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The Rose and the Thorn

(The Riyria Chronicles #2)

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  23,836 ratings  ·  1,136 reviews

For more than a year Royce Melborn has tried to forget Gwen DeLancy, the woman who saved him and his partner Hadrian Blackwater from certain death. Unable to get her out of his mind, the two thieves return to Medford but receive a very different reception --- Gwen refuses to see them. The victim of abuse by a powerful noble, she sus
Paperback, 347 pages
Published September 17th 2013 by Orbit
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Michael Jacob and Catherine are correct. Here's the background on that. Back in August of 2011 the "individual" versions of the books were removed from the ma…moreJacob and Catherine are correct. Here's the background on that. 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.

UPDATE: 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).(less)

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Average rating 4.40  · 
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Jun 11, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5/5 stars

The cover art to The Rose and the Thorn is atrocious, but let’s not judge a book by its cover.

“The right word, said at the right moment, can work magic, he was fond of saying. You merely need to understand power, where it comes from, and the direction it flows.”

Two persons genuinely surprised me. First, the cover artist has outdone himself; I thought the cover art he did for The Riyria Revelations and The Crown Tower was bad already. But no, he has created a masterfully i
Sep 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It's Michael J. Sullivan.
It's Royce and Hadrian.
Of course it is phenomenal.

“Wait! What is it? What is Riyria? What does it mean?”
“It's elvish...for two.”

The Rose and the Thorn had been sitting on my bookshelf for months. Reading it was a physical need, but I kept postponing it because I knew that when I gave in, I would move one step closer to the end, and a point in my life when there wouldn't be any new adventures of my favorite thieves, and that was depressing. Two days ago, I fin
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
"What is Riyria? What does it mean?"
"It's elvish. . . for two."

The boys are back in town and I still love them. They are back after a year and set out to help Gwen. I really wish evil people would leave them alone!

Someone hurt Gwen and other deaths and beatings. It was probably not a good idea to pick on Gwen her girls!
TS Chan
Third time reading The Rose and The Thorn, and it still felt just as wonderful to be back.

In my view, The Crown Tower together with the The Rose and The Thorn form the origins duology of the Riyria duo. It also seeded the conspiracy that was over ten years in the making, leading into the captivating story that started in The Riyria Revelations. As far as prequels go, The Riyria Chronicles were superbly well-written, and continues to solidify the reasons why Michael J. Sullivan ranks as one of
Nov 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is always a joy to be back in the world of Elan and to read more about Royce and Hadrian. I’ve really enjoyed ‘’The Crown Tower’’ and thought it to be a prequel done right and expected no less from this installment and it was even better!

In the ‘’Crown Tower’’ we found out how Royce and Hadrian met and how they started to work together and here we get to see how their partnership is evolving into friendship and how they became the famous Riyria.

This is an amazing adventure with interesting s
Nov 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Full review now up!

The Rose and the Thorn is the second book in the prequel series of The Riyria Chronicles. The story is set in the city of Medford a year after the events of The Crown Tower. MJS did a great job showing the growth in Royce in Hadrian's relationship. While it's still not to the level we see in the Revelations series, there is considerable improvement from the first book. For instance, they don't exactly loath each other anymore. Royce seems to have accepted Hadrian and his do go
Jun 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Like with the main series this prequel was far more complex, and in many ways darker, than that which preceded it. It was also even more compelling. Several of my friends have recommended reading the main series first but I would actually recommend this one first. Overall I think it's better written and more engaging and while the first book was really just about developing Royce and Hadrian this one nicely sets up the main plot. Having read the main series already I knew how a lot of stuff woul ...more
Robin (Bridge Four)
Another fantastic prequel of one of my favorite bromantic couples with Buddies Books and Baubles

Prequels, I’m usually not really interested in them. I mean once you know where the story goes do you really care about the origins of it? For most of the books I’ve read I’d say that it a big fat NO. But for Riyria and Michael J Sullivan the is a huge and resounding YES!!!!

Not only do we get to see how Royce and Hadrian finally solidified into a team and found their front man, we also get to see th
Feb 03, 2022 rated it really liked it
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“The world’s a miserable place, kid. Give it any chance and it will kill you and not always with a blade or a cough. You know, there’s a reason men prefer to die in battle—living can sometimes be worse.”

The Crown Tower ★★★★
The Rose & the Thorn ★★★★

I don’t know where to start this review from so I will do it with the cover which is one of the worst for this series! I stayed away from the series for a long time because of the cove
Jenna Kathleen
Dec 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
It's been far too long since I've been in Elan. Lately, I haven't had much time for reading, but Riyria is one of those series that you unconsciously make time for. I read on the subway, as usual; I read when I arrived anywhere a few minutes early. I read when I was cooking (not the best idea) and I lost a bit of sleep because I was just so immersed in The Rose and the Thorn.

This book seemed to be focused a bit less on the actual events, but more on character development. Of course, Hadrian and
Deborah Obida
Jun 17, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult, fantasy
The Rose and the Thorn is the second book in the Riyria Chronicles and the best Riyria book in my opinion. Just like the other Riyria books, the theme that stands out is friendship and comradeship. I also like the relationships between the other characters in this book. There were lots of new well written characters in this book, I didn’t expect that. I also love the fight scenes, though they weren’t many they were well depicted, same goes for the politics, that was unexpected, I didn’t expect t ...more
Jun 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everybody
A BR with my best BR partner, Craig, with me as a tail, traipsing in the back :D

Here I am, in Riyria again :)

One more great adventure with Riyria. It was so great to meet R&H and other characters I got to love, amazing backstories, cool action, nice fighting, some jokes. A bit predictable, but a great read nonetheless! :) The story of Reuben and the beginning of love between two main characters really touched my heart <3

Sorry for a short review, RL Ugh :O
Kitty G Books
Apr 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-sff-faves
Well it's officially 1:08am here and I just finished reading this. I am super tired, but I couldn't put this down and I utterly adore the characters from this series so I had to know what would happen.

This is book #2 in the Riyria Chronicles which I would advise you read after the whole Riyria Revelations series, even though the Chronicles are a prequel series. Basically in this series we get to see the backstory and various crazy adventures of the two main characters from Riyria Revelations, Ro
Dec 24, 2012 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
As the author of this book, I won't add a rating but I will take the opportunity to talk a bit about this book.

In combination with its predecessor, The Crown Tower, this book pretty much wraps up the forming of Riyria. I was really happy to provide some of Hilfred's backstory as he is a character that really didn't get much spotlight in the Revelations series.

It also was good to see Gwen and her girls again. I especially like Rose the titular character who was introduced in the early book, but w
Eon ♒Windrunner♒
Another fantastic prequel.

I think I'm running out of ways to praise this series, so suffice it to say that I will re-read these many times over the years to come.

If you have not yet read Michael J Sullivan, you are missing out!
Sep 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths Reviews

The Rose and the Thorn is the second book in the Riyria Chronicles by Michael J. Sullivan. It - like the previous book, The Crown Tower - is a prequel to the Riyria Revelations. But unlike most prequels, Mr. Sullivan has done something absolutely superb here: created a tale that both satisfies as a back story and excels as a stand alone, page turner.

As the novel begins, a year has passed since the events in The Crown Tower. Royce and Hadrian have been w
Anna *Bran. San. Stan*
“[Hadrian] was back in a serious drinking state of mind. He often got that way when he thought too much, when he took inventory and found his shelves bare.” This just makes me want to hug Hadrian, not just because I have a crush on him and I hurt when he hurts, but because I really felt that. But let’s start from the top.

This book is a lot grimmer than book 1 – be prepared for more cruelty and more tragedy. If you’ve read Revelations first – which you definitely should – you already know who
May 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
This book was everything that you want a prequel to be and more. Following a relatively "Okay" but still good first book in the Chronicles, I wasn't expecting much from this, but was extremely pleasantly surprised.

Plot was well developed and interesting, as it tied in with many elements we got to know from Revelations. Character development was just fantastic, with a particular emphasis on Ruben Hilfred (our favorite body guard), giving us his backstory along with details about an event that wi
Jan 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This was a super enjoyable installment in the Riyria series. It covers a whole bunch of stuff including why Hadrian and Royce chose the name Riyria to represent them. It mainly focuses around the plot to kill the Royal family of Medford and Royce making sure that the ladies of Medford House are safe from harm. We also get to met Albert Winslow for the first time. His first appearance is definitely a memorable one!

This was filled with all the action and humor we have come to expect from the seri
Sep 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Another great story and insight on how Royce and Hadrian grew into becoming Riyria. Shed a tear, felt anger and had a laugh. Wonderful book! But definitely read Riyria revelations first!
4.5⭐️ (Very close to 5)

Even better than the first book.

There’s something so addictive about the Riyria books.
Hadrian and Royce never disappoint. The dialogues, the hilarious back and forth, the story overall - I live for them!
The cutest, most adorable bromance next to Locke and Jean.

If TCT was more about the introduction of Hadrian and Royce, this one was more about their friendship and them becoming the bona fide team that is Riyria.

There was a lot more action and drama here, and answers t
Zoe Artemis Spencer Reid
Have given it all the stars before even turning the first page. Michael could have written some crap for all I care, I will still give it 5 stars just pure out of blinded love for Riyria at this point. But it turns out I am amazed to no end, of how he could turn quite simple story to such entertaining, thrilling and splendid, touching and relatable as this book.
Lindsey Rey
May 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, 2015
Definitely my favorite Riyria installment!
Dec 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Here we meet Reuben Hilfred who will appear later in Riyria Revelations. In this book he is still a young boy getting ready to become a castle guard. His POV takes up practically half of the book; it becomes really interesting at about one third in the book and stays that way until the end. The second half of the book is unsurprisingly about Hadrian, Royce and Albert Winslow. The duo's meeting with the latter was described in the short story The Viscount and the Witch which is incorporated in th ...more
Michael of Solace
Nov 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really hope Mr Sullivan never stops writing about Hadrian and Royce. What a wonderful world he has built full of political intrigue, betrayals, dastardly plots, magical places, and beautiful ladies. There's so many characters that are easy to love, easy to hate, or easy to sympathize with. I'm saddened by the fact that there's only one more book left in Chronicles but honored that I've had the opportunity to read and love them. ...more
May 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
Quick paced, real tension and character development. Hadrian & Royce were not the real big roles in this one. While they are still a big chunk of the story, Hilfred really takes the center role. The story is quick to unfold and while some parts were foreseeable, they still delivered. The danger is real, as the protagonists and antagonists both show. While Hadrian is rubbing off on Royce, he can still show how ruthless he was/is. One of my favorite books from this universe so far
Jul 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Short review, busy yada yada.

Ok, so in my review for The Crown Tower I was mentioned that I think I would recommend the Revelations first. After reading this book I am changing that to; I strongly recommend you read the Revelations series first.

Whilst I loved this book and was completely and utterly immersed in it once again, it did give out way to many story spoilers that would change the way you read the first two books of the Revelations series. Part of the mystery of who's who, their histor
Nimrod Daniel
Jun 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
A great follow up to The Crown Tower, that dives deeper into Melengar politics and schemes. Royce and Hadrian at their best, and Gwen also grows into a very interesting character.
Plus, we're finally introduced to the younger version of the Royal Family of Melenger and other familiar characters as well.

A very cohesive, enjoyable, and fun installment in the Chronicles series.
Mogsy (MMOGC)
The Riyria Revelations series may have wrapped up, but when it comes to this fantasy world and its characters, clearly there are still many stories to be told. Michael J. Sullivan fills in the details of the past first with The Crown Tower, and now with The Rose and the Thorn. Thanks to Orbit Books and NetGalley, I was able to read an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

While the first book told the origin story of the partnership between Royce and Hadrian, I thought this
Feb 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Despite my very inexperienced relationship with the 'Riyria series' (I've only read 2 of possibly 7 books in both series), I've truly enjoyed everything about M. Sullivan's series! The protagonist characters Royce and Hadrian are loads of fun, and they compliment each other perfectly! Sullivan's writing is very fluid with great character development and kick ass action scenes! Sullivan doesn't take his writing too seriously, and the end result is an amazing organic tale of 2 thieves and their ad ...more
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Fantasy Buddy Reads: Rose and the Thorn [Oct 1, 2018] 32 33 Oct 14, 2018 01:58PM  
Fantasy Fanatics: The Rose and the Thorn by Michael J Sullivan (SPOILERS) 26 80 May 15, 2015 06:58AM  
More Chronicles??? 25 139 May 15, 2015 06:50AM  
Fantasy Fanatics: The Rose and the Thorn by Michael J Sullivan (NO SPOILERS) 2 38 Oct 20, 2013 06:24AM  

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My latest book, Farilane is now available for ebook and audiobook formats - the printed copies are still on the press. Also, it hit #1 on Amazon's Bestselling Epic Fantasy list!

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Other books in the series

The Riyria Chronicles (5 books)
  • The Crown Tower (The Riyria Chronicles, #1)
  • The Death of Dulgath (The Riyria Chronicles, #3)
  • The Disappearance of Winter's Daughter  (The Riyria Chronicles, #4)
  • Drumindor (The Riyria Chronicles, #5)

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