The Death of Dulgath (The Riyria Chronicles, #3)

Write on: Sun, 10 Sep 2017 by  in Kat's Reviews Read 4698

Rating: 5/5 stars

Genre: High Fantasy, Adult, Magic, Fae, Assassins

I've been trying for a while to come up with a catchy line to open this review, but then it dawned on me that Michael J. Sullivan does not need a catchy line to draw attention to his work. His marvelous writing skills, his endearing characters and their heart-pounding adventures, my eagerness to keep visiting his fantasy lands and the blissful feeling that I am home whenever I dive into his stories speak volumes, so I can't help but state the obvious; he is a master storyteller, and the world of fantasy is lucky to have him.

(Was that catchy enough?)

 “If anyone had asked Royce Melborn what he hated most at that moment, he would’ve said dogs. Dogs and dwarves topped his list, both equally despised for having so much in common—each was short, vicious, and inexcusably hairy.”

In The Death of Dulgath Riyria faces a new challenge: to save Lady Dulgath from her impending assasination by acting as consultants, offering their opinion about possible ways to murder her, in order for her people to make preparations against them. And yes, it's as shady as it sounds. But it's easy money, so Royce and Hadrian set off a journey to the edge of the world, to the mysterious land of Dulgath, where it never rains and the vegetation is lush, where the Church of Nyphron tries (and fails) to establish a strong hold and the struggle for power leads to unholy alliances and unsolved murders. But the greatest mystery is Lady Dulgath herself, aloof and perseptive beyond imagination and strangely worshiped by her people, who doesn't take the threats against her seriously. And Riyria wants to know why.

These past weeks I was experiencing a reading / reviewing slump of the worst kind. I felt like I was robbed of the energy to read, to spend precious time inside a good book and let my veins fill with literatute and its wonders. The will was there, my soul ached for it to be released, to fly, but it needed a trigger, and I couldn't find it. Until the day The Death of Dulgath arrived at my doorstep, and I knew that Michael J. Sullivan would be the one to help me. It couldn't be anyone else. Every time I return to Elan I sigh with relief and contentment, I am among old and beloved friends who share with me their new adventures, who want me by their side when they unveil conspiracies and get in the way of the Church's plans, and I let them be my guides to their world because I trust them to make me feel good. They always succeed.

“So you have been paying attention."

"I'm not as stupid as you think I am."

"You have no idea how stupid I think you are, and honestly, we don't have time for that conversation."

Hadrian scowled.”

Mixing hilarity with action, in The Death of Dulgath Michael J. Sullivan serves a delicious dish of good ol' fantasy; while The Crown Tower and The Rose and the Thorn open a portal to the origins of Riyria and the formation of the legendary duet of creative problem-solvers, the third instalment of the Riyria Chronicles is more like a standalone, an intense, sweeping adventure that makes reality seem distant and insignificant, unworthy of your attention. What, or better who, deserves your attention, is Royce Melborn and Hadrian Blackwater; Royce is always his cynical, pragmatistic self that thinks murder is the way to deal with your problems, that acts of kindness hide nefarious motives, so naturally he is confused when help comes from unexpected places. But Hadrian, with his faith in mankind that sometimes borders stupidity, with his eagerness to do the right thing even though it will get him into trouble, is rubbing off on him. They complement each other, and while their (hilarious) dialogues consist mostly of Royce threatening to murder Hadrian, you can feel the strength of their bond, and the friendship that connects them. Even though Lady Dulgath manages to rattle Royce. Even though Hadrian is smitten with a fiesty redhead, and an ambitious nobleman tries to pin a murder on them. Others tried that too, and they all failed.

“We are more than the bodies we inhabit. They're little more than clothes, and yet we judge so much by them.”

If you're up for a fantastical tale that will lift your spirits and make you feel at ease, among friends, The Death of Dulgath is an ideal choice. Michael J. Sullivan and Riyria hold a vital piece of my heart, and I strongly wish that Mr. Sullivan will never stop delivering his enchanting stories, that the brilliant brain of his will keep producing ideas to keep Royce and Hadrian alive.

Last modified on Sunday, 10 September 2017 18:01

There are two things Katerina can't live without; books and chocolate. And since she needs money to acquire them, she decided to become a lawyer (and she still wonders whether this was a good idea). When she's not reading, she keeps wishing she was reading, about wars, wizards, dark princes and great romances. Her favorite genres are Fantasy (both YA and Adult) and Contemporary Romance.