Bookbanter Column: “Get Lost in a Good Fantasy Series, Part 2: Riyria Revelations” on Forces of Geek

Some years ago, author Michael J. Sullivan began writing a fantasy for his daughter: a story that she would enjoy hearing, but also one that he would enjoy reading.  It eventually turned into a six-book epic fantasy series that was published through an independent press.

What was perhaps most unique about the Riyria Revelations was that Sullivan had all six books completely plotted and planned to serve as individual, stand-alone novels, but also linked together into a long series.

The series slowly but surely gained momentum and a following, as more readers and fans were discovered, and the books received more ratings and reviews on the likes of Good Reads and Amazon, and Sullivan received more and more interview requests, including with yours truly.  His popularity and success grew to such a point that after the release of the fifth book in the series, Sullivan finally got that big publishing contract with Orbit Books, who released the series in three volumes late last year and early this year, with two books in each volume.

This is the story of two thieves who change and grow and develop through each of the six books, as readers become so attached to them that by the end they feel like family.  It is also the story of what heritage and history means, and that the past is never truly gone, but also that sometimes these things don’t have to matter as much as people think they do, and it’s important to enjoy life however you can.


“The Emerald Storm” by Michael J Sullivan (Ridan Publishing, 2010)

Emerald Storm

In the fourth book of the Riyria Revelations, 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 next in the series, Wintertide.

Originally written on December 22, 2010 ©Alex C. Telander.

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