The Qwillery | category: The Riyria Revelations


The Qwillery

A blog about books and other things speculative

Melanie's Week in Review - August 18, 2013

Melanie's Week in Review - August 18, 2013

I read some really great books this week. First, I waved good-bye to Hadrian and Royce as I finished the last book of the Riyria Revelations by Michael J. Sullivan. So here endeth my Riyria reunion. The Heir of Novron  re-affirmed everything I loved about this series. It was an amazing book, or in fact 2 books. So much happened in this final episode. It was one twist, turn, heart break and triumph in every chapter. You can check out my review of The Riyria Chronicles which was posted yesterday (8/17), which kicked off my Riyria reunion in the first place.

Melanie's Week in Review - August 18, 2013
I started to read A Thousand Perfect Things by Kay Kenyon but had to stop reading it when this arrived from the lovely Qwill. What a fantastic box of goodies. Even though I knew what I was going to get it was still a surprise to see them there in the flesh...or should I say in the print. You might notice Magic Rises on the top of the pack...well...I was really looking for that to arrive and anything else I had on the cards to read got sidelined for the latest from 'chateau Andrews'. I am going to be reviewing Magic Rises so I won't let anything else slip.

Melanie's Week in Review - August 18, 2013
I will however, tell you about A Thousand Perfect Things by Kay Kenyon. I didn't know what to expect when I started this book. I hadn't read anything else by this author. I got the book from the lovely people at NetGalley and I became instantly gripped. The story is set in the late 1800's in a steampunk version of England - referred to Anglica and moves quickly to Bharata (India) where the young, aristocrat, Tori, searches for the 'golden lotus'. Tori hopes to follow in the footsteps of her grandfather, who is a renowned scientist, by becoming the first woman to be admitted into the the Royal Society for finding and documenting the golden lotus. Anglica is rich but resource poor with a love of science whereas, Bharati is rich both in resources and in magic but where people are poor and deemed by the Anglica's to be uncivilised. Those in Tori's world shun her belief in magic but she is determined to find the flower of the gods and prove the existence of magic. Betrayal, political revolution and forbidden love are all in store for the intrepid, budding scientist. I really enjoyed A Thousand Perfect Things. I read it quite quickly, despite the interruption. I thought that Kenyon was very clever in her depiction of Bharati.  It was very colourful and you could almost feel the heat and smell the rich, pungent spices. There were distinct parallels to the British rule of India over the period and their desire to rid themselves of foreign rule. While I thoroughly enjoyed this book it did have some minor faults. I felt latter part of the book was rushed. There was one specific scene where one of the characters just died without really any explanation of how they were killed. Then at the very end nearly a decade passes one scene and the next and it felt a bit contrived. On the whole I liked this book and thought it was a great depiction of two intriguing worlds.

Melanie's Week in Review - August 18, 2013
I just started Thirteen by Kelley Armstrong. I forgot that I hadn't read this final book of the Otherworld series yet. So far so good but don't want to give too much away as this is another review. Still so many books to read and so little time but until next week Happy Reading!

Review: The Riyria Chronicles by Michael J. Sullivan - August 17, 2013

The Crown Tower
Author: Michael J. Sullivan
Series:  The Riyria Chronicles 1
Publisher:  Orbit, August 6, 2013
Format: Trade Paperback and eBook, 432 pages
Price:  $16.00 (print)
ISBN: 9780316243711 (print)
Review copy:  Provided by the Publisher via NetGalley

Review: The Riyria Chronicles by Michael J. Sullivan - August 17, 2013
Two men who hate each other. One impossible mission. A legend in the making.

Hadrian Blackwater, a warrior with nothing to fight for, is paired with Royce Melborn, a thieving assassin with nothing to lose. Hired by an old wizard, they must steal a treasure that no one can reach. The Crown Tower is the impregnable remains of the grandest fortress ever built and home to the realm's most prized possessions. But it isn't gold or jewels that the wizard is after, and if he can just keep them from killing each other, they just might succeed.

The Rose and The Thorn
Author: Michael J. Sullivan
Series:  The Riyria Chronicles 2
Publisher:  Orbit, September 17, 2013
Format:  Trade Paperback and eBook, 384 pages
Price:  $16.00  (print)
ISBN:  9780316243728 (print)
Review copy:  Provided by the Publisher via NetGalley

Review: The Riyria Chronicles by Michael J. Sullivan - August 17, 2013
Two thieves want answers. Riyria is born.

For more than a year Royce Melborn has tried to forget Gwen DeLancy, the woman who saved him and his partner Hadrian Blackwater from certain death. Unable to get her out of his mind, the two thieves return to Medford but receive a very different reception --- Gwen refuses to see them. The victim of abuse by a powerful noble, she suspects that Royce will ignore any danger in his desire for revenge. By turning the thieves away, Gwen hopes to once more protect them. What she doesn't realize is what the two are capable of --- but she's about to find out.

Melanie's Thoughts

I loved the Riyria Revelations and so I really excited when I saw that Michael J. Sullivan had written a prequel series The Riyria Chronicles including two books -  The Crown Tower and The Rose and the Thorn. What could be better than spending more time with two of my favourite characters Royce and Hadrian?

The Crown Tower is the story of how Royce and Hadrian got thrown together and their very first mission together to break into the Crown Tower. This mission is referred to in the Rise of the Empire from the Riyria Revelations series. Sullivan gives us the full back story of how the two met and carried out their first mission. Sullivan also uses this book as a way to tell Gwen's story. While Gwen plays a very important part in the Revelations series we don't really get to learn how and where she came from until The Crown Tower.  I don't want to give too much away but The Crown Tower rounds out Royce as a character and shows a side of his character that I was rather surprised about.

The Rose and The Thorn follows on from The Crown Tower a year later. Royce and Hadrian have made a name for themselves as thieves and have returned to Medford where they ended up, in Gwen's care at the end of The Crown Tower. Royce has become intrigued by Gwen and comes back to town to see her. The pair are a bit more than surprised that Gwen refuses to see them. Royce is on a mission to find out why and if anyone has hurt Gwen they are going to pay....probably with their life. Sullivan also introduces us to Reuben Hilfred who is the son of one of the guards at the castle. In meeting Reuben we also get to meet Alric and Arista, the prince and princess of Melengar who are key characters in the Revelations series. Fans will remember Reuben as Arista's bodyguard during the Riyria Revelations and he is given the chance to tell the story of how he ended up in this auspicious position.

I cannot say enough good things about Riyria Chronicles or get enough of Royce and Hadrian. I don't think Sullivan's wife can either. According to the author's note Sullivan was convinced to write more about these two characters because his wife fancied Hadrian.  Sorry fellas but Michael J. Sullivan wins the 'nicest husband 2013 award' for writing two whole books just because his wife likes one of his characters.  Now that is motivation to tell an engaging story. There is enough new information to make these an interesting read for someone who has already read the Revelations series and a fantastic introduction for newcomers to the series. I enjoyed reading these two books so much that I have decided to go back and read the Revelations series.

Sullivan has a great capacity for story telling. He has created a richly detailed world as the stage for his story. He has written two characters who almost seem to come alive and leap off the page. These two stories not only give diehard fans another chance to spend time with the pair but also gives us an insight on why they made the choices they do in the next series.  I like to compare both the Riyria Chronicles and the Revelations to going to dinner at a great restaurant where Sullivan is the master chef (hang in will make sense in a minute). The Riyria Chronicles are the starter. The Crown Tower and The Rose and The Thorn set the stage for the main course by teasing our literary taste buds, preparing us for the sumptuous main course that is sure to follow. Following the starter is the rich, detailed and well balanced main course in the form of Theft of Swords and  Rise of Empire. The characters we have grown to love are fleshed out further in a world of intrigue and subterfuge encased in religion and folklore. Finally, for dessert is Heir of Novron to finish off our literary meal. The literary dessert is bitter sweet like a rich, dark, chocolate cake which leaves the reader fulfilled, satisfied and maybe a tiny bit sad it is all over.

The Crown Tower and The Rose and The Thorn are a great way to start this series. We get to see how our favourite heroes come together and how the plot from Revelations starts to unfold. As much as I love these books and both series I hope this where Sullivan decides to leave the rest to our imaginations. Like a rich and delicious meal there can be too much of a good thing and I wouldn't want Sullivan to dilute the power of both of these series by writing anything else on this pair. If you haven't had a chance to enjoy this series I urge you to start at the beginning with The Crown Tower. Its only a few more weeks until The Rose and The Thorn is released and after reading that you can jump right into the books of the Riyria Revelations.

Melanie's Week in Review - August 11, 2013

Melanie's Week in Review  - August 11, 2013

I thought I was going to start this week's post with 'I haven't read very much this week'. Instead I am going to start this post with 'its all about quality rather than quantity. Well that is my rationalisation for having read only 2 books and 1/2 way through book three....none of which were one of the many books I got from Netgalley last week. Please insert tsking here.

Melanie's Week in Review  - August 11, 2013
If you follow my posts you will remember that I have been holding my very own Riyria reunion by re-reading the books in the series by Michael J.Sullivan. I managed to finish Rise of Empire and decided that of the three books this is probably my least favourite. Saying that it is still highly enjoyable and nail biting. I am halfway through Heir of Novron and I forgot how tense it was. I can barely put it down and the reason why I was late getting any housework done which in turn means I am late getting my 'week in review' posted. Every time I think I am able to put it down to get something done I say to myself 'just one more chapter'. Sullivan also wins for having the  most touching dedication to his wife at the front. I thought it was a bit sniff-sniff and challenge you authory males out there to beat Sullivan's dedication!

Melanie's Week in Review  - August 11, 2013I also discovered that the final book of the Emperor's Edge series Forged in Blood II by Lindsay Buroker had been out for over a week. I had to quickly go download and read it before anything else. It was a great ending to a solid fantasy series. Buroker resisted the temptation to make it too soppy and there were a few scenes with the anti-hero Sicarius which were just a tad gross.

I am having a problem keeping organised and asking dear reader, for your advice. When I only had my Kindle I could quite easily keep track of my TBR by having an 'Unread' collection. Now that I have Nookie, my Nook (original name, I know!) and reading Kindle books both on Bruce, my phone and sometimes my iPad I can't keep track of what I haven't read. I can't seem to create collections or shelves using the Kindle apps. If anyone has a clever solution to this organisational conundrum please let me know. I think that is enough of me whittering on plus I am sure that Hadrian and Royce need me to finish reading about their adventures so until next week Happy Reading!

Melanie's Week in Review - August 4, 2013

Melanie's Week in Review - August 4, 2013

Melanie's Week in Review - August 4, 2013 This was a fairly unproductive week on the reading front. Well, marginally unproductive. My best friend was over from Australia and we ended up doing some cultural stuff like going to Tate Britain and some not so cultural stuff like going to see Pacific Rim and riding this funfair ride on the Southbank. It was fun but only lasted 1.5 minutes. I guess that is less time to get vertigo.

My love affair with the Riyria Revelations by Michael J. Sullivan continues with my very own reunion reading of the series.  I have been reading Rise of Empire this week. I am not finished with it but hope to be early next week.  I have been trying to not rush reading them and as they are actually 2 books in one so they take longer to read than I think they should when I start out. Several months ago I sponsored Sullivan's newest book - Hollow World through Kickstarter and guess what?  He has released the ARC. It's a while before it will be released but I am super excited about being part of this literary adventure.

Melanie's Week in Review - August 4, 2013
Those of you who read my Week in Review last week will know that I started Broken Elements by Mia Marshall. I quite enjoyed it and so moved onto reading book 2, Shifting Elements. There were some really funny lines in this one and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I will be reviewing both of these books soon so I won't be giving too much away.

I also got some 'goodies' from NetGalley this week including A Thousand Perfect Things by Kay Kenyon, Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl by David Barnett and Delia's Shadow by Jaime Lee Moyer (who is a featured author in the 2013 Debut Author Challenge). I am excited about reading these three books....and a few others I have in my TBR.  Perhaps I better get started.

Until next week Happy Reading!

Melanie's Week in Review - July 28, 2013

Melanie's Week in Review - July 28, 2013

Melanie's Week in Review - July 28, 2013
As some of you might know I read the Riyria Chronicles by Michael J.Sullivan last week.  This got me all nostalgic and I decided to have my very own Riyria reunion. Who better to get back in touch with than Royce and Hadrian. The ultimate good cop, not so bad cop. I started with Theft of Swords this week. I will read the remaining books of the Riyria Revelations over the next few weeks. Reading the 'Chronicles' series has really added a new dimension to the 'Revelations' series. I enjoyed this book again and sure that I will feel the same way about the following books.

Melanie's Week in Review - July 28, 2013In between reading the Chronicles and first of the Revelations I needed something I could read in a day.  I flipped through the Kindle recommendations and it came up with book 9, Lover Unleashed of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R Ward. I have read a few but not all of this series. If you have read my 'week in reviews' before you will know that I am especially choosy about what PNR I read. Everyone gives the BDB series such positive reviews so I thought it could be just what I was looking for. I also read quite a few reviews about book 9 and some said that the sex scenes were much tamer than the other books so I thought this would be perfect as an 'inbetweener'. Holy cats is all I can say.  If those sex scenes are tame then I must cloistered...almost nun like. While I will admit PNR isn't my favourite I do like some of it especially where plot prevails over the 'R'. It wasn't the case with this installment which was all hot and steamy from almost chapter 1. What perplexes me about the BDB books is that these are vampires that have been around for 400-500 years but they talk like they have just stepped off the Wire..and not as the cops.  Is saying 'true' part of modern venacular?  If so....stop it immediately. I know people love this series and I am not the biggest fan. I have read several of the books trying to figure it all out. I guess I will have to live with the knowledge that these books are not my cup of tea.

Melanie's Week in Review - July 28, 2013I apologise profusely to all the books I haven't finished this week.  I am dolefully behind but I keep adding more. I haven't finished The Havoc Machine by Steven Harper. I am not sure that I will. I feel quite pathetic but I am totally judging the book by the cover. I cringe every time I look at it and just not engaging with the characters. I have started Broken Elements by Mia Marshall and quite surprised how much I am enjoying it.  I feel bad because I have had this from NetGalley for a few fact ... long enough to get book 2 Shifting Elements from NetGalley too.  I won't even go into the books I got from NetGalley this week!!!!

I am watching Skyfall as I write this and about to hit the big highlight of the plot so better get back to it.  Until next week Happy Reading.

Melanie's Week in Review - July 21, 2013

Melanie's Week in Review - July 21, 2013

Another week has gone by in the UK's first real summer since 2008.  Yes, we have actually had consecutive days of super warm weather. I did feel a little bit like a ice cream walking to the tube last Monday. I started out with a spring in my step, nice and cool and ended up a hot, sweaty mess when I got on the train. It was sooo hot on the train I thought the heating was on which in turn made reading impossible.

Well, that is the excuse I am going to use this week for only reading 2 books. For those of you who read my Week in Review last week I had just bought The Glass God by Kate Griffin. I think I am going to be reviewing this book so I don't want to give too much away but to share a secret *whispers* go buy it quickly!

Melanie's Week in Review - July 21, 2013
I also read both of the new short stories by Michael J. Sullivan - The Crown Tower and The Rose and The Thorn.  They are billed as short stories but they are quite long. I don't really remember the rules on length of short story versus novella but suffice to say they take long enough to read for them to feel like a full fledged book. I will also be reviewing these so not even going to give a hint away.  Sorry!

I started but  not very far into All Men of Genius by Lev AC Rosen. It is a steampunk version of Twelfth Night by none other than William Shakespeare (Bill to his friends). It has started out quite interesting so I have high hopes for it.  Stay tuned until next week when I hope to have finished it.

I am in a tad of a quandry of what to read next. London Underground + 30C = not much concentration. I really need a great book to get me through the tube journey.  Any and all suggestions are gratefully appreciated.

Melanie's Week in Review - July 21, 2013In other bookish news I tweeted Stefan Petrucha to find out when the next installment of the Hessius Mann series was out.  He told me that they are waiting to hear about the movie/TV show.  HOW EXCITING!! If you haven't read either Dead Mann Walking or Dead Mann Running then rush immediately to your local book store or your computer and get buying them. Books that combine social commentary with humour so well are few and far between.  Petrucha quite cleverly mixes themes such as racism, bigotry and social exclusion with a nail biting murder mystery.  I hope that putting these stories on either the big or small screen doesn't change the message (s) that Petrucha is trying to get across.

Well enough hot weather rambling for me. I am off to go out and enjoy the sun.  Until next week Happy Reading.

Melanie's Week in Review - July 14, 2013

Melanie's Week in Review - July 14, 2013

I almost can't believe another week has gone by.  Another week of lovely summer weather. It was a scorching day today which had me snoozing instead of reading in the sun. I did manage to get a few things read this week though.

Melanie's Week in Review - July 14, 2013
I finished Three by Jay Posey but will be reviewing it so don't want to give too much away.  I started The Havoc Machine started by Steve Harper. It had one of the funniest author's 'forwards' I have ever read.  I wish the book was as amusing. I will be reviewing this one as well and haven't finished it so I don't want to speak too soon.  Don't be fooled by the cover.  Its not one of my favourite covers and doesn't really give you an impression of how gritty the book really is.

Melanie's Week in Review - July 14, 2013 I also read the newly released Fifth Grave Past the Light by Darynda Jones. I have been enjoying this series more for the quips and the chapter titles as much the plot. This books finds the grim reaper Charley with the son of Satan, Reyes, as a next door neighbor. Things heat up in this, thefifth book of the series....literally with lots of 'assignations' for the pair. In fact, remind me never to go over to Reyes's for dinner. I am sure what they were doing with the kitchen utensils was in violation of a few health and safety rules. While I enjoyed this installment I thought it was a tiny bit weaker than some of the previous books. Jones, seemed to want to cram one too many sub-plots into the mix this time although everything gets wrapped up with a bow at the end.

Melanie's Week in Review - July 14, 2013I was also super naughty and added more books to my TBR. I found out that The Glass God, the 2nd book in the Magical Anonymous series, by Kate Griffin was out so I had to buy it.  This is a fantastic series and completely funny. 

I also found 2 new books by Michael J. Sullivan on NetGalley: The Crown and The Rose and The Thorn. Both novels are part of the  Riyria Revelations series. I can hardly wait to read them.  I love this series. That is all from me. I have quite a few books to read so better get to them. Until next week Happy Reading!

Interview with Michael J. Sullivan - May 25, 2012

Please welcome Michael J. Sullivan to The Qwillery. Michael is the author of The Riyria Revelations,

TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Michael:  I don’t that that anyone will find it interesting, strange maybe—and I know my wife was a bit shocked when she found out, but when I’m starting on a novel, or stuck on a current work in progress, I go for a walk (hopefully somewhere secluded) and have out loud conversations with myself. I actually play two people. One asking questions of me, and then me answering that person back…and as I said it has to be out loud otherwise the approach doesn’t produce the same results. I think someone who knows more about the anatomy of the brain might be able to describe why that is…in regards to some connection between verbal function and creativity, and a psychiatrist may have other things to say on the subject…but for good or ill it works for me.

TQ:  If you were stranded on a desert island for one year, which 5 novels would you want to have with you?

I was once asked this question, but the interviewer said, “books” rather than novels, and I said I wanted “How to Survive on a Desert Island” drat you for plugging that loophole. I guess it would have to be those that I don’t mind reading over and over again, and actually there are few stories that I have actually re-read.

· Harry Potter: Can I cheat and count the series as one? I’ve read and re-read each of these every time a new one came out, and in so doing, I discovered little tidbits, that made the re-reads more enjoyable. Things like Hagrid arriving in book #1 on Sirius Black’s motorcycles. My books have “Easter eggs” like that so it makes the re-reads lots of fun

· Lord of the Rings: Will always have a special place in my heart. This was the first book that made me “want to read” and after finishing it, and not finding anything else like it caused me to start writing. I still enjoy meeting up with Frodo and Sam and the others in this book like they are “old friends.”

· Watership Down: Speaking of “old friends…” I’ve re-read Richard Adams’ book several times and still like the bonds between those rabbits. I really liked how each character was unique and I really wanted to be along with the band of rabbits in search of a new place to call home.

· The Stand: Also has great characters (you may see a theme starting to form) Some of my all time favorites: Nick Andros, Tom Cullen, Stu Redman, Mother Abagail, and Fran Goldsmith. If I ever have to go through an apocalypse I would want it to be with people like them.

· The Riyria Revelations: Now before people stone me for blatant self-promotion, or accuse me of having too big a head, let me explain. I wrote those books to fit with my preferences like a hand to a glove. They are “exactly” the kind of books I love. There were times (during editing) that I couldn’t bring myself to look at them again. But from time to time I go to look something up in them and find myself re-reading and I’m whisked away once more. When you design something “perfect for you” it’s not surprising that “I” would like them…the fact that there are “others” that do is the big surprise.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a panster?

Michael:  Definitely a plotter, there was a period when I was a panster, but I found that I wasted huge amounts of time going down a road that wasn’t going anywhere. Now that’s not to say that I’m so rigid that I don’t allow for serendipity. It’s like planning a trip and I choose what cities I’m going to stop at along the way for a meal, or to spend the night, but if I’m traveling along and something that looks interesting, then I’m all for exploring where that might go.

Generally I spend six days a week writing and one day for “thinking.” These are the times that I examine the road ahead and determine whether I need to adjust the outline as necessary. It also depends somewhat on the characters. I’ve had characters that have out rightly refused to go where I wanted, and I have to listen to them – they are always right. Then there is the character who has gotten extra “screen time” as they turned out to be so much fun once I started with them. So I guess it is a little of both…but I do use the outline as the basis.

TQ:   Describe The Riyria Revelations in 140 characters or less.

Michael:  Two unlikely heroes caught in a series of escalating adventures filled with twists, humor and scenes both heart-warming and heart-wrenching.

TQ:  What inspired you to write The Riyria Revelations?

Michael:  Wow, long answer or short. I’ll try for “just right.” I had written for over a decade, primarily literary fiction where I toiled on the craft of combining words, more than the story itself. I became quite good at it, but wasn’t having any fun, nor was I getting any publishing offers, so I ended up giving up creative writing completely. When my daughter (who was thirteen at the time) was struggling with reading (she’s dyslexic) I bought her Harry Potter. She didn’t read it, but when I did, it reminded me of how fun a good adventure with likeable characters could be. I decided to write a story for Sarah, with no intention on publishing. So I returned to an idea that had been banging around in my head even before I had quit writing. So I guess it was a combination of returning to fantasy (which made me fall in love with reading in the first place), my daughter (to give her something to enjoy reading), and Rowling (who reminded me how much fun a good story can be).

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for The Riyria Revelations?

Michael:  Well it’s based on Medieval Europe and has scenes ranging from courtly life within a castle, to ships on the high seas. I researched everything from clothing, food, customs, battle techniques, armor, weaponry, and so on. But it is an invented world so I had the flexibility to take what I wanted, combine things that never existed together, and develop a world that followed the rules that I wanted.

I developed 8,000 years of history for the world of Elan, and much of my research has occurred over a lifetime (I’m a avid history buff for instance). But most of that goes unnoticed (or should) as research and world building shouldn’t be “in your face.” I follow the rules of icebergs and leave most of it under the water. Determining how much to expose, and in what doses is a tightrope and there will be some that think it’s too heavy handed, others too light, and hopefully enough that will find it “just right.”

One of the most delicate tightropes was in The Emerald Storm, because part of it takes place on a ship. I wanted to make sure that I exposed enough of the research to prove that I didn’t just “wing it,” but I also didn’t want to bore the reader with facts about sailing that wasn’t necessary to the plot.

TQ:   The Riyria Revelations are composed of 6 novels. I've read that the series is designed like a television series. How does that translate to your novels?

Michael:  What I’ve meant by that is I’ve written a “season” (the series) where there are mysteries, or you discover a little more about someone’s past in small dribs and drabs, but each “episode” (a single book) will have its own conflict and resolution. I didn’t want to just “stop” at a given number of pages and force people to read the next book to get closure for the previous one. My goal has always been to write books where people “wanted” to read the next, rather than being held hostage to.

I wrote all the books before releasing any of them and this allowed me to adjust earlier books when I came up with a really good idea in a later one. This also allowed me to structure the series somewhat unconventionally. I designed the first books to be purposefully light and therefore the weakest. I did this so that each subsequent book would be better than the last and the series would build overtime. Most series work the other way around, they start off with a lot of front loading so you can really know and identify with the characters. In mine you may quit after the first book thinking they are not “fully fleshed out…because they aren’t but will be by the end of the series. This may not have been the “smart” way to go about things, as some people may drop out early. But when I wrote the books I had no intention on publishing, and the few friends and family that were my intended audience I was pretty sure would read to the end.

TQ:  Who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Michael:  Royce and Hadrian (the two male leads) are very easy to write. Especially the banter between the two of them, which so many people cite as one of the reasons they like them so much. I’ve been “with them” so long that it just flows really naturally, and in any situation I know exactly how either of them would react.

The hardest would probably be Merrick Marius. He is described as a genius who is always thinking multiple moves ahead and constructs very intricate plans that can be quite elaborate. Making him live up to the hype that I gave him wasn’t easy. I don’t want to give too much away, but he does end up being quite the master manipulator and it took me a while to fit some pieces into place so that he could be as smart as I wanted him to be.

TQ:  Which character(s) in The Riyria Revelations surprised you the most?

Michael:  Probably Myron, who in the first book is a very sheltered, shy, and all around naïve guy who provides some great comic moments. He also provides some extremely touching scenes, in particular the “squirrel tree” scene in the first book, The Crown Conspiracy.

I left Myron out of books two through four and when we next meet him he has grown into someone pretty incredible. His transformation makes him nearly invisible because he is so completely at peace with himself, the world, and the god he worships, that he has absolutely no fear. He blossomed into a remarkable human being and I wish everyone could find as much contentment in their lives as Myron does.

TQ:  What's next?

Michael:  I’ve actually written three books since finishing The Riyria Revelations. One is a standalone urban fantasy about an ordinary guy who unwittingly gets the power to create or do anything that he can imagine. The problem is, the power is required to balance against another opposing individual and they are well trained in the power’s use, so my main character is quite unmatched. Here is the thirty word synopsis:
Two opposing individuals possess limitless magic, providing the universe balance. An unexpected death transfers this power to an unsuspecting bystander who is clueless of the consequences of his newfound abilities.
And this is what I’ve come up with for “the back of the book blurb”

Have you ever wondered how the world will end?

No? Well don’t sweat it. Most people don’t, and the few that do expect the cause will be a dramatic change in climate, a pandemic or mostly likely war. That’s what we’ve all been taught to believe, and we’re comfortable with rational explanations. But people weren’t always so quick to accept the facts provided by the so-called experts. There used to be a time when we believed in myth and magic. Our minds were open to the idea of believing in what can’t be seen…the fantastical.

I had been like you until I met Winston Stewart; the day I learned to believe that there are other forces at work—not the least of which is fate. Fate is an amazing thing. It put Gandhi in South Africa, Nelson at Gibraltar, and Winston Stewart on that train in Alexandria Virginia.

You say you don’t know who Winston Stewart is? Don't worry...You will.

The other two books are a series, but I don’t want to say too much about them just yet. My wife only recently got her hands on the first one and loved it…and is now in the process of tearing it to pieces and reconstructing it. I’m editing the second one, and really like how it is coming out but until Robin, and the publisher read it who knows what will become of it.


I’m also starting work on my “next big project” I anticipate this will be at least a three book series and all the pieces are coming into place nicely. It takes a while to come up with the “big themes” and what I’m going to be focusing on so I start this well in advance. I’ve been “working” on this for over a year now, as a background activity but now I’m working more formally on it and hope to start writing that comet the fall.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Michael:  Well, thank you for having me. I enjoyed being here

About The Riyria Revelations

Theft of Swords
The Riyria Revelations, Volume One
Orbit, November 23, 2011
Trade Paperback and eBook, 704 pages

Interview with Michael J. Sullivan - May 25, 2012
Royce Melborn, a skilled thief, and his mercenary partner, Hadrian Blackwater, make a profitable living carrying out dangerous assignments for conspiring nobles-until they are hired to pilfer a famed sword. What appears to be just a simple job finds them framed for the murder of the king and trapped in a conspiracy that uncovers a plot far greater than the mere overthrow of a tiny kingdom.

Can a self-serving thief and an idealistic swordsman survive long enough to unravel the first part of an ancient mystery that has toppled kings and destroyed empires?

And so begins the first tale of treachery and adventure, sword fighting and magic, myth and legend.

When author Michael J. Sullivan self-published the first books of his Riyria Revelations, they rapidly became ebook bestsellers. Now, Orbit is pleased to present the complete series for the first time in bookstores everywhere.

Theft of Swords was originally published as: The Crown Conspiracy and Avempartha.
Interview with Michael J. Sullivan - May 25, 2012

To purchase Theft of Swords

Rise of Empire
The Riyria Revelations, Volume Two
Orbit, December 14, 2011
Trade Paperback and eBook, 816 pages

Interview with Michael J. Sullivan - May 25, 2012
The adventure continues as Royce and Hadrian aid the struggling kingdom of Melengar as it alone stands in defiance against the newly formed empire. War approaches and a desperate gamble behind enemy lines is their only chance at forming an alliance with the Nationalists to the south.

But Royce has plans of his own as he uses this opportunity to discover if an ancient wizard is using Riyria as pawns in his own bid for power. To find the truth, Royce must unravel Hadrian's hidden past. What he discovers will lead them to the end of the known world, on a journey rife with treachery and intrigue.

When author Michael J. Sullivan self-published the first books of his Riyria Revelations, they rapidly became ebook bestsellers. Now, Orbit is pleased to present the complete series for the first time in bookstores everywhere.

Rise of Empire was originally published as: Nyphron Rising and The Emerald Storm.
Interview with Michael J. Sullivan - May 25, 2012

To purchase Rise of the Empire

Heir of Novron
The Riyria Revelations, Volume Three
Orbit, January 31, 2012
Trade Paperback and eBook, 960 pages

Interview with Michael J. Sullivan - May 25, 2012
The New Empire intends to mark its victory over the Nationalists with a bloody celebration. On the high holiday of Wintertide, the Witch of Melengar will be burned and the Heir of Novron executed. On that same day the Empress faces a forced marriage, with a fatal accident soon follow. The New Empire is confident in the totality of its triumph but there's just one problem-Royce and Hadrian have finally found the true Heir of Novron---and they have their own holiday plans.

When author Michael J. Sullivan self-published the first books of his Riyria Revelations series online, they rapidly became ebook bestsellers. Now, Orbit is pleased to present the complete series for the first time in bookstores everywhere.

Heir of Novron is the final volume of The Riyria Revelations and includes Wintertide and ---available for the first time--- the final volume, Percepliquis
Interview with Michael J. Sullivan - May 25, 2012

To purchase Heir of Novron

Where to Find Michael

Interview with Michael J. Sullivan - May 25, 2012

Goodreads Group
Melanie's Week in Review - August 18, 2013Review: The Riyria Chronicles by Michael J. Sullivan - August 17, 2013Melanie's Week in Review  - August 11, 2013Melanie's Week in Review - August 4, 2013Melanie's Week in Review - July 28, 2013Melanie's Week in Review - July 21, 2013Melanie's Week in Review - July 14, 2013Interview with Michael J. Sullivan - May 25, 2012

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