Listen free for 30 days

The Crown Tower

The Riyria Chronicles, Book 1
Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
Series: The Riyria Chronicles, Book 1
Length: 12 hrs and 49 mins
5 out of 5 stars (78 ratings)

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

Michael J. Sullivan garnered critical raves and a massive readership for his Riyria Revelations series. The first book in his highly anticipated Riyria Chronicles series of prequels, The Crown Tower brings together warrior Hadrian Blackwater with thieving assassin Royce Melborn. The two form a less-than-friendly pairing, but the quest before them has a rare prize indeed, and if they can breach the supposedly impregnable walls of the Crown Tower, their names will be legend.

©2013 Michael J. Sullivan (P)2013 Recorded Books

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    65
  • 4 Stars
    11
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    65
  • 4 Stars
    9
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    63
  • 4 Stars
    10
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I'm too old to enjoy this, but I did...

Surprising insightful psychology hidden in a great old fashioned tail of valour. Very well read!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I love it

Really sad to reach the end.
I have really enjoyed following Royce and Hadrian. Thank you for a great yarn.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

another great listen

another great listen with plenty of twists and turns, can't wait to listen to the next book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing!!

So glad to get the back story to these characters after listening to legend of the First Empire followed by Riyria and now the Riyria chronicles I’m happy I have done it this way which is out of character for me as I like to read/listen Chronology...
I’ve completely binge this...this has
Great story
Great characters (old and new) all given life by the voice of TGR
So happy I just got The Rose and the Thorn

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Cayce
  • Cayce
  • 14-03-14

Fell in love with these characters all over again

This was so much fun hearing the front story to Hadrian and Royce's relationship as well as gaining a better understanding of Gwen. After the next book, I'm going to go back and listen to the Riyria Revelations again (something I never do with audio books) just to hear it all in one neat package.

Some have said don't start here, but I don't think it would hurt anything. I do think understanding the characters before you hear this book might be useful and give you a better appreciation of it, but you would still understand the story with no problem.

If you're on the fence about reading any of these books, don't be. I have over 500 books in my audible collection and this is one of my favorite series of all of them. The only bad thing about the series is it eventually ends and you have to leave all these guys behind. Do yourself a favor and add Royce and Hadrian to your collection of fictional friends.

27 of 27 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Tango
  • Tango
  • 07-08-13

Delicious Icing on a Terrific Cake

The Crown Tower: The Riyria Chronicles, Book 1 starts with a nice forward from the author, Michael J. Sullivan, where he explains why he decided to write the prequel stories, The Riyria Chronicles, after having published The Riyria Revelations. And in the forward he says that he wrote them in a way that readers could enjoy reading the stories in order of publication (Revelations first, then Chronicles) or in order of events (Chronicles first, then Revelations). Having read all The Riyria Revelations books and now having listened to the first of The Chronicles, I think that is mostly true - you could follow the story in either order. However, The Crown Tower is bound to be a joy and great fun to anyone who enjoyed The Revelations, but isn't likely to be as compelling to those who have not. All the world building and plot setup is done in The Revelations and you just aren't going to understand what it means when someone says, "By Maribor,....", the hostility toward "the church", and some other references in The Crown Tower without reading The Revelations books. The Revelations is the place to fall in love with Michael Sullivan's world and its characters; The Chronicles provide icing on a really great cake.

If you have already read and loved The Revelations, you are gonna be thrilled with The Crown Tower. The boys (Hadrian and Royce) are back, but not quite the amazing pair they came to be in The Revelations. The Crown Tower goes through their first adventure together forced on them by Professor Arcadius (remember him??) and we get some wonderful insights into how these opposites came together to make such a great team. Michael Sullivan's style is consistent - quick paced, great settings, good plotting, even minor characters have dimension, and very witty dialog. One other similarity with The Revelations; Sullivan writes great fight scenes even for a reader like me who isn't too into the normal violence of high fantasy. In addition to taking us back to the beginning of the daring duo, The Crown Tower gives us an origin narrative for Gwen which I found surprisingly compelling. I will admit that I wasn't overly fond of the Gwen character in The Revelations books - mostly only liked her for her protectiveness of Royce. However, when you get the back-story on Gwen, she becomes a much more sympathetic and understandable character.

I really like the pairing of Sullivan's writing with Tim Reynolds narration. Not only did Reynolds do the narration for The Revelations books which keeps The Crown Tower sounding nicely consistent, but Reynolds seems a natural for Sullivan's books. Reynolds shades his voice more than changing it for character voices/accents, but it is plenty to make the dialog easy to follow and keeps Sullivan's very adventuresome writing from sounding "over the top" while still maintaining a nice narrative tension throughout the book.

If you haven't read The Riyria Revelations books, please start there and if you like high fantasy at all you will love them. If you have read The Riyria Revelations, dive into The Crown Tower and be prepared to not want to stop until the end of the book. This is a totally satisfying listen that will still leave you wanting MUCH more!!

232 of 244 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Think about this
  • Think about this
  • 02-05-17

Riyria begins

The story of how Royce and Hadrian became friends and partners. Hadrian with his trusting nature, and Royce with his brooding suspicious nature makes for an unusual partnership, but one that's always a bit humorous from the readers point of view. After listening to the Revelations series, this was a real treat to find out how the duo began. I did find myself trying to recall from time to time, the fate of certain characters in the Revelation series, bringing about the question of which series to read first. At any rate, both are equally enjoyable with the excellent narration of Tim Gerard Reynolds.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Tyson
  • Tyson
  • 14-07-14

I love these guys....

If you could sum up The Crown Tower in three words, what would they be?

Two lost am almost forgotten misfits who do extraordinary things and sometime even for the right reasons!!

What about Tim Gerard Reynolds’s performance did you like?

There are some voice actors who do a good job, there are some who do a great job and then there are the few who do the best job. Gerard is one of those voice actor's who I actually search for before I do the author. I want to see what he has recorded and often buy based on that!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for heather
  • heather
  • 23-08-13

The way all books should be.

If I had to write a book... it would be this book. The characters and the story do not disappoint. This book is funny, sad, intense, clever, and over way too quickly!

The only thing that I might suggest is that if you have not read the The Riyria Revelations then start with this book. The Riyria Revelations series is one of my absolute staples to reread when I'm looking to be lost in a good novel. Having read the Crown tower, I feel like the anticipation of knowing what all the characters do and become is gone. Why is it so important that these two men who hate each other start working together? Well that mystery is gone for those who have read the novels that come later.

I was not expecting Gwen to be in this book (not sure why as her and Royce's story start before Revelations). Even though she is an important character in the The Riyria Revelations, I don't really feel like you get to know her, as she flits in and out of the story. She actually was not my favorite in Revelations, however I love her development here and cannot wait for more.

This novel has just the right balance of everything. You will find yourself laughing out loud at the witty banter between Royce and Hadrian and shedding tears for heartbreak in the book. Unlike some novels, the battle scenes are just perfect, not too lengthy in description and gore, but convey the scene and event perfectly.

I cannot wait for more!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Seminary Sam
  • Seminary Sam
  • 15-02-14

From the "Start Here" perspective

The foreword offers different ways to begin the Riyria collection - either chronologically, beginning with the Riyria Chronicles and concluding with the Riyria Revelation series or the Revelation series (published first) and then the prequel (newly published) Chronicles. I began here at the Crown Tower, with no prior knowledge of the series and only going by the high ratings by thousands of other readers.
First, the writing itself is entertaining. Michael Sullivan is quite inventive in his descriptions and dialogue and the contrasts between Hadrian and Royce should set up enjoyable dialogues over the course of the next volumes. A big personal thanks to Mr. Sullivan for keeping the scene descriptions and dialogue respectfully clean. (When a brothel is a major component of the story, it would have been easy for things to get tawdry.)
Second, the story prompted some disturbing questions, Some examples: why does the professor take such a personal interest in Royce, knowing what a murderer he is? It has to be more than believing "there is a human being in there." He knows that letting him run loose is going to lead to the deaths of the innocent as well as guilty. Another: Could people such as the "ladies" of the brothel and the boy Royce really not survive outside the city? And how did someone as naïve and gullible as Hadrian appears to be survive war and other challenges? Talent with a sword will only get you so far.
Third, the narrator is good, particularly with the voice of Royce, but his voice for Hadrian, lost some credibility for me. He sounded timid and childish at times, stretching Hadrian's reluctance too far. Also at times the narrator sounded like Edward Everett Horton doing "Fracture Fairy Tales," which was personally amusing but drew a little too much attention to himself.
In conclusion, Sullivan laid a solid foundation for a series, which promises to offer hours and hours of listening pleasure ahead.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Barbara
  • Barbara
  • 11-08-13

Can't Get Enough of These Characters!

Been a fantasy and science fiction fan all my life, but after reading the three volumes of Michael J. Sullivan's Ryria Revelations series (Theft of Swords, et al) in 2012 he shot to the top of my favorite author list. In fact, I felt bereft that there weren't more books to read about the two main characters, Hadrian and Royce. I tend to think of those two as the Laurel and Hardy of fantasy fiction, constantly getting into trouble and wise-cracking their way through it. I read many other series since, but actually grew tired of all the epic battles and endless descriptions of the blood and gore. By the time I got to the end of Wheel of Time, I didn't even care anymore. I just wanted the darn story to be OVER!

I longed for more great writing like Sullivan's, where the unfolding story and development of the characters are the focus, with enough action, swordplay and a dash of romance that creates an experience I thoroughly enjoy. When did you last read a fantasy series with characters like Hadrian and Royce that made you laugh out loud? Now I'm spoiled. I want more!

Imagine how excited I was to discover that now we ARE getting more of Hadrian and Royce! The new "Chronicles" series starts with the story of how they first met. I absolutely love this book! Everything I loved about the "Revelations" series (exciting story laced with humor and action and characters that I love). I also love that it's written in such a way that it doesn't matter whether you have or have not read the original "Revelations" series. Book 2 of The Riyria Chronicles is coming out in September. I can't wait.

Write faster, Michael...please! Keep 'em coming!

48 of 56 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Rita
  • Rita
  • 13-11-17

great fantasy book.

Great story. While it is a series there is a resolution to it so even if you dont find it compelling you will find it complete. AUDIBLE 20 REVIEW SWEEPSTAKES ENTRY

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Robert Brown
  • Robert Brown
  • 25-01-17

I love this series

I love this series. Both Royce and Hadrian are characters that are so real. I laugh and cry as they come forge their friendship. Royce's dry wit keeps me howling even upon my third reading. The development of the minor characters' personalities is so well done that you left feeling that each fully fletched out. Please give us more of Royce & Hadrian.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Shieldslinger
  • Shieldslinger
  • 16-01-17

When Hadrian Met Royce

Return with us now to the thrilling days before the Riyria Revelations. Twelve years prior to the events in Riyria Revelations, a young, battle-weary Hadrian sets out to visit the wizard Arcadius, who wants him to partner with cynical Royce to steal a book from an impregnable tower.
They hate each otter at first sight. How can they possibly work together?
Great listen, good narration, well with your time.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful