Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

Theft Of Swords Theft Of Swords
Riyria Revelations Book 1
by Michael J. Sullivan

Supplied for review by Hachette New Zealand

Reviewed By: Jan Butterworth

Royce and Hadrian are known as the Riyria - successful and daring thieves who managed always to escape. Thieves for hire, they have been known in the past to be assassins. Royce was once a member of a well known thieves' guild. However his successes made someone jealous and fearful so they set him up and got him banished.

"Hey man, wanna go steal a magic sword?"
"Awww, do we have to?"
"Well, I already signed us up. So yeah."

This book actually contains two stories in one. The first story is titled "The Crown Conspiracy", where Royce and Hadrian have just returned from a successful job. They normally wouldn’t undertake another assignment immediately but Hadrian gets talked into stealing a famous sword. Unfortunately, when they enter the chapel to get the sword they find the King murdered and are captured and sentenced to execution by the Prince.

An unexpected person helps them escape if they kidnap the Prince, for his own protection. Hunted criminals, they go on a quest to find a powerful wizard incarcerated in a secret prison, before returning to unmask the King’s murderers.

Avempartha is the second story in the book, taking place two years after the first story. Royce and Hadrian are sought by Thrace, a young farm girl who hires them to save her father and village by slaying a beast no one has seen. This takes them on an adventure where a lot of the characters from the previous book return and they finally end up defeating the monster with their friends' help.

This story is packed with action and has a clever plot with many twists, but without being too complicated. The characters are interesting without there being too many to comfortably remember, and their names don’t sound similar. Elves, a wizard, prines, princesses, a gnome, stereotypical villains, loveable rogues as heroes, political intrigue and villainy as nobleman and church leaders battle for power.

These books are addictive; once you start you don’t want to stop. First self-published on e-book, Orbit has recognised what an enjoyable read they are and published them. This book begins a series with treachery and adventure, sword fighting and magic, myth and legend.

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