Sunday, 14 October 2012

Review: Heir of Novron

Heir of Novron
Heir of Novron by Michael J. Sullivan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The war is lost.

The kingdom has fallen.

The enemy has won.

Two thieves are out to steal the show. With the fall of the Nationalists and the kingdom of Melengar, the Empire is set to celebrate the Wintertide holiday. The Witch of Melengar shall be burned at the stake, and the true Heir of Novron – and ex-leader of the Nationalists – will join her. The celebrations will end with the marriage of the Empress Melodina, before her own accidental end. But, there’s no such dead-end for thieves that know every escape route. Royce and Hadrian are at it one last time. They’ve bested the odds before, but even a winning hand needs more than a little luck.

Free the Princess, liberate the Empress, crown the true Heir…all in a day’s work. Why send an army when you only need two men? Against the church, the empire, and the return of an all-powerful nation, Royce and Hadrian have to raise the stakes anyway that they can…

…and when they’re in, they’re in to win.

Michael J Sullivan’s ‘Heir of Novron’ is the culmination of two of his originally self-published novels ‘Wintertide’ and ‘Percepliquis’, part of his 6-book-long Riyria Revelations series. Orbit picked up the rights and re-published the original 6 as a 3. ‘Heir of Novron’ is a show-stealing, pulse-racing fantasy with a finale that’ll hold you at knife-point ‘til the end.

In ‘Heir of Novron’, Hadrian and Royce set out to finish what they started. Though the Princess may not be a damsel in distress, someone has to save her, and whilst they’re at it they might as well rescue the Empress, too. They say that three’s a crowd, but the true heir could use freeing if there’s any hope to foil the church’s blasphemous conspiracy. But, even in the world of dirty dealings, the two thieves have never come across a scheme as dark as this. Hadrian and Royce need to unravel the secret ties of the present and the past if they’ve any hope for success – but they’ve always been pretty good at cutting purse strings.

If there is such a thing as going out in style, then this is it. I laughed, I cried – it was a rollercoaster. ‘Heir of Novron’ was…perfect. To put it in any other way would do injustice to the story, the characters, and the author. There’s never been a more fitting finish. All killer, no filler, everything and everyone plays a part. All the old favourites make a return, and there’s always room for a few more surprises.

Sullivan, what can I say? You had me from the opening line, but at the end…I’m still hanging on. I despair! I DESPAIR! Not because the book ended on a dumb-note. No, far from it in fact. I despaired because I knew that I had finished one of the greatest series that I would ever read it my life. And it was a part of my life. I lived and I breathed your world, your characters, your vision. I didn’t want to leave. I still don’t now – the books are already staring at me from the shelf begging to be reread.

‘Heir of Novron’ is a tale of love, treachery, adventure and triumph. Anything is possible; anything at all, even when all hope is lost. It’s not just the themes at play and the plot that drives the reader; it’s the realisation that this world isn’t fiction, its fantasy. It’s the stuff of dreams.

Riyria is a welcome change to the deeply political, overly ominous and all-too-complex fantasies as of recent. It’s enjoyable to read, fun and fast paced. From young to old, the books have something on offer for anyone who decides to pick them up.

It’s not just about stealing the spotlight, it’s about stealing the reader’s heart. The Riyria Revelations certainly did just that for me. Catch the finale to the epic tale in ‘Heir of Novron’!

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