Theft of Swords is story #1 and #2 in the Riyria Revelations series. I happened across the first book some time ago, and didn’t start the series until I managed to come across the remaining two books in the series last summer. So with some free time this summer I decided to get stuck in and see how the series started out. All I can say is I’m so glad I waited until I managed to pick up the remaining books as it meant I could move straight on without waiting to find them. I loved Theft of Swords.
This is just a simple straight forward fantasy series with the sole objective of telling a story, and I love a book who’s main purpose is to tell you it’s story.
Theft of Swords has both stories #1 and 2 in the series, both with a conflict and resolution of their own, and yet still telling the story of the series. I like how threads of the story are woven between the two books, and so while separate stories, it still felt like the one whole part of the series.
We begin by being introduced to “Riyria”, a group made up of the rogues Royce Melborn, who is a skilled thief, and his friend and partner Hadrain Blackwater, a mercenary. The Riyria group are the most sought after group of thieves in the Kingdom, if you want a job done, then these are who you want. At the start, they are right in the middle of a job and you get a taste for what these two characters are like and you can’t help but be excited about them. They argue constantly, and don’t share the same outlook on life, or have the same views, and yet as you move through both story #1 and 2 of this series you are left in no doubt of what great friends they are, and that they will always be there for each other just when they are needed most.
Although you start out with them accepting a job that looks like any other job it soon develops into a more complex job, and just as the job grows in complexity so too does the story, and fantasy. Along the way we meet a whole other host of characters, from the Princess of Melangar, Arista, her brother Alric who they later end up working for, Myron a monk, Magnus the dwarf and Esrahaddon the wizard to name but just a few. I liked the supporting characters each doing their job within the story, making you love them just because, like Myron or where you start out disliking them and then changing your mind and liking them as we move on through story #2, like with Magnus. Esrahaddon is another great character of the book and you are always left guessing just on which side of the story he is on, good or bad? Has he his own agenda or is he on some great mission that fits in with the series? Even the “baddie” characters you dislike, some being underhand and sly like Saldur and others just downright cruel like Luis Guy.
Story #1 had a good pace and I liked the twists and turns the story took. While you were let in on some things happening within the story, it still managed to keep you guessing until the end, and yet you still finished book one with questions, and a general sense of wanting to know more. I liked the conclusion to book #1 and moved straight on into story #2 which takes place a few years later. The story had moved on and you quickly got a sense of what had happened in those intervening years, and if didn’t feel like you’d missed out on anything. It felt more like you’d just picked up from where you’d left off. As we move through story #2 we discover a bit more about our two main characters, Royce and Hadrian and you can’t help but like them even more. Again they take on what is a seemingly ordinary job and yet turns into something a whole lot more. While some characters have remained we meet a whole host of other new characters as they tell their parts as the story weaves it’s way to the end. Story #2, set a faster pace than story #1 but as we had some of the details of story already it needed to. As I said some of the threads were woven from story #1 into story #2, and overall we learn more about the ultimate story, and end again with a resolution, but again wanting to know more.
All in all I would definitely recommend Theft of Swords, and like I said, I’m glad I waited to find the entire collection as I was able to satisfy the urge to move on, and find out more in the second book, Rise of Empire, which again holds two stories, #3 and #4.