The Crown Tower : The Riyria Chronicles

  • by Michael J. Sullivan
  • Narrated by Tim Gerard Reynolds
  • Series: The Riyria Chronicles
  • 12 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Hadrian, a warrior with nothing to fight for, is paired with Royce, a thieving assassin with nothing to lose. Together they must steal a treasure that no one can reach. The Crown Tower is the grandest fortress ever built and home to the realm's most prized possessions. But it isn't gold or jewels that their employer is after; if he can keep them from killing each other, they might just get him his prize.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Love the writing and the series

It still surprises you even when you've read all their other books. Also it's the best book to start the series with!
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- Dan

A slog and a half.

OK, honestly I was bored most of the way through this one.

I should start by saying I've not read Sullivan's first trilogy, only a short story of his (featuring Hadrian and Royce) in the Blackguards anthology. I liked it, thought I'd give his larger works a try. I have not read the original trilogy, The Riyria Revelations because I thought I'd start with the prequels. I will also say I 'read' this by way of audiobook.

The Crown Tower follows 2 story threads. One of Hadrian Blackwater as he struggles to find a place in the world after becoming tired of the soldiering way of life. And one of Gwen as she struggles against an abusive pimp.

The story starts off slow. VERY slow. And to be honest, I don't feel it ever really picks up. It's not just a lack of action, it's a lack of anything seemingly important going on at all. The first half of the book feels like Hadrian on a side-quest, and Gwen crossing the street (both literally and metaphorically).

By the second half of the book Hadrian has met his long time life partner, Royce, and the two are thrust together in the hope that they will one day learn to work with each other and teach each other. The problem is, while I can see that one day they will be a fun buddy-cop pair, they just annoyed the hell out of me. Both of them whine and moan... and then moan and whine. And they keep moaning about the same things over and over again. The plot struggles to move forwards. And when they finally do decide to trust each other, it seems rushed (at least on Royce's part). A lifetime of well-earned mistrust and skepticism and suspicion seems undone by one selfless act on Hadrian's part.

Gwen's entire story (while interesting) only actually intersects with Hadrian and Royce's on the penultimate chapter. It feels like two separate stories, not one. And there are too many threads left completely unfinished. We have a chapter from Gwen's nemesis' point of view at one point and then he's foiled once by her (fairly easily) and we never hear from him again. That particular plot line felt a lot like filler.

The problem is, I wanted to like the book. I loved the short story (Professional Integrity) in Blackguards and wanted to read more of Hadrian and Royce. Perhaps I should have started with Revelations because it feels like this book is written for fans of that series rather than potential new readers. If I already knew the characters well and loved them I'd probably be giggling with joy over every sarcastic interaction... but I don't. Maybe I'll give Revelations a try after the sour taste has faded.

Overall I give this one 2 stars because it's well-written and Gwen's story is very interesting.
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- Rob Hayes

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-07-2013
  • Publisher: Whole Story Audiobooks