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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than the first.
I bought the first book as it was recomended by Amazon - and thought it was good. Not a top one, but a good enjoyable read. The one fault was that Hadrian and Royce did not seem fleshed out enough. This is rectified in the second book, and you get a much better idea about what makes the characters tick. Other characters such as princess Arissa are fleshed out more...
Published on 8 Mar. 2012 by Kezzadoc

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars A fast-paced, exciting adventure of treachery and betrayal that is brilliant sword and sorcery!
This epic `sword and sorcery' trilogy tells a tale of magic, myth and legend set within an imaginative world where heroes are born and bravery is sought. Michael J Sullivan is a fantastic writer whose originality within this popular genre is commendable, as noticed within book 1: the theft of swords. This is a trilogy with intrigue, a dash of romance, humor amidst intense...
Published on 19 Jan. 2013 by Lucinda


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than the first., 8 Mar. 2012
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This review is from: Rise Of Empire: The Riyria Revelations (Paperback)
I bought the first book as it was recomended by Amazon - and thought it was good. Not a top one, but a good enjoyable read. The one fault was that Hadrian and Royce did not seem fleshed out enough. This is rectified in the second book, and you get a much better idea about what makes the characters tick. Other characters such as princess Arissa are fleshed out more also.

Like the first book this is split into two seperate stories, which works well. Less gumpf and more plotting/action.

My only gripe is it would have been nice to see Myron the Monk again. He was brilliant in the first book and it's a real same we have not seem him again since. Same with King Alric - it would be nice to see how he is developing as King - but you hardly see him

Overall I recomend this as I did the last one and am looking forward to book 3.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than the first volume!!, 3 Jun. 2012
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Having read the first volume, Theft of Swords, in this trilogy, I could not help myself, I had to have the second straight away, and began reading almost as quickly! Once again the story moves along at a good lick, with barely a pause between storylines which were interwoven with skill and dexterity by Michael J Sullivan. Once again I found myself rooting for Royce and Hadrian as they got into (and out of) one messy scrape after another, and always with that glass half empty glass half full humour going on between them. So very pleased these books popped up in my Amazon Recommendations, I can not recommend them highly enough myself.

If you like Fantasy and you're still hesitant, don't be, get out there and read them! You will not regret it, because these books have just about everything in them you could want. Action, adventure, intrigue, a dash of romance, and humour found in just about all of it! Fabulous. I have already bought the third one!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rollocking good fantasy read, 29 Feb. 2012
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D. J. Ketchin "living in books" (Edinburgh Uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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Rise of empire collects together two of the six Riyria Revelations books into an omnibus edition.
It has also separately been published as 'Nyphron Rising' & 'The Emerald Storm'.

Part One - Nyphron Rising.
Thrace has been named Empress Modina and heir of Noviron. Traumatised and valued only for her symbolic value her fate lies in the hands of a former scullery maid Amilia who is appointed as her Aide. Bishop Saldur has esconced himself as the power behind the throne. The reestablished Empire declares itself and sets about conquering the remaining independent kingdoms. Arista - now ambassador - seeks to unite the remaining kingdoms against the empire finds no-one will take a witch seriously. Hadrian discovers his family past and the heavy burden of inherited obligations. The noose closes around the free kingdoms as the Imperial armies close in on the city of Ratibor. Arista and Hadrian find that the burden of responsibility can extract a heavy price from those you care for.

Part Two - The Emerald Storm.
The Empire turns its eyes to the key defensive city of Melengar. If it falls so does all oposition. Royce and Hadrian team up for the last time to intercept Imperial agents on the high seas posing as crew of the Emerald Storm. Pirates , Goblins and Royce's old partner are only the most obvious treats on the trip. Arista begins to master her magic and tries to reach the empress to end the war. Old friends are revealed to be old enemies and lost friends are found and lost again.

The volume gives us an epic journey with Royce and Hadrian. Arista is forced to assume responsibilities and face their cost. And the church exposes itself as the major player behind the new Empire. We get a road trip across the known world and the major actors have their pasts exposed and their future paths set out for them.

Its not all about the main cast. The secondary cast is expanded and developed.
The main theme is self discovery - particularly Arista and Hadrian. The role of the Heir and the Heir Pretender are set out and the final act set up.

The two stories are good. What sets the series apart is the ability to deliver two solid stories - and deliver real movement on the development of the main series arc. The characters are a joy to read, and the cast of actors grows , but not out of control. The theme of global conflict is delivered while keeping the scope of the story confined to a few principal actors.

There are a few suprises and a lot of painful growth, while keeping this a fairly easy read.
The bad news - neither of the stries is as climactic as Avempartha. But what it lacks in epic confrontation it delivers in emotion.
The good news - the next two books deliver everything you could possibly want - in spades.
This is a good read with familiar faces, its a step on the way , and delivers backstory in spades.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A clever action romp, great fun and impossible to put down., 29 April 2012
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This review is from: Rise Of Empire: The Riyria Revelations (Paperback)
Volume 2 of the Riyria Revelations: Rise of Empire, continues with the third and fourth parts of the saga surrounding the legendary thieves that comprise Riyria: Hadrian Blackwater and Royce Melbourne, the sorceress Princess Arista, the newly crowned Empress Modina (aka Thrace), her Secretary Amelia, a host of returning characters and introduces a host of new ones, most of whom are remarkably amicable.
All of the characters are well written, the action sequences entertaining and Sullivan plays well with your emotions throughout but it is remarkably powerful at a number of key points. The best thing about the entire series though is that there is never a dull moment. Each of the characters is so easy to engage with, yet each is slightly over the top in one way or another and so many simple everyday themes and scenarios though some are blown out of proportion and absolutely everything ties together in a remarkably well written but oh-so excessively storybook fashion.
The world is engaging and you can really get into the characters, despite having more than seventy named characters, the only people that you see from their own perspectives are Hadrian, Royce, Arista, Saldur (he has one chapter), Thrace and Amelia and these five, cover almost all you need to know and read.

I strongly recommend reading this novel, but really it must be read as a part of the trilogy and all three are well worth the read and provide so much entertainment. So certainly purchase this volume but also purchase Volume 1: Theft of Swords (Books 1 & 2) and Volume 3: Heir of Novron.

***FROM THIS POINT ARE PLOT SUMMARIES CONTAINING SPOILERS***

Book 3: Arista and the dashing duo (despite "absolutely, most definitely being retired") set out on yet another adventure to discover allies for the Kingdom of Melgnar (In competition with Alric), to learn the identities of the heirs of the demigod Novron and his Invulnerable Guardian, learn about Hadrian's past and to create a peasant uprising in time for an invasion, whilst making all three of them truly notorious and making valuable friends and lethal enemies along the way.

Book 4: Arista has assumed Governance of the city she and Hadrian liberated, but finds her tutor Esrahaddon dying at the hand of Merric (Royce's former partner - turned mortal enemy). She abandons her duties in order to try and fulfil his last wishes, ultimately ending in her capture.
Meanwhile, after intercepting intelligence from the new Imperial Secretary of War Lord Merric (same man); Royce and Hadrian embark on a dangerous seafaring mission on behalf of King Alric, meeting a host of characters from Hadrian's past, dangerous enemies and unlikely allies. Their quest culminating in a race to save a port city from destruction, but was it all a trap?
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5.0 out of 5 stars My thoughts on the Riyria Revelations, 18 Nov. 2014
This review is from: Rise Of Empire: The Riyria Revelations (Paperback)
Below here I state my opinion of the entire series - the Riyria Revelations - rather than just this individual book.

The last couple of decades every high fantasy author has been trying so hard to be non-traditional in what they write that the genre has become skewed towards weirdness too much and now something like this brilliant work by Michael J. Sullivan is suddenly very different from what everyone writes these days... So, while some readers may discard it as "too traditional", "typical" or even "cliché", it actually isn't at all, in the light of those trends!

Anyway, the Riyria Revelations can only be considered "old-school" (i.e. - a sort of "LoTR" style) in terms of things such as the species of characters used in it - Elves, Dwarves, Men and Goblins. But, as Mr. Sullivan himself rightly says, it doesn't matter what the author calls them - what matters is how they are used by him and whether the whole thing is well written. And this one is brilliantly written, and very well thought out overall! When you read half of the first book, you might mistakenly think the story is a bit naive and simplistic. But then, after that you gradually start learning that certain people and things were not what you thought they were - truths about them get gradually revealed (hence, the title of the entire series). Some new misconceptions and lies (by characters, of course, not by the author - he never lies to you; he just lets you foolishly believe in the misconceptions and lies by characters) are mixed in at times along the way, just to throw you off the scent. And then you get to the really big and shocking revelations in the final book... It's like a combination of high fantasy with detective fiction.

And the writing style is always smooth and the whole thing is very easy to read, without being childish. The (very important for me) ratio of "world building and character development / number of words being used for it" is really high. And it's a really good story, with all types of characters, including "grey" ones. But, while none of the protagonists is a Marty Stu or a Mary Sue, they are still written in a way that the reader inevitably sympathizes with them. And that is a welcome and refreshing change from a lot of recent fantasy literature, where too often we have to follow the story through the eyes and twisted thoughts of villains - frankly, at some point that becomes frustrating and hard to read for me.

To sum it up - this is one of the best and most well written high fantasy series of all time, in my humble uneducated opinion.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A fast-paced, exciting adventure of treachery and betrayal that is brilliant sword and sorcery!, 19 Jan. 2013
This review is from: Rise Of Empire: The Riyria Revelations (Paperback)
This epic `sword and sorcery' trilogy tells a tale of magic, myth and legend set within an imaginative world where heroes are born and bravery is sought. Michael J Sullivan is a fantastic writer whose originality within this popular genre is commendable, as noticed within book 1: the theft of swords. This is a trilogy with intrigue, a dash of romance, humor amidst intense drama and thrilling action. Interwoven with much skill and dexterity, the storylines are cleverly crafted and beautifully detailed to the point of realism. I highly commend this author whose books have given me many hours of pleasure, although I would not go as far as to say that they are outstanding, but which are certainly very good.

*The depth of world-building is not as extensive as George RR Martin or JRR Tolkien and his characters are not as memorable as those within other stand-out works, and so this is why I have given only 3.5 star rating.*

The birth of the Nyphron Empire has brought war to Melengar. To save her kingdom, Princess Arista runs a desperate gamble when she defies her brother and hires Royce and Hadrian to perform a dangerous mission behind the enemy's lines. As the power of the Nyphron Empire grows, so does Royce's suspicion that the wizard Esrahaddon is using the thieves as pawns in his own shadowy struggle for power. To find the truth, he must unravel the secret of Hadrian's past. What he discovers leads the thieves to the ends of the world on a journey amid treachery and betrayals, forcing Hadrian to face a past he hoped never to see again...

This is a brilliant sequel within a trilogy that I would recommend as a great fantasy read, and a delightful page-turner. If you are a fan of high fantasy/ epic in which the world-building is more in-depth and the character-study is much more lengthy and detailed, then I would say that this fairs as a mediocre book and not a remarkable one. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this captivating, absorbing tale which was interesting for it caught my attention almost instantly; not letting go until the very end. I certainly feel that Michael J Sullivan is an accomplished writer who professes many qualities that are cherished within this genre.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Hunt for the heir, 22 July 2012
By 
Paul Tapner (poole dorset england) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Rise Of Empire: The Riyria Revelations (Paperback)
Second volume in a trilogy of fantasy novels called the Riyria Revelations.

Despite there being a fair bit of exposition here new readers are better off starting with the first book Theft Of Swords: The Riyria Revelations.

This follows the same format as that. It has the usual maps at the front and cast of characters list at the back. And it's basically two books of just over three hundred and fifty pages each joined together into one longer volume. Although each of them is reasonably self contained, but part of a much larger story at the same time.

All the main characters from the first book are back. Royce and Hadrian have new concerns and new missions. And as does Princess Arista.

It also introduces us to Amilia, a lowly servant girl plucked by chance from her role into a new one where people of great power are depending on her. She's a great new character and her storyline is a very compelling one.

In the meantime the aforementioned three main characters go through lots more trials and tribulations, and some excellent action scenes - that don't skip on portraying the reality of conflict - and all do develop further as characters as a result.

The main storyline of the series does take on some interesting twists and turns also.

This does exactly what the middle of a trilogy should. Move things along. Allow them and the characters and the plot to develop and nicely. And leave the reader eager to find what will happen in book three. If you enjoyed book one, then this should not disappoint.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The series just keeps getting better!, 24 Oct. 2012
This review is from: Rise Of Empire: The Riyria Revelations (Paperback)
I am really enjoying the Riyria Revelations, this second volume was possibly even better than the first. Fantastic character building with the banter between Royce and Hadrian priceless.
Loved the period where they were at sea and the fight scene in the arena was brilliantly written, well done Michael!
The moment I finished I went online and ordered the third and final volume.
If you love fantasy and haven't got into this series yet then jump in now!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely wonderful, 16 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: Rise Of Empire: The Riyria Revelations (Paperback)
I have just finished reading Riyria Revelations and I just had to write a review first and foremost let me say what a wonderful and truly fantastic story this has been for me this has truly been the "stuff dreams are made of" and I absolutely and honestly applaud the author I have never read anything that has ever kept me turning and turning the pages feeling like an excited child as this epic storyline unfolded and in honesty they are the very best books that I have ever read and has left me feeling greedy for more (I have to admit I am now feeling very sad they are over) however the ending was magnificent and what I felt to be a "perfect" ending which actually brought tears to my eyes and trust me I'm really not that kind of a guy! but wow what a journey it's been I can honestly say after reading this I will be following the authors future publications.

I will be looking forward to future publications by Michael J Sullivan and will be following his work with great anticipation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Second Book Just as Good As First, 23 Oct. 2012
Really enjoying this series. It's easy to read. I like how it's not over complicated or too detailed. The characters are the best bit.
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Rise Of Empire: The Riyria Revelations
Rise Of Empire: The Riyria Revelations by Michael J Sullivan (Paperback - 1 Dec. 2011)
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