Wintertide – Michael Sullivan

About the book

The New Empire intends to celebrate its victoryover the Nationalists with a day that will never be forgotten. On the highholiday of Wintertide the empress will be married and Degan Gaunt and the Witchof Melengar will be publically executed. Then the empress will suffer a fatalaccident leaving the empire in the hands of the new emperor. It will be aperfect day. There is only one problem–Royce and Hadrian have finally foundthe lost heir. 
380pages (paperback)
Publishedon: October 1, 2010
Publishedby: Ridan Publishing
Thanks to the Sullivan’s for sending me a copy of this book to review.
Wintertide is the fifth installment in Riyria Revelations and is, perhaps, myfavorite of the series. Wintertidestarts soon after the culmination of events in Emerald Storm with Hadrian and Royce making their way to Aquesta.Once again, while this book can be read as a stand-alone, it will have agreater impact if it is read with the rest of the series as each book buildsupon the last book in the series to a greater extent as the series progresses.
Whileeach book had hints of traditional sword and sorcery aspects, Wintertide is filled with them and comescomplete with courtiers, knights, lords, ladies and epic royal feasts. Wintertide made me feel nostalgia forthe days when fantasy was filled with royalty and royal manners with a distinctlack of crass language.
Swearingand graphic violence doesn’t bother me, but I find Riyria Revelations a refreshing change from the current trend ofmaking everything as bloody and curse-filled as possible. In fact, Riyria Revelations, while geared towardan adult audience, is a series I would have no problems reading with mydaughter when she is (a lot) older than her current age of three months.  It can be appreciated on an adult level, but Ibelieve that, due to Sullivan’s writing style, teens could enjoy it as wellwith little to no worry from their parents.
Wintertide fully utilizes the firmfoundation Sullivan created with the previous books in the series. Readers areintroduced to new characters while enjoying friends they met in previous books.Furthermore, the rich history Sullivan subtly built up in throughout the serieswill be full appreciated as readers often call upon the small details ofprevious books to enrich situations they are reading about in Wintertide. Sullivan reminds readers ofimportant bits of history, past events and characters with quick descriptionsthat don’t bog the story down. In fact, many of these reminders are so welldone that the readers may not even realize that they are being reminded aboutprevious events/characters.
Theplot of Wintertide is quickly movingand absorbing. Wintertide is filledwith action and intrigue and even a touch of romance. Sullivan nicely ties manyloose plot threads while leaving plenty open to fill the last book in theseries. Wintertide ends with animpressive plot twist which will leave readers guessing and holding theirbreath for Percepliquis. However,Sullivan never looses the sense of adventure and pure fun that will have servedto hook many readers to this series in the first place. While Wintertide did feel a bit more seriousthan other installments, it seemed to add more depth and tone to the bookrather overwhelming it.
Intruth, this is a rather hard review for me to write because I enjoy this seriesso much. I feel like there isn’t much I can say besides, “I love it! I love it!I love it!” – but that’s not much of a review. In previous books, Sullivan hasbeen hitting homeruns, but with Wintertide,he hit the ball out of the park. If you haven’t read this series yet, you needto. Each book is filled with adventure, fun characters and interestingsituations, but the new depth added to Wintertidemakes it irresistible. Wintertide isalmost like coming home. This is a book that reminds me why I enjoy fantasy somuch.
Wintertide left me yearning for Percepliquis and gave me an importantrealization. Riyria Revelations isone of those rare series that will leave me both happy and sad when it is over.Happy, because the adventure was amazing and sad because it’s rare I find aseries that is so completely pleasing and absorbing. Sullivan is a masterartist, and Wintertide really showshis impressive skill.

2 Responses

  • Liviu

    I am also waiting for Percepliquis with the same mixture of excitement (after i read the 2 publicly available chapters, that excitement only increased) and a bit of sadness as the series ends there…

  • Scott

    The good news is that Michael IS apparently currently writing something…what that is I don't know.

    At any rate, my excitement to finally read PERCEPLIQUIS knows no bounds…and I even stayed away from the preview chapters so I could go at it fresh.

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