I’m sorry. I said I would continue with The Riyria Revelations by Michael J. Sullivan at least through the fourth book, but, alas, I couldn’t do it. In fact, I couldn’t even make it through chapter two. So, I looked up a plot summary of the series as a whole and…well, let’s just say, I’m glad I ditched the series.
I don’t know what happens in the fourth book nor do I care. The writing continued to be absolutely grating, the characters consistently inconsistent, and the plot entirely predictable as well as cliche. When I looked up the plot as a whole (which I will not reveal here in order to respect those who might actually end up enjoying this series) I found out that a twist I had predicted was one hundred percent accurate. Not only that, but I had, in a nutshell, said that I would be seriously miffed if this twist was where the series was going.
From what I’ve gathered from the plot summary, the series would have continued to make no sense, become more cliche, and probably would have sent me to the insane asylum had I continued. But let’s take a look at what made me give up the series as a whole. In context, this was Hadrian discussing…I don’t even remember – something…with Royce’s significant other who is a female. It was one line which Hadrian said: “I’ve known a lot of women, but I’ve met only two I admire.”
Talk about sexist! There are a few things wrong with this line:
- It’s out of character for Hadrian. He has been portrayed as a character who, despite being a bit of a flirt, has respect for women. Or at least that’s what I thought until this point.
- Why the hell do you have to specify women? That makes it sound like you admire all men, but women? – nooo, how could you possibly admire a woman? This line could have been written with the word “people” instead of “women” – is that so hard? Now it’s more generic and not overtly sexist.
- Really? There’s only two women in this vast world who has earned your admiration? You’ve never met another woman worthy of your oh-so-high standards? What does that say about how he views the female species as a whole? Even if he had been more generic with this line and hadn’t specified women, I still would have trouble coping with this piece of dialogue.
Am I being nit-picky? Possibly. Am I making too big a deal out of one line? Probably. However, this was the absolute last straw for me and this series. All the cliches, predictably, and, paradoxically, inconsistencies along with increasing amounts of sexism led up to this point where my irritation all but exploded.
Yet, the most heartbreaking thing? Sullivan has potential. I can sense the raw talent behind his words, yet that failed to entice me enough to continue. Now I’m not exactly one to talk since I’m unpublished and nowhere near an expert in the craft, but Sullivan strikes me as a writer who fails to take the steps necessary to make his work truly shine. I know it’s rather presumptuous of me to say, but that’s just the kind of impression Sullivan leaves on me. So, I’ll have to part ways with this series.
For a more elaborate rant on this series as a whole, check out my YouTube video here. Warning: video contains spoilers.