This is supposed to be the Riyria’s last mission: to put an end to the master assassin/spy Merrick Marius’ assistance to the Imperialists. With no idea where to find him, Royce and Hadrian disguise themselves as sailors in order to board the Emerald Storm, which is the ship believed to be delivering a message to Merrick.
Mr. Sullivan has stepped up the action even more for his 4th book about Royce and Hadrian, the professional thieves known as the Riyria. As they sail the Emerald Storm, unknown enemies conspire against them. Raiders hound the ship’s wake and their destination is the jungle islands just past the edge of civilized world, where warrior tribes and outlaw bands plot to ally themselves with the Imperialists. And, their goal now just within their grasp, Thrace’s Princesses Arista and Amilia intensify their scheme to free the rebel leader Degan Gaunt.
So far, The Emerald Storm is my favorite book of the series. There are a few elements reminiscent of classic adventure literature, a who-done-it mystery, a pirate tale, and a thriller-type plot twist or two. I particularly enjoyed the warrior-tribe culture of the land of Calis.
As with all these books, parts might be just a little over-the-top, and there are few things, like the system of magic, that veteran fantasy-readers may find too simplistic, but that’s the kind of story this series is. Mr. Sullivan is focusing on just having fun. The theme is in tune with the likes of The Three Musketeers or Pirates of the Caribbean. It’s a series that could be considered more or less kid-friendly, but definitely not categorized as YA. When thought of in those terms, RIYRIA REVELATIONS is on its own out there in the fantasy genre, or, at least, the only story like it that stands out.