Released in October 2008, The Crown Conspiracy is the first in a six-book fantasy series known as The Riyria Revelations. Author Michael J. Sullivan includes all the tropes of a good fantasy story, leading one to think this an ordinary, in some ways stereotypical, fantasy tale. The Crown Conspiracy is anything but stereotypical or predictable.
Our main characters are nothing but low-life thieves: Royce Melborn and Hadrian Blackwater, although they’re very good at their jobs. The story begins with the introduction of these intrepid characters and their next heist to steal a particular item within the impenetrable confines of the king’s castle. But as soon as they have their hands on the item, the trap is sprung, and they find themselves part of an elaborate plot. At their feet lies the lifeless body of the king.
From here, the story kicks into high-gear, taking the reader on a wild ride. In this world it is important to know who your friends are and who are your enemies; it is also important to keep your enemies closest. As the story unfolds, we learn that while they may be common thieves, they are very smart people. They also realize that the idea of being a good person is starting to rub off on them, as they no longer do anything for a fast buck.
By the end of the book, everything seems to have sorted itself out. Royce and Hadrian are now doing very well for themselves, as well as being close friends of the king. But clearly all is not as it should, since this is the first book in the series. Fans will have to wait until April 2009 before they can get their hands on the next chapter in the Riyria Revelations: Avempartha.
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Originally written on May 3rd, 2009 ©Alex C. Telander.