It’s always daunting when you start off a huge fantasy series. Big books coupled with small text and bible thin paper, it’s no wonder we like to pick up the small books.
Having said that, Theft of Swords is a fantasy series that is cut above the rest and Michael J. Sullivian knew exactly what he wanted to write. He was fully aware of all the fantasy tropes and he did an amazing job in manipulating them to his advantage. It was a joy to read and I can’t believe it took me this long to get it.
There are two novels in the Theft of Swords bind-up and each book has its own flaws.
Rating: 4.5 stars
THEY KILLED THE KING. THEY PINNED IT ON TWO MEN. THEY CHOSE POORLY.
There’s no ancient evil to defeat or orphan destined for greatness, just unlikely heroes and classic adventure. Royce Melborn, a skilled thief, and his mercenary partner, Hadrian Blackwater, are two enterprising rogues who end up running for their lives when they’re framed for the murder of the king. Trapped in a conspiracy that goes beyond the overthrow of a tiny kingdom, their only hope is unraveling an ancient mystery before it’s too late
The first thing I want to talk about is the plot. Overall, it was intriguing and fascinating. It’s so well thought out and fast paced that it would entice a lot of people. I liked the plot in book one a great deal and it was a great introduction to the characters and the world, however it was in book two that the story came alive. Book one is basically a heist plot and they are one of my favourite storylines to read about. It’s then from there that a conspiracy is discovered and the main meat for the rest of the series is introduced.
Book one was a quick and fun read while book two was more fantasy-esque, with much more history and myth being incorporated in the story. So with the history of the world having to be explained this does slow down the pacing of the plot but it’s not as boring as it could’ve been, which if you read the extras at the back, the author was fully aware and mindful of.
I really liked the progression of time and how the story moved on from book one to two. It’s was definitely what it needed and great move on the part of the author.
An aspect of the novel that I was not expecting was how they were written. Like I said before it was easy to read and the reason for that is because it read like a movie. I didn’t feel like I was reading, more like I was watching an epic movie. In addition, I greatly appreciated Micheal J. Sullivian use of humour. It kept light which was a welcome break from all darker events that occur in the book. It’s not overdone and cheesy and there were times where I chuckled to myself out loud.
Lastly, I want to mention the characters. So we have three main characters in this bind up; Royce, Hadrian and Arista. My favourite characters were obviously Royce and Hadrian and their amazing bromance. The author did such a great job with them that I’m becoming slightly obsessed with both of them. One of the reason I think this bromance works is because they respect each other and they know each other’s strengths and weakness.
In this duo Royce is the darker one. This gives the story as well as the character a bit of an edge. Hadrian, on the other hand, is the more noble and the more morally conscious of the two however he is not blinded by it and if things need to get done, he will get them done. He’s the perfect antithesis to Royce and it keeps Royce in check.
Arista was a character I didn’t have much feelings towards until I got to the end. She was okay in the first book but she came into her own in the second one. She was kind of annoying in the first half of book two but she redeemed herself in a huge way in the second half of it. I’m super excited to find out how her story will play out in future books.
Another character I’d like to mention briefly is one that I won’t name as I think its a bit spoliery. I absolutely adored this character. They had some many layers and an air of mystery around them that I can’t wait to explore them in later books. (Eek!)
To conclude, Theft of Swords is a book I would highly recommend and urge you to read. It was so fun and I know I’m going to missed it dearly when I finish the series.
Thanks for reading