Riyria Revelations

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Riyria Revelations
Author Michael J. Sullivan
Language English
Genre Epic fantasy
Publisher Orbit Books
Published 2011 - 2012
Media type Print (Paperback)
Followed by Riyria Chronicles

The Riyria Revelationsis a series of six high fantasy novels (published in three volumes) written by Michael J. Sullivan and published by Orbit Books in 2011 and 2012. The series consists of three original titles, Theft of Swords, Rise of Empire, and Heir of Novron. The books were previously self-published[1] as a six-volume series selling 90,000 copies[2]

Order of Books[edit]

There are two related series The Riyria Revelations and Riyria Chronicles which can be read in chronological order or order of publication. The author has recommended reading in publication order.

Order of Publication[edit]

  1. Theft of Swords (contains The Crown Conspiracy and Avempartha)
  2. Rise of Empire (contains Nyphron Rising and The Emerald Storm)
  3. Heir of Novron (contains Wintertide and Percepliquis)
  4. The Crown Tower
  5. The Rose and the Thorn
  6. The Death of Dulgath

Chronological Order[edit]

  1. The Crown Tower
  2. The Rose and the Thorn
  3. The Death of Dulgath
  4. Theft of Swords (contains The Crown Conspiracy and Avempartha)
  5. Rise of Empire (contains Nyphron Rising and The Emerald Storm)
  6. Heir of Novron (contains Wintertide and Percepliquis)


Hadrian - Hadrian Blackwater is an ex-soldier/mercenary in search of a purpose in life. Son of a village smith who taught him to use the sword in the old forgotten forms, he could not wait to leave home. This he did at 15. By the time he meets up with Royce, he has fought in all kingdoms of Apeladorn and is sick of war. He is tall, blond, well built and very observant. Hadrian is trusting, optimistic, fun loving and virtuous to a fault. He is a swordsman par excellence. He has a natural ability to inspire trust and loyalty in people.

Royce - Royce Melborn is a thief/assassin who has grown up the hard way on the streets of a violent city after being abandoned at birth. He is very agile, quick on his feet, has sharp senses and is an excellent climber. Due to his tenuous childhood, he suspects everyone around him to be evil unless proved otherwise. Royce is approximately 10 to 12 years older than Hadrian. He is short, slim, has elegant features and dark hair. He dresses only in black, almost always wearing a black cloak with the hood covering his face, and is never parted from his knife, Alverstone. Hadrian and Royce are opposite personalities who have come together to form an unlikely partnership called Riyria (Elvish for "two").

Arista - Princess of Melengar. She possesses the ability to perform magic. While in the earlier books she is pompous and spoiled, interactions with other characters change her into a kind and worldly person.

Thrace/Modina - A simple farm girl who enlists the help of Hadrian and Royce to slay a beast which terrorizes her village. Spoiler: Through many plot twists she ends up as the Empress of the Imperial kingdom and head of the church. Her name is changed to Modina after she becomes the empress.

Esrahaddon - Wizard of the old empire who was imprisoned in an unassailable prison by the church for a thousand years. He teaches Arista magic and also guides Hadrian and Royce in a greater quest.

Gwen is a former prostitute and owner of the Medford house. She has the ability to see the future and is in love with Royce.

Alric is the king of Melengar and Arista's brother.

Magnus is a dwarf with an inborn ability to build or break into impregnable towers or dungeons. He is also an excellent builder and stone mason.

Myron is the third son of a noble and a monk. He has an eidetic memory and is able to recite entire books and passages from the old library. When his father and brothers are killed in wars, he inherits the title but forgoes it to remain a monk.


The series primarily takes place in a secondary world known as Elan, consisting of unexplored Westerlins, human-ruled Apeladorn and elven-ruled Erivan.

Nations of Apeladorn[edit]

  • Avryn: Central wealthy kingdoms
  • Trent: Northern mountainous kingdoms
  • Calis: Southeastern tropical region ruled by warlords
  • Delgos: Southern republic

Kingdoms of Avryn[edit]

  • Ghent: Ecclesiastical holding of the Nyphron Church
  • Melengar: Small but old and respected kingdom
  • Warric: Most powerful of the kingdoms of Avryn
  • Dunmore: Youngest and least sophisticated kingdom
  • Alburn: Forested kingdom
  • Rhenydd: Poor kingdom
  • Maranon: Producer of food. Once part of Delgos, which was lost when Delgos became a republic
  • Galeannon: Lawless kingdom of barren hills, the site of several great battles


  • Erebus: Father of the gods
  • Ferrol: Eldest son, god of elves
  • Drome: Second son, god of dwarves
  • Maribor: Third son, god of men
  • Muriel: Only daughter, goddess of nature
  • Uberlin: Son of Muriel and Erebus, god of darkness

Political Parties[edit]

  • Imperialists: Those wishing to unite mankind under a single leader who is the direct descendant of the demigod Novron
  • Nationalists: Those wishing to be ruled by a leader chosen by the people
  • Royalists: Those wishing to continue rule by individual, independent monarchs


Sullivan has written a series of novels entitled The Riyria Chronicles that will take place before the events in Riyria Revelations, following the early adventures of the two main protagonists. The first novel, The Crown Tower, was released August 6, 2013, while the second book in the series, The Rose and Thorn, came out September 17, 2013.[3]


Critical reception for the series has been positive,[4] with the Library Journal giving Theft of Swords praise and making it one of their 2011 "Best Books for Fantasy/Sci-Fi".[5][6] SFFWorld also extended praise for the series, writing that Rise of Empire was "very appealing" while stating that the book did have some plot holes.[7] In contrast, a negative review from Strange Horizons described the book as almost 'the absolute worst book I've ever read'.[8]


  1. ^ Bestseller Success Stories that Started Out as Self-Published Books. Ronald H. Balsom. 8 October 2013.
  2. ^ "The Most Successful Self-Published Sci-Fi and Fantasy Authors". io9. Retrieved 2 February 2013. 
  3. ^ "THE CROWN TOWER by Michael J. Sullivan". Orbit Books. Retrieved 20 February 2013. 
  4. ^ "Review: Theft of Swords". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 10 November 2012. 
  5. ^ "Best Books 2011: SF/FantasyBest". Library Journal. 2011-09-15. Retrieved 2011-11-18. 
  6. ^ "Science Fiction/Fantasy, September 2011". Library Journal. 2011-09-15. Retrieved 2011-11-18. 
  7. ^ Bedford, Rob H. "Rise of Empire by Michael J. Sullivan (Official book review)". SFFWorld. Retrieved 10 November 2012. 
  8. ^ Bourke, Liz. "Theft of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan". Strange Horizons. Retrieved 7 December 2012.