When the last member of the oldest noble family in Avryn is targeted for assassination, Riyria is hired to foil the plot. Three years have passed since the war-weary mercenary Hadrian and the cynical ex-assassin Royce joined forces to start life as rogues-for-hire. Things have gone well enough until they’re asked to help prevent a murder. Now they must venture into an ancient corner of the world to save a mysterious woman who knows more about Royce than is safe and cares less about herself than is sane.
From the best-selling author of The Riyria Revelations comes the third installment of The Riyria Chronicles. Although part of a series, it’s designed to thrill both new readers looking for fun, fast-paced fantasy and Riyria veterans wishing to reunite with old friends.
The third book in the series, The Death of Dulgath was designed to be able to stand on its own. As my only previous experience with the world was the short story in the excellent Blackguards collection, I can confirm that indeed this book is very newbie friend and a stand alone novel. While backstory between the our leads clearly does exist (and of which I will read about when I get my signed copies of the first two in), at no point did I ever first lost or overwhelmed. I can safely say this is an excellent place to start if you’re at all curious about these books.
If you enjoy stories about rogues at all, you should enjoy these books.Royce and Hadrian make a good, balanced team. Royce is the cynical and world weary one. Hadrian, for all of years of soldiering, is still naive – very dangerous with his three swords – but very naive, which Sullivan uses to good comedic effect leading an lightness to it that is quite fun considering that the central plot could be written very straight and taken in rather dark or heavy political directions rather easily. Not to say that I wouldn’t enjoy that version as well – there Lady Dulgath is quite the interesting character, and the insight she brights into Royce’s character adds a bit of depth to the story that the book did need to avoid being too light and frothy.
All told, Sullivan knows what he wants to do with his books and seems to do a great job of it. So far I’ve rather enjoyed what I’ve read of this world and I look forward to exploring it further. If you like stories of rogues that don’t take themselves too seriously or are just looking for a fun read, give the books a chance. You’ll probably like them.
Verdict: Buy It
Available: November 15th
Note: The version read was published as result of a very successful Kickstarter project. This is another excellent example of Kickstarter done right with a ton of thoughtful/useful updates and deliver of the digital product ahead of schedule. My recommendation stands: if you’re going to support a publishing project on the site, look for works where the hard part (i.e. the writing) is already completed and they just need money to get it out into the world. Your odds of actually getting what you pay will increase dramatically.