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The Crown Tower: Book 1 of The Riyria Chronicles by [Sullivan, Michael J]
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The Crown Tower: Book 1 of The Riyria Chronicles Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in Riyria Chronicles (2 Book Series)
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Product Description

Book Description

Two men who hate each other must work together to survive. The Crown Tower is epic fantasy that will appeal to fans of Brent Weeks and Terry Brooks, as well as fans of Michael's bestselling fantasy series, The Riyria Revelations.

From the Back Cover

Two men who hate each other.
One impossible mission.
A legend in the making.

Hadrian Blackwater, a warrior with nothing to fight for, is paired with Royce Melborn, a thieving assassin with nothing to lose. Hired by an old wizard, together they must steal a treasure that no one can reach. The Crown Tower is the impregnable remains of the grandest fortress ever built and home to the realm's most valued possessions. But it isn't gold or jewels that the wizard is after, and if he can only keep them from killing each other, they just might bring him his prize.


'The arrival of a master storyteller . . . A winning debut for fantasy lovers'
Library Journal

''Hair-raising escapes, flashy sword fights and faithful friendship complete the formula for good old-fashioned, escapist fun'
Publishers Weekly

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1272 KB
  • Print Length: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit (6 Aug. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009ZW9DOS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #20,717 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm writing this before the release of the second book in the Chronicles: 'The Rose and Thorn'.

I'm a sucker for fantasy. Fantasy - especially Michael J Sullivan's creation of Riyria - makes the day to day humdrum of life worth suffering.

The Crown Tower starts the tale of Hadrian Blackwater and Royce Melborn, an highly unlikely pairing of two unique characters. It's the beginning of the backstory to Sullivan's stellar Riyria Revelations (if you haven't read it, then why not?).

If you like sword and sorcery, if you enjoy good world building and well crafted but very readable prose, then this series is for you. I rate Sullivan higher than Terry Brooks or J R R Tolkein, more instantly readable than Charles De Lint - though I adore De Lint's work - and on par with Patrick Rothfuss and Brandon Sanderson.

The only niggle I have is that I think The Crown Tower and The Rose and Thorn are two parts of the same story. If so, why not release them as one book? After all, the Riyria Revelations was six novels released as three books. Surely they could have done the same with these two...?
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Hadrian Blackwater is a youthful battle veteran and expert swordsman. Royce Melborn is a selfishly-inclined assassin. They are thrown together at the behest of Arcadius Vintarus Latimer, a professor of Lore at Sheridan University - who had qualities that suggest he might be a magician - to undertake a dangerous and seemingly impossible mission. No explanation is given by the elderly professor as to why these two diametrically opposite personalities should work together despite their mutual hatred. Elsewhere, a young woman, Gwen, forced to submit her reluctant self to prostitution to survive, is convinced that, beyond the vile and dangerous everyday experiences, a special fate awaits her. Gwen is bolstered by a special gift of reading the fates of others in their palms and in their eyes. These are the principal characters in a richly imagined plot involving sword fights, bravery and edge-of-your seat adventures that confirm Michael J. Sullivan as a master fantasy storyteller.

I veered between four and five stars, but, given the seamless prose, the character-driven light humour, and the compulsive readability, I plumped for five stars. There's a useful glossary of names and things at the end, followed by an interesting biography of the author.

I'm looking forward to reading more from Sullivan's pen.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've read Michael Sullivan's Riyria Revelations series, so as soon as I heard about this I wanted to read it, and I read it as soon as I could! And I'm so happy I did!

The Crown Tower is the first book in the Riyria Chronicles, a prequel series to the Riyria Revelations that does not require you to have read the original series to enjoy it (although I personally think it would be better as you'll gain more from it). It tells the story of how the infamous Riyria duo, Hadrian Blackwater and Royce Melborn, first met and their first job together. At first, the pair cannot stand to be together let alone work together, but if they're going to survive the job they'll have to learn to work together. We also learn the origin story of Gwen DeLancy, a whore in Medford who refuses to let herself and other girls be used and abused by the tavern owner or the customers, but she also will have an important part to play in Hadrian and Royce's future.

I really enjoyed this book. Like I said before, you don't need to have read the Riyria Revelations books to read this one, as it was carefully written to ensure that no hints of information or secrets revealed in those books are revealed in this one, which makes it good for newcomers to the series, but also makes it a bit more realistic I think? There are hints aplenty to certain things though which veterans of Riyria will see and enjoy, and this is why I personally think reading Revelations first is better as you'll gain more from this book, but it still isn't necessary.

It's been a couple of months since I read the Riyria Revelations, but reading this book felt like slipping on an old shoe - it fit perfectly and I immediately fell in love with Hadrian and Royce all over again (particularly Hadrian, I love Hadrian).
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I started reading "Theft of Swords" and couldn't understand why the two main protagonists were playing second fiddle to some of the minor cast. Although I love the way Royce and Hadrian are left to your imagination, how two very different people grew to be so close was a nagging mystery to me, so I was exceptionally glad to come across "The Crown Tower", which I decided to read before continuing Riyria Revelations.

And I was not disappointed; I could tell that the writer had improved since the first series came out and the mature narrative with its smooth pacing and description really added to my overall enjoyment. While it's taken for granted that the main leads get along well and have a water-tight partnership throughout Revelations, here in Chronicles you immediately realise just how much effort went into bringing this difficult duo together.

What seems like a straightforward mission - steal a book and put it back again without the owner noticing - soon becomes a succession of failures, despite Hadrian's numerous attempts to thaw the icy distance between himself and Royce. No matter what Hadrian does, he cannot seem to impress or soften the dark-hooded stranger who refuses to compromise or cooperate as the mission progresses. So what is he to do? Entertainingly hard to know where the turning point will be, but the build-up was pleasantly worth it and I thought some of their moments were surprisingly funny (ie. when Royce thinks, through his particular logic, that Hadrian did not climb down the tower first because the man couldn't locate the rope!)

Elsewhere, Sullivan fills in the gaps, introducing us to the origins of Gwen and how events in her own life lead her to meet Hadrian and Royce at a time when they need help most.
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