Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

Rise Of Empire Rise Of Empire
Riyira Revelations Book 2
by Michael J. Sullivan

Supplied for review by Hachette New Zealand

Reviewed By: Jan Butterworth

Royce and Hadrian are back! Riyria perform a last job before Hadrian decides to retire and take a new path. Hadrian sets out to find the Heir of Novron and takes Royce with him, having thrilling adventures along the way. We met new characters, get reacquainted with old ones, see where they each grew up, and undertake a wild ride. The author isn’t afraid to kill characters off either.

There are two stories in this book. Nyphron Rising shows the rising power of the church and the ordinary people fighting against the New Empire. Princess Arista hires Riyria to escort her to meet with the rebel leader and along the way we find out how Hadrian learnt his amazing fighting skills and see where Royce grew up. The Emerald Storm takes place in the jungle (with cannibals everywhere), on the ocean in a sailing ship (lots of pirates), and in the Imperial Palace (intrigue, magic, hidden rooms).

The stories are action packed and full of lots of action, as Riyria battle everything from religious zealots to goblins. There is also complexity with castle intrigue, court politics, secrets, threats and traitors. You never know who to trust or can anticipate what’s happening next. The relationship between Hadrian and Royce is constant and enjoyable and fun, after some of the backbiting and betrayals of others.

This book can be read as a standalone; a brief explanation of previous events is given and there is a helpful glossary. I recommend you read Thief of Swords first though, mainly because it’s such a fun read. The last few pages had a ‘didn’t see THAT coming’ revelation. The Riyria Revelations series is a must read. You won’t be disappointed.

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