Theft of Swords (Riyria Revelations) - Michael J. Sullivan Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths Reviews

When a friend lent me Theft of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan, I have to admit I was tentative about beginning it. Not because I did not want to sample this series which I had read and heard so much about from its numerous followers on Goodreads, but for the simple reason that I have grown to like Mr. Sullivan a great deal since joining GR: I’ve been his “friend” in the GR sense for many months, followed his reviews/blogs, and enjoyed his comments in numerous groups. However, as I sat there debating the wisdom of opening Theft of Swords on my e-reader, it was this admiration which made me hesitate and fear that I might not appreciate his book. But like many things which I have worried with unnecessarily, my hesitance was an absolute waste, because Theft of Swords is an excellent fantasy novel.

Now, I want to go ahead and make clear that this book is a straightforward fantasy romp. It isn’t a dark and brooding piece of realistic fantasy like so many other novels these days. It isn’t a social commentary on our time, cleverly hidden in a fantasy setting of elves and dwarves. Nor is it a work of literary experimentation where the prose leaves one contemplating the brilliance of him who penned it. No, Mr. Sullivan has written a novel which is all about storytelling at its finest; the grandeur of the book lays in the very fact that the writing style, the language, and the Tolkienesque setting all disappear in the sheer enjoyment of the tale of Hadrian Blackwater and Royce Melborn.

As for the story itself, I am not going to go into detail because I do not want to ruin the fun, but all one needs to understand is that the plot begins very simply then gradually grows in complexity. There are numerous twists and turns along the way, and even when “the way” seems familiar, don’t become complacent because things are never exactly what you think they are. But the constant in everything is Hadrian and Royce - for this is their show; the storylines of the other characters - and we get lots of supporting actors here - tend to revolve around our two stars much as the planets swirling around the sun. However, reading about these two never grows boring as Mr. Sullivan continues to deliver new insight into their personal history.

So, if you’ve been thinking of trying Theft of Swords, go ahead and just do it. I have a sneaky suspicion that you will find this one to your liking, just as I did.