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message 1: by Shaad (new)

Shaad Zaman (shaadzaman) | 234 comments Mod
Here is where we can discuss The Crown Tower by Michael J Sullivan chapters 1-6.
DO NOT post any spoilers from further along in the book, this is just for chapters 1-6.


message 2: by Drake (new)

Drake (drake2484) So glad to have Ryria back!!! While I'm a little bummed this is a story in the past and not the future, I can at least rest assured that I don't have to freak out about Hadrian or Royce dying as they have to be alive for the Ryria Revelations to take place. It's also really cool to get to know some of the characters better and their origins. It'll make it interesting to reread the Ryria Revelations with my new opinions and attachments to characters from this book, I think.

I'm glad the beginning of the book revolves around Hadrian as he is my favorite of the two. I wasn't expecting this Pickles character, but now that he's here, I can't help but wonder if he might have ever been referenced by Hadrian in the Ryria Revelations story. Does anyone know off the top of their heads?

I wasn't expecting to get Gwen's origin in this book. So that's exciting! Does anyone remember if any of the girls with Gwen are in the Ryria Revelations? Sullivan has woven so much of those books into this one, which is awesome, that every time something or somebody new enters the story, I wonder if they're also in or talked about in the Ryria Revelations. I'm going to have to reread them just to find out!


message 3: by Shaad (new)

Shaad Zaman (shaadzaman) | 234 comments Mod
Lets just says pickles is an interesting character! Thats all i will say!


message 4: by Andreas (new)

Andreas Just finished the first chapter.

The author's introduction probably wasn't directed to me, because I haven't read any other book from him. But I really got confused and didn't understand why he thought I'd need to know fancy things about his wife and reading orders and such. Would have worked better for me if he just told me "if you are new to my work just skip this introduction!".

First chapter was nice. It felt like Fahfrd and the Grey Mouser from The First Book of Lankhmar which I read back in the 80s and have very fond memories of. I don't know if this will hold in the next couple of chapters but this is surely a good start! Especially the first sentence and scene - stolen bag given back - sucked me in.


message 5: by Michael (last edited Sep 02, 2013 08:05AM) (new)

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 84 comments @Drake - welcome back to Elan! You are not the only person who wants sequels rather than prequels - and maybe some day I will. But for now I really want to keep the ending to Riyria Revelations that it has (I worked so hard to wrap things up in it) and not "tack on" to it. From the feedback I've gotten so far, it seems that people are enjoying exploring the origins of the duo.

Pickles is a new character created for Chronicles, so no he wasn't written about in Revelations.

As for the women of Medford House...some have gone on to other professions before Riyria Revelations,a and some are still there (although I'm not sure if I actually bring them up). It's part of the iceberg effect of the world building, where I know much more than what is exposed to the reader. So yeah I have a whole cast of characters some of which are alluded to and some you actually meet. There were a number of them that were created fresh. So a little of "all of the above.


message 6: by Michael (new)

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 84 comments @Shaad - me thinks you have read further than Chapter 6 ;-)


message 7: by Michael (new)

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 84 comments @Andres - you are right about part of the intro - as it is only the veterans who care about why I did a prequel rather than a sequel. But I did want new readers to read it so that they could decide if they want to start with Theft of Swords or with The Crown Tower. Knowing that you can read in either chronological or order of publication was an important point to mention, as some series you definitely don't want to read chronologically as there will be spoilers.


But yeah after I got past that part, I should have added a "The rest of this is for veteran readers." Maybe something to add for future versions.

I hear many comparisons to Fahfrd and the Grey Mouser and some are surprised to hear that I've never read any of Lieber's work. In fact, I didn't even know those books existed until after I wrote the series and started hearing comments like yours. I've "looked them up" but am avoiding reading until I'm sure that there will be no more Royce and Hadrian tales.

Glad you found the opening to your liking.


message 8: by Shaad (new)

Shaad Zaman (shaadzaman) | 234 comments Mod
Michael wrote: "@Shaad - me thinks you have read further than Chapter 6 ;-)"

I know I finished the book! btw michael I never ended up getting any of those preorder goodies? any idea why?


message 9: by Bill (new)

Bill Enjoying so far. Looking forward to meeting Royce before he was humanized.


message 10: by Becky (new)

Becky (beaktastic) | 86 comments Just finished chapter 6 and loving this! Loving getting a lot of Gwen's backstory here too which I wasn't really expecting. I knew Gwen will be featured in the Rose & Thorn book released soon but wasn't expecting so much from her perspective here. I love it though. And interested by Hadrian's riverboat journey with the 'hooded man' ;)

Bill wrote: "Enjoying so far. Looking forward to meeting Royce before he was humanized."

Me too! I'm sure he won't be as scary as Dark Royce from later in the series but it will be interesting to see him before Hadrian has a positive effect on him.

Andreas wrote: "Just finished the first chapter.

The author's introduction probably wasn't directed to me, because I haven't read any other book from him. But I really got confused and didn't understand why he t..."


It'll be interesting (to me anyway) to see what you think of this prequel as we go along though, since you haven't read Revelations, as your experience will likely be different to mine and others who have read Revelations. :)

Also note to self, sometime need to check out Fahfrd and Grey Mouser...


message 11: by Drake (new)

Drake (drake2484) @Michael - Ah I see. Well the prequel has me just as happy as a sequel would have, so no worries there. You did a great job writing the book and making it connect with Revelations. It feels like these are real people and this is their story, instead of it being forced in order to continue these characters' stories, which happens to a lot of sequels and prequels. So great job! I love it.

Also I wanted to say thank you for the goodies that came with the pre-order! They were awesome!


message 12: by Andreas (last edited Sep 04, 2013 11:14PM) (new)

Andreas I like how the POV Gwen develops. She is an interesting character with a mystic background - contrasting the more physical nature of Hadrian. That sounds like a Sword&Sorcery - but Gwen currently is "only" a seer. And she is a tough, dedicated woman.

I don't know if it is a valid comparison, but Gwen's part remembers me of Ken Follett's mediaeval books, like The Pillars of the Earth. Hard start for the character, trying to establish something. Then it will break up and go far worse. Well, let's see :)

There is this initiating scene where a client murders one of the whores out of lust. Gwen working as a "barmaid" tries to get the murderer hanged. But for the constabler it is enough that the murderer has to pay blood money to the whore's pimp. I don't yet understand the society leading to such a strange understanding of justice. But maybe the constabler has been bribed or there are other reasons.

I didn't like Hadrian's passage on the barge. The passengers' dialogues when they suspected the hooded man seemed a little bit naive (view spoiler). I know that people don't argue logical very often but the merchant's parts were exaggerated into comic style. I'm glad that Hadrian isn't that way, though.

So, after this quarter of the book, I really like the more plain than literaric prose, the characters and the setup. Ethics are hinted but not discussed, yet. There are zero lengths and the POV changes work out very well.


message 13: by Amy (new)

Amy (amanahan) | 16 comments Andreas wrote: "Just finished the first chapter.

The author's introduction probably wasn't directed to me, because I haven't read any other book from him. But I really got confused and didn't understand why he t..."


Hope you are continuing to enjoy this book. While it ultimately doesn't matter which series you begin with, true Royce and Hadrian fans probably fell in love with these characters within the first five pages of the Theft of Swords. The author has an amazing talent for creating interesting and endearing characters. I stumbled on these books a few months ago and have since read each book twice. My recommendation is (assuming that you continue to enjoy The Crown Tower through the end)to start reading The Riyria Revelations series upon completion of this book. It will give you a new appreciation for these beloved characters.


message 14: by Amy (new)

Amy (amanahan) | 16 comments Drake wrote: "So glad to have Ryria back!!! While I'm a little bummed this is a story in the past and not the future, I can at least rest assured that I don't have to freak out about Hadrian or Royce dying as th..."

I've recently reread these books. They may have mentioned a couple of the girls in previous books, but just in passing, nothing that really added to the overall story.


message 15: by Amy (new)

Amy (amanahan) | 16 comments Michael wrote: "@Andres - you are right about part of the intro - as it is only the veterans who care about why I did a prequel rather than a sequel. But I did want new readers to read it so that they could decide..."

I don't know if this is the best place to put this, but I just had to post it somewhere...

I could not be more thrilled to have stumbled upon these books. These are the only stories, other than Harry Potter, that I have read more than once and probably will read again. For me, giving anything "near Harry Potter status" is monumental. I love the Riyria series because the characters are creative and easy to become attached to. Plots are exciting, and dialog is always interesting. Mixed with a little light humor, they never overbearing or overly serious like The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, or overwhelming with the minute detail of elves, dwarfs, dragons, etc, often found in other fantasy novels.


message 16: by Michael (new)

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 84 comments @shaad - no idea actually. I did all the signing and my wife did all the mailing - drop me and email and I'll have Robin look into it.


message 17: by Shaad (new)

Shaad Zaman (shaadzaman) | 234 comments Mod
Ok Michael I will send you an email!


message 18: by Michael (new)

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 84 comments @Bill - writing pre-Royce was a big part of the fun. I won't spoil anything...but in Rose and the Thorn..well let's just say he has a short fuse.


message 19: by Michael (new)

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 84 comments @Becky - I really couldn't explore as much of Gwen's backstory as I wanted to in Revelations. So I'm so glad to have the opportunity to do so in the prequels.


message 20: by Michael (new)

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 84 comments @Drake - Thanks! I have gotten a lot of "this is how a prequel should be written." So I'm really pleased with those comments. For me, it's easy because I already had all this backstory "off the page" as I only show the tip of the iceberg. It was nice to expose some of the things that only I knew about.


message 21: by Shaad (new)

Shaad Zaman (shaadzaman) | 234 comments Mod
Michael wrote: "@shaad - no idea actually. I did all the signing and my wife did all the mailing - drop me and email and I'll have Robin look into it."

Hey Michael, i have sent you an email! Please a take a look at ir! Thanks!


message 22: by Michael (new)

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 84 comments @Andres I'm glad you are enjoying Gwen's part. As for the barge scene...the merchant's behavior is odd...but there is a reason for it. We'll table that until you are a bit further in. But yes, you are picking up on a clue there.


message 23: by Michael (new)

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 84 comments @Amy - thanks for saying such great things. I did beta test the books with experienced and first time readers. There were even some that read The Rose and the Thorn without first reading The Crown Tower. But that's not to say that more input and feedback from readers who haven't the Revelations background isn't welcome. I agree with you though - the best way to experience it is to read in order of publication. (imho).


message 24: by Michael (new)

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 84 comments @Shaad - done! Check your email.


message 25: by Shaad (new)

Shaad Zaman (shaadzaman) | 234 comments Mod
Hey Michael check if my record is under Shaad.zaman@gmail.com or shaadreads@gmail.com!


message 26: by Michael (new)

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 84 comments Ah...found it. Canada shipping was done independent of the program where I have tracking information so no idea what happened to it - but will send out a new one.


message 27: by Shaad (new)

Shaad Zaman (shaadzaman) | 234 comments Mod
So you have all my information? I don't need to answer the questions in my email?


message 28: by Andreas (last edited Sep 05, 2013 11:12PM) (new)

Andreas Michael wrote: "@Andres I'm glad you are enjoying Gwen's part. As for the barge scene...the merchant's behavior is odd...but there is a reason for it. We'll table that until you are a bit further in. But yes, you..."

I read some very renowned authors recently
(Bester or Asimov, anyone?) who come up with quite ridiculous dialogues and behaviour in their prose that I'm probably a little bit nervous about such passages. The other thing is that I'm writing here while reading - in contrast to a review where you can't reflect and soften your assumptions knowing events that will only happen later in the book. And I don't know your writing style, yet. That will change, promised ;)

And btw - it is Andreas, not Andres ;)


message 29: by Becky (new)

Becky (beaktastic) | 86 comments Michael wrote: "@Amy - thanks for saying such great things. I did beta test the books with experienced and first time readers. There were even some that read The Rose and the Thorn without first reading The Crown..."

I'd agree that it is better having read Revelations first I think, purely because I keep seeing little vague hints for later in the series that make me excited, but at the same time it is still an enjoyable story if you haven't read the other books.


message 30: by Kristina (new)

Kristina (spaz_girl) I BOUGHT IT TODAY!!!

I'm so excited to be starting soon!!!


message 31: by Shaad (new)

Shaad Zaman (shaadzaman) | 234 comments Mod
Kristina wrote: "I BOUGHT IT TODAY!!!

I'm so excited to be starting soon!!!"


Enjoy!


message 32: by Becky (new)

Becky (beaktastic) | 86 comments Kristina wrote: "I BOUGHT IT TODAY!!!

I'm so excited to be starting soon!!!"


Enjoy! I'm loving it! But I'm getting close to the end now :(


message 33: by Michael (last edited Sep 09, 2013 12:13PM) (new)

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 84 comments @Shaad - I need to check with Robin - but if I know if you need 1 plate or two and who they should be made out to that is the important stuff.


message 34: by Michael (new)

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 84 comments @Andreas sorry for the typo - I'm notorious for them. Well it may be that once you know what I know you'll still think the dialogue is ridiculous - which is fine. But you are right, we are conversing mid-book and there should be facts brought to light that should make what they say and how they say it make more sense.


message 35: by Michael (new)

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 84 comments @Becky - Yep that was my intention and hope. Glad to see that it's working ;-)


message 36: by Shaad (new)

Shaad Zaman (shaadzaman) | 234 comments Mod
Hey Michael send 2 plates and they should be dedicated with my name Shaad Zaman! Thanks!


message 37: by Michael (new)

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 84 comments Will do Shaad!


message 38: by Kaora (new)

Kaora (ophelja) Andreas wrote: "I didn't like Hadrian's passage on the barge. The passengers' dialogues when they suspected the hooded man seemed a little bit naive"

@Andreas I don't agree. Fear makes people lose all logic. If your life was being threatened do you think you would rather be safe than sorry? Its a sad fact that people just lose their heads and stop listening to reason.

I love love love these books. The Riyria Revelations is one of my favorite fantasy series. I started reading and just couldn't stop. I am excited about the Crown Tower and what I have read so far! (I'm only on page 100 so far). I already have The Rose and Thorn waiting for me to read as well.

@Michael PLEASE write more on these guys! I know you don't want to overstay your welcome but I don't think that's possible :) Or just write more about this wonderful world you've created. How about something from the elves?


message 39: by Michael (new)

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 84 comments Thanks Allison...I do have a survey running that is helping me determine future writing projects - it's it's here for those that are interested .

As to books about the elves - I actually am finishing up a book (the first in a trilogy) that covers the ancient past in Elan (in other words the first war between Novron and the Elves) so I do have something on that coming soonish.


message 40: by Shaad (new)

Shaad Zaman (shaadzaman) | 234 comments Mod
Well that sounds interesting can't wait for that to come out! It should be awesome cant wait!


message 41: by Michael (new)

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 84 comments I'm really happy with how it has come together.


message 42: by Becky (new)

Becky (beaktastic) | 86 comments I can't wait to read more from this wonderful world :) And it'll be nice to go back and visit the 'beginning' as it were for a lot of the drama and history that influenced the events in the books already published.


message 43: by Tara (new)

Tara | 7 comments Has anyone else noticed how very little magic Sullivan uses in his prequels? I believe this is because he cares more about introducing us to amazingly fleshed out and believable characters. When there are fantastical elements they leave you breathless with amazement and anticipation because you already know and care about the characters.

None of Sullivan's characters conjure up a spell, slay a dragon or embrace any other genre go-to tricks because he, as the author got bored or tried to sidestep a weak floorboard in the plot construction. This is not only thrilling but refreshing!


message 44: by Michael (new)

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 84 comments @Becky - Great! I do hope you enjoy your extended time in Elan.


message 45: by Michael (new)

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 84 comments @Tara - Magic can cause havoc from a plot perspective. It is often used as a crutch to get out of an impossible situation, so yeah I have a very "low magic" world.

In The Riyria Chronicles the only "magic" is Gwen's ability to see the future.

In The Riyria Revelations there is a bit more magic, but it is pretty much a "lost art" steeped in superstition.

That being said...I like your answer better ;-)


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