This is a review of “Rise of Empire” by Michael J. Sullivan, a compilation of the third and fourth books in the series the Riyra Revelations – “Nyphron Rising” and “The Emerald Storm“.
This is a continuation of my previous post.
The thieves Royce and Hadrian return for a third adventure. With war rapidly approaching the kingdom of Melengar, Princess Arista hires the two thieves for a dangerous mission. The Church of Nyphron has taken control and their Empress is naught but a puppet, and secrets abound.
Royce and Hadrian are as delightful in these two books as in the first two – even when they argue to the point of almost splitting up – and we are told more of their past and stories. Princess Arista becomes more likable and a better character, and the evil bad guys are wonderfully scary in the fact that they actually managed to take over the world and control it pretty well. The ship the Emerald Storm brings an entire new aspect to the entire world., and there are several twists and turns in the plot that are surprising. Masterfully done.
But I find that there are quite a few bad points, more in these books that in the previous two. The puppet Empress is thoroughly annoying for about 90% of the book. One of the characters who is meant to be a truly bad guy and Royce’s enemy from the past, is thoroughly underwhelming to read about (especially his end). And even when you read it, the mission with the Emerald Storm – though wonderfully written and reminiscent of the pirate-adventures of my youth – is still a plainly obvious way to drag out the time for the main plot to progress to the “Final Battle (TM)” moment. There is a bit too much focus on setting things up for the end.
In the end I would say that even if this wasn’t the best book of the series and it dragged out a bit, it is still excellently written and I definitely recommend it!
Now off to read the last book!