Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Crown Conspiracy by Michael J. Sullivan

The Crown Conspiracy

Author: Michael J. Sullivan

Genre: Fiction

Publisher: Aspirations Media Publication

Cover Art and Map: Michael J. Sullivan

Publication Date: September 2008

Recommendation: Yes!

Summary from the Book:

Royce Melborn, a skilled thief, and his mercenary partner, Hadrian Blackwater make a profitable living carrying out dangerous assignments for conspiring nobles until they become the unwitting scapegoats in the murder of the king.

Trapped in a conspiracy to overthrow the monarchy and sentenced to death, they have only one way out...

My summary and review:
Mystery, Adventure, and Epic. If you like these three things in a book, this is the book to read. There are Kings, Thieves, Wizards, Monks, Dwarves, and Elves... Then you have Murder, Lost Magic, History, Religion, Politics, and Rivalry.

I don't know about you, but many times at the start of a new book I am slightly lost until I figure out the world I am in and the characters it's about. Michael Sullivan has made the beginning easier on me and I LOVE it. The book starts right out with the deception and conniving of the Noble world along with action that introduces you to the characters and the world gently, yet pecks your interest. With most of the Noble world looking to help themselves to better land and holdings this leaves a job opening for Royce Melborn and Hadrian Blackwater to do what they do best... Steal.

I was not lost at all in the book. By page 50 the main characters have fallen into the main course of hot water. By page 105 you have touched on the history and details, starting to see a bigger picture of the mystery along with much more details of the history and happenings of the world.

One rule Royce and Hadrian live by is to not take a last minute job. They need to do their backgound checking on the job and people to do the job properly. However, Hadrian whom has a big heart and seems to be pulled to do good deeds agrees to a last minute, simple job of removing a valued sword from an empty room. Then this easy job goes awry, there is no sword to steal and they find something else, or I should say someone else... This is where they are caught and the mystery of who done it and why starts.

You meet the Prince, Alric Essendon, who is now King and the Princess, Arista Essendon. The Prince believes the thieves should be publicly tortured and executed, yet the distrought and emotional Princess has her wits about her better than others realize, believes their story. Now, Royce and Hadrian need to escape and protect the young, new King.

While Royce, Hadrian, and the new King Alric travel they find crafty ways to escape death from whoever wants the new King dead. This journey is not drawn out to unnecessary lengths, it is just right. On this journey a lone, brilliant monk, Myron, is encountered and convinced to return with the new King.

Once you are aware of the truth the momentum of the story keeps going, if not picks up more speed. Are the two thieves, Royce and Hadrian able to help the young new King save what is left of his family and stabilize th government again in Melegar... Or will the realm fall under a new Empire and spread across to the other Realms in Avryn?

I enjoyed this book very much. I do still have questions on some mysteries introduce, but this series is to be a multi-book series of six books. I look forward to reading more on Royce, Hadrian, Esrahaddon (Yes, I have not mentioned this name till now. You will have to read the book to see who he is and why I am interested in him. I am sure you will be too.), and the monk Myron along with the two churchs.

After reading through the whole book I have realized there is much more going on in the underlining of the book than I realized while reading. My mind just raveled at the many possiblities and questions. There are many stories left to be told here and I will be waiting to get to them.

I have the second book, Avempartha, and will move it closer to the top of my to be read pile then be awaiting the third, Nyphon Rising, to come out October 2009. If you would like to learn more of Michael J. Sullivans series of the world of Elan stop by his website at


  1. Oh, cool! This sounds really good! I'll have to add it to my ever growing list...LOL! Great Review!

  2. Thanks Krista. After I was done with this book and all the information started rolling through my head I thought this would be a great book for us to discuss. If you do get to read it please let me know, I would like to bounce some ideas off of you on this.

  3. Sounds like a great book...I may have to give this one a try after the other millon or so you and Krista keep talking about.

  4. Sorry Ryan, we are on a roll. LOL! This book is very good I would definitly pick it up if you see it. Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Stack another book on the ever growing pile! Great review Melissa!

  6. Excellent review. Hope you enjoy Avempartha just as much and thanks for spreading the word. It is people like you that are helping to ensure that the rest of the series reaches the bookshelf. Thanks again.

  7. Wow, Michael! Thank you so much for stopping by, I feel very honored. I am really glad you liked the review. I am really looking forward to Avempartha. I have a few theories on a few people and can not wait to see what you have in store. I do hope the rest of the series does make it to the shelves, now that I am hooked on them. Thank you for the wonderful comment.

  8. Wow, Mel! You did such a good review the author stoped by how cool!

  9. Melissa,

    To be honest I avoid posting on boards that review my books. If they did a good review, it looks like I know the reviewer and suggests that the review is not honest. If the review is bad, then it looks like I'm venting frustration.

    But Krista is correct, you did write a very nice review. As for Avempartha, I've heard a great many people tell me they liked it better than Crown. And I am certain some of your "theories" about characters are quite correct...others will not be. I went to great lengths to keep you guessing. Even my wife never anticipated the conclusion of book six even though after reading it, she saw it was obvious. It is one of those stories that will make you want to go back and read it again to see what you missed.

    I do have a question: How did you learn about my book. My publisher is small and doesn't have the resources to do much promotion. My wife and I do the work of getting the word out, but being that you are in Pennsylvania(?) and I've never done a promotion anywhere near there, I am curious.

  10. Thank you again for the kind words Michael. I do understand your situation on the blogs. But I do have to say, some of us readers enjoy when you make a surprise visit to say thank you.

    I am looking forward to this series after finishing The Crown Conspiracy. Krista and I belong to the Barnes & Nobles site for bookclubs. We like to read books that have the mystery to them which we love to elaborate on, as to what could happen or who someone is - we feel this is the fun, suspencefulness of a book. Keep you wanting to know with receiving slivers of the answers at the same time that you just have to piece together.

    Yes, I am in Western Pennsylvania, but I actually found your books by way of another blog; Fantasy Book Critic. They gave a good review and the books sounded like what I enjoy reading, and have fit the bill.

    Thank you very much for stopping by and I do look forward to reading the series even more now with just the little bit of suspence on the characters you have set for me in your post. I have a few books I have to read for the bookclub but Avempartha has been moved up the stack to follow behind them. This way I can be ready for Nyphron Rising in October.

  11. Michael,

    If you are still around, I was wondering if I could ask you some questions.

    I am always curious as to the story behind the story. How or what sparred the thoughts of the stories of these two thieves?

    You are planning this series to be six books, do you have any idea of the span of time they will be published in?

    Just curious as to who was your inspiration to write? Or who is you favorite author?

    Do you have any advice for any aspiring writers?

    I have to say it is great that your wife works with you so closely. It sounds as she is a great help and support. This is wonderful to hear, you seem to have a great team going there.

    I do want to thank you for your time.

  12. I love questions.

    “I am always curious as to the story behind the story. How or what sparred the thoughts of the stories of these two thieves?”

    The bulk of this is covered in detail in my blog, the February 9th entry entitled Genesis, and I would re-paste it here, but it might be too long. Just to add to that blog, I wrote about two adventurers long ago when I was in high school (I actually wrote a trilogy of novels between the ages of 14 and 17.) They were about a cunning warrior with a mysterious past and a prince in exile who team up and become the leaders of a band of adventurers.

    Then when I was in my late twenties, a friend tried to cheer me up by proposing we write a chain story. He would write a page, then I would. It began with two men entering a medieval tavern one big one smaller. I named them Royce and Hadrian. My friend isn’t a writer. He would mail me a page (hand written and snail-mailed, this was before the Internet.) I would reply with a thirty-page chapter and frequently would re-write his portion. He soon lost interest, but I continued to think about Royce and Hadrian. This chain story was, in my mind, like a bad tv show that I often thought about making into a good feature-length movie.

    I always had the beginning: Two guys going to steal something and it goes bad right at the start. Royce and Hadrian hung on the outside of that tower for about five years before I decided to actually write the story having been inspired by B5 and Buffy…now if you go read the blog you’ll get the rest of the story. (

    “You are planning this series to be six books, do you have any idea of the span of time they will be published in?”

    The books are coming out every six months. I can do this because I wrote all of them prior to the first being published. It is now only a matter of editing, proofing and painting the covers. Editing actually takes a lot of work and is often more time consuming than the original draft.

    Crown was released on Oct. 1 2008
    Avempartha hit shelves on April 1 2009
    Nyphron Rising will be released Oct. 1 2009
    The Emerald Storm will be out April 2010
    Wintertide: Oct. 2010
    Percepliquis: April 2011

    “Just curious as to who was your inspiration to write? Or who is you favorite author?”

    Again this is covered in the blog, entry for Jan 15th “In the Beginning.” But to sum up, Tolkien was the author that got me writing. Stephen King took over after that and then I diversified into lots of others. Asimov, Steinbeck, Rand, Lovecraft, Richard Adams, Updike, Herbert. And finally it was Rowling who got me to write this series.

    “Do you have any advice for any aspiring writers?”

    Don’t write to get published. Don’t write to make a living. Write for your own enjoyment—then you’ll always be successful.

    “I have to say it is great that your wife works with you so closely. It sounds as she is a great help and support. This is wonderful to hear, you seem to have a great team going there.”

    Yes, she is wonderful. She is the business brains behind everything. I can’t sell myself. I hate selling myself. She loves the books so she can promote them passionately. For me, I can’t tell people how great my work is, it just feels like arrogance. She hates that.

    Thanks again Melissa…and thanks for spreading the word. Oh—speaking of that, you could do me a favor and just repost your review on Amazon. I think it helps with sales if people see a large number of positive reviews.

  13. Michael,

    Thank you so much for all the background, and I will be stopping over to your blog to look into your blogs.

    I will look on Amazon to get the review posted there and since you mentioned it I will also post the review with the book on Barnes & Nobles site. If anyone has any questions on the book maybe this will help.

    I was wondering this evening after I read your post if you would mind if I copied your answers here to a posted blog? Maybe if I share more information on the book and such it will draw more eyes. If you would prefer me to not, then I will not, this is why I wanted to ask first.

    Thank you.

  14. Micheal,

    This is like the coolest thing you answering questions!! I will be getting your book the next book I buy! Mel and Me will have to discuss it on Barnes and Nobles. That would even help with sales, eh? Our discussions are awesome(tons of lurkers) and sometimes authors join in *Hint, Hint* LOL Just Kidding, unless you want to, of course LOL!

    Really though, I think it's the coolest thing you stopping by to comment on her review! I would love an author to do that with my blog! Then I'd see if they'd do like an interview or something..LOL! (I've seen it done and it's so awesome!LOL!) Okay, so I think authors are like movie stars! At least in my eyes you are! Anyway, I'll have to get your book on my next book splurge! Sounds like Mel and I would have fun with it, we love the guessing game!

    All The Best!

  15. Melissa,

    Please go right ahead and repost my comments. That's fine. I am very happy you find my answers that interesting.


    Movie stars? Really? Maybe you ought to read the book first. You might not like it.

    But honestly, you have to understand that authors spend years alone in small rooms working very hard. There is never a guarantee that anyone will read what we write. Can you imagine spending a year or more on a project for the sole purpose of entertaining someone...anyone and have it never read? I have written many novels that only to put them in boxes and stuff them in the attic unread by anyone. They are sort of like the misfit toys from the Rudolf cartoon.

    So trust me, it is a sincere pleasure just to know you read (will read) my books. You are my audience, and I am happy to answer your questions. This is a gift you gave me and I very much appreciate it.

  16. Michael,

    If I had money I'd get your book right now! Mel and I read all the same books and I know that if she really loved it, then there's no question as to whether or not I will! I'm following your blog now and once I get your book I'll let you know, if you want? For sure though I'll be reading and reviewing it on my blog, no doubt about it! (Most likely discussing it to!) It may not be right away but once I have a little extra money it'll be the first book I buy. I really want to try this book now!(If I get it from Barnes and Nobles it's all the same, right? Or do I need to get it from Amazon?)

    Stay Awesome!


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  18. Michael,

    Oh, yeah, and movie stars for sure! I'd rather read a book then watch a movie any day! I'm still a movie watcher, though! LOL!

    All the Best!

  19. I've never heard of this book before but it sounds really good. I'm adding it to my TBR pile right now

  20. Simcha - I am glad you added this book to your list. I hope you enjoy them!

  21. To think that I would never have heard about thsi book if I had not stumbled upon a best Indie books post, but perhaps you would have told me to read it if I had not seen that :)

    Sounds good, I am gonna skim the rest of the reviews now so I do not spoil anything for me ;)

  22. Blodeuedd - I'm glad you found the book anyway you did. :) I do hope you enjoy it. And hope none of the other reviews spoil anything for you. I try to keep it to a minimal on spoiler end but you know how that goes with series, it just might tell of some on the previous book.


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