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The Viscount and the Witch

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Eleven years before they were framed for the murder of a king, before even assuming the title of Riyria, Royce Melborn and Hadrian Blackwater were practically strangers. Unlikely associates, this cynical thief and idealist swordsman, were just learning how to work together as a team. In this standalone short story of The Riyria Chronicles, Royce is determined to teach his Eleven years before they were framed for the murder of a king, before even assuming the title of Riyria, Royce Melborn and Hadrian Blackwater were practically strangers. Unlikely associates, this cynical thief and idealist swordsman, were just learning how to work together as a team. In this standalone short story of The Riyria Chronicles, Royce is determined to teach his naive partner a lesson about good deeds. Join Royce and Hadrian in this short story (5,400 words). This is now a chapter in Ryria Chronicles # 2: The Rose and the Thorn, so for those looking to read the entire series in order, reading this short story on its own isn't necessary.


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Eleven years before they were framed for the murder of a king, before even assuming the title of Riyria, Royce Melborn and Hadrian Blackwater were practically strangers. Unlikely associates, this cynical thief and idealist swordsman, were just learning how to work together as a team. In this standalone short story of The Riyria Chronicles, Royce is determined to teach his Eleven years before they were framed for the murder of a king, before even assuming the title of Riyria, Royce Melborn and Hadrian Blackwater were practically strangers. Unlikely associates, this cynical thief and idealist swordsman, were just learning how to work together as a team. In this standalone short story of The Riyria Chronicles, Royce is determined to teach his naive partner a lesson about good deeds. Join Royce and Hadrian in this short story (5,400 words). This is now a chapter in Ryria Chronicles # 2: The Rose and the Thorn, so for those looking to read the entire series in order, reading this short story on its own isn't necessary.

30 review for The Viscount and the Witch

  1. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    No rating, as this is my "own book" but I did want to say a bit about it. This is a standalone prequel to my Riyria Revelations Series. It is being relesed for free and you can get a copy by clicking here No previous knowledge of the Riyria Revelations is necessary. It is a short story (just 5,400 words) so is a quick introduction to a larger epic tale. Eleven years before they were framed for the murder of a king, before even assuming the title of Riyria, Royce Melborn and Hadrian Blackwater w No rating, as this is my "own book" but I did want to say a bit about it. This is a standalone prequel to my Riyria Revelations Series. It is being relesed for free and you can get a copy by clicking here No previous knowledge of the Riyria Revelations is necessary. It is a short story (just 5,400 words) so is a quick introduction to a larger epic tale. Eleven years before they were framed for the murder of a king, before even assuming the title of Riyria, Royce Melborn and Hadrian Blackwater were practically strangers. Unlikely associates, this cynical thief and idealist swordsman, were just learning how to work together as a team. In this standalone first installment of The Riyria Chronicles, Royce is determined to teach his naive partner a lesson about good deeds. Join Royce and Hadrian in this short story (5,400 words) about one of their earliest adventures..

  2. 5 out of 5

    Claudia

    After reading it I found out that this one is a chapter from The Rose and the Thorn, but I don’t mind, I’ll read it again. The encounter between Hadrian & Royce with (view spoiler)[ their later associate (hide spoiler)] Viscount Albert Winslow is really hilarious, even more because of Royce trying to teach Hadrian a lesson. Don’t really know who won in the end ;)) After reading it I found out that this one is a chapter from The Rose and the Thorn, but I don’t mind, I’ll read it again. The encounter between Hadrian & Royce with (view spoiler)[ their later associate (hide spoiler)] Viscount Albert Winslow is really hilarious, even more because of Royce trying to teach Hadrian a lesson. Don’t really know who won in the end ;))

  3. 5 out of 5

    Zoe Artemis Spencer Reid

    LOL. This was actually a part in The Rose and the Thorn. You may not want to read this short story if you had read The Rose and the Thorn.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Bookwraiths

    Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths Reviews The Viscount and The Witch is a short story, which introduces readers to Hadrian and Royce: the heroes of the Riyria Revelations. It takes place several years before their adventures in Mr. Sullivan's other Riyria books, and while it is a standalone story, I believe you will find it much more enjoyable if you have read the novels before sampling this. The tale itself revolves around Royce and Hadrian traveling and encountering obstacles along their path i Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths Reviews The Viscount and The Witch is a short story, which introduces readers to Hadrian and Royce: the heroes of the Riyria Revelations. It takes place several years before their adventures in Mr. Sullivan's other Riyria books, and while it is a standalone story, I believe you will find it much more enjoyable if you have read the novels before sampling this. The tale itself revolves around Royce and Hadrian traveling and encountering obstacles along their path including a "witch." These "bumps" allow the author to highlight the differences in Hadrian's more optimistic, naive character and Royce's brooding, pessimistic outlook on life and people. It also gives Mr. Sullivan the chance to introduce a landless, pathetic noble named Viscount Albert, whom our heroes befriend and save from himself. (Albert, of course, goes on to play a role in the Riyria Revelations.) Through all this, a reader begins to see the making of Hadrian and Royce’s partnership, which is the central point upon which the Riyria Revelations balances. I only have two complaints about The Viscount and The Witch. One, the story is very light on plot. There isn’t much that actually happens other than Royce proving to Hadrian that he is too trusting of others. Two, it is too short. Once you actually become engaged in the tale, it is over . All in all, this story is a light and entertaining read. I believe it is best sampled after already having an emotional attachment to Royce and Hadrian; however that is not required to understand what is going on. So pick up The Viscount and The Witch and give it a try.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Veronica Morfi

    When I picked this one up from Amazon for free, I thought I should give it a try, cause I got curious about the series and omg I loved it! Even in the few pages of it I fell in love with the two main characters Royce Melborn and Hadrian Blackwater. I love that we mostly see the story through Hadrian's eyes, its like he's Dr. Watson to a medieval Sherlock. Now don't get me wrong they don't solve mysteries or anything, but the character of Hadrian is simple, caring, trusting and lovable while Royc When I picked this one up from Amazon for free, I thought I should give it a try, cause I got curious about the series and omg I loved it! Even in the few pages of it I fell in love with the two main characters Royce Melborn and Hadrian Blackwater. I love that we mostly see the story through Hadrian's eyes, its like he's Dr. Watson to a medieval Sherlock. Now don't get me wrong they don't solve mysteries or anything, but the character of Hadrian is simple, caring, trusting and lovable while Royce is more mysterious and dangerous and always has the answer, just like Sherlock! Anyways this is so short and perfect (and free) so if you are searching for the new epic fantasy to read go ahead and give this a try it won't dissapoint. Now I can't wait to get my hands on the first book and read more about the awesome duo.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Veronica Morfi

    This is my second time around reading this short. And now that I've had my first journey with Hadrian and Royce in The Crown Tower, I can tell that I really enjoyed this one. It's a classic tale of those two getting in trouble. I love how different they are yet how well the fit together. And the new addition to their group was great, I am sure will see more of Albert in the future. I can't wait to get my hands on the second Riyria Chronicles book. This is my second time around reading this short. And now that I've had my first journey with Hadrian and Royce in The Crown Tower, I can tell that I really enjoyed this one. It's a classic tale of those two getting in trouble. I love how different they are yet how well the fit together. And the new addition to their group was great, I am sure will see more of Albert in the future. I can't wait to get my hands on the second Riyria Chronicles book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    Loved it! I love these characters. I'm so glad Michael shared the story of how Royce and Hadrian met Albert. It was full of humor and I really enjoy their witty banter. Please keep writing more short stories about them! Loved it! I love these characters. I'm so glad Michael shared the story of how Royce and Hadrian met Albert. It was full of humor and I really enjoy their witty banter. Please keep writing more short stories about them!

  8. 5 out of 5

    J. Lieutenant of Barad Dur

    Ah Royce... that mind of yours.. Perfect!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Aram Brazilian

    glad I read it - some of it was familiar... free on Kindle, so why not... and more time spent w/ the boys is always good...

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    Available for free in lots of formats here: http://www.michaelsullivan-author.com... This is a prelude story to the Riyria Chronicles. It's short, 5400 words, but fun & we get to meet Royce & Hadrian early on in their partnership, not to mention finding out how they met & why one of the minor characters of the series works with them. Definitely worth reading if you like the series or if you want to see what the series is about. Before the short story is a longish word from the author about the Riyr Available for free in lots of formats here: http://www.michaelsullivan-author.com... This is a prelude story to the Riyria Chronicles. It's short, 5400 words, but fun & we get to meet Royce & Hadrian early on in their partnership, not to mention finding out how they met & why one of the minor characters of the series works with them. Definitely worth reading if you like the series or if you want to see what the series is about. Before the short story is a longish word from the author about the Riyria Chronicles. It's interesting. After the story is the first chapter of Theft of Swords. I haven't read it. I'm waiting for Percepliquis, the 6th & final book of the chronicles, at which time I plan to re-read the entire series.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Bcvs

    A nice and brief introduction to the characters. There is a pleasant feeling to the setting and it encourages to keep on reading to find out what happens next.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Antonis

    4.5 / 5 Up until reading this story I had not had the chance to read anything from Michael Sullivan though I had heard and read quite a lot on many book-review blogs about the indie author (up to that point) that was actually better than many published ones. So colour me intrigued and for a long time I've had my eyes on his fantasy series so when I read that there was a free short story that served as a good introduction to his writing and series, I downloaded this and read it at the first chance 4.5 / 5 Up until reading this story I had not had the chance to read anything from Michael Sullivan though I had heard and read quite a lot on many book-review blogs about the indie author (up to that point) that was actually better than many published ones. So colour me intrigued and for a long time I've had my eyes on his fantasy series so when I read that there was a free short story that served as a good introduction to his writing and series, I downloaded this and read it at the first chance I got. This is a very short story, short enough that got that half-point substracted from my rating only because at the end I wanted more (sure I know that there are 6 more books or 3 double-ones from Orbit right now). I think that this could be a hit or miss for many mostly due to 2 reasons, both of which were hit for me. One is the plot, its resolution and the reasoning behind it might estrange some readers as rather unlikely or odd. But I found it a very interesting story, with both the expected and unexpected twists. At the end, most questions got their proper answers, appart ofcourse from a couple that I can only suppose are probably explained in the main story arc in the novel series. The other is what is qctually happening in the story, the action or rather the lack of it. If the reader comes into this story expecting non-stop in your face typical fantasy-fare action, he will be sorely disappointed. The reason is simple: Sullivan apparently doesn't want to show-off his action-writing skills in this one. (Please keep in mind that I have not read the Riyria series so I don't know how much action there is supposed to be in his novels.) What is clear however is that he wants us to learn and enjoy the interaction of his two main characters, two characters that are evidently different from each other in a very realistic way but somehow manage to work harmonically and fill the gaps left by each other's shortcomings. So, we end up with a lot of dialogue, exploring several ethically ambivalent situations from two points of view. I personally found both points of view very realistic and if this is any indication how things are perceived and reacted to by the two main characters then I will definitely read the novels as well. So in summary, if you have read any of Sullivan's books and liked it then you will probably read this no matter what I or anybody else says. If you have not read anything by Sullivan then this is a really good introductory point since it's free, short and, according to me, very good as well!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ron

    “Don’t mind him; he was raised by wolves.” Sullivan at his best. Has vitality of The Crown Conspiracy without the silliness of later books. The relationship between the protagonists is part of the fun, and it's displayed here in its quintessence. “Royce was no longer behind him. He often disappeared at times like this. Being more adept at stealth, Royce enjoyed using Hadrian for the noisy distraction he was.” I'm embarrassed to claim a "book" read for a short story of less than thirty pages. Still “Don’t mind him; he was raised by wolves.” Sullivan at his best. Has vitality of The Crown Conspiracy without the silliness of later books. The relationship between the protagonists is part of the fun, and it's displayed here in its quintessence. “Royce was no longer behind him. He often disappeared at times like this. Being more adept at stealth, Royce enjoyed using Hadrian for the noisy distraction he was.” I'm embarrassed to claim a "book" read for a short story of less than thirty pages. Still, it's a fun read and the price was right. (Free) May motivate you to read more of the series, which was the whole idea, right? “You can stay here and die or work for us, and if you work for us, you work sober.” Albert rubbed his bristly chin. “That really should be an easy choice, shouldn’t it?”

  14. 4 out of 5

    Nimrod Daniel

    Haha, that was a very entertaining introduction the the series. While Hadrian is a righteous ex-soldier, Royce is a cynical thief with a devious mind, and these two guys make a great team. Hadrian-Royce relationship made laugh a few times while reading.No doubt that Michael Sullivan knows how to write a good short story, which is quite a rare gift. (only the first half is the story, the other half includes 2 first chapters in other books). 4.5-4.75/5

  15. 4 out of 5

    Paul Nelson

    Interesting short story set in the early days of the relationship between Royce and Hadrian describing meeting for the first time Viscount Albert. Royce and Hadrian have known each other for a year and Hadrian shows his naivety in dealing with seemingly honest folk with plenty of dry humour from Royce.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Nayeomi

    *this was sent by author for an honest review* I am very impressed by the way Riyria Chronicles has swept the Fantasy world of late. It has very high ratings and I cannot wait to rate it myself! Quite delighted that I was enough to be sent an ebook copy by Mr. Sullivan himself for the two short novels set in the same world. This is the first one: The Viscount and the Witch First sentence: "A woman wielding a broom charged at them, looking as much like a witch as anyone Hadrian had ever seen." - Oh ye *this was sent by author for an honest review* I am very impressed by the way Riyria Chronicles has swept the Fantasy world of late. It has very high ratings and I cannot wait to rate it myself! Quite delighted that I was enough to be sent an ebook copy by Mr. Sullivan himself for the two short novels set in the same world. This is the first one: The Viscount and the Witch First sentence: "A woman wielding a broom charged at them, looking as much like a witch as anyone Hadrian had ever seen." - Oh yeah, I can tell that I am going to devour this short novel very quickly. This book follows the adventure of an assassin and an ex soldier, on their way to a 'mission', when a bedraggled looking woman with hair in dirty knots ask for their help on the road. Hadrian offered to help the lady immediately but Royce was very reluctant and kept on warning Hadrian of the dangers of trusting such random helpless strangers. True to the woman’s word, a man has been squatting in a barn she claimed is hers, and from there the story unfolds about how the stranger came about to be in the barn and who the lady really is. Royce, one of the protagonists is the brooding one, cynical of the two. He is the quite the 'brains' between the two, always two or three steps ahead of the game, or probably any heist they concoct. He is also an assassin, probably one of the most ruthless ones in a guild, but he’s ‘retired’ and now works in partnership with Hadrian, a guileless soldier, gentler and more open to the concept of goodness of the world. Hadrian, on the other hand, although a bit naïve, is the brute force. As an ex soldier, he has seen many unnecessary deaths that he has this strong god complex in him, wanting to fix anything and eveything if he can help it. He is also determined to change his friend Royce into a more unsuspicious thief, as they go about their usual occupation of ‘procurement’ which a term I love that thieves use when asked about what it is that they do. They quite balance each other nicely and I love the chemistry between Royce and Hadrian. Their order of business reminds me strongly of the Gentlemen Bastards and i am very interested how the author go about the story in the actual series. This story has quite gripped me at the first page. You know that feeling when you read the first few pages, and you think to yourself, “oh yeah, this is gonna be good.” That vibe came to me strongly and now I am curious as to the many crazy adventures that Royce and Hadrian aka Riyria have in the actual series! Fantasy reads are quite tricky as they tend to sound English (quite formal and very different from the usual writing) but this book is quite an easy read! I did not feel like walking in the fantasy world like walking in cobblestones, sometimes pausing to catch my footing and making sure I don’t stumble a bit around. This fantasy read felt like I am walking in the concrete, smooth gait all the way through. I am definitely bumping the series up in my TBR list. And thank you Mr. Sullivan for giving me the opportunity to read and enjoy your short novel, welcoming me to the world of Riyria Chronicles.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Hayden

    Hadrian always a soft heart stops to see what the ragged dressed woman, tripping through the brush, is calling to him and Royce, his partner of just about a year, for help. There is an unknown man in her barn and she fears for her life. Hadrian wants to go take care of the problem, Royce is ready to move on but lets Hadrian learn a lesson on people. I'm not going to say to much as it's such a short read and if I do I just might give it all way. I want you to go read this quick read for yourself a Hadrian always a soft heart stops to see what the ragged dressed woman, tripping through the brush, is calling to him and Royce, his partner of just about a year, for help. There is an unknown man in her barn and she fears for her life. Hadrian wants to go take care of the problem, Royce is ready to move on but lets Hadrian learn a lesson on people. I'm not going to say to much as it's such a short read and if I do I just might give it all way. I want you to go read this quick read for yourself and enjoy it. First and foremost, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO READ THE SERIES TO READ THIS. Actually, you could read this to get a taste of Hadrian and Royce. I loved getting to see these two characters again, Hadrian and Royce. I love them, Hadrian and his big soft heart and Royce with his syndicalism of the two. But the two together are fun. There are jokes, the familiarity of the two carrying on together, and a great story as well. I love the way Royce is and the mystery with him. Even knowing Royce after five books of the series I still love the mystery here. And do want to know more! The nice thing about this short story is mention of some of the future characters in the series. You are introduced to some names and who they are, which will give you a little background for when you read the series. And yes, I think once you read this short story you will want the series. Michael has created amazing characters and a great world here that all should read. I do hope you go check this out. Also included with this short story is the first chapter of Theft of Swords, to be released in November, then the next two books each month after.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Michael Kotsarinis

    OK, I have to admit I half-knew I would love it. As I suspected it is exactly the genre I love to read and this story confirmed that the writing is clear and concise, the way I prefer it, that is. I love the way the author doesn't linger in every minor detail but gives enough and precise information so that one can easily picture the world he is describing. Another strong point is that he manages to make the characters feel real and humane. I suggest anyone with an interest in fantasy gives this OK, I have to admit I half-knew I would love it. As I suspected it is exactly the genre I love to read and this story confirmed that the writing is clear and concise, the way I prefer it, that is. I love the way the author doesn't linger in every minor detail but gives enough and precise information so that one can easily picture the world he is describing. Another strong point is that he manages to make the characters feel real and humane. I suggest anyone with an interest in fantasy gives this story a shot. It 'll take just a short time and you 'll see for yourselves if it's worth reading the series. I definitely will get it when it is published.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Hollie

    Don't let the length on the kindle fool you, this is a short story. The first third of the file is a history / introduction by the author; and the second half is the first bit of Theft of Swords. The story itself is couched in between. It's a great little story though, consistent with the rest of Sullivan's mostly light hearted and amusing writing fantasy fiction. I really enjoyed the whole series, it's a great detour from the often heavy and somewhat oppressive stories in fantasy now days, and Don't let the length on the kindle fool you, this is a short story. The first third of the file is a history / introduction by the author; and the second half is the first bit of Theft of Swords. The story itself is couched in between. It's a great little story though, consistent with the rest of Sullivan's mostly light hearted and amusing writing fantasy fiction. I really enjoyed the whole series, it's a great detour from the often heavy and somewhat oppressive stories in fantasy now days, and look forward to the last installment.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Katie Daniels

    Hehe, I think I'm going to love the Riyria Chronicles. The Amazon description says it all: "There's no ancient evil to defeat or orphan destined for greatness, just unlikely heroes and classic adventure." Anything with good humour and thieves is bound to get my attention, and Michael Sullivan just did that. Hehe, I think I'm going to love the Riyria Chronicles. The Amazon description says it all: "There's no ancient evil to defeat or orphan destined for greatness, just unlikely heroes and classic adventure." Anything with good humour and thieves is bound to get my attention, and Michael Sullivan just did that.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Frank

    No spoilers. This was written as a short story by Michael Sullivan and takes place before The Riyria Revelations and one year after The Crown Tower. Here both Royce and Hadrian meet a poor viscount on the road and get into a bit of trouble. It was nice to read the dialogue of our protagonists as they learn more of each other as time moves forward.

  22. 5 out of 5

    LenaRibka

    Not really got the idea of this EXTREMELY shot thing. You can skip it. Or you can read it if you can get it for free.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Wing Kee

    A perfect little tale that introduces two wonderful characters. A simple tale that in 40 pages shows off the personal voice of Royce and Hadrian and introduces a character from Riyria. It's short, simple, to the point and full of character depth. Good stuff! Onward to the next book! A perfect little tale that introduces two wonderful characters. A simple tale that in 40 pages shows off the personal voice of Royce and Hadrian and introduces a character from Riyria. It's short, simple, to the point and full of character depth. Good stuff! Onward to the next book!

  24. 4 out of 5

    ☆Ruth☆

    This appears to have been released as a short story within the Riyria series, and I read it as such. However, I discovered subsequently that it's exactly the same as the second chapter in 'The Rose and The Thorn' - Book 2 of the Riyria Chronicles - which seems rather odd! Still the whole series is excellent, so it still gets a 4-star rating. This appears to have been released as a short story within the Riyria series, and I read it as such. However, I discovered subsequently that it's exactly the same as the second chapter in 'The Rose and The Thorn' - Book 2 of the Riyria Chronicles - which seems rather odd! Still the whole series is excellent, so it still gets a 4-star rating.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Yasiru

    I might be being stingy with the rating, since this introductory short story has certainly interested me enough to try the series as intended. The language however, while being robust and forthwith in descriptions rather than piling purple prose, is a mixed fair, not quite managing to impart a consistent atmosphere of its own to the story. Its colloquial simplicity does appeal as light entertainment, but it lacks that careful, almost mythopoeic fashioning of words found in the best sword and sor I might be being stingy with the rating, since this introductory short story has certainly interested me enough to try the series as intended. The language however, while being robust and forthwith in descriptions rather than piling purple prose, is a mixed fair, not quite managing to impart a consistent atmosphere of its own to the story. Its colloquial simplicity does appeal as light entertainment, but it lacks that careful, almost mythopoeic fashioning of words found in the best sword and sorcery (or epic) reads (Fritz Leiber's Lankhmar stories are a fitting comparison given the similar premise, if darker). That said, it should be noted that the dialogue, though subject to this unambitious language, works very well, serving to make up with the characters for any shortage of distinctiveness elsewhere. The exchanges are casual but not banal, with what descriptions are intersperesed never seeming forced, though Hadrian is a rather colourless narrator for a former soldier, as though his character is partly a concession meant to overtly identify with the reader- a 'value inlet'. But this is a minor annoyance, and the too familiar modes of speech can also be excused as it avoids sounding too alike between characters (while being less cumbersome than might have been, as one would expect from the use). Sullivan is also gentle with expository material, though for me it remains to be seen how the names and connections mentioned here (being a curious medley, if common or commonly sourced- Andrews and Anns and Spadone swords, which might of course seem lazy unless fitting some bubble of history or an alternate history or its own continuity as is yet to be seen, but without detracting from the basic entertainment value to be had) will develop in the series. Hadrian and Royce have something of a dog and cat dynamic (or that of 'an old married couple' as they say) between them, largely complementary but with enough trust and goodwill between the two to maintain reader interest both about their past and future. The viscount and the 'witch' in the title are reasonably done for supporting characters, though we get to find out more about the former. Overall, somehow the story was a little threadbare, but still worth reading. I liked the first chapter of the book more, which was also provided along with the short at- http://www.michaelsullivan-author.com...

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    Synopsis Eleven years before they were framed for the murder of a king, before even assuming the title of Riyria, Royce Melborn and Hadrian Blackwater were practically strangers. Unlikely associates, this cynical thief and idealist swordsman, were just learning how to work together as a team. In this standalone first installment of The Riyria Chronicles, Royce is determined to teach his naive partner a lesson about good deeds. Join Royce and Hadrian in this short story (5,400 words) about one Synopsis Eleven years before they were framed for the murder of a king, before even assuming the title of Riyria, Royce Melborn and Hadrian Blackwater were practically strangers. Unlikely associates, this cynical thief and idealist swordsman, were just learning how to work together as a team. In this standalone first installment of The Riyria Chronicles, Royce is determined to teach his naive partner a lesson about good deeds. Join Royce and Hadrian in this short story (5,400 words) about one of their earliest adventures. My Thoughts This very short story had me flipping pages as fast as could turn them, the characters of Hadrian and Royce grabbed my attention and kept it from the first page to the last. I laughed, and gasped with outrage and thoroughly was captivated by the author's tale. Not only was it interesting to learn how the characters got their start but the story itself was full of bits and pieces of information that kept the reader wondering what would happen next and how the tale would turn out. A very satisfactory look into a series by an author whose style of storytelling is straightforward while also having scattered pearls of wisdom interwoven throughout. A nice little read for a lunch break or while having a cup of coffee, short but riveting! This was a free download from author and in no way influenced my opinion on my thoughts on the story. For a full list of authors work Click this link

  27. 5 out of 5

    Timothy Ward

    "Three aspects of Michael’s writing within the first few pages of “The Viscount and the Witch” made me drop all the rest of my books and dive into his Riyria Revelations series. The first aspect was the banter between Royce and Hadrian, a duo of loveable thieves. Royce plays the smooth assassin who would probably be a much worse person if it weren’t for his loyalty to Hadrian, a skilled sword-fighter with a noble heart. I laughed multiple times at how Hadrian wanted to help people, was warned by "Three aspects of Michael’s writing within the first few pages of “The Viscount and the Witch” made me drop all the rest of my books and dive into his Riyria Revelations series. The first aspect was the banter between Royce and Hadrian, a duo of loveable thieves. Royce plays the smooth assassin who would probably be a much worse person if it weren’t for his loyalty to Hadrian, a skilled sword-fighter with a noble heart. I laughed multiple times at how Hadrian wanted to help people, was warned by Royce that it would get them in danger, and then Royce would be proven right. I love the conflict between doing good and the unforeseen consequences, especially for a duo that thrives on formulating a well-thought-out plan prior to acting. The second aspect of Michael’s writing that attracted me in “The Viscount and the Witch,” and which remains throughout his Riyria books is the puzzle-solving abilities that Royce and Hadrian display. The third aspect, and one which Michael and I have talked about, is his desire to make the language transparent in order for the story to shine through. His scenes end with a punch, and are pushed along quickly enough so that you can get through the fun parts without being bogged down." These paragraphs are quoted from my review of Rise of Empire, the second volume in Riyria Revelations. I put these in that review because I believe once you read "The Viscount and the Witch" you will be hooked for the whole series. Enjoy your free short story and some of the best Fantasy out there.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Robertson

    Short, sweet, and perfectly in character with Royce and Hadrian. This Riyria short wasn't filled with heroics and action- but I loved touching base once again with the characters in this episode that takes place years before their grand adventures begin in The Crown Conspiracy. It brought back the banter in their conversation that I really grew to miss late in the Riyria Revelations series as Royce, especially, became more serious. The friendship between Royce and Hadrian was one of the main f Short, sweet, and perfectly in character with Royce and Hadrian. This Riyria short wasn't filled with heroics and action- but I loved touching base once again with the characters in this episode that takes place years before their grand adventures begin in The Crown Conspiracy. It brought back the banter in their conversation that I really grew to miss late in the Riyria Revelations series as Royce, especially, became more serious. The friendship between Royce and Hadrian was one of the main forces in the series, and it was interesting to have a peek into its fledgling days. This short was a nice baby step to help me get over my withdrawal from the series...especially nice because it was free. I would also recommend this to anyone thinking about starting the Riyria series because it gives a nice introduction to the main characters. If you enjoy this at all, you'll love the series.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ugur

    The Viscount and the Witch is really a fascinating short story. Story and characters are well formed, and interesting. Especially the world is similar to Medieval Europe, for Medieval Fantasy lovers this would be probably a good choice for starting a good series. There are two main characters in "The Riyria Revelations" series, and both of them are introduced in this short story. As a first impression, I like both of the characters and their relationship. First character is named Hadrian Blackwat The Viscount and the Witch is really a fascinating short story. Story and characters are well formed, and interesting. Especially the world is similar to Medieval Europe, for Medieval Fantasy lovers this would be probably a good choice for starting a good series. There are two main characters in "The Riyria Revelations" series, and both of them are introduced in this short story. As a first impression, I like both of the characters and their relationship. First character is named Hadrian Blackwater, he is something between killer and soldier. And he is really good at his job. Second one is Royce Melborn, he seems to be a thief but a very talented and very genius thief. He has very deep relations with interesting organizations. This two characters formed the Riyria, probably name comes from combination of their names. As a medieval fantasy, I'm enthusiastic to read this series.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Liviu

    A fast and fun short story set in the Ryria universe and detailing the fledgling partnership of Royce and Hadrian meeting with the impoverished viscount and expanding Ryria's reach into the nobility intrigues. A little extra background for the characters while in a great introduction, the author talks about the series at large, while the first chapter of Theft of Swords is included in the epub edition of the story I got and that is a nice bonus if you read only the original Crown Conspiracy - not A fast and fun short story set in the Ryria universe and detailing the fledgling partnership of Royce and Hadrian meeting with the impoverished viscount and expanding Ryria's reach into the nobility intrigues. A little extra background for the characters while in a great introduction, the author talks about the series at large, while the first chapter of Theft of Swords is included in the epub edition of the story I got and that is a nice bonus if you read only the original Crown Conspiracy - note this chapter is original to the orbit edition and has not appeared in the first edition of The Crown Conspiracy which in edited form and with some extra stuff is the first half of Theft of Swords -

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