There is a point in each year when I like to just plough through a handful of books that are quick, basic, but beautifully written and astonishingly fun to read. A week or so ago I started Michael J Sullivan’s ‘The Riyria Revelations’ series, and tonight I finished ‘Heir of Novron’, the final book containing the final two stories in the series, ‘Wintertide’ and ‘Percepliquis’.
And while they may not be the greatest example of fantasy literature around, I could easily keep a dozen or so sets around to give out to people as presents.
They’re fun, entertaining, filled to the brim with characters that evoke all sorts of emotions from the reader, and revolve around a wonderfully thought out overarching plot.
I was surprised by the length of the first story in the book, Wintertide, as it finished somewhere in the late 20% on my Kindle. It was a great story, but over too quickly, and made me reconsider the need for splitting the overarching story up into six individual ‘standalone’ stories (when in reality, the final three were not standalone at all).
The second and final story, however, really kept me on the edge of my seat (until 4am), driving me towards the end of the series. I hoped the author wouldn’t rush it, ruining such a good build up, nor give in to the easy way out. And in the end, Sullivan did neither. While some may look at the finale and see a little too much happiness (when grimdark is all the rage and happy endings are boring), I was stoked – characters I have come to love and care for receive their rewards, as did the bad guys; the overarching storyline was brilliantly resolved, and still allowed the author to return some day down the road; and the small secret nuggets that had been planted throughout the entire series finally came to fruition.
I was disappointed with a lot of the info-dumping spread throughout the book. At times I would skip entire pages because it referred to unnecessary reference points, described in excruciating detail the interior decoration of a room that was left a page later, or referenced things I’ll be reading about soon in the two prequel books. It seemed somewhat lazy and fan-service-y, making me wonder what these books would have looked like had Sullivan been given the opportunity of a publishing house editorial makeover – what would have stayed, what would have been thrown out, and what would have been trimmed.
I loved the story arcs, the overarching story itself, but more than anything I loved the way that Sullivan grew his characters. Over the course of the whole six stories, his characters have evoked so much joy and sorrow, to the point where I actually punched the air and cheered at a certain scene (girl with a blade, you’ll see it!).
The growth of Royce, Hadrian, and Arista are the most obvious examples – and represent my favourite characters and favourite examples – but there were others that were just as entertaining, if given a lesser spotlight – including Mauvin, Myron, Modina, Magnus – but more than that, I loved how some characters continued to remain dislikeable, and in some cases downright despicable and disagreeable. Sometimes authors can fall into the trap of making every character flawless by the end – wiping away all the petty quirks that made them who they were – and I was impressed with Sullivan’s ability to leave certain characters morons, even in death.
In the end though, given the ability to simply skim read and skip certain paragraphs, these books are sublime. Fun, action packed, and for me – someone who doesn’t inherently attempt to solve the book by the end of the first chapter – surprising right up until the final page (literally). If you’re looking for a fun and easy read this new year break, make sure to check out The Riyria Revelations – I’m sure you’ll love it.
Review by Joshua S Hill
1 positive reader review(s) for Heir of Novron
Michael J. Sullivan is a full time author whose self published series, The Riyria Revelations, hit the big time selling more than 70,000 copies in a very short time. Picked up by Orbit in the middle of last year just after th [...]
Kemton from Australia
I was excited to start another series after having read most of the well known others. I felt this book and the series were definite page turners, and have found myself up late at night unable to put them down. The writing style is professionally done and allows you to envision a whole new world. The story line is not very predictable, which will leave you pleasantly surprised at many points you didn’t expect. It is easier to empathise with the characters in the book compared to other series as they are more realistically represented, with their virtues, faults, self-development, and doubts. The ending has left me wanting more, though readers can imagine a future for the characters with the well thought out conclusion.
Anon from UK
This book has literally changed my life. It is the greatest thing in the whole entire world. My whole family loves this series and pre-series, and I've gotten my friends to read it and everything. I seriously love this book with all my mind, heart, and soul. Michael j. Sullivan, you are my savior, thank you so very much for writing this amazing book. Please keep on writing and please don't ever stop it. If you've never heard of this book before, then get it and read it, cause it is the greatest thing that I have ever read in my entire life. Read it now, or I will hunt you down :) jk. But seriously, read this book. (And yes, I meant to do this comment in all caps, to express my feelings. They're pretty extreme).
Alena from Canada
WOW! One of the best endings I've ever read! Everything ties together beautifully and it is of course full of action, adventure and more plot twists!!!!!
9/10 from 4 reviews