“Heir of Novron” by Michael J. Sullivan (Orbit Books, 2012)

Heir of Novron
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The final collected volume of the Riyria Revelations, Heir of Novron, is now available and the really cool thing about is that it’s probably the best volume, bringing together the two best books of the series: Wintertide and Percepliquis.  What’s also interesting is how each book is quite different from the other, one might even say they’re diametrically opposed in some ways: the former is a shorter, smaller, concise story that deals more with intrigue and knowing who you know and being in the right place at the right time, as well as focusing on one town and the enchanting celebration of a winter holiday; the latter is an epic fantasy tale that many have come to enjoy with the genre, featuring a grand quest, a band of important characters, and important events that will change the world of Elan and its people.

In Wintertide, on this year’s holiday of the same name, a special celebration has been planned.  The New Empire wants to make a big deal of its victory over the Nationalists, and has some important public executions planned: the villainous Degan Gaunt and the Witch of Melengar.  The only problem is that Royce and Hadrian are in town and they happen to be good friends with both of those people and have plans of springing them free whatever it takes.

Sullivan clearly had fun with Wintertide, playing around with Hadrian engaging in a joust, even though he doesn’t know much about the whole nobility and chivalry thing, but he sure knows how to fight.  And how having friends in the most unlikeliest of places often proves invaluable.  Fans will enjoy this penultimate chapter, with Sullivan’s strong descriptions and scenes of the winter festivities; of the sounds, sights and smells.  It’s an enjoyable, thrilling tale before the final showdown.

In Percepliquis, the beginning of the end has begun: the elves of old have crossed the Nidwalden River in large numbers and are coming to take over; they threaten the entire continent of Elan.  The people have little hope left; they know they don’t stand a chance against these powerful elves.  And it all comes down to Novron’s heir, who must make a stand, and the only way he can do that is by finding the sacred horn.  It will involve an arduous quest, with a strong group of warriors who also possess intellect.  They will have to travel deep beneath the ground, in search of the ancient, ruined city of Percepliquis, following an old diary that may not even be true.  Fortunately, Royce and Hadrian are coming along for the ride, so if these intrepid few have any chance of finding the horn and saving the people of Elan, only these two will be able to make it happen.

In the longest volume yet, Sullivan has outdone himself here with lots going on: multiple storylines, lots of action, lots of conflict between friends and enemies, important details from the previous books brought to light, travels through various terrains, and an ultimate duel.  With the thrill of a top-rate action movie, combined with the epic grandeur of Tolkien’s Return of the King, this is a final showdown you won’t be able to stop reading, let alone put down.  Who will live; who will die?  In this grand finale, anything can happen . .. you won’t want to miss it.

Originally written on February 11, 2012 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of The Heir of Novron from Amazon, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.

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Theft of Swords Rise of Empire

“Percepliquis” by Michael J. Sullivan (Ridan Publishing, 2012)

Percepliquis
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This moment has been subtly building for the last five books, and now it is finally here.  When Michael J. Sullivan set out to write the five-book series of the Riyria Revelations, his goal wasn’t to write an intrinsically-linked series of books, nor was it to write five stand-alone fantasy novels; it was to do a combination of the two.  Readers can enjoy each of these books in their own right, as the entertaining stories that they are, but at the same time there are sub-plot and elements embedded in there, building a comprehensive story that comes to a climax in this final volume, Percepliquis

The beginning of the end has begun: the elves of old have crossed the Nidwalden River in large numbers and are coming to take over; they threaten the entire continent of Elan.  The people have little hope left; they know they don’t stand a chance against these powerful elves.  And it all comes down to Novron’s heir, who must make a stand, and the only way he can do that is by finding the sacred horn.  It will involve an arduous quest, with a strong group of warriors who also possess intellect.  They will have to travel deep beneath the ground, in search of the ancient, ruined city of Percepliquis, following an old diary that may not even be true.  Fortunately, Royce and Hadrian are coming along for the ride, so if these intrepid few have any chance of finding the horn and saving the people of Elan, only these two will be able to make it happen.

In the longest volume yet, Sullivan has outdone himself here with lots going on: multiple storylines, lots of action, lots of conflict between friends and enemies, important details from the previous books brought to light, travels through various terrains, and an ultimate duel.  With the thrill of a top-rate action movie, combined with the epic grandeur of Tolkien’s Return of the King, this is a final showdown you won’t be able to stop reading, let alone put down.  Who will live; who will die?  In this grand finale, anything can happen . .. you won’t want to miss it.

Originally written on February 6, 2012 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of Percepliquis from Amazon, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.

You might also like . . .
Crown Conspiracy Avempartha Nyphron Rising Emerald Storm 

“Wintertide” by Michael J. Sullivan (Ridan Publishing, 2010)

Wintertide
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In the fifth and penultimate volume of Michael J. Sullivan’s Riyria Revelations, he once again manages to play off a familiar fantasy storyline, in this case the art of the joust and power of the nobility within a city, and with his unique cast of characters, makes Wintertide feel completely original.  While readers of the series may be familiar with Royce and Hadrian, it’s the adventures they get up to in this book that really make it worthwhile, with an ending that sets up for a grand finale in the final book of the series.  Wintertide is the quiet before the storm.

On this year’s holiday of the same name, a special celebration has been planned.  The New Empire wants to make a big deal of its victory over the Nationalists, and has some important public executions planned: the villainous Degan Gaunt and the Witch of Melengar.  The only problem is that Royce and Hadrian are in town and they happen to be good friends with both of those people and have plans of springing them free whatever it takes.

Sullivan clearly had fun with Wintertide, playing around with Hadrian engaging in a joust, even though he doesn’t know much about the whole nobility and chivalry thing, but he sure knows how to fight.  And how having friends in the most unlikeliest of places often proves invaluable.  Fans will enjoy this penultimate chapter, with Sullivan’s strong descriptions and scenes of the winter festivities; of the sounds, sights and smells.  It’s an enjoyable, thrilling tale before the final showdown.

Originally written on February 8, 2012 ©Alex C. Telander.

You might also like . . .
Crown Conspiracy  Avempartha  Nyphron Rising  Emerald Storm

“Rise of Empire” by Michael J Sullivan (Orbit, 2011)

Rise of Empire
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In Theft of Swords, Michael J. Sullivan introduced us to the unusual duo in Royce and Hadrian, giving readers some ideas of what fun and adventures they like to get up to in the first two volumes of The Riyria Revelations.  In this second collected installment, Rise of Empire, readers learn more about the world and the changes that are happening here, and where our two heroes are headed next.

In Nyphron Rising, things take a turn for the worse as war comes sweeping through to Melengar and its people have little hope and respect for their recent, young king.  Princess Arista has been running around playing diplomat and trying to secure allies for Melengar, with nothing to show for it.  Meanwhile the enemy Nyphron Empire continues to grow in strength and numbers.  Arista has one more trick up her sleeve, and with the help of her good friends, Royce and Hadrian, goes on this last journey far south in a last effort to secure an ally, but also to unravel a mystery of Hadrian’s past.  Surprising results are revealed about our unknown thief that ties into the whole story of the Riyria Revelations.  The wizard Esrahaddon continues to be up to no good, while we learn more of the enigmatic man known as Degan Gaunt.

Sullivan does a great job with Nyphron Rising, after setting necessary groundwork and story and setting with the first two books, he opens it up on an epic scale, traveling his invented world, and educating readers on how future events are going to affect everyone across Elan, and why the forgotten history is important.  Royce and Hadrian continue to be the entertaining and interesting characters that they are, while Arista opens up her emotional side.

In The Emerald Storm, Michael J. Sullivan does what every fantasy author should do with an epic series and an interesting and complex map: he takes his characters to new and interesting place.  The Emerald Storm is in a fact and mighty sea vessel that travels across the seas to new lands and places, where new and interesting people are met and the overall story of the Riyria Revelations is furthered along.

With the events of Nyphron Rising now at a close, the elusive duo, Royce and Hadrian aren’t sure what do to next.  Royce has plans to retire and relax, settle down with his lady love and enjoy the rest of his days, while Hadrian has dark shadows of his past and heritage to confront and accept, while deciding he is on a mission to find the lost heir of Novron.  It takes Royce all of three seconds and little convincing to decide that Hadrian won’t last long without him, and together the two set out, following the clues that lead them to the mighty trading vessel, the Emerald Storm.  They know nothing of seamanship and what to do aboard such a large vessel, but knowing one of the crewmen, they’re able to get added to the crew and begin the journey through the mysterious and interesting lands of Elan.  Naturally, there is lots of adventure on the high seas, not to mention some strange guests on the Emerald Storm, as well as the enigmatic cargo.  Meanwhile an important subplot is furthered along with the princess, who is bored with her station, looking to make her life more interesting, and gets some answers.

The Emerald Storm does everything a fourth book in a series does, furthering along some important story, learning more about some familiar characters, as well as introducing some new ones, and not to mention the addition of new lands and new peoples and cultures.  Fans of the series will enjoy the thrills of The Emerald Storm, with the fun Royce and Hadrian get up, looking forward to the final installment, Heir of Novron, due out in January 2012.

Originally written on December 12, 2011 ©Alex C. Telander.

To purchase a copy of Rise of Empire from Amazon, and help support BookBanter, click HERE.