Review: The Disappearance of Winter’s Daughter by Michael J. Sullivan

One of my favorite scenes in this one!

This is going to be one of those reviews that is mostly just me spewing out rainbows and glitter about something that I love. I suppose I should warn you of that in the beginning. 😀 Consider yourselves warned!

When Gabriel Winter’s daughter mysteriously disappears and is presumed dead, the wealthy whiskey baron seeks revenge. Having lived in Colnora during the infamous Year of Fear, he hires the one man he knows can deliver a bloody retribution—the notorious Duster.

Ride with Royce and Hadrian as the cynical ex-assassin and idealistic ex-mercenary travel to a mysterious old-world city filled with nobles claiming descent from imperial aristocracy. Riyria’s job appears easy: discover what happened to the 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.

“Our kinship is based on a mutual love of the written word. Why, just last summer I spent a whole night, in her bedroom no less, doing nothing but drinking and exploring her library.”

“Is that a euphemism, or are you actually talking about books?” Royce asked.

Riyria is one of those series that I have read more than once. Or, to be a little more specific, read, then listened to, then listened to again. I don’t normally read or listen to any book more than once, these days. But, this is one of those series that never gets old or boring for me. I love a character-driven story, and Royce and Hadrian are very, very easily my two favorite characters in all of fantasy to read about. That’s not even an exaggeration. I read a metric asston of fantasy, and Royce and Hadrian are yet to be dethroned from being supreme emperors of my favorite fictional characters.

That said, when a kickstarter happens for a new Riyria story, I happily throw money at it as soon as possible. In this case, I opted for the audiobook, because I knew that I wouldn’t have time for the print version right away. I was right in guessing that too, I’ve had this book on my kindle for almost a month, and still didn’t get a chance to consume it until the audiobook was released. Nevertheless, I wasn’t disappointed. I am never disappointed. Parts of this book had me absolutely grinning. Parts of it made me angry, and parts made me sad. Even the author’s note had me tearing up a little (it was super sweet, guys).

Tim Gerard Reynolds is one of my favorite narrators, and while I would probably have stumbled upon his work without any help, my first listen of his excellent narration skills was Theft of Swords. So, he is Royce and Hadrian, on some level, to me. Giving them a good voice- giving Royce all the cynicism he needs and Hadrian all the good-natured optimism he needs, made them even more special. This one is just as much so.

This is one of the Riyria Chronicles, which, for those unaware, are the prequels to the Riyria Revelations. I’ll sum this up, without spoilers, there are about 12 years in between Chronicles and Revelations. Revelations is the end of the story, and Chronicles is the beginning (or, at least, it’s the beginning of the partnership between Royce and Hadrian). New stories in Chronicles happen in between the two. The series can be read in either order, but I will say that in my opinion, reading Revelations first is the way to go. Reading one won’t spoil details from the other, but the way things unfold… it feels way more satisfying to find little easter eggs in the prequels when you know how things ultimately end, if that makes sense.

This particular volume was just fantastic. This was a really great addition to the series, and I had a really hard time pausing it to do things one normally doesn’t bring audiobooks to. Work meetings, et cetera. It was as engaging as every other book in the series, it was well plotted, well written and I didn’t guess the ending right at the beginning. That’s all I need in a Riyria story, really. The ending of this one was satisfying and left me wanting more adventures!

Look how busy I got while listening to this audiobook. I MADE A THING! 😀

If you haven’t, you should read the Riyria books. All of them. 5/5 stars! 😀


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