The Crown Tower

The Crown Tower
Michael J. Sullivan
Published date

“The Crown Tower” by Michael J. Sullivan is the first book in “The Riyria Chronicles”. It is a sequel to “The Riyria Revelations” series (which was published first), and it tells the story of Hadrian and Royce from the very beginning. I like reading from the chronological order of the story, so I started with this one.

Hadrian Blackwater has nothing to fight for anymore. He was a soldier in different armies and killed loads of people across half of the world. But he is bone tired and fed up with this existence. When he receives a letter informing about his father death he doesn’t hesitate and go to see his father friend, who know his parent’s last wish. To his surprise the eccentric old wizard presents him with very weird proposal. But to take on this simply impossible mission he must team up with Royce, a thieving assassin whom he truly despises.

It’s like a classic fantasy tale. Two totally different people forced to work together to acquire some artefact. But it quickly turns out that the focus of this story is solely on its characters. I was surprised because after reading this book’s description, I was expecting an epic adventure full of hardship and challenges. But no, here the mission itself is just a few chapters long. That doesn’t mean the book is bad, on the contrary.

All characters are very distinctive, and I couldn’t decide who I like more, noble Hadrian or clever Royce. But they are not the only stars in this story. I really liked Gwen, the entrepreneur prostitute who one day decide to stand up and fight for a better life for herself and her friends. The old wizard was also a remarkable persona. I totally adored his explanations of how magic works.

The whole story is full of humour and witty commentary, not only from main characters but also from random people who were given just a few pages in the story. It makes it very easy and quick to read. The ending also suggests that a lot is going on behind the scenes of the main story. It definitely picked my interest and I hope soon I’ll come back to read more about this dynamic duo and their adventures.