As I said in my last book review, this is the second half of the volume titled Theft of Swords which, after reading in full, makes sense due to the events of both books revolving around stealing a sword (different in each book). More so in the second since Avempartha centers on defeating a raging magical beast, which is decimating a small village, with a sword that lies in the title tower. After completing the second installment of The Riyria Revelations (turns out Riyria is elvish for two), there is only one word to sum up this book: Boring!
The plot made no sense, certain side characters (a princess named Arista mainly) were contradictory to how they were presented in the first book, the dialogue was overly expositional and cluttered with history lessons, AND Sullivan did a whole lot more telling than showing. Phew! Glad I got that off my chest. Now for the details.
The book starts off with Hadrian and Royce finding (and threatening to kill) the person who set them up in the previous novel. And this is where the nonsense starts. Apparently, Avempartha takes place two years after the events of the first book, however, with the way the plot proceeds, it feels more like two months. And, no, it didn’t take them that long to find the framer; it was explicitly stated that it only took them a month to track him down. …What?!
The whole plot was wildly inconsistent like that through the entire book. Even the situation with the monster had been hinted at in the first installment and all I can think is: If this has been going on for two years, then why aren’t the villagers dead already?! Oh, and apparently this creature can breathe fire and talk but only does so in the last few chapters. My tone for that last sentence was one of irritation. (Sorry, did you not like me telling you that? Try reading a whole book that’s written that way.)
Since I’m done with my main points (aside from princess Arista, but I don’t care about her right now), I’ll move on to some issues I didn’t address in my previous book review. I didn’t talk about this before because it was really played down in the main story, so I ignored them for the most part. As a little backstory, there are different races in The Riyria Revelations: elves, humans, dwarves, and goblins (the last of which we see not a trace).
First, since I’m pretty much bashing Sullivan in this review, I’d like to give him praise for what he did with the elves. Although they’re not really present for the majority of the story, the elves, including half-breed offspring, are actually looked down upon which is the complete opposite of what fantasy authors (that I’m aware of) typically do with that race if they use them. I applaud him for that. On that note, does it bother anyone else that dwarves (or should I say little people?) are portrayed as their own race in fantasy novels? I have mixed feelings about it myself, but it’s always nagged at me. Well, moving on.
While the book was boring, and his method of dropping hints is equivalent to throwing a grenade at one little spider, I know from his first that he does have talent. Overall, I think Sullivan was just trying too hard and mostly rushing through it in order to get to his main plot arc. I’ll still read the next volume of this series in the hopes that it improves.