at times the impersonal narrat
Torn between 2 and 3 stars, opted with two. I wanted to love this book. I liked it well enough, but after all the hype, I was ultimately disappointed with it. This should have been right up my happy little alley. I should be drooling over the series. I'll still read the next books, but not with the fervor of The Doors of Stone or The Republic of Thieves...or if Lois McMaster Bujold writes more in the Chalion series.

I'll start with the pros:

The overarching plot of the Heir of Novron and the stri
The first thing you should know about Theft of Swords is that it’s not a fine dining experience. This book is not the literary equivalent of going to a fancy restaurant and getting one of those huge plates that are mostly empty except for a tiny stalk of asparagus artfully drizzled with a delicate sauce. Instead, it’s more like sitting down hungry and getting a big, tasty burger you can just grab and sink your teeth into. (Vegetarians, please substitute for the vegetarian equivalent of a big, ta ...more
Buddy read with Desinka and Gavin


Fun and entertaining this read blends well-known fantasy tropes and new ideas and the result is something quite unique, yet very comforting and readable! The second part Avempartha is definitely stronger than the first The Crown Conspiracy. For now I'm rounding the rating down to 4 stars but I might round it up to 5 after my full review is ready. I need more time to think all through. I'm still gushing about the ending now! So great!
Kevin Xu
I wish I could have liked the book in order to give the book a higher rating, especially when Michael J. Sullivan is probably the author that I know that interacts the most on Goodreads, but the book had too many tropes. I read the book because Michael really wanted everyone to read the book, and told him I would check it out. Before I read the book, I thought the book was on the level like all others writing in fantasy, without any tropes, trying to be different. Then I read the extra that the ...more
TS Chan
After plowing through a few grimdark novels of significant size this year, I was thirsting for something less mentally exhausting and more fun to read.

Enter Riyria! And what a breath of fresh air this has been.

This volume is made up of the first 2 books of the Riyria Revelations, ie The Crown Conspiracy and Avempartha

The Crown Conspiracy (3.5 stars)

This book is probably the shortest in the series making it a really quick read. It is good introduction to the Riyria duo, Hadrian and Royce, who se
[4 Stars] Overall

[4 Stars] The Crown Conspiracy
This was such a fun fantasy romp! I love all of the humor, action, and witty dialogue. I think this book was the perfect introduction to the fabulous Riyria duo, Royce and Hadrian. I definitely think this book could have used better character development and world building. There are also few moments where "info-dumping" becomes slightly tedious, but the plot and writing was overall such fun that I forgave most of my qualms. I don't really have much
Mike (the Paladin)
Okay...this is one of those books where I think an initial reaction would be, "score". I really enjoyed it. While I haven't moved them to my favorites shelf (the jury is still out on that) I can and do highly recommend them. After a long dry spell where I hadn't found a really "good" read I stumbled on this/these. As a friend on mine here might say...wooohooo.

Only on occasion do you find a book you can wholeheartedly recommend but in this case I can. I realize that others won't like these as wel
OK, probably a 4.5 to be truthful. Good adventure story, with excellent lead characters, who are portrayed as mercenaries, even though they are of high morals: Hadrian Blackwater, a top caliber swordsman, and Royce Melborn, a thief from a fabled sect. First they are hired to recover a sword and become patsies for regicide in the first of two stories; however, they rescue the prince and go off to seek the truth. Then, in the second story, they work for next-to-nothing to save a heart-broken fathe ...more
Text Addict
I debated between one and two stars for a while before settling on one.

An ominous way to start, eh? Actually it’s not all bad – Sullivan has a good authorial voice, an excellent line in witty banter, engaging characters, and a bunch of interesting ideas.

The problem is, this trilogy of books needed better editing. I’ve gathered that Sullivan is one of the handful of authors who’ve made the transition from self-published to published, which is great for him. But Orbit Books is not the first publis
This Riyria Revelations omnibus included the first two books in the series, The Crown Conspiracy and Avempartha.

The Crown Conspiracy

This was a fun sword and sorcery style fantasy. The plot revolves around two thieves who take on the job of stealing a nobleman's sword only to find themselves caught up in a plot to assassinate the king.

It was a fun read. The story was packed with humor, action, adventure, intrigue, and magic. The lead characters Hadrian and Royce were very likable. I loved the w
This is my kind of fantasy! I could not put this book down!

This is the first volume in the 'Riyria Revelations' trilogy and everything you could possibly want from a fantasy novel is found here: strong world building, three dimensional characters (some of whom you love, others whom you hate), action, adventure, humor, magic, treachery, sword fights, myths, legends and a great friendship/bromance between the leading duo of Hadrian Blackwater and Royce Melborn. This omnibus edition contains the fi
Normally, I don't review books that I didn't finish, but I think it depends on why I didn't finish the book, and I'll make an exception in this case. In part, I want to share my feelings on this book, because everyone on goodreads seems to love it--I bought it based off the reviews I read here, and I feel gypped!

I was looking for something light and fun, with sort of a goofy story and some likeable characters; just a fluff adventure book. And that's just what this is--the story is nothing to ch
To be fair, I did not finish this entire book. My reading time is limited these days, and I lost patience with it rapidly, and threw in the towel. Basically, the part I did read can be summarized as follows: Captain Exposition and his buddy, The Expositioner, start off the story with a lot of exposition at the home of Lord Exposition. After that, they return home to exposition with some of their friends, and then fall into the most obvious trap of all time. Fortunately, they soon meet up with a ...more
Ok, really enjoined this book, nice honest fantasy book, nice character driven storyline which is the main reason I like this book.

The author has written two totally opposites characters in all ways without them been annoying and too perfect. They do make the book. The plot is simple but it keeps us interested, in fact I had guessed wrong were the tunnel entrance was.

looking forward to carrying on in the series.
Re-reading this so I can continue and finish up the Riyria Revelations series. Listening to the audio this time around.

Excellent reading to an already excellent book. Tim Gerard Reynolds really makes the characters come alive, and his narration is spot on. Even though I've read this book a couple of times already, I found myself eagerly looking forward to picking up the earbuds and listening in on Hadrian and Royce.

Here are my original reviews, from 2009:

The Crown Conspiracy: https://www.goodre
Dec 04, 2012 Klymene marked it as to-read
I'll probably read this one just because there are two super hot guys on the cover. *covers her face, ashamedly* and because they are thieves. That's just... wow

And then look. There aren't any girls in the picture. Major plus. Just saying.

They have that preview thing on the side now and I'm just dying. Don't bother me more than necessary. I wonder what their names are?

I haven't even read the book yet and I'm in love. If I had a top ten hottest guys from books list, it would include Hatori from
I was lucky, I guess. I came back to reading fantasy after a long hiatus, and this was the first book I picked up. To make a long story short, I like the book to the point I had to choose between reading a couple of more pages and getting a little more sleep at night. I would not say it grabs you right away, but it kind of grows on you.

A little more details. Two main characters and interaction between them are well written and very interesting, and none of the major characters are boring (I am l
3.5 stars
It was a fun book to listen to, and as far as recent Fantasy go, it's one of the best series I've tried. Great characters, good adventure and fun dialogues.
I can't quite give it 4 stars because I feel like this book won't really "stay with me" and I didn't like it enough to want to continue the series. But hey, I'm extremely picky when it comes to series... I only continue the ones that blow me away with the first book.

So, I'd say: give Theft of Swords a chance, you might very well lik
The Crown Conspiracy

Michael J Sullivan can create a genre of his own; it will probably be titled For Entertainment Purposes Only. Now, this book here is purely for adrenaline rushes. It's a 'story' in the truest and the most traditional of its senses: a simple plot and a few chosen characters dwelling within. It's something I would tell my child while tugging him into bed.

We know the novel focuses on two thieves. We know they're called Hadrian Blackwater and Royce Melborn. And that's all we k
This is not a review. I covered The Crown Conspiracy and Avempartha separately.
Just wanted to say, this is probably the beginning of a wonderful friendship .... a new favorite series.

Due to my large December tbr, reviews will resume in January.
Finally, some HAPPY fantasy!

This may have ended up being a 4.5 star book in reality, as some of it seemed "too neat" but it's really a fun book. In Theft of Swords, readers are introduced to thieves Hadrian and Royce. In the first book, The Crown Conspiracy, we find our potential heroes framed for murder. One might argue that they are easy to set up to be framed because though they're thieves, they seem to have soft spots for "making the world right." In the second book, Avempartha, the thieves'
This has been a fun ride from beginning to end. The story (comprised of two parts, The Crown Conspiracy and Avenpartha) started as a tale of two thieves and evolved into an epic adventure that might result in saving the world.

I loved the characters, both our protagonists Hadrian and Royce, as well as the supporting team. They were all well drawn and interesting, even the most annoying and obnoxious ones. I loved that none of the characters was either perfect or entirely negative. They were all
Executive Summary: These stories are a bit trope heavy, and therefore a predictable in places. Despite that I found them to be enjoyable. Like settling into something comfortable and familiar. In the ever increasing abundance of grimdark fantasy, this serves as a nice break.

Audio book: I listened to this in audio after getting a good deal on it through Audible. I was quickly sold on finishing the series in audiobook.

This is the first book I've listened to by Tim Gerald Reynolds. I found him to
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Goodreads Choice Award Nominee in: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014

Michael writes classical fantasy and science fiction with unlikely heroes and epic adventures. His debut series, "The Riyria Revelations" has sold more than half a million English language copies and has been translated into 13 foreign languages.

THE RIYRIA REVELATIONS & CHRONICLES: The best friendships are forged in blood.
More about Michael J. Sullivan...

Other Books in the Series

The Riyria Revelations (6 books)
  • The Crown Conspiracy (The Riyria Revelations, #1)
  • Avempartha (The Riyria Revelations, #2)
  • Nyphron Rising (The Riyria Revelations, #3)
  • The Emerald Storm  (The Riyria Revelations, #4)
  • Wintertide (The Riyria Revelations, #5)
  • Percepliquis (The Riyria Revelations, #6)
Rise of Empire (The Riyria Revelations, #3-4) Heir of Novron (The Riyria Revelations, #5-6) The Crown Tower (The Riyria Chronicles #1) The Crown Conspiracy (The Riyria Revelations, #1) The Rose and the Thorn (The Riyria Chronicles, #2)

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“Hadrian shook his head and sighed. “Why do you have to make everything so difficult? They’re probably not bad people—just poor. You know, taking what they need to buy a loaf of bread to feed their family. Can you begrudge them that? Winter is coming and times are hard.” He nodded his head in the direction of the thieves. “Right?”
“I ain’t got no family,” flat-nose replied. “I spend most of my coin on drink.”
“You’re not helping,” Hadrian said.”
“So,” Royce said, “you want us to escape from this prison, kidnap the king, cross the countryside with him in tow while dodging soldiers who I assume might not accept our side of the story, and go to another secret prison so that he can visit an inmate?”
Arista did not appear amused. “Either that, or you can be tortured to death in four hours.”
“Sounds like a really good plan to me,” Hadrian declared.“Royce?”
“I like any plan where I don’t die a horrible death.”
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