“Rise of Empire” is the second omnibus volume of Michael J. Sullivan’s Riyria Revelations. It continues the story of Royce and Hadrian as they search for the long-lost Heir of Novron, and expands upon the first volume by adding a long list of interesting new characters. It is a
rollicking epic fantasy story that follows many high fantasy tropes, harkening back to classics like Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms while at the same time making the story feel fresh and original.
Like “Theft of Swords”, the witty banter between Royce and Hadrian makes this novel shine. It delivers unpredictable plot twists and new settings that help the reader become lost in the world of Avron. While parts of the story are slow due to the constant traveling of the characters, the focus of several different POV’s helps move the plot along.
The violence and adult content is rather mild – if the book were a movie, it would probably be rated PG-13. This is a good thing if you are looking for something lighthearted, although fans of grimdark may feel a bit underwhelmed by the lack of gritty medieval realism.
Overall, “Rise of Empire” is an enjoyable read. It certainly deserves to be a part of every fantasy reader’s library.
Review written by Blake Arthur Peel