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on 29 February 2012
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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on 1 August 2017
This whole series was a waste of my time and money. The first 50 pages were refreshing and interesting enough to prompt me to buy the rest of the books. To my dismay, the book(s) took a nose-dive soon enough and became tedious and the story extremely predictable.
The writer has put no effort into visual description of characters and scenes for the most part, so that most of the books is a haze to me (partly because I skimmed over seas upon seas of irrelevant and boring text). The heroes are pretty one-dimensional and goody-good, which will disappoint fans of modern fantasy writing. Everyone is willing to sacrifice themselves for the greater good. Bad guys are predictably bad, and so on.
To make things worse, a couple of steroetypical female seers are also thrown in, serving more as spoilers of major sub-plot outcomes, which kind of makes the point of reading the story moot. There are a few surprises surely, especially near the end, but not enough to overcome the monotony and lack of imagination that dominates the series for the most part.
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on 17 April 2017
A really good adventure full of twists and turns. The ending definitely leaves the reader wanting more. So good I've already ordered the next instalment
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on 28 April 2013
I have read all three books and loved each one. Unlike Game of Thrones, there are no pointless threads, and situations where characters get bumped off, or just vanish with no end of story in sight. This series is brilliant, weaves a tale that is gripping, characters are not impervious to death and defeat, but for valid story lines.

Loved these books and want more!
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on 16 July 2017
good, thanks
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on 9 June 2017
I'm absolutely loving the series so far, I can't fault it in any way! I now have a new favourite author!! On to the next book!!
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on 5 April 2016
Could not put this down. Well worth a read.
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on 18 July 2017
fantastic author
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on 8 March 2012
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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on 3 June 2012
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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