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Rise of Empire (The Riyria Revelations #3-4)

4.34  ·  Rating Details  ·  22,123 Ratings  ·  940 Reviews

War has come to Melengar and once more Royce and Hadrian are hired to make a desperate gamble and form an alliance with the Nationalists whom are fighting the Imperialists in the south. As the power of the Nyphron Empire grows, so does Royce's suspicion that the wizard Esrahaddon is
Kindle Edition, 802 pages
Published 2011 by Orbit (first published April 8th 2010)
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Pam Martin It's excellent!! Royce and Hadrian have become two of my favorite characters.
Dark Passage by M.L. WoolleyWintertide by Michael J. SullivanNyphron Rising by Michael J. SullivanAvempartha by Michael J. SullivanThe Crown Conspiracy by Michael J. Sullivan
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Community Reviews

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May 03, 2016 Katerina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
Brilliant plotline.Brilliant pace.Brilliant characters.Brilliant world-building.Brilliant plot twists.
Brilliant everything.
All hail Master Sullivan!
“There are no honorable causes.There is no good or evil.Evil is only what we call those who oppose us.”

The New Empire is rising.The Church uses a half-mad fake empress to unite the Realms of Men in the name of Novron.War is raging between the imperial armies and Melengar,the only Avryn kingdom that still resists,while the Nationalist re
Robin (Bridge Four)
Buddies Books & Baubles Buddy read 4/18/16.......the Royce and Hadrian bromance continues.

“There are no honorable causes. There is no good or evil. Evil is only what we call those who oppose us.”

Michael J Sullivan (MJS): Do you like adventures?

Me: Yes….I do like a tale with a good adventure or quest in it.

(MJS): Do you like a broken hero who doesn’t really want to be the hero?

Me: Of course that is one of my favorite tropes…the not so good, good guy.

(MJS): What about betrayals, double-c
Apr 23, 2016 Choko rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, advanture
*** 4 ***

A buddy read with the friendly Elfs at BB&B!

I am on board and totally committed to finding the rightful heir to the Imperial throne! It is not an easy task, especially since it seems that everyone and their Church have thrown all of their respective resources to either find, help, eliminate the true Emperor, or just act as a pain in the ass to all the rest trying to achieve the same!!!!

So, this is the second of 3 omnibuses and each contains 2 books following the adventures of Royce
4.5 Stars

Rise of Empire was a really enjoyable compilation of Nyphron Rising and The Emerald Storm, books 3 and 4 in the Riyria series. After a slow start in book 1 this series has really picked up, featuring two likeable protagonists whose characters and backstories were really fleshed out here, a great cast of supporting characters and lots of exciting adventures. This omnibus continues the trend started in book 2 in developing the depth and scope of what was initially a light-hearted fantasy
Nov 05, 2014 Armina rated it really liked it
Buddy read with Desinka and Gavin


Just like the first book, Theft of Swords, Rise of Empire is two novels in one: Nyphron Rising and The Emerald Storm. Where the first two novels of the first Omnibus could survive as stand alone stories, tied together with similar backdroppings and continuing elements, Rise of Empire has moved deep into the connecting plot.

In Nyphron Rising , the newly formed Empire, which the Nyphron Church is running in all but name, would like to annex Melengar
Sara Price.
Feb 14, 2015 Sara Price. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Woo, this book was amazing!! I loved the characters and world and plot and it was just awesome! Highly recommend!
TS Chan
Apr 2016: Reread with the fabulous Buddies Books & Baubles

25 Dec 2015 (audio): Finished reread of Rise of Empire and no surprises here - another upgrade to 5-stars and onto my favourites shelf. Interspersing this reread with the latest prequel, The Death of Dulgath, highlights how well Michael developed the personalities of Hadrian and Royce at the onset of Riyria and after 12 years of friendship/partnership.

May 2015
Edit 11/13/2012:

I'm finally getting back to do a proper review!

I have to say, this installment is far more epic than the first book of the series, and therefore also a little heavier. Although I really enjoyed the light feel of The Crown Conspiracy, I am glad that it's broadening into something deeper. This series is really taking me by surprise and fast becoming a favorite.

Although the epic-ness does make it heavier, I still really don't feel that this series is too depressing, at least so far
Final rating: 4.75/5 stars

One thing is certain: I am glad I went with chronological order and I suggest everyone to do the same should they pick up these books.

Since the main series was written beforehand, and every one of these books is actually connected to each other, but written in episodic type, I realized that readers might not care enough for Gwen, or even (view spoiler) who were main characters in the prequels, but here they are just characters who are passing by
Sep 26, 2012 seak rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
Rise of Empire is the second omnibus of The Riyria Revelations, containing books three and four, Nyphron Rising and The Emerald Storm, in the six book series.

These two books step things up to a new level and I'm excited to see how this will all end. I still can't believe these were independently published and then republished by such as Orbit. They are definitely deserving.

Nyphron Rising

At the end of Avempartha, the Nyphronian church decided that the "heir," and therefore emperor (or empress as
Mar 30, 2016 Daniel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mozda nece biti fer poredjene ali ovo mi dodje kao The Empire Strikes Back. Prve dve knjige su se fino zavrsile na srecnoj noti dok ove dve.... ne bas.

Odlicno napisano sa zabavnim likovima punih humora na nivou buddy cop filmova. Glavni likovi vole da se raspravljaju ali kada treba 100 posto su jedan za drugom. Isto tako i ostali likovi su odlicno razradjeni. Ne samo po motivima ili slicno nego se svako ponasa kako bi ocekivao od nekoga. Negativci jesu pokvareni ali su i izuzetno pametni. I prik
Mike (the Paladin)
Maybe I should set up an "Epic Fantasy" shelf? Not sure if I want to go through my shelves and add another. Whether I do or not I can recommend these heartily.

This is the way I actually read these books, in the "two volume-volume" so to speak. It helps when the books are good to have the next one waiting. That was/is the case here and it's also good to have the 5th and 6th ones waiting, at least it was for me.

While there are a lot of Epic Fantasies now-a-days, there are very few really good one
Sherwood Smith
The problem with the middle book of a trilogy is that you know things have to get worse before they get better, or you end up with basically three books of battle sequences, each bigger and badder. The title of this one pretty much lets you know you're in for a cliff-hanger.

That said, there are enough twists and turns, growth of characters and humor, secrets and mysteries being slowly uncovered, to keep those pages turning.

This book stood out because of the female characters, for me. Especially
Oct 27, 2014 Gavin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This was an omnibus containing both Nyphron Rising and The Emerald Storm.

Nyphron Rising

This was a fast paced and exciting read. Royce and Hadrian were at their witty best as they accompanied Arista on a diplomatic mission to seek allies against the Imperialists.

I felt Arista really grew and developed into a strong character over the course of this story.

We had a new POV character in the form Amelia. She was the companion of the new Empress Modina. Her storyline was pretty interesting.

As far as recent fantasy titles go this is a fine fantasy novel. However as I was reminded in my literature tutorial today often novels can be caught up by their classification into certain genres. For instance I am often loathe to go near the genre of romance because of the amount of smut that I've noticed often filters through. However I'm sure there are good romance novels out there (look at the classics for instance) but more often many novels have romantic elements in them. As such I want t ...more
Aug 17, 2015 Sanaa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall [4.5 Stars]

Nyphron Rising [4 Stars]
I feel like this series gets better and better with each book! This book made me fall in love with Arista's character, and I just couldn't help rooting for her. She is now one of my all time favorite female characters.

The Emerald Storm [4.5 Stars]
This is by far the best book in the series so far! I loved seeing everyone's character development and all of the world building. I also really enjoyed the awesome high seas adventure! Arista continues to be co
Eon ♒Windrunner♒ & part-time Warder ☯
Update: April 2016 read

Sometimes you worry that a series you remember as fantasy perfection on your first read will not live up to the memory of it in your mind.

With Riyria you would be correct. It is better than what you remember.

Insert elvish word for five here stars.

Original review
Really like this series. No-nonsense, fun fantasy with great characters. As soon as you're done with this one, you will want to read the next. And that's exactly what I am going to do right now.
Efrona Mor
Jan 13, 2016 Efrona Mor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic! I'll write a review in the near future, but wow I love this series... What a great story, writer and over all everything..
May 08, 2016 Manju rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I joined GR back in 2012 this series was one of the most talked about series in fantasy. Everywhere people were appraising these books and still it took me three years to pick first book. I was so enthusiastic about the first book and why would not I be? Ratings were so great and some great reviews. But I was disappointed in first book. I mean it was good, but I was expecting some thing more epic which it was not. It was more of fast paced and full of entertainment with little character dev ...more
May 05, 2015 Kaitlin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-sff-faves
Nyphron Rising

So this is the third instalment in the Riyria Revelations and I have to say that I fully enjoyed being back in this world and reading this as a buddy read too. I actually managed to fly through this book in only a few hours as it doesn’t even feel like reading it’s just really fun and easy to read through.

This story follows the adventures of Hadrian and Royce from 6 months after the ending of book 2 and we see that not only have they changed a bit as characters but also the world w
Gabriella Alaniz
This series is addicting. It has so many twists, turns, mysteries, betrayal, and action. And it also plays with your emotions. I'm going to be wrecked once I finish this series. Oh well, nothing can be done, on to the next and final book.
As Rise of Empire is a compilation of books three and four in the Riyria Revelations series I will be splitting my review into two sections. Funnily enough, I don't enjoy this series as much as some fans. I feel like there are much better fantasy novels out there but The Riyria Revelations is not without its merit. Hadrian and Royce, our two main protagonists, are consistently strong throughout. Their witty banter and great personalities never failed to make me smile. The secondary characters ar ...more
Oct 26, 2014 Desinka rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I liked the third and fourth book of Hadrian and Royce's adventures. The books were just as fats paced and exciting as the previous ones though a bit darker and less humorous.

The third book was the more exciting one for me. I loved having so much of Arista's POV. I also enjoyed her becoming an independent and brave leader. It was also good to see her working in perfect accord with Hadrian and Royce once again. I absolutely loved the unsolved intrigue with the Heir of Novron.

Book four was probab
Jun 02, 2016 Tilly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed it to return to this likable universe and to read more about the adventures of Hadrian and Royce. Their friendship is still a major part in this book but they also had many disagreements with each other; especially Hadrians character development was really interesting in my opinion and I liked to see how questioned the things he has done in the parts and how morally acceptable the life as mercenary is. Although Royce was my favorite character in "Theft of Swords"
Jun 22, 2012 Kamla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of ‘cloak and dagger’, ‘sword and sorcery’, ‘political intrigue’ and/or ‘heroic duos’
An absolutely engrossing continuation to the The Riyria Revelations series!!

After being thoroughly captivated by Theft of Swords, I had high expectations for The Riyria Revelations series and couldn’t wait to start book 2. Rise of Empire, book 2 in the three book omnibus series, surely delivers with the build up of mystery, suspense and more than a few ‘hold your breath’ moments.

As more kingdoms are swallowed up by the devious machinations and military might of the New Empire and the Church of N
May 02, 2016 Joanita rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-stars, gr2016

It can’t be a great and epic fantasy without a plot to overthrow the evil empire, and in this case the villainous church and a bromance to die for ;-)


You have the two loyal friends, one a grumpy thief and one a cheerful mercenary who got caught up in the fight against the empire. They are hilarious, and I love their banter, and how loyal they are to each other. In this instalment their roles seem to be reversed from the previous book, Royce was actually the happy one for

Aug 19, 2014 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Here I continued my audiobook re-read of the first three books of the Riyria Revelations, giving Nyphron Rising another go. It's funny when I look back on my original review from 2009. Funny how anxious I was to continue with the series, and at how I'm sitting here close to five years later writing down my reaction to that very book.

What the hell happened? Well, to make a boring story short, I fell behind when books 4 and 5 came out. Then I found out that Orbit had bought the series and would be
Apr 02, 2014 Komal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I need to impress upon those fantasy fans that haven’t picked up this series yet to do so immediately. Riyria Revelation is, by far, one of the most enjoyable collections, not only in this genre, but in all others as well.

Nyphron Rising

Where Avempartha had me frowning a bit by diverting from the expectations I held, Nyphron Rising went right back on track. The story was still a bit slow in this one, but the highlight of the journey was Arista. Sullivan had dedicated this book to her. She
Kevin Xu
Feb 06, 2015 Kevin Xu rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I don't even know why I picked this book up as my review for Theft of Swords stated that I would never continue on with the series. Well, you know what? I lied, okay. My friend and I were exchanging books, and I was giving many books that he enjoyed, he had nothing I wanted, but he stated he had this book available, and I said that I will give this book a go, after the bad experience with the first book. Well what you know, I should have sticked to my original plan. The problem was that the book ...more
May 18, 2015 Kitvaria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This is the second book of the Riyria Revelations.
(Theres two editions of the series - either 3 books with two storys is it, or 6 single story books)

Book 1: "Theft of Swords" (The Crown Conspiracy and Avempartha)
Book 2: "Rise of Empire" (Nyphron Rising and The Emerald Storm)
Book 3: "Heir of Novron (Wintertide and Percepliquis)

So that we got that confusing bit out of the way - off to the story.
I only found out about these books, when I saw the German translation was announced. The story sounded
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Other Books in the Series

The Riyria Revelations (6 books)
  • The Crown Conspiracy (The Riyria Revelations, part #1)
  • Avempartha (The Riyria Revelations, part #2)
  • Nyphron Rising (The Riyria Revelations, part #3)
  • The Emerald Storm  (The Riyria Revelations, part #4)
  • Wintertide (The Riyria Revelations, part #5)
  • Percepliquis (The Riyria Revelations, part #6)

Share This Book

“Have you ever been in love, Hadrian?”
“I’m not sure. How do you tell?”
“Love? Why, it’s like coming home.”
Hadrian considered the comment.
“What are you thinking?” Bulard asked.
Hadrian shook his head. “Nothing.”
“Yes, you were. What? You can tell me. I’m an excellent repository for secrets. I’ll likely forget, but if I don’t, well, I’m an old man in a remote
jungle. I’m sure to die before I can repeat anything.”
Hadrian smiled, then shrugged. “I was just thinking about the rain.”
“You think you’re a very clever fellow, don’t you?” Saldur challenged.
“No, Your Grace,” Merrick replied. “Clever is the man who makes a fortune selling dried-up cows, explaining how it saves the farmers the trouble of getting up every morning to milk them. I’m not clever—I’m a genius.”
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