The Crown Tower by Michael J. Sullivan
How does a jaded swordsman end up partnered with a caustic and lethal assassin? A lot of accidents and behind the scenes manipulation.
Crown Tower serves to introduce readers to Hadrian and Royce, an unlikely pair that are forced to work together and may even learn to actually tolerate, if not like, each other by the end. Crown Tower is book one of the Ririya Chronicles, a prequel series to the Ririya Revelations trilogy published previously. It is an excellent starting point for folks interested in the characters and story who have not read the Revelations yet. I had been waffling over buying the Ririya Revelations for some time now, and when I saw prequels were being published I jumped right in at the very beginning- and am very glad I did so.
Hadrian is a likable character, a wonderful foil to Royce’s impartial take on the human condition at large. Royce grows on you- especially if you have a particularly dark sense of humor as I do. The other set of characters the book pays attention to, a group of whores, are utterly fascinating as well (and were actually my favorite POV chapters for quite a bit of the book). In the background there are hints of maneuvering and mechinations which I assume come to play throughout the rest of the books. I can say I am looking forward to reading the next installment. Sullivan’s writing is smooth, the characters interesting and engaging, and the world unfurls as pages are turned.
If epic fantasy is your thing, give Crown Tower a read. The slow build is well worth it.