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The Rose and the Thorn (The Riyria Chronicles #2)

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  16,232 Ratings  ·  787 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…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)

Community Reviews

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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 finally cav
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!
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
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
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
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
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
Aug 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this one so much! Definitely my favorite of the Riyria Chronicles novels thus far! Cannot wait for The Death of Dulgath!
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!
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
TS Chan
May 2016: Reread with my excellent buddies on BB&B!

This prequel together with The Crown Tower completed the origins of Riyria as well as of the seeds of conspiracy that was over ten years in the making, leading into the captivating story told in The Riyria Revelations.

As far as back-stories go, the Riyria Chronicles were superbly well-written... and one of the reasons why Michael J. Sullivan solidly ranks as one of my favourite authors.

June 2015:

“I neve
Liam Degnan
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
Nov 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-fantasy
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 to
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
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
Lindsey Rey
May 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015, fantasy
Definitely my favorite Riyria installment!
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.
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
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
Obaid Haroon
Dec 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was amazing. I am loving the tales of Royce and Hadrian. The ending was so fucking beautiful. I am definitely hoping for one a year for every year they were together rep Riyria Revelations.

I am not ready to let go of these two.
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
Nov 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
Another fantastic addition to the world of Riyria.
I really enjoyed this one. Mainly because of just how many nods to Revelations there were. It’s so satisfying seeing events that were mentioned in that series actually taking place. It was great to see how the boys got Winslow to start working with them. Even though he had to stop drinking rum. Sad times indeed.
It was also really interesting seeing the royal family before the events of Revelations. Especially the king...

These characters are so
Michael Britt
Oct 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is a bittersweet moment for me. I just can't believe how much I've grown to love these characters. And I can't believe I'm almost done with the last, as of right now, book in the Riyria series. But, back to this book (sorry for any mistakes in grammar or otherwise, typing this via my phone). I thoroughly enjoyed this installment into the Chronicles series, a little more than The Crown Tower, but both are amazing books.

This one has more action, and a particularly awesome death scene(s) near
David Sven
May 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks, fantasy
Fantasy adventure at it's finest. Excellent storytelling. Excellent audio narration by Tim Gerard Reynolds. You know it's a good book when you're disappointed the commute to work wasn't longer so you can listen that little bit extra.

This story picks up a year or so after the events of the first book The Crown Tower. Here, fans of the original series get in detail more of the back story of various characters hinted at to varying degrees in The Riyria Revelations. In that sense we already know how
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading Riyria is like coming home from a long and tiring journey. It gives me that feeling of comfort, peace and total relaxation. I simply love the two, Royce and Hadrian, their adventures and humor. They are so different from one another and yet they complement each other perfectly.

This volume develops major events from Riyria Revelations (view spoiler)
Nov 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013

The second installment of the Riyria Chronicles takes place about a year after the turbulent meeting of Royce Melborn and Hadrian Blackwater, in The Crown Conspiracy . The books were published a month apart for a reason, as the events in the two stories are closely linked together. With my poor memory skills, I'm glad I didn't have to wait a year or more for the follow-up.

As with the opening story, this one was a page turner, a very fast read and a throwback to my teenage swashbuckling favorit
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
Veronica Morfi
Mar 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Rating: 5/5

Amazing! What more can I say. I am just a little disappointed that they didn't uncover the traitors. And still there is no specific mention of the second guy, but I am pretty sure he is the one I suspected from the very beginning. I guess this is the story that continues on the Revelations. Can't wait to read that, too!

Since the full review will not come, cause I am at a loss for words, I seriously don't know where to begin with this one, I am just going to say that the third book in
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Fantasy Fanatics: The Rose and the Thorn by Michael J Sullivan (SPOILERS) 26 71 May 15, 2015 06:58AM  
More Chronicles??? 25 136 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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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)
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“Less talk, more screaming.” 11 likes
“After catching an arrow in the back and passing out in Tom the Feather’s barnyard, Hadrian had woken up on a comfortable bed surrounded by lovely women. He thought he’d died and regretted every time he’d ever cursed Maribor’s name.” 5 likes
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