Rob's Reviews > Theft of Swords

Theft of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan
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's review
Oct 27, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: debut, fantasy, fantasy-series, omnibus, read-in-2011, sffword-review, best-of-2011

Theft of Swords contains The Crown Conspiracy and Avempartha, the first two novels in the series. Both books are just over 300 pages. In The Crown Conspiracy, readers are introduced to the anti-heroic duo of Royce Melborn, thief, and Hadrian Blackwater, mercenary. The two call themselves Riyria and are known as a competent duo, working outside the thieves’ guild taking on jobs for nobles who would otherwise not want to get their hands dirty. Off the bat, Sullivan gives readers fully formed protagonists who are mature and not the typical farmboys of epic fantasy. In fact, the feel I got throughout The Crown Conspiracy was more of a Sword and Sorcery adventure rather than Epic Fantasy. Of course, the comparison many people have made to Royce and Hadrian is to Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser. The relationship between Royce and Hadrian comes across as something that is long-standing, but as of yet, Sullivan has yet to reveal how the two rogues became partners. This is good, and a pattern of storytelling which Sullivan employs throughout The Crown Conspiracy and a method at which he excels.
Sullivan’s Riyria Revelations, with the two volumes contained in the omnibus, is off to a terrific beginning. He introduces familiar fantasy elements, one might even say cliché fantasy elements (thief & mercenary, murdered king, fantastical races like elves and dwarves, faux-medieval world, ancient citadels, etc), but through calculated, expert revelation, tell a story that has more depth than the outer trappings would lead one to believe. Sullivan had me turning the pages rapidly and has me eager to read the continuing adventures of Royce and Hadrian, to learn more about their origins, and to see what further depth he’s invested in Elan, the world in which these stories are set.

Excerpt above links to full review at SFFWorld

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Reading Progress

October 27, 2011 – Started Reading
October 27, 2011 – Shelved
November 6, 2011 – Shelved as: debut
November 6, 2011 – Shelved as: fantasy
November 6, 2011 – Shelved as: omnibus
November 6, 2011 – Shelved as: read-in-2011
November 6, 2011 – Shelved as: sffword-review
November 6, 2011 – Shelved as: fantasy-series
November 6, 2011 – Finished Reading
December 1, 2011 – Shelved as: best-of-2011

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