Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Book Review: The Crown Tower

The Crown Tower

By:  Michael J. Sullivan

Publisher:  Orbit Books

Publish Date:  August 2013

Format:  eARC

Series:  1st in Riyria Chronicles; short story ~ The Viscount and the Witch; associated with Riyria Revelations - Book 1 ~ The Crown Conspiracy, Book 2 ~ Avempartha, (Book 1 & 2 through Orbit books ~ Theft of Swords) Book 3 ~ Nyphron Rising, Book 4 ~ The Emerald Storm, (Book 3 & 4 through Orbit books ~ Rise of Empire) Book 5 ~ Wintertide, Book 6 ~ Percepliquis (Book 5 & 6 through Orbit books ~ Heir of Nevron)

Recommendation:  OH YES!! Whether you read the starting series or not, this is a great story to learn how the characters all met.

Book Synopsis:

A warrior with nothing to fight for is paired with a thieving assassin with nothing to lose.  Together 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 valuable possessions.  But it isn't gold or jewels the old wizard is after, and this prize can only be obtained by the combined talents of two remarkable men.  Now if Arcadias can just keep Hadrian and Royce from killing each other, they just might succeed.

The Crown Tower is the first book in a new series, The Riyria Chronicles, based on characters from The Riyria Revelations.  Unlike the previous series, which was a carefully choreographed interconnected series of books, the Chronicles are designed to be stand-alone stories that can be read independent of each other or the prior novels.

First Sentence:
Hadrian Blackwater hadn't gone more than five steps off the ship before he was robbed.

Purchase At:
Amazon - Print & Ebook  /  Barnes & Nobles  /  Book Depository

*I beta read this book, as I offered to read for author because I love this world so highly.  Then for honest review from publisher.

My Thoughts and Summary:
Hadrian returns to Vernes from Calis to visit Arcadias in Sheridan at the university, an old friend of his fathers and family.  Hadrian travels by barge up the river with jewel merchants who claim the strange dark caped man is the killer Vernes is looking for.  Hadrian believes in all people, but when people start disappearing and dying Hadrian wonders of this man.

Gwen is a young prostitute who wants out from under the employment of her boss, and the men he lets in his establishment.  When another girl is killed and he threatens Gwen, she decides it's time to make her move.  But she can't leave Medford.  She's waiting for something, someone.

Royce is quiet, sneaky, quick, and deadly thief.  He has an evil in his eyes.  He trusts no one but himself.

Arcadias puts the fighter and the thief together, thinking they would be a good team.  They might be good for each other, IF they can accomplish the job as a team, not separate, and live through it.

Gwen younger before she's on her own.  Her life in Medford as a Calian, the prejudiced is so strong.  How Gwen has come to her own, a hard story.  Gwen's tale of coming to Medford and learning her talent.

We follow Hadrian and Gwen more than Royce.  But Royce is the one we always have a mysterious feel of, and he's not much of a talker.  It takes a bit to get our favorite duo together and the banter flowing, but when they do, the blooming of their quick wits are there.

Oh, for those who have read the first six (or three Orbit) books, we know the secrets and get to see the forming of them.  Those who haven't read the books will have so many clues to what's to come.  You will WANT to know more about these characters.  I love seeing the clues now and Michael has dropped more in to connect later in the series as well.

We learn more of Calis being Hadrian fresh off ship from there.  Even touches from Gwen as her mother was from there.

Through the over all story plot there are mini-plots, which Michael is amazing at.  I really enjoyed these as they are used to tell the story of our characters growth, personalities, world drawing, and to bring the characters together.  There's the murderer mystery going on with Hadrian on the barge.  Gwen fighting for her own life and those of the girls around her, then coming into her own.  Also, Hadrian and Royce meeting and training and trying to compromise to do the job Arcadias requests.  There is even troubles at the university that stir.

The secrets in Gwen's character!  Oh my.  She has links that I had never really thought of.  Great. Wonderful. Amazing to see this.  Her story is a secret that is well to be known.  And the grace she is left with, that person could be explained in reading the series - if you haven't yet.

I don't know how Michael does it, but when we finally get Royce and Hadrian banter it is wonderful!  Just like old friends for me.  They click so easily for me as a pair, even when they hate each other and think of ways to kill the other.

This is an amazing addition to the Riyria world.  The way it all began.  I could say you could read this one before or after the series, but if after you might catch more connections.


Melliane said...

it's always interesting to learn more about all the characters and world! I'm glad to see the series is always that good!

Blodeuedd said...

I am getting book 2 when it comes out :D

Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard said...

This series has been crossing my radar more and more frequently of late. One of these days, I will have to give it a try.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Oh being a beta reader for a series you love. How nice! Sometimes I'm in the mood for a good fantasy and this sound like something I would really enjoy. Love the sound of the characters.

Jackie said...

Read and entirely loved The Viscount and the Witch; have a Kindle copy of Avempartha, and would someday love to read the entire series because like you the main characters quickly become comfortable like reading about a couple of old friends adventures Melissa. Happy reading! :-)

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer said...

I love the sound of the plot on this one! Wonderful review Melissa :)

Jennifer @ Bad Bird Reads said...

This sounds epic. The characters sound so interesting.

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Melliane, oh yes. And it's great to hear a great story there too! :D Thank you!

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

You will love book 2, Blodeuedd. :)

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Lark @ The Bookwyrm Hoard, Oh, I've really loved this series. I do hope you get to give it a go one day. :) Thank you!

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

*sigh* Melissa (B&T) It's a dream job, that's for sure. :) Thank you!

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Oh Jackie Burris! That's great to hear. Hope you get to read the series one day. :) Start at the beginning, you love it, I hope. :)

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Oh Kimba, really an amazing read. :) Thank you!

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Jennifer Bielman, it is and great. :D Thank you!