Wintertide, the first book of The Heir of Novron and the fifth book of the Riyria Revelations, takes place a few weeks after the end of Rise of Empire. Arista, the princess of Melengar, is still held in prison by the Imperialists and is charged with witchcraft and treason. Degan Gaunt, the nationalist leader is also held there and as the heir of Novron he is searched for by Royce and Hadrian. When the two mercenaries catch wind of his location, how can the Imperials hope to interfere?
Wintertide moves at a much faster pace than the previous novels in the series. What seems like another prison break situation by Royce and Hadrian quickly turns into some of the most surprising and interesting twists I’ve read so far in the series. I had no idea what was going to happen next and once that climax hit, I found myself on the verge of shouting out loud.
The story also takes a darker tone at times than what I’ve seen before in the series. These moments really helped to develop the characters involved in a much different way. By no means am I inferring that this book deviates from the tone of the other books in its entirety, but simply the characters are really pushed to their limits with challenges and emotional hurt along the way. It was these opportunities that really stuck out and this novel was another great entry into the wonderful Riyria series.
Michael J. Sullivan’s writing is top notch. He frequently created dialogue and character situations that were very realistic in nature with characters that are humorous at times and brutally serious at others. The writing in the novel was masterful with a tricky plot mixed in with new and old characters that both break the mold of traditional characters and redefine them. At no point did I feel I was treading on old ground in terms of a wonderfully written fantasy novel.
I would recommend Riyria fans continue to read the series if they put it down or were distracted. I would also recommend this book to lovers of Epic and High fantasy as well as fans of non-traditional characters.