Rating: 5 stars
Genre: High Fantasy, Adult, Magic
“You realize I'm just taking you to die?”
“I hope to disappoint you.”
Thankfully Hadrian did disappoint Royce, and thus Riyria was born. After a long and hectic week, getting back to Elan and reading the first adventure of my beloved pair of thieves was like coming home. Thank you, Mr. Sullivan, for giving us another high fantasy mastepiece!
“Excuse me. My name is Hadrian Blackwater.”
“Um... what's yours?”
“Leave me alone.”
The Crown Tower offered us a great insight into the beginning of Royce and Hadrian's partnership and friendship when Arcadius paired them to steal a treasure from the Crown Tower. Meanwhile, Gwen stepped towards her freedom and shaped her future to her own liking, waiting for him, the one she was bound to help and save in more than one ways. I expected adventure and swordfights and assassinations and banters and twists and turns like only Michael J. Sullivan can write, and I got them all. I inhaled every page, I laughed and yelled with excitement and loved deeply, but there was more. Mr. Sullivan gave us more. He gave us the story of a girl who was tired of being disrespected and humiliated and manhandled, the story of a young man who gave up killing and sought a greater purpose in his life, the story of another young man who was raised by wolves and didn't hesitate to kill his problems because no one ever showed him there is another way. I witnessed the forge of heroes, my heroes, and my heart swelled with pride and love and awe.
"I believe there's a human inside that cloak, Hadrian. You just have to find a way to break through to it."
One of the many things I admire in Mr. Sullivan's writing is his ability to create three dimensional characters, whether they're the protagonists or the helpful farmer or the savage brute. You can feel the difference between Royce and Hadrian of the past and Royce and Hadrian of the present (the Royce of Theft of Swords is a charming and pleasant fellow compared to his old self), you can see that naive and optimistic and trusting to a fault Hadrian needs Royce to survive in a cruel world, and ruthless Royce needs Hadrian to find goodness in mankind. They're the complete opposites and they had a rocky start, but what's a better way to start a friendship than stabbing a student and murdering five people? (well obviously there is a better way but that's Royce we're talking about). Mr. Sullivan didn't hold back, he showed us their ugly sides without restraint, he made us understand and sympathize with them. And there was also Gwen. Her character is a constant surprise and I was so happy to learn more about her. After all the horrors she went through, she remained kind and caring and helpful, and I cannot think of a better person to shed light into Royce's life, to mold him into a better version of himself. She's become one of my favorite female characters!
“While she called all of them ladies, Rose knew the only real lady in Medford House was Gwen DeLancy.”
Whether you're already a Riyria fan or not, The Crown Tower is the perfect opportunity to dive into a world of pure adventure and absolutely amazing characters and I can assure you, you will enjoy every single moment!