A skilled thief, his mercenary partner and a world of high fantasy…
What is the World of Elan about?
Created by American author Michael J. Sullivan, World of Elan is a fictional world where multiple series take places, at different moments in time. The Riyria Revelations, the first written series, introduced us to Royce Melborn, a skilled thief, and his mercenary partner, Hadrian Blackwater, are enterprising thieves who get embroiled in larger political machinations. Then, The Riyria Chronicles is a prequel that explores the beginnings of Royce and Hadrian’s partnership and first escapades.
The Legends of the First Empire takes place in the same world as the Riyria Revelations/Chronicles, but thousands of years before those series and reveals the truths about the First Empire that were hinted at in the Riyria novels.
World of Elan/Riyria in Publication Order:
The author has recommended reading in publication order :
The Riyria Revelations Series
Originally self-published as a six-volume series, The Riyria Revelations is now published by Orbit Books in a three-volume series.
- Theft of Swords – Contains the books The Crown Conspiracy & Avempartha. Royce Melborn, a skilled thief, and his mercenary partner, Hadrian Blackwater, make a profitable living carrying out dangerous assignments for conspiring nobles-until they are hired to pilfer a famed sword. What appears to be just a simple job finds them framed for the murder of the king and trapped in a conspiracy that uncovers a plot far greater than the mere overthrow of a tiny kingdom.
- Rise of Empire – Contains the books Nyphron Rising & The Emerald Storm. Royce and Hadrian aid the struggling kingdom of Melengar as it alone stands in defiance against the newly formed empire. War approaches and a desperate gamble behind enemy lines is their only chance at forming an alliance with the Nationalists to the south.
- Heir of Novron – Contains the books Wintertide & Percepliquis. On the high holiday of Wintertide, The New Empire intends to mark its victory over the Nationalists with a bloody celebration. On that same day the Empress faces a forced marriage, with a fatal accident soon follow. The New Empire is confident in the totality of its triumph but there’s just one problem-Royce and Hadrian have finally found the true Heir of Novron—and they have their own holiday plans.
The Riyria Chronicles
A prequel series to Revelations that occurs 10 years in the past.
- The Crown Tower – Hadrian Blackwater, a warrior with nothing to fight for, is paired with Royce Melborn, a thieving assassin with nothing to lose. Hired by an old wizard, they must steal a treasure that no one can reach. But it isn’t gold or jewels that the wizard is after, and if he can just keep them from killing each other, they just might succeed.
- The Rose and the Thorn – Unable to forget the woman who saved their lives, Royce and Hadrian now return to Gwen DeLancy and are shocked when she refuses to speak to them. Baffled, the two thieves discover Gwen has been brutally beaten by a powerful noble–beaten so badly she can’t face them. But Gwen doesn’t know about Royce’s past, doesn’t understand how much he cares for her, and doesn’t realize what he is capable of–but she’s about to find out.
- The Jester – Short Story collected in Unfettered. When Riyria is hired to retrieve a jester’s treasure, Royce and Hadrian must match wits with a dwarf who proves to be anything but a fool.
- The Death of Dulgath – Three years have passed since Hadrian, the war-weary mercenary, and Royce, the cynical ex-assassin, joined forces to become rogues-for-hire. All has gone well until they’re asked to help prevent a murder. Now they must venture into an ancient corner of the world to save a mysterious woman who knows more about Royce than is safe and cares less about herself than is sane.
- Professional Integrity – Short Story collected in Blackguards: Tales of Assassins, Mercenaries, and Rogues. The war-weary mercenary Hadrian and cynical ex-assassin Royce do “jobs” for various nobles throughout Elan. Usually that means stealing something, but when a young heiress asks them to steal her…well, that’s a first for the pair. All is not as it seems, but Royce is determined to get the bottom of what’s actually going on.
- The Disappearance of Winter’s Daughter –Royce and Hadrian travel to a mysterious old-world city filled with nobles claiming descent from the imperial aristocracy. Riyria’s job appears easy: discover what happened to a missing duchess and, if she lives, bring her home… if not, punish those responsible. But nothing is simple in the crowded, narrow, mist-filled streets of Rochelle, where more than one ancient legend lurks.
Legends of the First Empire
Legends of the First Empire takes place in the same fictional world, but the events occurring in the series are 3,000 years in the past. It means that this series is completely separate from the other books. It contains some Easter Eggs. No knowledge of Riyria is required to enjoy the Legend books.
- Age of Myth – Since time immemorial, humans have worshipped the gods they call Fhrey: invincible in battle, masters of magic, and seemingly immortal. But when a god falls to a human blade, the balance of power between men and those they thought were gods changes forever. Now, only a few stand between humankind and annihilation: Raithe, reluctant to embrace his destiny as the God Killer, Suri, a young seer burdened by signs of impending doom, and Persephone, who must overcome personal tragedy to lead her people.
- Age of Swords – Raithe, the God Killer, may have started the rebellion by killing a Fhrey, but long-standing enmities dividing the Rhune make it all but impossible to unite against a common foe. Across the sea in a faraway land populated by a reclusive and dour race With time running out, Persephone leads a small band of misfits in a desperate search for aid—a quest that will take them into the darkest depths of Elan.
- Age of War – The alliance of humans and renegade Fhrey is fragile—and about to be tested as never before. Persephone keeps the human clans from turning on one another while Nyphron, seeks to advance his own nefarious agenda. Old loyalties will be challenged while fresh conspiracies will threaten to undo all that Persephone has accomplished.
- Age of Legend – After years of warfare, humanity has gained the upper hand and has pushed the Fhrey to the edge of their homeland but no farther. Now comes the pivotal moment. Persephone’s plan to use the stalemate to seek peace is destroyed by an unexpected betrayal that threatens to hand victory to the Fhrey and leaves a loved one in peril. Humanity’s only hope lies in the legend of a witch, a forgotten song, and a simple garden door.
- Age of Death – Winter blankets the land, and more than hope has died. Barred by the tower of Avempartha, the western army cannot invade the Fhrey homeland. So it must seek a way across the Nidwalden River before the fane obtains the secret of dragons. As time runs out for both humanity and the mystic Suri, the only chance for the living rests with the dead.
- Age of Empyre – After obtaining the secret to creating dragons, the leader of the Fhrey has turned the tide of war once more. While Imaly plots to overthrow the fane for transgressions against his people, a mystic and a keeper are the only hope for the Rhunes. Time is short, and the future of both races hangs in the balance.
World of Elan Books in Chronological Order:
I. Legends of the First Empire : 3,000 years in the past
II. Riyria Chronicles : A prequel to Revelations that occurs 10 years in the past
- The Crown Tower
- The Rose and the Thorn
- The Jester (Short Story)
- The Death of Dulgath
- Professional Integrity (Short Story)
- The Disappearance of Winter’s Daughter