book review

Book Review: Theft of Swords

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Author: Michael J. Sullivan

Synopsis: (Goodreads)

Genre: Adult Epic Fantasy

Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3.5)

There is so much testosterone on that cover; it makes me laugh. It’s like an advertisement for a very  serious, melodramatic, manly video game. Except it’s really not that serious nor melodramatic. This is the type of fantasy you would read when you just want a light, fun, and funny fantasy romp. Theft of Swords is a bind up of the first two books in the Ryria Revelations series.

This book is a fantasy trope bananza. It takes place in a pseudo medieval Europe with a two swashbuckling heroes. They’re both con men with hearts of gold. You get the gist. Surprisingly, it turned out to not be cliche even though when it could fallen into that trap multiple times. I really liked that it uses the established tropes to put the reader into the story right away. It’s like a warm, familiar blanket on a cold day. I love the bromance between our two characters and I also really liked the development of Arista, the princess. With the second book, I found myself wanting to skip perspectives to get to hers.

Unfortunately, in the second book, the tropes sort of wear themselves out and you get a dry plot, a severe lack of tension, convenient solutions, and two main characters who feel more like caricatures than actual characters. It’s like the warm blanket has become too stuffy and hot and you have to take it off. What is up with my excessive use of commas and metaphors today?

If you want to read a fantasy but don’t want to think too hard when you’re reading and you don’t want much complexity with your fantasy world, this is the book for you. I’m sure the intent of this book was to let the reader have a fun adventure without it being too dark and it succeeds there.

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