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Rise of Empire cover art

Rise of Empire

Written by: Michael J. Sullivan
Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
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Publisher's Summary

Best-selling author Michael J. Sullivan’s mesmerizing Riyria Revelations series has found a welcome home with fans of magic, clashing swords, and daring heroes. This second volume finds Royce and Hadrian on a quest to enlist the southern Nationalists to aid the ever-weakening kingdom of Melengar. Royce suspects an ancient wizard is manipulating them all, but to find the truth he’ll have to decipher Hadrian’s past—a past Hadrian wants to keep secret.

Rise of Empire contains Nyphron Rising and The Emerald Storm, books 3 and 4 of Riyria Revelations.

©2011 Michael J. Sullivan (P)2012 Recorded Books

What listeners say about Rise of Empire

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

a bit too long

the first two were better and gripping. this one dragged on a bit towards the end.

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  • Adnan
  • 30-05-12

Great continuation of the first book. Tons of fun!

This book picks up after a year or so after the end of first book where Church has found a lost leader and started to form an Empire.

Our combo of elvish assassin and burly fighter find themselves working for the king of Melengar as spies that book start to focus a lot more on the politics and intrigue. I enjoyed this portion of the book that author does not let the narrative get dull with endless chatter. Some of the characters are cunning yet funny.

Scope of the story is larger, and yet book almost manage to move as fast as the previous book (though there were few moments which I thought were kind of a drag).

Author provides a lot more depth to the characters of Royce and Hadrian. Back stories of Royce and Hadrian is been flushed out which is masterfully integral to the over all story.

There are twists in this book which caught me by surprised. Arista's development as person and as an practitioner of the 'art' continues, and it is a fun ride.

Sense of humor between two thieves is still fresh and fun.

Narrator did a great job, and book is really a fun listen. This audio series is turning into one of my favorite. This book has setup nicely for the last in series for which I cant wait!

I highly recommend this book and series.

50 people found this helpful

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  • Jim "The Impatient"
  • 05-12-17

Barefoot rabbit

Discussion after Discussion
The Barefoot Rabbit, tells it as it is. I have a reputation for giving negative reviews, but not when it comes to Michael J. Sullivan. I have read several of his books and this would be the first negative review, but this book bored me to tears. I gave it over five hours, which is two hours longer than I give unknown authors, but it just never captured my attention.

Reynolds is an upper tier narrator, no problems there.

40 people found this helpful

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  • barefoot rabbit
  • 22-02-15

Disappointing

I really enjoyed the first Riyria book, as simple as it was, particularly for a few of its interesting characters, promising set-up, and what felt like competent writing. This sequel promised more of this--but suffered from a complete lack of focus (or editing). The first part's plot dragged (prepare for discussion after discussion) so that very little occurs until nearly midway, but I was willing to just listen (on 1.5x) and wait, believing that the pace would pick up and everything would come together more elegantly in the second.

Instead, the second part of the book sounded as if it had been cut and pasted out of some ridiculous 50's maritime jungle island adventure book. A it was just that--ridiculous. As soon as they got of the ship, I don't know how many times I rolled my eyes or wondered when something was actually going to happen. Predictable and/or flat plot 'twists' galore are dragged out for no reason other than to take up another full book so that three can be sold instead of one or two. It seems like Sullivan wasn't sure where he was going with the story and just wrote in a lot of filler for fun. (Hmm...I've gotten my fun with the dragon-fighting adventure, ticked off the generic sea adventure gun battle part...now let's put Royce and Hadrian on a jungle trek with typical challenges and lots of shifty 'savages'! Wouldn't that be fun?) No.

The characters are really the only compelling aspect of this rather flat book. If not for my affection for a few of them (namely Hadrian and Arista), I would have zero motivation to find out what happens in the third installment. I'm still not sure I care enough to find out after this disappointingly typical middle book.

29 people found this helpful

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  • Lore
  • 29-07-14

Solid Middle Books of the Series

Although Volume 2 of the Ryria Revelations contains two books, Nyphron Rising and The Emerald Storm, I still felt how I usually feel after reading the middle book of a good trilogy - unsatisfied with how things are left off and ready for more.

Royce and Hadrian continue their adventures and do some digging into their pasts, while Arista sets off on her own and faces some serious challenges. Each of the characters is flushed out some and the bigger picture continues to come into focus. For me, The Emerald Storm was a bit of a tangent and did not advance the main storyline as much as I would have hoped, but any story involving Royce and Hadrian is entertaining so I'm not complaining.

Tim Gerard Reynolds does his normal excellent job bringing the characters to life and at this point I could not imagine anyone else voicing them. So if you enjoyed Volume 1 there is no reason to hesitate on picking this one up, just keep in mind that the story doesn't end here and you will have to pick up Volume 3 as well.

26 people found this helpful

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  • Julieann
  • 24-05-12

Super!!

What did you love best about Rise of Empire?

This is my favorite new series. It has great characters the story is fast moving and has the depth that I look for. Truly a great read. I have recommended it to all my family and friends.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Royce was my favorite character because his dry humor reminded me of my father.

Which character – as performed by Tim Gerard Reynolds – was your favorite?

He is a great performer. I think he really gets a great feel for the characters before he even starts his work. I don't believe that I could honestly choose.

23 people found this helpful

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  • Christa
  • 21-05-12

Would make a great tv show!

If anyone could transition this to tv without mucking around with it to make everybody in love with everybody else, or whatever idiot changes they always seem to make when adapting somebody else's work, this series would make for fabulous television.

Royce and Hadrian, the main characters, have that 'odd couple' relationship that makes for fun banter and frequent bickering. There is plenty of straight-forward action with sword fights, battles, daring escapes, rescues, robberies, etc. There are also lots of secrets and lies, betrayals and conspiracies. I hate it whenever I have to stop listening, because I'm wondering what's going to happen next.

22 people found this helpful

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  • Ron
  • 03-01-13

The second book delivers

I was pleasantly surprised that this book (books 3 and 4) did not suffer from the sophomore curse. This was on par with the first novel and I enjoyed it every bit as much. There are loads of different characters but the main focus is still on the main characters Royce and Hadrian. I love these characters and I can't wait for the next book.

20 people found this helpful

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  • Blair
  • 15-05-12

This is becoming one of my favorite series

There are a few series that, after finishing a volume, leave me with an almost obsessive urge to get the next volume and continue the story. The Dark Tower books by Stephen King and The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan are two examples (I actually had "Michael Jordan" written... glad I caught that). After finishing the second volume of Michael J. Sullivan's Riyria Revelations I am left with this same feeling. I want the next book...right now! I think I will just have to go buy the print version - if the local book store has it - because this story is really, really good. Definitely do not buy it if you haven't read the first volume though. In that case, go get "Theft of Swords" and hope that by the time you get to the end of "Rise of Empire" audible has released the next book in the series.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Chip Atkinson
  • 24-08-13

Gritty, fun, realistic fantasy, just great fiction

Sometimes I pass up books just because they are fantasy. It's not that I don't enjoy the genre, I do. This second book in the trilogy, like the first, stands on its on as just a fantastic story for any lover of fiction. It's no wonder its one of the best rated books on audible.

Sullivan weaves magic, trolls, elves into the tale so subtly that it seems more natural than supernatural. The characters are so well developed, their conversation so modern that I had no problem believing in the validity of the tale.

There are obvious parallels between the fantasy empire's totalitarian rule and that of Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia. In this case, elves and dwarfs are considered "the problem" by the ruling class. And like the European jews in the early 20th century, all the ills of the world are blamed on them. There are even extermination camps.

Then there is the power of the Church. However, though there are cathedrals, bishops, monks and priests, there is no semblance of Christianity that i could find. There is a sense of it's goodness and how it is used to manipulate and gain power by a few evil men.

The two Ryiria Muskateers are once again back with all their cavalier charm. They bring humor and inject life into every scene.

I have to cut this short, but let me say I enjoyed this book as much as any mystery/thriller
I've ever read. The narration is great.

5 Stars all the way.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Gwendolyn
  • 24-05-12

Volume Two of the Riyria Revelations

This volume contains "Nyphron Rising" and "The Emerald Storm." With these books, the story really begins to develop toward the ultimate climax (which I'm hoping will be released on Audible sometime soon). Volume one fleshes out the players and leads us to the goal of the various players. Volume two is more plot driven than character development. But that's not to say that the characters don't develop, they do. But it's more of a lateral movement rather than a growth toward betterment. The end of "The Emerald Storm" leaves you hanging! If you don't like cliffhangers, hold off on this series until all three volumes have been released (or see if you can find it in print). Still, I'm rather enjoying this series. No dreadful mid-series lull that is so often found in fantasy series.

11 people found this helpful

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  • penny Ezady
  • 10-03-16

amazing

amazing really good book would highly recommend. good story line lots of twists and turns

2 people found this helpful

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  • gordon
  • 12-07-15

Continues on from the 1st book just as good.

Micheal J Sullivan nows how to wtite and Mr Reynalds reads well.
The audio book was such fun to listen to.
If you like fantacy you'll love this and even if you don't this is a fun series to listen to.

1 person found this helpful

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  • David
  • 28-05-15

Good story well told

overall it won't light the world on fire, but it's an interesting story, which is also well narrated.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • ivar
  • 02-03-15

Hope it never ends

my English isn't the best as you can maybe see, but as the title says hope it never ends, the characters and the plot/storyline is awesome, the reader is great his old guy voice is just perfect, totally worth buying.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Dee
  • 01-12-13

Riyria Revelations series gets even better

I loved this second volume of the Riyria Revelations - Rise of Empire. Tim Gerard Reynolds does a brilliant job of narrating the characters, each with their own voice and character. War in Melengar, a continued search for the Heir of Novron, Princess Arista, Amelia, the Empress - wow what a story. I couldn't stop listening. I'm now onto the final instalment of the Riyria Revelations and it just gets better.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • sara williams
  • 03-08-22

Confused

I really like these books. .but they are published in such a way and written in such a way. i am missing things
half the books are not availble in this format.
i have just started this story and i am very confused.
certain characters are gone.
this led me to look again and the stories chronilogical order
and found about 4 books not availble.
no good as a first time reader.. or in this case listener
Im just going to buy these books instead of using audioble.

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  • dee
  • 21-06-22

Getting so tired of the derogatory and offensive language!

Last time I reviewed one of this series, I mentioned the offensive and racist language used to describe the black characters in the last of the Riyria Chronicles. As a result, I wouldn’t have listened to another by this author hadn’t I already downloaded this and the last novel in the series.

In this offering, the author has added misogyny to his repertoire, (it’s been in there in the background previously), and possible homophobia, with the use of ‘effeminate’, a word that should no longer be in anyone’s vocabulary.

Shame and blame also lies with the narrator for agreeing to read these offensive passages, (and for using the racist language in a previous book!)

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-01-22

The perfect story for an rpg lover

Twist and turns. Creatures and magic. It's got everything you could ever want. Simply Brill!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 28-12-21

I loved it

I loved it all from Hadrian, Roice and everything in between. The book is performed excellently.

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  • ASHISH SINHA
  • 13-10-20

Great story telling

Second compilation in an excellent series. Lots of shocks and surprises along with plot twists. Excellent narration and it definitely reads like a movie script. Someone should make a movie series out of these books

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  • GarethB
  • 01-02-15

Enjoyable Medieval Spy Story

Gripping, largely unpredictable, Great to see familiar characters with new challenges, and see some back story for Royce and Hadrian and even Arista. Favourite bits were Hadrian leading a team in a goblin fight dome, and Arista coming of age. I think four or five prison escapes were one too many. I'm hooked and starting the next one.
Enough variation in voice to recognize 5 - 10 characters by sound and give each a little character.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 25-10-22

definitely a series you will listen to again

i love it just as much as the first one

the only minor thing that got me is that all the boat talk makes it quite hard to discern what is actually happening

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  • Lise
  • 10-08-22

Trials and tribulations with more female pov

Our heroes and POV characters face further trials and tribulations in this one and at times it felt traumatic - perhaps not as lighthearted and swashbuckling as the first book but still well-written with a marvelous performance. Particular attention is spent on our female heroines and I enjoyed their growth, although wasn't too keen on the character of the empress's maid.

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  • Louise Hobson
  • 12-07-22

Brilliant

Just finished listening to the fourth book in series - loved the humour , the characters , the narration and the twists in the plot

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-12-21

characters feels artificial

Characters don't seem to express much emotion. I don't feel attached to any of them.

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  • Charm Harris
  • 25-06-21

Loving the story so far

Excellent work as always by Tim Gerard Reynolds, one of my favourites. On to the end of the story!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-11-19

Lit

Loved it, was hectic, went hard in the paint. on to the next one i go

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Yalchin Sacma
  • 23-09-19

Not as good as first thought.

Long winded story, not what I expected after listing to previous books, still the story is set and look forward to the next books.