This was a pleasant surprise for a fantasy book as it is at once thoughtful for the world building as it is for the characters and relationships.
The RThis was a pleasant surprise for a fantasy book as it is at once thoughtful for the world building as it is for the characters and relationships.
The Royce-Hadrian partnership of course is very fun to read, and it's compelling to find out more about how their friendship and loyalty was built over the 12 years they've worked together. There are glimpses of things that they know about each other that are hinted at and will likely get "Revealed" as we go, but I do love complex character relationships...which is why I'm actually reading Chronicles parallel to Revelations, so I'm sorta cheating on that end, but I've always liked "flashbacks" to the past and origin stories inserted between present events in books (been spoilt by manga and their angsty flashbacks I guess). I did dither a bit at first where to start, but ended up starting with Chronicles first since I wanted to get attached to the characters right away...then I gave in and started Revelations because Chronicles was way too cheerful (relatively, and a pleasant surprise) and I needed my angsty-past flashbacks to balance things out.
Of course, the back cover kind of "spoils" the fact that Royce and Hadrian get set up, but I was totally enjoying myself waiting for Royce's "I told you so" the first few chapters. The banter and dialogue is well-written for sure, and a good deal of serious business mixed with dry humour. The overall storyline is fairly interesting, and it is not a "clean" hero-defeats-evil kind of story. A few of the characters surprised me with their actions and motivations (in a good way, not the "why would he even do that" kind of way) which kept the story just this side of suspenseful without being overly dramatic. In fact a lot of plot points were handled very practically instead of dramatically, and there was a decent amount of humanizing the limitations of the characters' abilities.
Some bits of exposition are of course necessarily long but there are character bits thrown in there to keep it interesting. I wasn't too fond of Myron since he basically was a walking encyclopedia/history book/translation tool (smartphone of the riyria universe?) and was way too round-eyed. My complaints are minor though and I'm already starting book 2 so I can hopefully find out more about Elves and Dwarves....more
I read this parallel with book 1 of Chronicles so I got to know Royce and Hadrian past and present. I love character development in books so I alwaysI read this parallel with book 1 of Chronicles so I got to know Royce and Hadrian past and present. I love character development in books so I always look forward to series that emphasize it.
Hadrian is almost frustratingly trusting in this book at first, although that's not to say he is stupid (which he mostly pretends to be). He's very straightforward with his thoughts, and has a bit of blind courage to his actions. There's of course a lot of angst about his past, which is usually annoying but he's a sunshine angster (ie smile through the pain) so it's not just sad-angry-mope with him thankfully. Mostly he's a hopeless softy around Those In Need and gets attached easily.
Royce is basically the mysterious, scary eyed killer for most of the book, even after meeting Hadrian. We don't get his POV until much later in the book so most of his appearances is through Hadrian seeing Royce being mean and creepy. It's also hilarious that Hadrian is very impressed by Royce, even while he dislikes him. He's obviously reluctant to partner up with Hadrian, and very capable on his own - so when Hadrian finally makes himself useful he's usually immensely shocked. He's by no means emotionless (which would be boring) so he's actually quite an entertaining character.
By the end of the book they are just beginning to trust each other so Hadrian still has a lot of work to do.
Gwen's story is more world-building than character development since she starts out fierce and continues to be for the whole book. Her powers seem rather like a plot device, but her story is less about that and more about her being a great leader and becoming the influencer she is in the Revelations books. She only really meets the other two at the very end of the book and I'm very interested in how her relationship with Royce, and Hadrian, will develop....more