03 October, 2012

Review - Rise of Empire (Riyria Revelations 3 & 4) by Michael J. Sullivan

Rise of Empire [US] [UK] is the second omnibus of The Riyria Revelations, containing books three and four, Nyphron Rising and The Emerald Storm, in the six book series.

These two books step things up to a new level and I'm excited to see how this will all end. I still can't believe these were independently published and then republished by such as Orbit. They are definitely deserving as this series is quickly becoming a favorite of mine.

Nyphron Rising

At the end of Avempartha, the Nyphronian church decided that the "heir," and therefore emperor (or empress as is the case) would be decided by the person who slayed the monster, the Gilarabrywn.

Instead of actually following their plan, the church decided instead to put up a pawn who could easily be controlled. That's just easier right?

Nyphron Rising takes us directly from Avempartha and into the life of the now Empress (and almost mute) Modina who was formerly the girl Thrace, who we saw in Avempartha.

This book does a lot of setting up for the novels to come. While it is a stand-alone and has a great and exciting ending, the majority of the book is filled with character development and a number of answers to the mysteries presented in earlier volumes.

Now, that may sound like a bit of a downer, Sullivan's writing is the same fast-paced style that keeps you turning pages. Admittedly, this will not be known as my favorite in the series, it continues to be a solid installment in an great series. Nyphron Rising is a necessary book that takes the series to a whole new level and I'm sure it will pay off in the long run.

4 out of 5 Stars (Highly Recommended)

The Emerald Storm

Our favorite thieves, Royce and Hadrian, are considering calling it quits, but with the discoveries Hadrian has made, there's no way he can give up just yet. And we all know Royce can't keep his hand out of the cookie jar either.

The Emerald Storm was the right book at the right time for me. We just had the twins, moved a couple states away, and I was tired to say the least. This book was amazing and my favorite in the series so far.

A note is intercepted from Royce's arch-nemesis, Merrick, who is working for the church and their allies. This leads them on a voyage on the Emerald Storm where Royce and Hadrian have to convince the crew to even let them on...and they are not sailors in any way, shape, or form.

I have to admit, my favorite parts involved Hadrian and Royce on the ship, I just can't resist a good nautical-themed story. (I still have nautical-themed birthdays...I wish).

Again, Sullivan's writing keeps you turning the pages. I did start to notice something that I was able to ignore in earlier volumes, but that started to niggle a bit during this one. The dialogue can, at times, be a bit awkward when a character is filling in information or world-building. I'd say it works most of the time, but sometimes it's pretty obvious what's going on.

The Riyria Revelations are not as immersive as some books I've read and usually prefer, but it's the perfect style for lots of good fun. And sometimes you get tired of being immersed all the time. When you do, this is the type of series that just hits the spot.

As I said above, The Emerald Storm was my favorite in the series so far, this series has stepped up its game and I'm looking forward to more.

4 out of 5 Stars (Highly Recommended)

The Riyria Revelations: (read in red)
Theft of Swords (review)
Rise of Empire 
Heir of Novron

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher