The Crown Tower by Michael J Sullivan
I’m not the greatest at reading books if they are not recently published. Oftentimes they will sit on my shelves for years at a time, before I finally get to them – regardless of whether I’ve read the author before or not.
Towards the end of 2013 I ploughed through all three of Michael J Sullivan’s ‘The Riyria Revelations’ series. Each rated relatively highly, but again, just like my recent experience with Brian McClellan’s ‘The Crimson Campaign’, I didn’t remember any of the negative things I had commented on in my reviews – only that I loved the story.
With a slight lull in what I wanted to read the last week, I finally picked up ‘The Riyria Chronicles’ books – ‘The Crown Tower’ and ‘The Rose and the Thorn’, prequels to the Riyria Revelation series.
Many authors writing prequels to their own work will get wrapped up in servicing all the fans who have read their work, working in hints and outright stage-plays referring back to the original stories. In the end, it reads like the Star Wars prequels watch – like a series of nods to the audience strung together with a makeshift plot.
Not so, Michael J Sullivan. In fact, in reading The Riyria Revelations, I am dead-set about to jump back into the original trilogy, because this man can write!!
Like maybe the best prequels should be, they tell a story I didn’t need them to tell. (If you needed a prequel for your series, then you probably should have made that your first book.) I didn’t even know I needed a prequel for Royce and Hadrian, the two mercenary-thieves who make up the dynamic duo of Riyria, a dangerous assassin/thief and a soldier with a preternatural ability with the blade.
But, regardless, there had been mention of their escapades with the Crown Tower throughout the original trilogy, and getting a chance to see into that particular caper was absolutely fantastic!
Hadrian is exactly the naïve and simplistic country boy-turned fighter you figured he would have been before meeting Royce, who in turn is exactly the deadly loner you expected him to have been before he met Hadrian. Watching Michael J Sullivan bring these two together, however, is a work of pure art. There is no stretching, no convenient plot twisting by the author to make things happen that don’t fit – this story deserved to be told because it was told so well!
It’s fast-paced, at times funny, at times violent, and the two lead characters (as well as a few supporting ones) are so immediately fascinating that it’s somewhat hard to believe this is fiction. Add to that Sullivan’s absolute mastery of the writing craft (there are some lines which are so brilliantly phrased that it leaves me at once astonished and laughing out loud) and volume one of the Riyria Chonicles is an absolute must for anyone who reads fantasy.
As Sullivan says in his introduction, you don’t need to have read the original trilogy – and I don’t know which way I would recommend; original trilogy first or prequels – I guess it’ll be up to you. But do me a favour, and pick them up now!
This The Crown Tower book review was written by Joshua S Hill
All reviews for: The Ryria Chronicles
The Crown Tower
The Ryria Chronicles #1
Two men who hate each other. One impossible mission. A legend in the making. Hadrian, a warrior with nothing to fight for, is paired with Royce, a thieving assassin with no...
The Rose and the Thorn
The Ryria Chronicles #2
A dear friend is brutally beaten. Two thieves want answers. Riyria is born. One year earlier, two thieves were saved from certain death by the compassion of a stranger. Una...
The Death of Dulgath
The Ryria Chronicles #3
Three times they tried to kill her. Then a professional was hired. So was Riyria. When the last member of the oldest noble family in Avryn is targeted for assassination, Ri...
The Disappearance of Winter's Daughter
The Ryria Chronicles #4
A daughter vanishes. Two rogues are paid a fortune to find her. It isn't enough. When Gabriel Winter's daughter mysteriously disappears and is presumed dead, the we...
Have you read The Crown Tower?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
The Crown Tower reader reviews
8.5/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
Six of Crows
Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price - and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy, Kaz Brekker. Kaz is off...
The Gentleman Bastard Sequence
They say that the Thorn of Camorr can beat anyone in a fight. They say he steals from the rich and gives to the poor. They say he's part man, part myth, and mostly stre...
Robert V S Redick
Two village boys mistaken for assassins become the decisive figures in the battle for a continent in the thrilling new desert-based epic fantasy by the author of The R...
A tale of Einarinn
Juliet E McKenna
In Einarinn, the secret of magic is known only by an elite few. They live in deliberate isolation, under the watchful eye of the Archmage. But nothing last for ever. Livak ...
The Way of Shadows
The perfect killer has no friends. Only targets. For Durzo Blint, assassination is an art. And he is the city’s most accomplished artist, his talents required from al...
Artemis Fowl Series
Just twelve years old and already he's a criminal genius, plotting to restore his family's fortune with a spot of corruption and kidnapping. Kidnapping a fairy for ...
Lex Trent series
Law student Lex Trent’s world is inhabited by fearsome magicians, ageing crones and a menagerie of Gods and Goddesses. And while Lex is seemingly dedicated to his leg...
It Takes a Thief to Catch a Sunrise
Rob J Hayes
There comes a point in every thief's life where one has to take stock of all that they have achieved. We have stolen almost everything there is worth stealing: Prince H...
The Ancient Blades Trilogy
Born and raised in the squalid depths of the Free City of Ness, Malden becomes a thief by necessity. Now he must pay a fortune to join the criminal operation of Cutbill, lo...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages: