The Rose And The Thorn Michael J. Sullivan

After finishing The Crown Tower, I turned to book two in the Riyria Chronicles (which is pronounced Rye-Ear-Ee-Yuh, apparently). The Rose And The Thorn continues to follow the exploits of Hadrian Blackwater and Royce Melborn, as they cross-cross Melengar solving problems and righting wrongs.

Hadrian is still a bit naïve, quick to take people at their word. Royce is still a bit savage, prefering to kill first, question later. But The Rose And The Thorn is about more than these two and their buddy-cop relationship.

We get to meet Viscount Albert Winslow, a landless (and luckless) noble who helps Hadrian and Royce gain employment. We get to spend more time with Gwen and her girls at Medford House. We get to meet Amrath, the King of Melengar who would just as well prefer to go hunting and carousing than hold court. We get to meet his son and heir, Alric, and his friends the Pickering boys as they go on boyhood adventures. We get to meet Reuben Hilfred, a commoner's son who is totally crushing on the princess, Arista. Sullivan weaves these characters and their stories together deftly, and his craft draws you in to where you won't be able to put the book down.

tl;dr; Recommend, if you enjoy some middle fantasy, complete with swords but absent the sorcery.

James (@iamjameshunt) works on the Internet, spends his weekends developing new and interesting bits of software and his nights trying to make sense of research papers.