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

4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  16,066 ratings  ·  1,326 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...more
Paperback, 694 pages
Published November 23rd 2011 by Orbit (first published April 1st 2009)
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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...more
Seak (Bryce L.)
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...more
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...more
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...more
Wendell Adams
Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths Reviews

When a friend lent me Theft of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan, I have to admit I was tentative about beginning it. 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 GR: I’ve been his “friend” in the GR sense for many months, followed his reviews/blogs, and enjoyed his comments in nume...more
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!
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
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...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.
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...more
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...more
Quite simply, classic fantasy with a modern twist. And absolutely fun reads. No other way to describe it. Royce Melbourn the thief and Hadrian Blackwater the mercenary are Riyria, an elite unit of fixers for hire.

Need sensitive communications “misplaced” so you can no longer be blackmailed? Contact Riyria.

Need to read a confidential document from an impenetrable tower? Contact Riyria.

Need to kill a king and looking for a pair of scapegoats? Contact Riyria.

Wait, what? Yep. Contact Riyria.

In the f...more
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
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
Jan 04, 2012 Ritesh rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Read about it on the internet
Posted here:

The Riyria Revelations follows the exploits of a unique couple of friends. They are unique in the sense, that one of them is a talented thief while the other is a former mercenary adept at warfare. They are famous (or notorious, as the case may be) for taking on the toughest jobs, which no one else will touch, and succeeding at them. Both the books in the Theft of Swords omnibus have such jobs as the starting point. Their reputation of being invincibl...more
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...more
Small Review
Originally posted on Small Review

Let's be honest here

I initially picked up this series because I thought the guy on the cover looked hot. Yes, that IS how I select my books. Mostly.

His smaller companion on the right wasn't too bad either, but, really, it was that rugged man on the left with, count them, three swords that caught my eye.

Oh, and it was also billed as an epic fantasy series that promised battles, thieves, court intrigue, mercenaries, assassinations, questing, conspiracy and all tha...more
Emily Ward
I'm loving this book so far! I'm happy there's so much left :D

8/14: finished book one, the Crown Conspiracy. Awesome!

8/18: Finished. Wow, great books. I'll write a longer review later, but I'm going to buy Nyphron Rising RIGHT NOW. Sleep? Pah!

I was lucky enough to snag this ARC. This book was actually originally two books: The Crown Conspiracy and Avempartha. They were self-published along with a couple other books in the Riyria Revelations, and the series was recently picked up by Orbit B...more
This book was originally self-published in two parts, entitled The Crown Conspiracy and Avempartha.

Royce Melborn, a skilled thief-for-hire, and his mercenary partner, Hadrian Blackwater, make a profitable living carrying out dangerous assignments for conspiring nobles, often double-crossing them in the meantime. One day, however, they accept a deceptively easy and too-profitable-to-be-true job. All they have to do is to pilfer a famed sword, preventing a death of an innocent man. Their earnings...more
I spent my morning reading the last 40% of the book. I couldn't put it down. Theft of Swords is a fun, exciting adventure fantasy. The story is easy to follow yet has so many elements to it that leave you eager to find out what's going to happen with that story line next. Sullivan does a nice job wrapping up some plots while creating others too, unlike some authors who keep creating plots without giving us answers to any. I've heard some people say that the characters don't have much depth, but...more
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

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). Hadrian is the master swordsman of the pair while Royce is an expert thief.

Theft of Swords

For the most part Theft of swords was an enjoyable, l...more
Blodeuedd Finland
I think I would like to start with a damn, damn that I do not have book 2 ready. It was not like it ended with a cliffie, now, it was just that I need to freaking know!It is just the kind of fantasy I like. Quests, kingdoms, baddies and a great cast.

Our “heroes” are Royce, a thief and Hadrian, a mercenary. Together they form the band Riyria, and steal their way through life. The chemistry between these two is just great; you can feel that they have been friends for a very long time. They are als...more
When I was about fifteen, I saw a girl reading a book in class. It wasn't a school book, but the cover looked pretty enough and nothing like I'd ever seen before, so I leaned over and asked her what it was. Shortly after, probably the same week if not on the day, I walked to the nearby library and borrowed another book from the same author. That of course was the Finnish translation of Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings, the first of The Belgariad series.

I've spent the second half my life lookin...more
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WIN Limited editions (early release) of my next novel, Rhune: Book #1 of The First Empire Series. Details here.

After finding a manual typewriter in the basement of a friend's house, Michael J. Sullivan inserted a blank piece of paper and typed: It was a dark and stormy night. He was just eight years old at the time and mimicking Snoopy so we'll forgive the use of that overused opening. But...more
More about Michael J. Sullivan...
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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