The Rose and the Thorn – Michael J. Sullivan (audiobook)


5 Crowns

Date Finished: 10/15/2016

There is nothing better for me than an entertaining story.  Michael J. Sullivan does a superb job of interlacing adventure, humor, and sarcasm.  It’s always a great time reading anything by this author.  I started the Riyria Chronicles back in 2012 and it has taken me some time to circle back to the Revelations series.  I’m definitely not disappointed in what I’ve read (listened to) so far.  I decided to go with the audiobook since this is my new preferred format.

For more than a year Royce Melborn has tried to forget Gwen DeLancy, the woman who saved him and his partner Hadrian Blackwater from certain death. Unable to get her out of his mind, the two thieves return to Medford but receive a very different reception — Gwen refuses to see them. The victim of abuse by a powerful noble, she suspects that Royce will ignore any danger in his desire for revenge. By turning the thieves away, Gwen hopes to once more protect them. What she doesn’t realize is what the two are capable of — but she’s about to find out.

My Take
In this tale, Royce and Hadrain make their way back to Melengar to the illustrious Gwen at Medford House but she doesn’t want to see them.  This baffles Royce and sends him and Hadrian on a quest to find out what has happened.  We’re introduced to Viscount Albert Winslow.  We also learn of the young Hilfred and the part he plays in this story of heroism.

Royce and Hadrian find a battered Gwen and decide to find out who had a hand in it.  They learn her beating was at the hand of a noble and Gwen is trying to protect them by refusing to involve them.  Of course, Royce is out to avenge the one woman who has ever cared for him.

The introduction of the Viscount was a published story entitled the Viscount and the Witch.  What we learn about Albert in this story is that he has an IN with the other nobles and can help the duo make more money than they’ve ever dreamed by preforming sketchy tasks for those in need.

The young Reuben Hilfred has felt unwanted and useless his entire life.  His mother killed herself and his father has no regard for him.  Richard Hilfred, Reuben’s father, is a Sergeant in the King’s Guard. Reuben tries to steer clear of his father and the young squires of the castle.  Little does the young Hilfred know but he’s going to achieve a feat even the King of Melengar can’t ignore.

Tim Reynolds narration is excellent.  He does different character voices extremely well.  You’re able to distinguish his voice changes for each characters consistently throughout the story.

What I liked
I love Royce and Hadrian together.  In this story, they’ve been together for about a year now and have become more comfortable with each other while still trying to learn what makes the other tick.  I like that this is a continuation of how they became the dynamic duo you see in Chronicles.

The younger Hadrian is so green but he’s an accomplished swordsman which impresses many people.  The younger Royce is so jaded, he can’t trust anyone.  It’s eye opening for him to see that there are some selfless people out in the world.  It’s something he’s not seen or is used to.

What I didn’t like
We don’t learn what’s going to happen with the king and the assassination attempt.  I don’t recall if this was a story that is told in Chronicles but there are some questions left unanswered in this story for me.  It makes me want to go back and reread Chronicles.  I won’t mind because its a very good series but I have a problem with going backward because there are  so many other stories for me to read. I don’t want to feel like I’m repeating something I should already know the answer to.

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