Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Book Review: The Rose and the Thorn

The Rose and The Thorn

By:  Michael J. Sullivan

Publisher:  Orbit Books

Publish Date:  September 5, 2013

Format:  eARC

Series:  2nd in Riyria Chronicles;  Book 1 ~ The Crown Tower, 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 some scary pasts and see Royce and Hadrian work their magic as a team.

Book Synopsis:

One year earlier, two thieves were saved from certain death by the compassion of a stranger.  Unable to forget the woman who saved their lives, Royce and Hadrian now return to Gwen DeLancy and are shocked when she refuses to speak to them.  Baffled, the two thieves discover Gwen has been brutally beaten by a powerful noble -- beated so badly she can't face them.  But Gwen doesn't know about Royce's past, doesn't understand how much he cares for her, and doesn't realize what he is capable of -- but she's about to find out.

The Rose and the Thorn is the second 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 series that can be read independent of each other or the prior novels.

First Sentence:
Reuben should have run the moment the squires came out of the castle keep.

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles  /  Book Depository

**I offered to beta read the book for the author with the love I feel for this world.

My Thoughts and Summary:
Reuben Hilfred, a stable boy whom the Squires look down upon as he's of no money and his father never married his mother, is coming of age to enter the castle soldiers.  He admires the young princess from a far never thinking he'll get close to her, until the day he is told to ride with her on her outing our of the castle grounds.  Not knowing how to use a sword, he still puts his life on the line to save the princess.  Reuben makes some strong friends in this act, and one who he wants to see him as more ends up blaming him in the end for not doing more when she wanted.  The Autumn Gala is approaching and is Reuben's first on-duty day, to celebrate in honor of the new chancellor too.

Royce and Hadrian return to see Gwen, who saved their lives and they can't forget, for the first time since death was knocking at their doors.  To learn there is more going on than expected when Gwen had the girls turn them away.  There is a man out looking for one of Gwen's girls who has not returned home, and his actions have stirred Royce and Hadrian to action.  Royce's past comes to knowledge here as he does what he feels needs done to the men who have harmed Gwen, and a warning to any who might.

We meet and see the big play in Melford history Reuben Hilfred has.  His back story is very important to our characters.  I knew he was important, but *whistle* this important?  I never would have thought. Wow.

We see Royce and Hadrian. Royce... wow!  We see a darker side of Royce here, which I love seeing.  But Royce also learns, do to results of his actions, that there is more than acting and killing.  To think and use words to get action as well.  Hadrian learns others aren't always "good" and innocent as he likes to give everyone credit for before really knowing them.

There is a thread between all the characters and I like seeing the connection to Gwen's place; through Rose.

Royce and Hadrian pick up a new associate along the way of returning to Medford.  Have you read the short story The Viscount and the Witch?  There is a chapter in this story that is that short story.  So you will recognize it immediately.  And it's great to see where that short story leads too.

I loved seeing the Pickering's again.  The father and the boys.  Goodness do I love their spirit and fun.  They are really kind people.  It's great to see Alric and Arista young and carefree before their mother's and father's death.  Simply Royal children.

If you've not read any books with these characters by Michael, do so.  You can start anywhere and grow with them in their world.  For those who have read Riyria Revelations, there are still surprises we didn't know of before.  Read them!  This story can be read before or after the Riyria Revelations.  If after, you will see all the ground work laid of the happenings in the series.  You could read this one before or after The Crown Tower as well.  There are hints to happenings in The Crown Tower, but not spoiled beyond what you already know is to happen.  This story is strictly focused on this books happenings and does come to a close.

Seeing the back story unfold leaves me wondering if Michael's had these written for years before the Riyria Revelations.  The back story fits PERFECTLY with the series.  Good grief the happenings, they bring me right back to the world and the feelings I had in the Riyria Revelations, even more worries as I know what will happen in the series.  But...* speechless*  Wow.  To see the threads unfold here and what leads to what's to come.  Amazing talent from Michael.

Love seeing the preparations for what's to come, filling in the back story of the characters, and the growth of what we love in this world.  Well, WELL worth reading, before or after the Riyria Revelations.


Michael J. Sullivan said...

Thanks for the as always, fantastic review. No I didn't have these books written earlier. Some of the information in them (like Hilfred's relationship with his father) were details known only to me...it was good to get them "out there" so that others could enjoy.

Blodeuedd said...

Soon :) Just need to get through some books first, I did not know I would get it so soon

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) said...

I'll probably start with the Chronicles since they can be read independently. I really like the sound of this. I should go back to check out book 1.
Great review.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Oh man! This sounds like a great series. Love the sound of these characters!! Yep, moving it up the wishlist.

Melliane said...

one day I'll have to try this series, I know how much you love this series!

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Sure thing Michael! So glad to review this series and love it. It's just amazing the way you tied this one to the series so perfectly. And I was really looking for a slip up. lol. Amazing job!

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Yep, you will love this one much more than the first Blodeuedd. Yes, I think so. :)

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Do hope you love these as much as I have. :) Thank you!

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Melissa (B&T) Yes, is a great series for sure. :) Thank you!

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Melliane, :) THank you!