Theft of swords is not only the first, but also the second book in the Riyria Revelations series. We will be reviewing both as a whole since they are combined in this book. The first half, The Crown Conspiracy, begins with our main characters, Royce Melborn and Hadrian Blackwater. Two “humble” thieves that are for hire. One day they are framed for murder of a king and must prove their innocence as well as reveal a mystery that could change the world as they know it. In the second half of the story, about a year after The Crown Conspiracy, Royce and Hadrian are called in to help a village that has been ravaged by a monster that has taken residence in the area. We discover more of their past as well as see the evil plot and plan for bigger things.
One thing you should know is how the author writes his series. He does not write one and then releases it. He writes every book in the series before anyone of them are read. While this can be a great way to make sure plot lines don’t get confused or changed midway, it can lead to confusion. Some details are shown as if they will be important, like the main plot of the series important, and then are never heard from for the rest of the The Crown Conspiracy. In the second part, there is a chapter or so devoted to Royce’s backstory and then it is never again brought up. Knowing the author writes the entire series in advance, this will likely come up again. But for the purposes of this one book it felt like a bunch of useless information that never came into play in the story that it was introduced in.
The Crown Conspiracy was a lot of fun. The story does get away from “traditional” fantasy stories, as the author puts it. There is no great prophecy and no chosen one that is destined for greatness. This is refreshing and well done with interesting and funny characters that are still really special. Royce and Hadrian are cool and very cunning. While they are thieves, they are the respectable kind. (isn’t that a stereotype?) Only downside is that you don’t really learn who they are in this part and that is a little disappointing as they are presented as the main characters. We have to main characters that we follow and all we know is that they are thieves with hearts of gold, they are friends… and that’s it. It would have been nice for a little more description than Royce is the big silent type, and Hadrian is the smaller swordsman with a sharp tongue. Not bad characters but they just needed more backstory other than “yeah they are thieves”
Avempartha, the second half of the book felt like an overly long short story. It was a adventure that felt like it added nothing to the overall plot of the series. If it was just a interesting side story then it would be fine but after the first part it is underwhelming. The mystery is boring and forgettable. We see more details but did we need a whole book/part to learn maybe a paragraph of new info.
This series looks like a lot of fun and has some great humor and fun characters. Hopefully the story fills out better than Avempartha.
I enjoyed this but before I started reading I didn’t know that is was two books rolled into one. Halfway I was wondering why the book sounded like it was ending. The second half seemed to drag on and I had to push to finish. Royce and Hadrian were still fun characters but the rest was slow and boring. I know the series will get better as long as they don’t get distracted like that second half.
Crown Star: 8
Theft of Swords Star:
I don’t recall this being an issue in Age of Myth, the first book in the prequel series to Riyria Revelations, but here at least Michael Sullivan is a little guilty of throwing together a few consonants and sounds and using it to name a place or thing. Like…Gilbrarywn…gilbar-thing? Seriously. “Demon” would have worked just fine.
As for the story, I did feel that The Crown Conspiracy was a tad cliche but it was still a very enjoyable read and went by way too fast. Avempartha just would. Not. Stop. Going! After reading a story where the consequences of failure means total world-changing events, a story about a simple village just did not quite live up to what was created.