Let me begin by saying Sullivan is one of my favorite (if not the favorite) author. I love the Riyria story and the whole world Sullivan has created. I have fallen in love with the characters, although I can’t decide if Hadrian or Royce is my favorite. But this book was a huge disappointment.
This fantasy fiction is a prequel to the Riyria Revelations series. It continues the backstory that began in The Crown Tower. But unlike that book, this one tries to follow too many characters and also supposes that the reader knows more about the Riyria series as a whole. Why else spend so much time talking and talking and talking. Ugh. Where is the action? The humor? The adventure? Sullivan tried to do way too much and left so much out. I was hoping he would take up where he left off in volume one. This book just skipped so much interesting information then tried to give us too much set up for later.
In addition, there is lots of very cruel violence in this book. Royce is portrayed as a very dark and cruel character. Hadrian is just along for the ride and really doesn’t add anything to the story. At one point, Gwen tries to convince him to help Royce out but that help never materializes. Royce creates trouble then manages to get out of it. Why even have Hadrian there in the first place? I know I have probably lost those of you who have never read the series, but I would not recommend this book to anyone who isn’t already a big fan.
What did this book have to do with my faith? Where is forgiveness? There isn’t much at all in this book. Where do we need forgiveness in our own lives? Who do you need to forgive? Would you be willing to forgive those who had done a great deal of harm to you in your life? Or would you be willing to carry that burden, always hoping to exact some kind of revenge in the future? Violence, torture and getting even seem to carry the day in The Rose and the Thorn. Do we let those same things carry us in our world? How can we have a more forgiving spirit?
I don’t recommend this book unless you are a big Sullivan fan.