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Publisher's Summary

Best-selling author Michael J. Sullivan’s mesmerizing Riyria Revelations series has found a welcome home with fans of magic, clashing swords, and daring heroes. This second volume finds Royce and Hadrian on a quest to enlist the southern Nationalists to aid the ever-weakening kingdom of Melengar. Royce suspects an ancient wizard is manipulating them all, but to find the truth he’ll have to decipher Hadrian’s past—a past Hadrian wants to keep secret.

Rise of Empire contains Nyphron Rising and The Emerald Storm, books 3 and 4 of Riyria Revelations.

©2011 Michael J. Sullivan (P)2012 Recorded Books

What listeners say about Rise of Empire

Average Customer Ratings
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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • 4 Stars
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  • 3 Stars
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  • 2 Stars
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

The story expands.

After reading the second Riyria book, I am starting to understand some of the good reviews for the series. While the first two books were more single stories within the same setting, with Rise Of Empire, author Sullivan begins to expand the story beyond the exploits of Royce and Hadrian, and with this, the series begins to become a new and much more enjoyable experience. Characters from the first two books take on expanded roles, and new characters form to provide the listener with a larger epic fantasy type world.

I really enjoyed the larger roles for the women, Arista, Thrice/Modena, and new character Amelia. Their additions opened up what was an average story to something much more grand.

The narrator Tim Gerard Reynolds continues to be solid, and I think his voices are growing on me despite some of characters sounding the same.

Overall, I am enjoying this series very much, and have already moved on to the next book in the series.

10 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

I really enjoyed the first Riyria book, as simple as it was, particularly for a few of its interesting characters, promising set-up, and what felt like competent writing. This sequel promised more of this--but suffered from a complete lack of focus (or editing). The first part's plot dragged (prepare for discussion after discussion) so that very little occurs until nearly midway, but I was willing to just listen (on 1.5x) and wait, believing that the pace would pick up and everything would come together more elegantly in the second.

Instead, the second part of the book sounded as if it had been cut and pasted out of some ridiculous 50's maritime jungle island adventure book. A it was just that--ridiculous. As soon as they got of the ship, I don't know how many times I rolled my eyes or wondered when something was actually going to happen. Predictable and/or flat plot 'twists' galore are dragged out for no reason other than to take up another full book so that three can be sold instead of one or two. It seems like Sullivan wasn't sure where he was going with the story and just wrote in a lot of filler for fun. (Hmm...I've gotten my fun with the dragon-fighting adventure, ticked off the generic sea adventure gun battle part...now let's put Royce and Hadrian on a jungle trek with typical challenges and lots of shifty 'savages'! Wouldn't that be fun?) No.

The characters are really the only compelling aspect of this rather flat book. If not for my affection for a few of them (namely Hadrian and Arista), I would have zero motivation to find out what happens in the third installment. I'm still not sure I care enough to find out after this disappointingly typical middle book.

29 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Weak Characters, Slow Story, No Action

I am amazed by all of the positive reviews here. The main characters are boring, weak and did not grow throughout the entire book. The one cool character was killed off in the most mundane way. There were very minimal action or fight scenes. 3/4th's of the book could have been cut as most of the book was boring details not relating to the main quest and adding no value to the story line or characters. I didn't like the first book but gave the second a chance and it's was even WORSE. The one redeeming quality here was the few comedic dialogues here and there between Royce and Hadrian. That, and the narrator did a good job. Couldn't wait for it to end!

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great continuation of the first book. Tons of fun!

This book picks up after a year or so after the end of first book where Church has found a lost leader and started to form an Empire.

Our combo of elvish assassin and burly fighter find themselves working for the king of Melengar as spies that book start to focus a lot more on the politics and intrigue. I enjoyed this portion of the book that author does not let the narrative get dull with endless chatter. Some of the characters are cunning yet funny.

Scope of the story is larger, and yet book almost manage to move as fast as the previous book (though there were few moments which I thought were kind of a drag).

Author provides a lot more depth to the characters of Royce and Hadrian. Back stories of Royce and Hadrian is been flushed out which is masterfully integral to the over all story.

There are twists in this book which caught me by surprised. Arista's development as person and as an practitioner of the 'art' continues, and it is a fun ride.

Sense of humor between two thieves is still fresh and fun.

Narrator did a great job, and book is really a fun listen. This audio series is turning into one of my favorite. This book has setup nicely for the last in series for which I cant wait!

I highly recommend this book and series.

50 people found this helpful

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It’s all about the details

Still impressed by this series (and trust me, I am a total Grinch when it comes to being a reader) The characters are so rich and interesting, the story is entertaining, but the most amazing part is the little details that bring the world to life. This is seriously turning into one of my favorite writers. I haven’t been this impressed since Gaiman and Pratchett.

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Getting better

If you could sum up Rise of Empire in three words, what would they be?

This series does get better as you develop more of a connection to the main characters. This series is definitely a worthy listen / read and most definitely should be experienced by fantasy fans.

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Solid Middle Books of the Series

Although Volume 2 of the Ryria Revelations contains two books, Nyphron Rising and The Emerald Storm, I still felt how I usually feel after reading the middle book of a good trilogy - unsatisfied with how things are left off and ready for more.

Royce and Hadrian continue their adventures and do some digging into their pasts, while Arista sets off on her own and faces some serious challenges. Each of the characters is flushed out some and the bigger picture continues to come into focus. For me, The Emerald Storm was a bit of a tangent and did not advance the main storyline as much as I would have hoped, but any story involving Royce and Hadrian is entertaining so I'm not complaining.

Tim Gerard Reynolds does his normal excellent job bringing the characters to life and at this point I could not imagine anyone else voicing them. So if you enjoyed Volume 1 there is no reason to hesitate on picking this one up, just keep in mind that the story doesn't end here and you will have to pick up Volume 3 as well.

26 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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I just can't handle the stupid

Three books is as much as I can handle. All of the characters have rocks for brains and couldn't think their way out of a wet paper bag. Enemies are often incompetent idiots, which doesn't help the heroes as much as you'd think because they're only a fraction better. The book has some good moments, but they're way too overshadowed by poor writing and stupidity. The whole "thief" premise of Hadrian and Royce that started the series on an interesting note has been abandoned in favor of stock fantasy characters who are as three dimensional as a piece of paper.

9 people found this helpful

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Super!!

What did you love best about Rise of Empire?

This is my favorite new series. It has great characters the story is fast moving and has the depth that I look for. Truly a great read. I have recommended it to all my family and friends.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Royce was my favorite character because his dry humor reminded me of my father.

Which character – as performed by Tim Gerard Reynolds – was your favorite?

He is a great performer. I think he really gets a great feel for the characters before he even starts his work. I don't believe that I could honestly choose.

23 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Would make a great tv show!

If anyone could transition this to tv without mucking around with it to make everybody in love with everybody else, or whatever idiot changes they always seem to make when adapting somebody else's work, this series would make for fabulous television.

Royce and Hadrian, the main characters, have that 'odd couple' relationship that makes for fun banter and frequent bickering. There is plenty of straight-forward action with sword fights, battles, daring escapes, rescues, robberies, etc. There are also lots of secrets and lies, betrayals and conspiracies. I hate it whenever I have to stop listening, because I'm wondering what's going to happen next.

22 people found this helpful

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  • penny Ezady
  • 03-10-16

amazing

amazing really good book would highly recommend. good story line lots of twists and turns

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • gordon
  • 07-12-15

Continues on from the 1st book just as good.

Micheal J Sullivan nows how to wtite and Mr Reynalds reads well.
The audio book was such fun to listen to.
If you like fantacy you'll love this and even if you don't this is a fun series to listen to.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • David
  • 05-28-15

Good story well told

overall it won't light the world on fire, but it's an interesting story, which is also well narrated.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • ivar
  • 03-02-15

Hope it never ends

my English isn't the best as you can maybe see, but as the title says hope it never ends, the characters and the plot/storyline is awesome, the reader is great his old guy voice is just perfect, totally worth buying.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • sara williams
  • 08-03-22

Confused

I really like these books. .but they are published in such a way and written in such a way. i am missing things
half the books are not availble in this format.
i have just started this story and i am very confused.
certain characters are gone.
this led me to look again and the stories chronilogical order
and found about 4 books not availble.
no good as a first time reader.. or in this case listener
Im just going to buy these books instead of using audioble.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • dee
  • 06-21-22

Getting so tired of the derogatory and offensive language!

Last time I reviewed one of this series, I mentioned the offensive and racist language used to describe the black characters in the last of the Riyria Chronicles. As a result, I wouldn’t have listened to another by this author hadn’t I already downloaded this and the last novel in the series.

In this offering, the author has added misogyny to his repertoire, (it’s been in there in the background previously), and possible homophobia, with the use of ‘effeminate’, a word that should no longer be in anyone’s vocabulary.

Shame and blame also lies with the narrator for agreeing to read these offensive passages, (and for using the racist language in a previous book!)

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-05-22

The perfect story for an rpg lover

Twist and turns. Creatures and magic. It's got everything you could ever want. Simply Brill!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-28-21

I loved it

I loved it all from Hadrian, Roice and everything in between. The book is performed excellently.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • ASHISH SINHA
  • 10-13-20

Great story telling

Second compilation in an excellent series. Lots of shocks and surprises along with plot twists. Excellent narration and it definitely reads like a movie script. Someone should make a movie series out of these books

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Roy
  • 05-30-20

Good sequal

Good sequal, wonder what happens next. How will they escape, I am wondering. Have to get the next.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • GarethB
  • 02-01-15

Enjoyable Medieval Spy Story

Gripping, largely unpredictable, Great to see familiar characters with new challenges, and see some back story for Royce and Hadrian and even Arista. Favourite bits were Hadrian leading a team in a goblin fight dome, and Arista coming of age. I think four or five prison escapes were one too many. I'm hooked and starting the next one.
Enough variation in voice to recognize 5 - 10 characters by sound and give each a little character.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Louise Hobson
  • 07-12-22

Brilliant

Just finished listening to the fourth book in series - loved the humour , the characters , the narration and the twists in the plot

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-10-21

characters feels artificial

Characters don't seem to express much emotion. I don't feel attached to any of them.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Charm Harris
  • 06-25-21

Loving the story so far

Excellent work as always by Tim Gerard Reynolds, one of my favourites. On to the end of the story!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-08-19

Lit

Loved it, was hectic, went hard in the paint. on to the next one i go

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Yalchin Sacma
  • Yalchin Sacma
  • 09-23-19

Not as good as first thought.

Long winded story, not what I expected after listing to previous books, still the story is set and look forward to the next books.