When I first read The Name of the Wind a few years ago, I just knew that Patrick Rothfuss would be my favorite fantasy author for the rest of my life. I’m a loyalist; once I hitch my little fan wagon onto a fandom train, I’m there until the end of the line. Even if the quality goes down, even if plot twists in a way that I hate, even if I have to wait years and years between installments, my mama didn’t raise no quitter. And I’m definitely not quitting the Kingkiller Chronicles. But I have to confess that Rothfuss has been usurped as king of my fantasy-loving heart by Brandon Sanderson, whose creativity and work ethic knows no bounds. Once the throne was taken from him, I felt sure that Rothfuss would at least remain the prince regent, but alas. Now that I’ve found Michael J. Sullivan, my former favorite may have been relegated to the wings.
Did Sullivan use words as paint on the canvas of his pages to craft sentences so lovely they made me want to weep? No, he is not Rothfuss. Did he build a world and a magic system so real I suspect I could step inside the book, followed by plot twists that stop my heart and make me scream in shock? No, he is not Sanderson. But that’s what is so refreshing about Sullivan; he’s not trying to be anyone but himself. He’s not trying to reinvent the wheel. If anything, he tries to pack as many fantasy tropes as he can into his novels. He’s not trying to do anything new for the genre. What he is trying to do, and what he is succeeding at, is to put out something fun and lighthearted in the midst of an overabundance of grim-dark entries into the genre, and he manages to do so without coming across as cheesy in any way.
Theft of Swords was so much fun! Hadrian and Royce had great chemistry. The partners were thieves for hire, with Hadrian serving as the muscle and Royce as the sticky fingers. Usually when partners are the main characters of a story, I have a favorite. But I couldn’t choose between Hadrian and Royce. They’re both snarky and sassy and good men against their better judgment. There are host of fun side characters as well, my favorites of whom are Ersahaddon, Magnus, and especially Myron; none of whom I want to say much about because I don’t want to give anything away. Besides the wonderful characters and sassy dialogue, Sullivan was also able to add a lot of mystery into a fun romp of a fantasy, which I thought was pretty different. He managed to write a really engrossing fantasy in easy to read, everyday English. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves fantasy, and especially to those who sometimes have a hard time focusing on a book. Lack of focus won’t be a problem here, for sure. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series, and everything else Sullivan puts out!