Book Review: Theft of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan (Four Stars)


Book Review: Theft of Swords (Riyria Revelations #1-2) by Michael J. Sullivan

(Four Stars)

“It’s not that we don’t trust you. It’s just that we’ve learned over the years that honor among nobles is usually inversely proportionate to their rank.”

This volume contains both The Crown Conspiracy and Avempartha, previously published separately. The tales are consecutive; it works. After second reading: How did I miss the first time through that Royce and Arista are with Asrahaddon when he screes the identity of the true Heir and Guardian? That makes a big difference!

“This wasn’t Steinbeck; it was simple, and light, and just a good enjoyable read.” Michael J. Sullivan

Light weight, but fun read. Engaging, if stereotypical characters; complex enough plot to keep the reader engaged; a world view which harks back to the golden age of fantasy fiction.

“I’m not so much trying to create another Lord of the Rings so much as a good old-fashioned Errol Flynn movie or sixties Western. While I enjoy a beautifully written novel—I love a great story.” Michael J. Sullivan

The tale is told with fair humor and moderate style. Better than Fritz Leiber‘s Lankhmar stories. The interplay between Royce and Hadrian is both a standing joke and absorbing.

“This little… dwarf… tried to kill me and damn near succeeded, and you want me to let him go because I said I would?”

Enough ends were left loose to justify a follow-on text or four, but the main tail of each story is nicely concluded. Lots of foreshadowing and mythic expanse. (That I didn’t see it the first time was undoubtedly my fault, not Sullivan’s.)

“I like any plan where I don’t die a horrible death.”