This may not be the most alluring of analogies, but do you ever have an itch that can only be scratched by a certain type of novel. That's exactly what The Crown Conspiracy did for me.
Lately I've been in the mood for something traditional(ish), something fast-paced and easy to read and that is exactly what The Crown Conspiracy provides.
I think the blurb on the back says it best:
There is no ancient evil to defeat, no orphan destined for greatness, just two guys in the wrong place at the wrong time. Royce Melborn, a skilled thief, and his mercenary partner, Hadrian Blackwater make a profitable living carrying out dangerous assignments for conspiring nobles until they become the unwitting scapegoats in a plot to murder the king. Sentenced to death, they have only one way out...and so begins this epic tale of treachery and adventure, sword fighting and magic, myth and legend.My Take in Brief
There is much to be said about a novel that reads well. I've mentioned this before on my own blog, but a book that keeps you reading ranks high for me. Not only is it entertaining, but you look forward to getting back into the book each and every time you pick it up, if you have the self-control to ever put it down.
Atypical of many current series, The Crown Conspiracy does not contain much in the way of grittiness, yet it remains inventive (see discussion by James Long and Sam Sykes here). For half the story, I was convinced that I knew who the actual killer was only to be rebuffed. The plot moved quickly and even though some traditional fantasy archetypes show up, it is not in the usual way; including a wizard who provides little in the way of guidance as well as elves that are despised.
This is not your typical epic as has already been mentioned especially when looking at the size of the novels and yet Sullivan is able to make the characters come alive. The relationship between Royce, the thief, and Hadrian, the brawn, is great fun and still provides great mystery. Who are these people and how do they have such talents?
In terms of world-building, there is not an enormous amount, but I thought it fit the story very well. The reader is filled in by characters mostly through dialogue while the plot continues to move forward.
When Should You Read This?
Sullivan's The Crown Conspiracy reminds me of why I got into fantasy in the first place. It's filled with great characters that are fun, with protagonists who stick up for the little guy and do the thing that must be done. Largely self-contained, if you're in the mood for a quick-paced story that has a twist to your traditional fantasy and resolves the main plot, this is for you.
4.25/5 (more than loved it, why aren't you reading this right now?)
Origin of the Copy
I purchased this copy of my own free will. :)