Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Viscount and the Witch (Riyria Chronicles, #1.5)” as Want to Read:
The Viscount and the Witch (Riyria Chronicles, #1.5)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Viscount and the Witch

(The Riyria Chronicles #1.5)

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  5,207 ratings  ·  346 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
Nook, 43 pages
Published October 1st 2011 by Ridan Publishing (first published September 28th 2011)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Viscount and the Witch, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
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 ma…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
Average rating 4.22  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,207 ratings  ·  346 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Viscount and the Witch (Riyria Chronicles, #1.5)
Sep 29, 2011 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 w
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading it I found out that this one is a chapter from The Rose and the Thorn, but I don’t mind, I’ll read it again.

The encounter between Hadrian & Royce with (view spoiler) Viscount Albert Winslow is really hilarious, even more because of Royce trying to teach Hadrian a lesson.

Don’t really know who won in the end ;))
Zoe Artemis Spencer Reid
LOL. This was actually a part in The Rose and the Thorn. You may not want to read this short story if you had read The Rose and the Thorn.
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
Veronica Morfi
Jan 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Veronica Morfi
Jun 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
Sep 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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! ...more
J. Lieutenant of Barad Dur
Aug 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ah Royce... that mind of yours..
Aram Brazilian
Dec 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
glad I read it - some of it was familiar... free on Kindle, so why not... and more time spent w/ the boys is always good...
Oct 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Available for free in lots of formats here:
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 about the Riyr
Mar 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
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.
Sep 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, ebook
“Don’t mind him; he was raised by wolves.”

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.

“Royce was no longer behind him. He often disappeared at times like this. Being more adept at stealth, Royce enjoyed using Hadrian for the noisy distraction he was.”

I'm embarrassed to claim a "book" read for a short story of less than thirty pages. Still
Nimrod Daniel
Aug 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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).

Paul Nelson
Jul 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012-books-read
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.
Aug 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
*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
Melissa Hayden
Oct 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, ebook
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
Michael Kotsarinis
Oct 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Katie Daniels
Dec 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: outread-aubrey
Hehe, I think I'm going to love the Riyria Chronicles. The Amazon description says it all: "There's no ancient evil to defeat or orphan destined for greatness, just unlikely heroes and classic adventure." Anything with good humour and thieves is bound to get my attention, and Michael Sullivan just did that. ...more
Nov 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
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.

Not really got the idea of this EXTREMELY shot thing.
You can skip it. Or you can read it if you can get it for free.
Wing Kee
Feb 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
A perfect little tale that introduces two wonderful characters.

A simple tale that in 40 pages shows off the personal voice of Royce and Hadrian and introduces a character from Riyria. It's short, simple, to the point and full of character depth. Good stuff!

Onward to the next book!
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
This appears to have been released as a short story within the Riyria series, and I read it as such. However, I discovered subsequently that it's exactly the same as the second chapter in 'The Rose and The Thorn' - Book 2 of the Riyria Chronicles - which seems rather odd! Still the whole series is excellent, so it still gets a 4-star rating. ...more
Apr 15, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Nov 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2011

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
Timothy Ward
Jul 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
"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
Kelly Robertson
Jul 06, 2012 rated it really liked it

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 f
Nov 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
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
Oct 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Unfettered (Unfettered, #1)
  • Blackguards: Tales of Assassins, Mercenaries, and Rogues
  • The Siege of Skyhold (Mage Errant #5)
  • Powerful Women of the Medieval World
  • She Who Waits (Low Town, #3)
  • How Old Holly Came to Be
  • Return to Honor (Powder Mage, #1.5)
  • Green-Eyed Vipers (Powder Mage, #0.6)
  • The Face in the Window (Powder Mage, #0.7)
  • Shadows (Nightlord, #2)
  • The Girl of Hrusch Avenue (Powder Mage, #0.5)
  • The Spirit Eater (The Legend of Eli Monpress, #3)
  • Classroom of the Elite (Light Novel) Vol. 8
  • Classroom of the Elite (Light Novel) Vol. 7.5
  • Classroom of the Elite (Light Novel) Vol. 9
  • ようこそ実力至上主義の教室へ 4.5 [Youkoso Jitsuryoku Shijou Shugi no Kyoushitsu e (Novel) 4.5] (Youkoso Jitsuryoku Shijou Shugi no Kyoushitsu e Light Novels, #4.5)
  • Hope's End (Powder Mage, #0.4)
  • Awakening (Infinity Blade, #1)
See similar books…
See top shelves…
If you missed the Nolyn Kickstarter, you can pre-order ebooks, regular hardcovers, and the limited hardcover (which won't be sold in stores and from this link. ebooks are available now for those who pre-order (rather than waiting until August).

Thanks for visiting my page! Here are other sites where you can contact me.

I'm a New Yo

Other books in the series

The Riyria Chronicles (5 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)
  • The Disappearance of Winter's Daughter  (The Riyria Chronicles, #4)
  • Drumindor (The Riyria Chronicles, #5)

Related Articles

Need another excuse to go to the bookstore this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our list, we...
44 likes · 8 comments
“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?”
“Royce sighed. The sigh was new. “You don’t know this woman. This isn’t your problem.”

“I know that.”

“So why are you helping her?”

“Because that’s what people do. They help each other. If you saw a man lying in the road with an arrow in him, you’d stop, wouldn’t you?”

“Of course,” Royce replied, “anyone would. A wounded man is easy pickings, unless you could see from your saddle that someone else has already taken his purse.”

“What? No! No one would rob a wounded man and leave him to die.”

Royce nodded. “Well, no. You’re right. If he has a purse and you take it, it’s best to slit his throat afterward. Too many people live through arrow wounds, and you don’t want the bugger recovering and coming after you.”

The old woman looked at Royce aghast.

Now it was Hadrian’s turn to sigh. “Don’t mind him; he was raised by wolves.”
More quotes…