The Crown Conspiracy: Familiar and comfortable

The Crown Conspiracyfantasy book reviews Michael J. Sullivan The Crown Conspiracy The Crown Conspiracy by Michael J. Sullivan

Michael J. Sullivan‘s The Crown Conspiracy is like a breath of fresh air. After a seemingly endless flood of heavy, gigantic fantasy books, this short, fairly simple opening to a new series was very welcome. I didn’t feel like I needed to take pages of notes to figure out everything that was going on!

The main characters are a pair of common miscreants named Royce Melborn and Hadrian Blackwater. They are both criminals, but not without conscience. Royce is the planner and thief in the pair while Hadrian is the muscle and the fighter. They almost reminded me of Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser.

Our heroes are drawn into a conspiracy (hence the title) to kill the royal family of Melengar. Framed for one murder, Royce and Hadrian are then freed to save the life of the Royal Prince, Alric, who considers them the murderers of his father. So, the stage is set with plenty of danger, some interesting characters, and some villains to threaten the heroes.

The Crown Conspiracy is easy reading, replete with familiar situations and comfortable. This is the sort of fantasy that I grew up with, and it was a real joy to get back to it. You won’t find yourself comparing these books to Steven Erikson or Janny Wurts, but they hold their own against David Eddings and early Raymond E. Feist. As long as you’re not expecting high literature, The Crown Conspiracy is a great read.

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JOHN HULET (on FanLit's staff July 2007 -- March 2015) is a member of the Utah Army National Guard. John’s experiences have often left a great void that has been filled by countless hours spent between the pages of a book lost in the words and images of the authors he admires. During a 12 month tour of Iraq, he spent well over $1000 on books and found sanity in the process. John lives in Utah and works slavishly to prepare soldiers to serve their country with the honor and distinction that Sturm Brightblade or Arithon s’Ffalenn would be proud of. John retired from FanLit in March 2015 after being with us for nearly 8 years.

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  1. I have read the first 2 books of the series and have the third one here to read around the end of the month. I really enjoyed the series. I really enjoyed the underlining themes in the books; of the characters and who they are & of the conspiracy that goes deeper than thought.

    I hope you enjoy the rest of the series!

  2. The first printing of The Crown Conspiracy has sold out and the publisher, AMI will not be doing a second printing. The good news is Ridan Publishing has secured the rights from AMI and they will have a new edition out in early February 2010. In the meantime, copies of the original First Edition can be purchased directly from the author at:

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