The Rose and the Thorn by Michael J. Sullivan – review

By on September 4, 2013


Editor’s note: This book will be released 9/17/13.

Publisher’s Description:

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.

What I expected:  I expected another adventure featuring the antics of Royce and Hadrian, now partners.  Some thievery, some knavery, a laugh or two, and some sneaking and swordplay thrown into the bargain.

What I got:  I got everything that I expected plus the addition of the origins of Viscount X, their liaison to the nobles, and at least one more historical bit of information that I did not know I needed but enjoyed learning about anyway.

What I liked:  There are the same things here to like as in the Riyria Revelations as well as the first book of the Chronicles – good characters, interesting adventures, a world full of complex peoples, magic, and religion.  You still get all of these in The Rose and the Thorn.  This is the story of how the two disparate men came to be a true partnership, and I like this look into their development.

What I did not:  I had a couple of logical little things that I felt were a touch off for the world building, and one tiny continuity error bothered me, but overall there was not anything there to dislike.

Cover talk:  Once again, the cover is excellent.  It ties in with the first book as well as the first series, it is attractive in a “looks interesting enough to pick up” way, and is put together well enough to be aesthetically pleasing, also.

Recommendation:  I absolutely recommend this to fans of the Riyria Revelations as well as people who have yet to discover the Riyria, but I highly recommend that newcomers read the Riyria Revelations before indulging in the Riyria Chronicles. Fans of Scott Lynch, Fritz Leiber, and  Rachel Aaron will likely enjoy these stories.  Below is the publisher’s list of all the books of this series so far:

The Riyria Chronicles
1. The Crown Tower (now available)
2. The Rose and the Thorn (September 17, 2013)

The Riyria Revelations
1. Theft of Swords (contains The Crown Conspiracy & Avempartha)
2. Rise of Empire (contains Nyphron Rising & The Emerald Storm)
3. Heir of Novron (contains Wintertide & Percepliquis)

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