Rise of Empire by Michael J. Sullivan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
With a newly declared heir, the Nyphron Empire looks to gain control over everyone. Melengar stands alone against the growing colossus and Princess Arista has a desperate plan. She defies her brother, hires Riyria, and plans on forging an alliance with the Nationalist Army. Meanwhile Royce debates telling Hadrian about what Esrahaddon showed him in the tower of Avempartha. Royce doesn't trust the Wizard and first intends on learning the truth to the claims by investigating Hadrian's past.
Nyphron Rising is a solid continuation of the tale of Riyria Revelations. I enjoy the story overall, but from time to time the tropes are a heavy weight for me. The antagonists are incredibly evil while the heroes are good for goods sake...except for Royce, he does what he does for profit.
The main strength of the series remains for me as Royce and Hadrian. They are an unlikely duo yet I cheer for them, particularly Hadrian, to succeed. They are two men whose actions are far more important than most realize.
Nyphron Rising was good and I wonder what will happen next as the story continues.
3.5 out of 5 stars
The Emerald Storm
A message is intercepted regarding Merrick Marius's plans. King Alric tasks Royce and Hadrian to find out what Marius is up to which leads to them boarding the Emerald Storm. Meanwhile Princess Arista has left Ratibor in search of the true Heir of Novron.
I had a little bit of trouble with The Emerald Storm largely because much of the story revolves around Royce and Hadrian's travels on a ship. It's full of all the seaman jargon which honestly bores me. Once the duo left the high seas though the story was excellent.
Arista's story was equally strong as she taps deeper into her magical powers and performs some remarkable feats. Arista has demonstrated the most growth of any character in the series and I look forward to how her story continues.
One thing I find I dislike about the series thus far is a lot of time is spent with the characters traveling. When something particularly poignant is happening this doesn't bother me, but to show traveling for traveling sake is frustrating at times.
The Emerald Storm is likely my favorite story of the series thus far and it has me excited to read the final omnibus of the series.
4 out of 5 stars
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