Book Review: Nolyn (The Rise and Fall #1) by Michael J. Sullivan (four stars)

Book Review: Nolyn (The Rise and Fall #1) by Michael J. Sullivan (four stars)

“I was hoping this is where you’d lead. I’m just curious to see how you’re going to do it.” “Me, too.” 

Rousing opener to a new series set in Sullivan’s fantasy universe. Bridges the gap between Legends of the First Empire and his original Riyria books. New characters star in the new series, but enough carryover to ground the people and places in his world. Long-time Sullivan readers may detect recycling.

“I could have died at twenty and considered my life a happy one. By human standards, I’m practically immortal, but I’ve done little that brings me joy. My existence is one big, ironic joke.” 

Great, relatable adventure story. Refreshingly straightforward characters, wonderfully convoluted plot, and a satisfying, if not entirely cuddly ending. Plenty of hooks to the next story.

‘Everything returns to dirt. All that remains is theater.’

Even though Sullivan aims to make this stand alone, I would not recommend new readers start here. If for no other reason than missing all the Easter eggs. Parts of the story resemble the south lawn of the White House.

“That was my gift to you, a youth well lived.” “I nearly died.” “Great, wasn’t it?” 

Love the cover art by Marc Simonetti.

“Life is full of risk, but you should never let that hold you back. You can’t let fear stop you from living. Just make certain the chances you take are worth the peril.”