The Death of Dulgath by Michael J Sullivan

(9.0/10) A great starting point for anyone wanting to find out about Riyria

Book of the Year 2015 (see all)

I love Michael J. Sullivan.  
 
I want to put that out there from the beginning, because I need to admit this review may be somewhat biased or swayed by that existing love. Even before I began reading Michael J. Sullivan’s latest book, The Death of Dulgath, this bias was evident in that I picked it ahead of Brandon Sanderson’s latest book, The Bands of Mourning (which arrived before Dulgath).

The reality is that Royce Melborn and Hadrian Blackwater are possibly two of my favourite fictional characters ever, right up there with Tiffany Aching and Sam Vimes, Faramir, and Whiskeyjack. When you go and include the wonderful world in which the two characters inhabit, and Sullivan’s Riyria books are some of my most beloved.

The Death of Dulgath was a long-anticipated wait for me – a Kickstarter-back booked that received the support of 1,876 supporters and comes with a bundle of extras.

Despite my rampant-caveating, however, I can honestly say that I loved this book. Maybe I’m a little blind, but I like to think that Michael J. Sullivan is simply getting better and better at the craft of storytelling. The Death of Dulgath is the third prequel to his original The Riyria Revelations stories (originally self-published as 6 shorter-books, now collected in three volumes), so Sullivan is increasing our understanding of the world while at the same time ensuring he doesn’t step on the toes of books already published set afterwards.

The Death of Dulgath does this superbly, revealing information to the characters that we already know from later books, while still keeping the reader interesting. The author also reveals information to us the readers that the characters already know, while avoiding the pitfalls of the dreaded infodump.

The story itself is as intricate and delicate as the overall placement of the book, weaving several parallel storylines alongside one another, keeping bits of information from revealing the whole while never making it look as if the author was keeping bits of information from revealing the whole. This is a trick author’s need to master if they are going to satisfy their readers, avoiding obvious contrivance and allowing a story to play out as if naturally (ie, not created by an author at their desk).

The Death of Dulgath does not read like so many prequels published these days, which are nothing more than glorified Wikipedia entries. This book exists to tell a story, not to fill in backstory for other books. The story stands on its own, which inherently reveals more about the characters themselves for the reader willing to put two-and-two together.  
 
I’m tempted to jump straight back into The Riyria Revelations – I just want more Royce and Hadrian. Being back in their world is at once wonderful, and fraught with agony as I know I’ll soon have to leave. The Death of Dulgath was not only a fine addition to Michael J. Sullivan’s Riyria world, but a great book all on its own. This would serve as a great starting point for anyone wanting to find out about Riyria, and will open the door to other great books.

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Our interview with Michael J Sullivan

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 [...]

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The Death of Dulgath reader reviews

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All reviews for Michael J Sullivan's The Ryria Chronicles series

The Crown Tower

The Ryria Chronicles #1 written by Michael J Sullivan

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 [...]

Published: 0000

Our rating: 8.5 | positive reader reviews

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The Rose and the Thorn

The Ryria Chronicles #2 written by Michael J Sullivan

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 [...]

Published: 0000

Our rating: 8.5 | positive reader reviews

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The Death of Dulgath

The Ryria Chronicles #3 written by Michael J Sullivan

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 [...]

Published: 2015

Our rating: 9.0 | positive reader reviews

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The Disappearance of Winter's Daughter

The Ryria Chronicles #4 written by Michael J Sullivan

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 [...]

Published: 2017

Our rating: 8.0 | positive reader reviews

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More Michael J Sullivan reviews

Age of Myth

by Michael J Sullivan

Since time immemorial, humans have worshipped the gods they call Fhrey, truly a race apart: invincible in battle, masters of magic, and seemingly immortal. But when a god f [...]

Series: Legends of the First Empire #1
Published: 2016

Score: 80

Our rating: 8.0 | 0 positive reader reviews

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Age of Swords

by Michael J Sullivan

Raithe, the God Killer, may have started the rebellion by killing a Fhrey, but long-standing enmities dividing the Rhunes make it all but impossible to unite against the co [...]

Series: Legends of the First Empire #2
Published: 2017

Score: 80

Our rating: 8.0 | 0 positive reader reviews

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Age of War

by Michael J Sullivan

The alliance of humans and renegade Fhrey is fragile - and about to be tested as never before. Persephone keeps the human clans from turning on one another through her iron [...]

Series: Legends of the First Empire #3
Published: 2018

Score: 100

Our rating: 10.0 | 0 positive reader reviews

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Age of Legend

by Michael J Sullivan

After years of warfare, humanity has gained the upper hand and has pushed the Fhrey to the edge of their homeland but no farther. Now comes the pivotal moment. Persephone&r [...]

Series: Legends of the First Empire #4
Published: 2019

Score: -2

Our rating: 8.0 | 0 positive reader reviews

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Theft of Swords

by Michael J Sullivan

Royce Melborn, a skilled thief, and his mercenary partner, Hadrian Blackwater, make a profitable living carrying out dangerous assignments for conspiring nobles--until they [...]

Series: The Riyria Revelations #1
Published: 2012

Score: 93

Our rating: 9.0 | 3 positive reader reviews

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Rise of Empire

by Michael J Sullivan

War has come to Melengar and once more Royce and Hadrian are hired to make a desperate gamble and form an alliance with the Nationalists whom are fighting the Imperialists [...]

Series: The Riyria Revelations #2
Published: 2014

Score: 72

Our rating: 7.0 | 1 positive reader reviews

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Heir of Novron

by Michael J Sullivan

The New Empire intends to celebrate its victory over the Nationalists with a day that will never be forgotten. On the high holiday of Wintertide, they plan to execute two t [...]

Series: The Riyria Revelations #3
Published: 0000

Score: 81

Our rating: 8.0 | 1 positive reader reviews

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