The Emerald Storm by Michael Sullivan is the fourth book in the Riyria Revelation series. Sad to say it but this book is by far the weakest in the series so far. Things just seemed stagnant and worst of all, Empress Modina is starting to really piss me the heck off. For two whole books, she didn’t contribute to anything at all and like I’ve always said, a character is definitely OK to feel despair. However, for it to linger around too long and it starts to irritate readers like me. The Emerald Storm didn’t get exciting in my opinion until I was around 50%-55% in to the book. This is a shame because I never thought I would see myself calling a book in this series “boring”. For better or worst, the adventure continues with Hadrian and Royce in The Emerald Storm.
“Ex-mercenary Hadrian Blackwater sets course on a high seas adventure to find the lost Heir of Novron. His only hope lies in confronting the ruthless and cunning Merrick Marius. Fearing his friend is not up to the challenge, Royce Melborn joins his old partner for one last mission. Their journey finds them adrift amid treachery and betrayals forcing Hadrian to face a past he hoped never to see again.”
In the beginning of the book, Hadrian mentioned about visiting the monk Myron in his abbey. I was excited because he was such a likable character in the very first book in the series. To my disappointment, that didn’t happen at all! OK, so most people won’t care about Myron like I do but I seriously thought the author could have done so much with his character in the series. But what’s done is done. When I then found out that Hadrian and Royce would board a ship (I mean, how could you not? Look at the book cover!), I didn’t expect them to be on that ship for so darn long. I think the author took too long with that part of the story. He certainly could have moved things along to make room for other parts in the book. You know, for the parts that were actually exciting!
The book excerpt is a bit misleading. By now, you should already know that Hadrian is the guardian and his sole mission is to find the long lost heir of Novron. In the last book, you learned that Degan Gaunt, the Nationalist leader, is the heir. However at the ending of the book, you were lead to believe otherwise due to Arcadius’s conversation. Here in The Emerald Storm, nothing is clarified by the author and for the most part, Hadrian doesn’t even have anything remotely to do with finding the long lost heir. That job falls onto Arista’s shoulders instead. While I have no trouble following along with the series, I am a bit concerned with the direction the author is taking. There’s only two more books in the series before it concludes. I have faith though that the author will undoubtedly connect all the dots for us but as of right now, I’m a bit disappointed with The Emerald Storm.
As I said earlier, the book has a bit of trouble in the beginning but you can call a semi-redemption towards the later half of the book when Royce and Hadrian finally makes it off the The Emerald Storm. When stationary, the pair are not that fun to read about. It’s when they are on the move that makes them effective. As I said with the past books, you wouldn’t even know that Hadrian and Royce were actual “thieves” if no one in the book mentions it. I guess what I’m trying to say is that Hadrian and Royce’s identity is diminishing with every book in the series. What I will say is that the author manages to give us something a bit different with each book in the Riyria series. For the most part, the positives definitely outweigh the negatives so I’m glad for that much. But I’m begging the author. Please do not make me suffer through another book dealing with Modina’s half-dead character. I just can’t take it anymore. One book was troubling enough but two? The next book in the series, Wintertide, will deal with Modina a lot more and I have a feeling she’ll turn things around. I mean, there are only two more books. Please end things with a bang Michael!
The Riyria Revelation series is actually re-packaged into three books, with each book consisting of two books in the series. The Emerald Storm is actually now called Rise of Empire, which includes this book along with the previous book in the series, Nyphron Rising.