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The Viscount and the Witch (Riyria Chronicles, #1.5)
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The Viscount and the Witch (The Riyria Chronicles #1.5)

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4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  2,532 ratings  ·  261 reviews
Eleven years before they were framed for the murder of a king, before even assuming the title of Riyria, Royce Melborn and Hadrian Blackwater were practically strangers. Unlikely associates, this cynical thief and idealist swordsman, were just learning how to work together as a team.

In this standalone short story of The Riyria Chronicles, Royce is determined to teach his
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Nook, 43 pages
Published October 1st 2011 by Ridan Publishing (first published September 28th 2011)
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Michael Doug is correct, Here's the background on this story. Back in August of 2011 the "individual" versions of the books were removed from the market to…moreDoug is correct, Here's the background on this story. Back in August of 2011 the "individual" versions of the books were removed from the market to make room for the "omnibus editions." As I wasn't used to having "nothing available" for readers I wrote a little short called The Viscount and the Witch and made it available for free.

It's essentially the tale of how Royce and Hadrian met Albert Winslow and it was set at about a year after Royce and Hadrian started working together.

I never planned to write any more Riyria books after Heir of Novron, but my wife and many readers still wanted to have some adventures with the pair. Because Revelations was designed to end where it did, I didn't want to "tack" on to a well choreographed ending. So, I remembered the short story...which in many ways was like the first chapter of a novel. I decided to expand that and so The Rose and Thorn came into being. Because Albert is a major character in the book, and I couldn't guarantee that readers had picked up The Viscount and the Witch, I put the short story as chapter two of that book.

Interestingly, as I neared the completion of The Rose and Thorn I realized I hadn't gone back far enough so I wrote The Crown Tower -- which shows how the pair first met. Once that was done I published the pair.

For standalone short stories there is The Jester (available in ebook and audio) and Professional Integrity (available in audio...and coming to ebook in September). These are free shorts.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Michael
Mar 19, 2012 Michael added it  ·  (Review from the author)
No rating, as this is my "own book" but I did want to say a bit about it.

This is a standalone prequel to my Riyria Revelations Series. It is being relesed for free and you can get a copy by clicking here

No previous knowledge of the Riyria Revelations is necessary. It is a short story (just 5,400 words) so is a quick introduction to a larger epic tale.

Eleven years before they were framed for the murder of a king, before even assuming the title of Riyria, Royce Melborn and Hadrian Blackwater wer
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Veronica Morfi
This is my second time around reading this short. And now that I've had my first journey with Hadrian and Royce in The Crown Tower, I can tell that I really enjoyed this one. It's a classic tale of those two getting in trouble. I love how different they are yet how well the fit together. And the new addition to their group was great, I am sure will see more of Albert in the future. I can't wait to get my hands on the second Riyria Chronicles book.
Veronica Morfi
When I picked this one up from Amazon for free, I thought I should give it a try, cause I got curious about the series and omg I loved it!

Even in the few pages of it I fell in love with the two main characters Royce Melborn and Hadrian Blackwater. I love that we mostly see the story through Hadrian's eyes, its like he's Dr. Watson to a medieval Sherlock. Now don't get me wrong they don't solve mysteries or anything, but the character of Hadrian is simple, caring, trusting and lovable while Royc
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Bookwraiths
Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths Reviews

The Viscount and The Witch is a short story, which introduces readers to Hadrian and Royce: the heroes of the Riyria Revelations. It takes place several years before their adventures in Mr. Sullivan's other Riyria books, and while it is a standalone story, I believe you will find it much more enjoyable if you have read the novels before sampling this.

The tale itself revolves around Royce and Hadrian traveling and encountering obstacles along their path i
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Jim
Available for free in lots of formats here:
http://www.michaelsullivan-author.com...
This is a prelude story to the Riyria Chronicles. It's short, 5400 words, but fun & we get to meet Royce & Hadrian early on in their partnership, not to mention finding out how they met & why one of the minor characters of the series works with them. Definitely worth reading if you like the series or if you want to see what the series is about.

Before the short story is a longish word from the author ab
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Andrea
Loved it! I love these characters. I'm so glad Michael shared the story of how Royce and Hadrian met Albert. It was full of humor and I really enjoy their witty banter. Please keep writing more short stories about them!
Bcvs
A nice and brief introduction to the characters.
There is a pleasant feeling to the setting and it encourages to keep on reading to find out what happens next.
Antonis
4.5 / 5
Up until reading this story I had not had the chance to read anything from Michael Sullivan though I had heard and read quite a lot on many book-review blogs about the indie author (up to that point) that was actually better than many published ones. So colour me intrigued and for a long time I've had my eyes on his fantasy series so when I read that there was a free short story that served as a good introduction to his writing and series, I downloaded this and read it at the first chance
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Ron
Sullivan at his best. Has vitality of The Crown Conspiracy without the silliness of later books. The relationship between the protagonists is part of the fun, and it's displayed here in its quintessence.

I'm embarrassed to claim a "book" read for a short story of less than thirty pages. Still, it's a fun read and the price was right. (Free)

May actually motivate me to read more of the series, which was the whole idea, right?
Nimrod Daniel
Haha, that was a very entertaining introduction the the series.
While Hadrian is a righteous ex-soldier, Royce is a cynical thief with a devious mind, and these two guys make a great team. Hadrian-Royce relationship made laugh a few times while reading.No doubt that Michael Sullivan knows how to write a good short story, which is quite a rare gift.

(only the first half is the story, the other half includes 2 first chapters in other books).

4.5-4.75/5
Nayeomi
*this was sent by author for an honest review*

I am very impressed by the way Riyria Chronicles has swept the Fantasy world of late. It has very high ratings and I cannot wait to rate it myself!
Quite delighted that I was enough to be sent an ebook copy by Mr. Sullivan himself for the two short novels set in the same world. This is the first one:

The Viscount and the Witch

First sentence: "A woman wielding a broom charged at them, looking as much like a witch as anyone Hadrian had ever seen."
- Oh ye
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Melissa Hayden
Hadrian always a soft heart stops to see what the ragged dressed woman, tripping through the brush, is calling to him and Royce, his partner of just about a year, for help. There is an unknown man in her barn and she fears for her life. Hadrian wants to go take care of the problem, Royce is ready to move on but lets Hadrian learn a lesson on people.

I'm not going to say to much as it's such a short read and if I do I just might give it all way. I want you to go read this quick read for yourself a
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Yasiru (reviews will soon be removed and linked to blog)
I might be being stingy with the rating, since this introductory short story has certainly interested me enough to try the series as intended. The language however, while being robust and forthwith in descriptions rather than piling purple prose, is a mixed fair, not quite managing to impart a consistent atmosphere of its own to the story. Its colloquial simplicity does appeal as light entertainment, but it lacks that careful, almost mythopoeic fashioning of words found in the best sword and sor ...more
Frank
No spoilers.
This was written as a short story by Michael Sullivan and takes place before The Riyria Revelations and one year after The Crown Tower. Here both Royce and Hadrian meet a poor viscount on the road and get into a bit of trouble. It was nice to read the dialogue of our protagonists as they learn more of each other as time moves forward.
Michael Kotsarinis
OK, I have to admit I half-knew I would love it. As I suspected it is exactly the genre I love to read and this story confirmed that the writing is clear and concise, the way I prefer it, that is. I love the way the author doesn't linger in every minor detail but gives enough and precise information so that one can easily picture the world he is describing. Another strong point is that he manages to make the characters feel real and humane. I suggest anyone with an interest in fantasy gives this ...more
Hollie
Don't let the length on the kindle fool you, this is a short story. The first third of the file is a history / introduction by the author; and the second half is the first bit of Theft of Swords. The story itself is couched in between.

It's a great little story though, consistent with the rest of Sullivan's mostly light hearted and amusing writing fantasy fiction. I really enjoyed the whole series, it's a great detour from the often heavy and somewhat oppressive stories in fantasy now days, and
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Darren
We get an excellent look into the very early days of Hadrian and Royce's relationship through an opportunity that 'presents' itself very early on. As I read along, I couldn't help but think of the beginnings of Riyria and how the unique group of assets formed.

As is the case with all of the stories I've read from Michael thus far (about 3/4 of the way through The Riyria Revelations), the focus on a character driven plot is strong with an enjoyable pace and lightness to boot :)
Paul Nelson
Interesting short story set in the early days of the relationship between Royce and Hadrian describing meeting for the first time Viscount Albert. Royce and Hadrian have known each other for a year and Hadrian shows his naivety in dealing with seemingly honest folk with plenty of dry humour from Royce.
Susan
I have read all three of the Riyria Revelations and they were all excellent fantasy. This short story is a part of the Riyria Chronicles which are the first three books in the Riyria adventures. Similar to Star Wars where the last three books/movies came out first. A little confusing.
Anyway, this is the second chapter of the second book in the Riyria Chronicles, "The Rose and the Thorn" and what a great teaser, it made me jump right back into Michael Sullivan's wonderful, epic fantasy series. I
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Timothy Ward
"Three aspects of Michael’s writing within the first few pages of “The Viscount and the Witch” made me drop all the rest of my books and dive into his Riyria Revelations series. The first aspect was the banter between Royce and Hadrian, a duo of loveable thieves. Royce plays the smooth assassin who would probably be a much worse person if it weren’t for his loyalty to Hadrian, a skilled sword-fighter with a noble heart. I laughed multiple times at how Hadrian wanted to help people, was warned by ...more
Jackie
Synopsis

Eleven years before they were framed for the murder of a king, before even assuming the title of Riyria, Royce Melborn and Hadrian Blackwater were practically strangers. Unlikely associates, this cynical thief and idealist swordsman, were just learning how to work together as a team. In this standalone first installment of The Riyria Chronicles, Royce is determined to teach his naive partner a lesson about good deeds. Join Royce and Hadrian in this short story (5,400 words) about one o
...more
Viji Sarath (Bookish endeavors)
A nice story,well-written.

This is my first M.J.Sullivan book and so,do not know anything about Rivera chronicles. Still,the story was enjoyable on its own. The dialogues of the characters and their actions sounded original,something a man might do or say in the given situation. In many books,what happens is that the characters behave and talk as if they are machines or very different from the essence of the character. Thankfully,this doesn't happen here.
A nice,quick read.
Kelly


Short, sweet, and perfectly in character with Royce and Hadrian. This Riyria short wasn't filled with heroics and action- but I loved touching base once again with the characters in this episode that takes place years before their grand adventures begin in The Crown Conspiracy. It brought back the banter in their conversation that I really grew to miss late in the Riyria Revelations series as Royce, especially, became more serious. The friendship between Royce and Hadrian was one of the main fo
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Ugur
The Viscount and the Witch is really a fascinating short story. Story and characters are well formed, and interesting. Especially the world is similar to Medieval Europe, for Medieval Fantasy lovers this would be probably a good choice for starting a good series. There are two main characters in "The Riyria Revelations" series, and both of them are introduced in this short story. As a first impression, I like both of the characters and their relationship.

First character is named Hadrian Blackwat
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C.M. Gray
I'm a huge fan of The Riyria Chronicles by Michael J Sullivan, in fact I've just ordered the third and final book in he series and was looking around for something else to read while I was waiting, when I discovered The Viscount and the Witch being offered free here on Amazon.
The two characters from the series Royce and Hadrian are a great couple of rogues and this is not nay a good stand alone introduction to them and the series but a very entertainig little story all in itself. If you are dipp
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Liviu
A fast and fun short story set in the Ryria universe and detailing the fledgling partnership of Royce and Hadrian meeting with the impoverished viscount and expanding Ryria's reach into the nobility intrigues.

A little extra background for the characters while in a great introduction, the author talks about the series at large, while the first chapter of Theft of Swords is included in the epub edition of the story I got and that is a nice bonus if you read only the original Crown Conspiracy - not
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Joshua Simon
I have been meaning to read Michael Sullivan for some time and for one reason or another kept putting it off. This was my first sampling of his work and I enjoyed it a great deal. For a short story it did a great job of setting up the relationship of the main characters while also enticing the reader to discover what would happen next.

The excerpt was also really enjoyable. Needless to say, I'm going to have to make time for Orbit's rereleases of his work.

I hope there are a few more short storie
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Jen
Feb 01, 2012 Jen rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: fantasy
I absolutely adore Royce and Hadrian! It was wonderful to see their interactions while they were still trying to figure out how to work with each other, and it was fun seeing the approach to Archie Ballentyne's. I was VERY sad that there were only two short stories in this little companion piece to the Riyria saga, but it took no time to read and was just plain fun! These characters may actually have me believing in everything that Michael J. Sullivan will ever write. I look forward to seeing wh ...more
Richard Radgoski
A great short story centered on two characters I'm just starting to get to know. A prequel to the Riyria Revelations, the short focuses on Royce and Hadrian in the early years of their association. It's easy to read and shows the skillful banter between teh main characters as well as giving insights into each characters skills and predispositions.

I really like it when author's tie their larger works with shorter works. It gives a great chance for folks to pick up on their style without investin
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Ugur
Last year I've read The Viscount and the Witch and liked it, and this year I've a chance to read one of Sullivan's novels, The Crown Tower, which become one of the best books I've read in 2013. When I hear there is an audio version for the Viscount and the Witch, I want to try it and I like this one too.

If you love medieval fantasy you will probably love Hadrian Blackwater and Royce Melborn.
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Four-time Goodreads Choice Award Nominee: 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 & CH
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More about Michael J. Sullivan...

Other Books in the Series

The Riyria Chronicles (3 books)
  • The Crown Tower (The Riyria Chronicles #1)
  • The Rose and the Thorn (The Riyria Chronicles, #2)
  • The Death of  Dulgath (The Riyria Chronicles #3)
Theft of Swords (The Riyria Revelations, #1-2) Heir of Novron (The Riyria Revelations, #5-6) Rise of Empire (The Riyria Revelations, #3-4) The Crown Tower (The Riyria Chronicles #1) The Crown Conspiracy (The Riyria Revelations, #1)

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“How's your foot?” Hadrian asked.
“It hurts.”
“He had a good hold.”
“Bit right through my boot.”
“Yeah, that looked painful.”
“So why exactly didn't you help?”
Hadrian shrugged. “It was a dog, Royce. A cute, little dog. What did you want me to do, kill
an innocent little animal?”
Royce tilted his head, squinting into the light of the late evening sun to focus on his friend.
“Is that a joke?”
“It was a puppy.”
“It was not a puppy, and it was eating my foot.”
“Yeah, but you were invading his home.”
....
“You know, you didn't have to throw it out the window,” Hadrian said as they walked.
Royce, who was still preoccupied with his foot, looked up. “What did you want me to do
with it? Scratch behind the little monster’s ears as it gnawed my toes off? What if it started barking?
That would have been a fine mess.”
“It's a good thing there was a moat right under the window.”
Royce stopped. “There was?”
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