Rating: 5 of 5, TMBOA Recommended
Author: Michael Sullivan
Available: Paperback, Kindle
After crowning an unwitting empress, the Church of Nyphron quickly sweeps over the land amassing amazing power. The only thing stopping their advance are Alric’s kingdom of Melengar and a group of Nationalists led by Degan Gaunt. Alone, both will eventually be swallowed by the imperialists. But an alliance could save them both. Setting out to find and forge such a partnership, Arista once more turns to Hadrian and Royce for help. But is the church already too powerful to deny and will the empress eventually awaken from her stupor to save them all?
In Nyphron Rising, Michael Sullivan once again brings back all the elements that made The Crown Conspiracy a great book except this time, the world is a little darker, a little more desperate, and not all is well with our duo of thieves. Hadrian has tired of their lifestyle and wants out certain he was meant for greater things but knows not what they are. Royce knows Hadrian’s destiny but dares not share it for fear of what might happen. As in the first book, Sullivan sets up scenarios where our protagonists face capture and certain death but find ingenious ways of saving themselves and others. Multiple parallel story arcs are introduced with the empress, Hardrian, Royce, and Arista, all while the depth of this world continues to be painted.
I especially enjoyed Arista’s journey into unlocking the power of The Art and her realization that it is just that – an Art. The mechanics can be taught and learned, but to truly understand and use The Art, one must make it their own. Unfortunately, she must learn to deal with the responsibilities and consequences of such power and this volume only hints of what may be to come in later editions. As with its predecessors, Nyphron Rising serves as a complete novel even though it is midway through the series. The end, however, left me wanting even more as so much is certainly left to be told. This has been my favorite in the series thus far, just inching out The Crown Conspiracy. Readers of Sullivan’s work will surely be clamoring for the next installment.