Sunday, September 15, 2013

Mini Review: The Crown Tower by Michael J. Sullivan

Series: Prequel book 1
Release Date: August 6, 2013
Publisher: Orbit
Pages: 416
Received: ARC from publisher, via NetGalley
Stars: 4
Goodreads Page

I absolutely, amazingly, can't-put-into-words adored the main series The Riyria Revelations, so I was pretty stoked when I started reading The Crown Tower, which is part one of the prequel series.

Did I like it? Oh yes, but how could I not? Michael J. Sullivan would have had to do some pretty terrible things to make me dislike this book.

But did it live up? Eeeeh, yes and no. Sure I liked it, but I didn't love it.

It was kind of like comfort food. Like, hm, anyone ever have Boston Market? Well, if you haven't it's basically a chain restaurant that's a step above fast food, but it's pretty much the fast food interpretation of Thanksgiving dinner. Totally tasty, and even though it's a far cry from grandma's fixings, every bite makes me feel like I'm ten years old and getting ready to dive into Thanksgiving dinner.

The Crown Tower was kind of like Boston Market. It made me feel warm and fuzzy because it made me think of all these happy memories from my time spent reading The Riyria Revelations. I loved seeing Hadrian and Royce meet for the first time. Getting to watch them pull off the infamous Crown Tower heist I had heard so many references to in The Riyia Revelations was this fan's dream come true.

But, it's a far cry from The Riyria Revelations.

The Crown Tower didn't have the action or intrigue that made The Riyria Revelations so beyond awesome. Half the book focused on Gwen's troubles (she's a prostitute turned AWESOME) and while I enjoyed reading her parts and I totally fist-pumped her, I was also kinda bored.

Not like, bored bored. But, antsy? It's just, after coming off of the five star Special Shelf level of amazingness that was The Riyria Revelations, Gwen's little story felt totally lacking in comparison and I wanted to get back to Hadrian and Royce's part of the book (which had more action, even if it was less action than The Riyria Revelations).

Bottom line

I can't recommend this series enough. As an established fan, it was worth reading just to be able to spend time with these characters and "see" the heist I've heard so much about. There wasn't much new information about Hadrian or Royce, but Gwen's part gets fleshed out a lot and it was fun going back to the very beginning and seeing everything unfold now that I know how it all ends.

Even my minor issues with this book are pretty much only because I was comparing them to such a high bar. And, since this is a prequel series, you can read it if you haven't read The Riyria Revelations (and, like Gina from My Precious, maybe you'll enjoy it even more than I did then). 

Looking for another book like this? 

 Click on the pictures to go to Goodreads.



  1. But maybe just dive into the series itself instead of trying the prequel? I don't have much time for adult fantasy right now but I am keeping my eye on these books since you've raved about them so much.

  2. You can for sure dive into the series. It's complete with or without the prequels. The whole series is a time investment, but they also go by pretty fast all things considered. If you like it, I don't think it would take you much time to read through them. :)

  3. My local library has The Crown Tower, Rise of Empire, and Heir of Novron. Am I right that it's missing the first book of The Ryria Revelations? Not helpful! Maybe I will try Crown Tower . . . but if it's not totally amazing I might give up . . . Sounds like it might be a good airplane read, so maybe I'll save it for my next trip.

    1. aaah that's so frustrating!!!! Yes, your library is missing the first book Theft of Swords. Are you sure it's not just checked out? So weird (though not surprising, unfortunately). I think you'd like this series, but if you're hesitant then I recommend reading the main series (which sadly begins with Theft of Swords) and skipping The Crown Tower for now.

  4. Hey, I just saw these and they were like Super cheap on Amazon, but I don't know, they are SO long and I've been having a hard time sticking to stuff.

    I'm glad you love these so much, though.

  5. I think I'll have to give these a go, but based on your reviews I think I'll start with the main series first.

    I do like Boston Market, though...

    Also now I'm hungry.

  6. I love the cover. I'd read it on the cover alone. But I got the name for the main series and am going to see if I can find the first book.

  7. I guess because I didn't know what was to come, I felt this book was far more exciting than you did. However, now that I'm reading the full series, I totally understand where your coming from. This one just scratches the surface to how awesome the full story is. At this point, I'm glad I read the stories in the chronological order. I still reserve the right to change my mind as I continue reading the full series.

  8. Okay. I need to read The Riyria Revelations because I'm SO intrigued.
    Great review!


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