The Crown Tower by Michael J. Sullivan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
TWO MEN WHO HATE EACH OTHER. ONE IMPOSSIBLE MISSION. A LEGEND IN THE MAKING.
If you read the Riyria Revelations and wondered how Royce and Hadrian met, then The Crown Tower is the book to read. They are an unlikely pair in many ways and never would have partnered up if not for the wizard Arcadius, who sets them on a quest to steal a book from the Crown Tower, which no one has ever broken into.
It takes a while to get to this point in the book. First we follow Hadrian on his journey to the university to meet with Arcadius and there is a whole mystery there to solve involving the passengers on a barge and a mysterious man in a dark cloak. This is alternated with chapters about Gwen and her origin story. While I was eager to see how Royce and Hadrian would eventually team up, I still very much enjoyed this part of the book.
Eventually Hadrian makes it to the university and meets with Arcadius and officially meets Royce for the first time. The fact that they hate each other from the beginning makes the task of getting them to team up for the tower job more than difficult, but Arcadius sees something in each of them that he knows will make them great assets to each other. This is where the story really takes off.
We still get Gwen's story throughout the rest of the book as well. I always liked Gwen in the Revelations series, but now that I've read some chapters in her point of view, I like her even more. There wasn't much action in her chapters, but they were filled with tension even though I knew how things would end up for her.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this prequel to The Riyria Revelations. It was fun revisiting Royce and Hadrian and finding out how it all started. My only complaint is that this ended all too soon! I will definitely be reading The Rose and the Thorn.
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