Rise of Empire by Michael J. Sullivan – Review

Genre: High Fantasy
Publication Date: December 14th 2011
Pages: 786
My Rating: 4/5


War has come to Melengar and once more Royce and Hadrian are hired to make a desperate gamble and form an alliance with the Nationalists whom are fighting the Imperialists in the south. As the power of the Nyphron Empire grows, so does Royce’s suspicion that the wizard Esrahaddon is using the thieves as pawns in his own grab for power. To find the truth, he must unravel the secret of Hadrian’s past–what he discovers may end their friendship and break Riyria in two.


I’m like a broken record when it comes to the series, but, it is always such a cosy and nice read. This is the second bind up book of the series, and it contains book 3 and 4 of The Riyria Revelation.

Things I Liked

  • We see such an evolution of Royce’s character. He is growing up, opening up and letting people get close to him. It’s the broken bad boy that slowly becomes a caring and loving person, and it’s done so well. I also enjoy his relationship with Gwen is just so well-done.
  • Fo the first time, we also see a different Hadrian. Someone that is lost, that doesn’t know his place any more and need a purpose. That was different and very interesting to see him fight through this situation.
  • An even more impressive character development we see with Arista. Through the books, she has transformed from a brat little princess that can’t do anything on her own, to a powerful leader.
  • Sullivan writes nice, strong female character. From Arista, Modina and Amilia, they are all very well written with a well executed development.
  • Pirates!!! That is getting extra points on its own. In the second part of the book, our two heroes take the seas, and we get an action pack, pirate inspire adventure. What is not to like?

Things I didn’t like

  • This is the one and only reason why this book is not a 5 start for me. The first part of the book (book 3 in the original series) it’s basically Arista’s story. I do enjoy her point of view and following her development, but… I read this series for Hadrian and Royce, so when for 300 pages they are just sitting in the background making sure to keep Arista alive well… It ends up annoying me.

Published by Natacha

Hello and Wellcome! My name is Natacha. I'm a book and travel blogger.

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