Monday, March 22, 2010

Review - "Nyphron Rising" by Michael J. Sullivan

Occasional SFF reviewer Lisa Hurley is back to continue her review of Michael J. Sullivan's Riyria Revelations medieval fantasy series.  Nyphron Rising (November 2009), the third book in the series is reviewed and seems to be the favourite so far.

The Riyria Revelations is a six-book fantasy series conceived as a single epic tale divided into individual episodes. All were written before the first was released so that plot elements are intertwined, yet each is self-contained and can be read independently. With this series you will not be held hostage to read the next one--you will simply want to.

The fourth book, The Emerald Storm will be available in April 2010. Lisa will be back with a review of  The Emerald Storm and an interview with Michael J. Sullivan. You can read Lisa's review of The Crown Conspiracy here and Avempartha here.

Book Description: War has come to Melengar. To save her kingdom,Princess Arista runs a desperate gamble when she defies her brother and hires Royce and Hadrian for a dangerous mission.

As the power of the Nyphron Empire grows, so does Royce's suspicion that the wizard Esrahaddon is using the thieves as pawns in his own game. To find the truth, he must unravel the secret of Hadrian's past…what he discovers could change the future for all of Elan.
With the third book in the Riyria Revelations series, Nyphron Rising, Michael J. Sullivan has done it again. He has managed to write a story with a momentum that keeps the pages turning and the heart racing, keeping you itching to know what happens next. I think this particular installment is the best so far - it has just the right combination of action and suspense, romance and intrigue. Of course, the book is completely readable on its own, but it encourages the reader to go back and start from the beginning, out of an indelible sense of curiosity.

What I liked most about this book was that Arista, Princess of Melengar, was a big part of it, and her character really opened up and grew. Within the genre of fantasy it is easy to cast women in stereotypical roles - but Michael avoids this expertly. Although Arista is a princess, she is a very real human being as well. She embarks upon a journey with Royce and Hadrian, in an effort to prevent her beloved Melengar from being conquered by the newly formed Empire. Along the way she is thrust violently into the life her subjects live daily. It isn’t easy, and at one point she even breaks down and cries herself to sleep – but she perseveres and holds her own in even the most traumatic of situations. She isn’t completely helpless, but she isn’t some kind of superwoman either, even with her budding ability to weave magic.

Along the journey, Royce has his own plan, which conveniently coincides with Arista’s. Hadrian is in a state of distress – that is, he drinks a bit too much and gets very depressed about his life, feeling like he was meant for more that just doing the dirty work of nobles and kings, for no other purpose than the money it will yield him. He decides to retire, and goes along on this last job as a favor to Royce. What they uncover together changes everything, and the actions they take may lead Elan in a very different direction than where the Empire, with its puppet queen, has planned for it to go.

Nyphron Rising, more than any other book in the series so far, has me on the edge of my seat for the next installment. It is a bit darker, and a bit more mature than the first two books, which makes me all the more excited for The Emerald Storm. I recommend this highly and of course recommend also going back to read The Crown Conspiracy and Avempartha if you have not already, simply because they are too good to miss.


Read a sample Chapter of Nyphron Rising.

Ridan Publishing
Published: November 2009
Format: Paperback
Pages: 344
ISBN #: 978-0979621143

The Riyiria Revelations Series:
  1. The Crown Conspiracy (2008)
  2. Avempartha (2009)
  3. Nyphron Rising (2009)
  4. The Emerald Storm (April 2010)
  5. Wintertide (October 2010)
  6. Percepliquis (2011)


  1. Fantastic! I only skimmed your review as I am reading the first three books now and didn't want to read any secrets of the third book. I am enjoying these and want to have my post up before the 4th is released!

  2. I'm halfway through the Emerald Storm already and I'm loving it as well! I'm sure I'll have another positive review on the way pretty soon. :P


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