Age: Young Adult, Adult
Rating: 4 stars
Rating: 4 stars
Rosie Thinks: Whenever I go into my recommendations on Goodreads, this book always pops up first. I've been seeing it for a very, very long time, until I finally decided to give it a go yesterday, with very low expectations. And then, because Goodreads knows me so well, I was hooked. This book had everything I loved in it: it was fast-paced and had a fantastic cast of characters, with a plot that, while seeming to be generic, was everything but.
After spending five years abroad as a warrior, Hadrian has come back to his homeland after the death of his father, completely purposeless. He finds this purpose when a friend of his father tasks him with stealing a famous journal from an impenetrable tower. The only problem? He has to do it with the help of Royce Melborn, a cynical assassin whom Hadrian would rather kill than work with.
This is actually the prequel to the Riyria Revelations, which the author wrote first, but either is fine to start off with. I really enjoyed this introduction to his series, and the 416 pages flew by within what felt like seconds. From what I can gather, this book is the start of an incredible friendship bond between two extraordinary men, that leads into a multitude of other adventures which I'm super excited about starting!
The dynamics between Royce and Hadrian are just fantastic. These two are like oil and water - I don't think you could find two men who are more polar opposites of each other. Hadrian is an exceptional warrior but feels hollow inside, with none of his amazing feats filling up the hole inside. Despite the horror he has seen, he still has this charming naïveté and trust in the inherent goodness of people that makes Royce think he's nothing but a stupid oaf. Royce, on the other hand, has experienced nothing but the worst of people his entire life and his bitter and closed off personality is a result of that. By putting these two together through the meddlings of a wizard with a God complex, it's honestly shocking that they don't kill each other.
This isn't just a straightforward, swords and sorcery theft, however. There are a number of sub-plots that weave through the story and create some unseen twists and show fantastic characters that I can't wait to read more about. Any lover of fast-paced fantasy is bound to fall in love with this book!