Hot Best Seller

Nolyn

Availability: Ready to download

New York Times Bestseller | Amazon Editor's Pick | #2 Audible Bestseller After more than five hundred years of exile, the heir to the empyre is wary about his sudden reinstatement to active duty on the Goblin War’s front lines. His assignment to rescue an outpost leads to a dead-end canyon deep inside enemy territory, and his suspicion turns to dread when he discovers the s New York Times Bestseller | Amazon Editor's Pick | #2 Audible Bestseller After more than five hundred years of exile, the heir to the empyre is wary about his sudden reinstatement to active duty on the Goblin War’s front lines. His assignment to rescue an outpost leads to a dead-end canyon deep inside enemy territory, and his suspicion turns to dread when he discovers the stronghold doesn't exist. But whoever went to the trouble of planning his death to look like a casualty of war didn't know he would be assigned to the Seventh Sikaria Auxiliary Squadron. In the depths of an unforgiving jungle, a legend is about to be born, and the world of Elan will never be the same. From Michael J. Sullivan, the three-time New York Times, two-time USA Today, and three-time Washington Post bestselling author, a new adventure begins with the first book in The Rise and Fall trilogy. Although this series is set in the same world as the Riyria novels and the Legends of the First Empire books, no prior knowledge of the other works is required to enjoy this tale to its fullest.


Compare

New York Times Bestseller | Amazon Editor's Pick | #2 Audible Bestseller After more than five hundred years of exile, the heir to the empyre is wary about his sudden reinstatement to active duty on the Goblin War’s front lines. His assignment to rescue an outpost leads to a dead-end canyon deep inside enemy territory, and his suspicion turns to dread when he discovers the s New York Times Bestseller | Amazon Editor's Pick | #2 Audible Bestseller After more than five hundred years of exile, the heir to the empyre is wary about his sudden reinstatement to active duty on the Goblin War’s front lines. His assignment to rescue an outpost leads to a dead-end canyon deep inside enemy territory, and his suspicion turns to dread when he discovers the stronghold doesn't exist. But whoever went to the trouble of planning his death to look like a casualty of war didn't know he would be assigned to the Seventh Sikaria Auxiliary Squadron. In the depths of an unforgiving jungle, a legend is about to be born, and the world of Elan will never be the same. From Michael J. Sullivan, the three-time New York Times, two-time USA Today, and three-time Washington Post bestselling author, a new adventure begins with the first book in The Rise and Fall trilogy. Although this series is set in the same world as the Riyria novels and the Legends of the First Empire books, no prior knowledge of the other works is required to enjoy this tale to its fullest.

30 review for Nolyn

  1. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    I don't rate my own books, so this "review" is used to update readers on the status of a yet-to-be-released title. 07/21/21: The audiobook for Nolyn is "Moving and Shaking" It's #6 on Amazon's Movers and Shaker's list . This means it's rank has climbed significantly over the past 24 hours. I'm glad to see people are pre-ordering! 07/01/21: Today is the last day to sign up for the chance to win one of ten SIGNED hardcovers of Nolyn (releasing August 3 to the rest of the world). 6,854 people are I don't rate my own books, so this "review" is used to update readers on the status of a yet-to-be-released title. 07/21/21: The audiobook for Nolyn is "Moving and Shaking" It's #6 on Amazon's Movers and Shaker's list . This means it's rank has climbed significantly over the past 24 hours. I'm glad to see people are pre-ordering! 07/01/21: Today is the last day to sign up for the chance to win one of ten SIGNED hardcovers of Nolyn (releasing August 3 to the rest of the world). 6,854 people are already requesting it and the drawing will end in a little over 13 hours. Enter now! 04/14/21: We are right near the end of the gamma read and while the group has found a lot of good "nits" (comma corrections, missing quotes on dialog, etc), there have been no "story issues" so we are getting really close now! Thirty-two gamma readers are finished, and the rest have a deadline of 04/16 - given that, I think those who pre-ordered the ebook directly from us (either through the Kickstarter or pre-order store) will get the book around April 20th. The book will go on the press shortly after that, and I'm hoping to have copies in hand by mid-June. 03/28/21: And done! I've finished my final read through, and Robin is 1/2 way through hers. The book is in really good shape, and we hope to get ebooks for the Kickstarters out shortly. It will also be going to a number of gamma readers for their final pass on it before going to the printer. It's getting pretty exciting! I can't wait until people can start reading it. For those that missed the Kickstarter, you can pre-order copies from us (including the limited edition version, which won't be sold in bookstores), from this link. 02/18/21: I hope everyone had a happy (and safe) St. Patty's Day. I made my world-famous (okay Sullivan famous), corned beef and cabbage with Guinness cream sauce. It was delicious. I also spent a good part of the day going over the final readthrough of Nolyn. I'm up to chapter 15 so more than halfway through. Once I'm done, the book will go to "layout" and then the gamma readers for one less check. It's scheduled to go on the presses at the end of April, and the recording of the audiobook will start on 03/29/20. If you want to pre-order a signed copy directly from us (including the limited edition hardcover, which won't be in bookstores, you can do so from this link. 02/14/21: The Nolyn Kickstarter project is a huge success. We (a) fully funded in 6.5 minutes (b) crossed the $100K threshold in 3.75 hours, and in just 4 days it surpassed Age of Empyre as my best-funded Kickstarter project ever (currently #7 most-funded fiction Kickstarter of all time). It's a short Kickstarter (only 9 days left) and we are about 7% away from our first stretch goal. Robin and I thank you for making this latest project so successful - now let's see what new heights we an hit! 01/27/21: The Kickstarter project has been approved. If you click the link after 12:00 noon (EST) on 2/09, it will take you to the live page. For now, it will take you to a page where you can sign up for notification (in case you forget). During the first 15 minutes, we'll offer 20% off a number of reward levels including: • $8 rather than $10 - ebook only •$28 rather than $35 - ebook AND regular hardcover •$60 rather than $75 - ebook AND limited edition faux-leather hardcover A table showing all the reward levels, and what is available in each is provided here: 01/06/21: The copyedits are back from Laura J. and we are almost finished going through them. The plan is to have a revised version of the book go to Linda B in a day or two. Then we should have everything wrapped from the story standpoint by mid-February. The Kickstarter will launch 02/09 at noon EDT. There will be early-bird discounts during the first 15 minutes of the campaign. 10/17/20: I've got the first 13 chapters (out of 26) of beta changes made. And that's where most of the "heavy lifting was" - so I think we are still on schedule for having it wrapped up by the end of the month. 10/08/20: Beta reading feedback is in and I've started making the changes. I'm hoping to have it done by month's end and then it will go off to the copyeditors for their work. Our thanks go out to all the beta readers and their helpful comments. 09/13/20: Beta reading for this book launched earlier this week. We have a nice mix of people in it: people who've not read any of my books before, people who have read my books but never beta read, and of course a lot of our past beta readers are back. The gamma read should begin in March. If you want to be considered for beta or gamma reading in the future, you can sign up here. 06/17/20 Pre-order for the audiobook is now live! Here is a link. Hardcover pre-order coming soon. Ebook pre-order on August 3rd. And yes, there will be a Kickstarter for ebook/hardcover, but I don't know the date yet. 06/10/20 So, Nolyn now has an official release date (08/03/2021) and an official "back of the book blurb" - see the book's description. Hopefully, we'll be starting beta soon. 04/20/20 - I'm officially changing the name of this book to "Nolyn" -- the other two books in this series ended up having a single character as their name so I wanted to make this match that convention. 09/10/18 - And done! I'm really pleased with how it came out. I'm going to let it sit for a few weeks before reading through it one last time then passing it over to Robin for her comments. 04/30/18 - Back in the trenches! As I mentioned in my last update, I had to set this book aside to finish up copy edits on Age of War and make changes to the last three books in the series. Well, I finished all that up (about a week ago), and spent the next week doing spring cleaning and getting the cabin ready for visitors. Had a great time this weekend, but after being away from writing for so long I've been itching to get back to the keyboard and today is the day. First step, re-reading what I've written so far. Just got done looking over the first first two chapters, and surprisingly I didn't have to change a thing--a good thing! Gonna read the rest, then start writing. But I'm glad to be back to this new series. 01/03/18 - Second update! Okay, so I didn't make January...I'm about 50% through the book, but I'm going to have to put it aside for a bit as I have to do edits for the last four books in the Legends of the First Empire series. Copyedits are back on Age of War and I'm getting alpha read feedback for Age of Legends, Age of Death, and Age of Empire. But the good news is it's all outlined so when I do switch back over to this book, I'll be able to transition quickly. 11/21/2017 - My first update! The writing of this book is going amazingly well. Really pleased with how it's all going together. I may be able to get it finished up in January if all goes well. People who are interested in being beta readers can sign up here.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Helen 2.0

    If this series is anywhere near as good as the Age of Myth series then I’m fucking ecstatic about its release. In fact, if you look very closely at every single review I’ve ever written, you may see the words “Michael J Sullivan is our lord and savior” inscribed somewhere between the lines.

  3. 4 out of 5

    TS Chan

    4.5 stars. Nolyn was yet another well-crafted and enthralling tale from a masterful storyteller, who never fails to give me what I craved from the world of Elan. It's quite extraordinary what this book could do for readers who approached Sullivan's works at different entry points. Firstly, for readers like me who read all of Sullivan's works by publication order, i.e The Riyria Revelations, The Riyria Chronicles, and The Legends of the First Empire, there's so much to love and appreciate with 4.5 stars. Nolyn was yet another well-crafted and enthralling tale from a masterful storyteller, who never fails to give me what I craved from the world of Elan. It's quite extraordinary what this book could do for readers who approached Sullivan's works at different entry points. Firstly, for readers like me who read all of Sullivan's works by publication order, i.e The Riyria Revelations, The Riyria Chronicles, and The Legends of the First Empire, there's so much to love and appreciate with plenty of nods to the past, and learning the truths behind the myths and how things came to be by the time our most beloved duo hit the stage. For readers who have only read the First Empire books, Nolyn offers progression on what happened hundreds of years in the future after the finale of the preceding series. Finally, even for one reading Sullivan for the first time, Nolyn would be an enjoyable and engaging read. Primarily, this is due to his excellent characterisation.  At the same time, I also felt that the lore, history and worldbuilding were also deftly established in the narrative for new readers not to feel lost. Clearly for me, everything that was read after Revelations are considered as prequel stories. Even though First Empire was very far in the past but given these are about characters who became legends, I already have some idea of what would have come to pass. I termed Sullivan a masterful storyteller because he has the ability to keep me thoroughly engaged and captivated by the stories of these characters even though the ultimate outcome was already known. Of course, for these prequels set very long ago, there are additional characters whose names didn't exactly made it into the myths and legends. The truths about who they were and what they did to shape Elan as we know it made for the most enthralling read.   And it is because of my experience with these books that I stand by my opinion that reading Sullivan's works by publication order - Riyria, First Empire and now The Rise and Fall - will offer the most enjoyment that one can get out of these books.  Seriously, the number of times I got excited at the Easter Eggs and being shocked (in a good way) by the truths while reading these prequels were too many to count, and it's incredibly fun. Pardon my rambling above far as this is one of my favourite worlds to return to because it always felt like coming home. The world that Sullivan created was not particularly unique or original, but in spite of its classic fantasy setting with elves, dwarves and dragons (of a kind), Elan still felt fresh in a way. There's enough worldbuilding to keep its lore and mythos fascinating, but it's not overly intricate nor tries too hard to impress. What this achieves is a whole lot more focus on the stories of the characters, and Sullivan absolutely excels in this aspect. "Words came and went, and with time many changed their definitions.  The intent behind the words was what mattered.  Sephryn knew that if everyone took offense at everything society was doomed."  The story in Nolyn took place over eight hundred years after the conclusion of the First Empire series (but still a hefty two thousand years and then some before Riyria). With that more than sufficient time have passed in order to observe the changes wrought by new empire. The two main characters in this book, Nolyn and Sephryn, are the children of the some of legendary people who were responsible for the creation of the empire. Both of them are well-written as persons straddling two worlds, being the only two of their kind in existence in Elan at that time.  At the beginning, Nolyn's and Sephryn's arcs seemed disconnected, at least until the appearance of a certain cretin from the past. It was not difficult to then realise that some devious machinations were at play, and all that culminated with the two subplots coalescing into a grand scheme of seeking vengeance. "He wasn't the father I wanted, but I think he may have been the father I needed." The one thing I got out of this book was that I actually liked the side characters more.   I felt that the supporting cast really brought out the best of the main characters' arcs.  Out of the two, I enjoyed Nolyn's story more. There was a much anticipated scene between him and his father - whom I've never been able to love (for quite obvious reasons) nor hate - which made this book great. What transpired after that scene was surprisingly emotional for me. While Sullivan has always been able to make me feel for his characters, I didn't expect it would be this much about this particular one.  "Nolyn was listening to one melody played on four different instruments, and the concert was a bloody one." And then there was the introduction of the Seventh Sikaria Auxiliary squadron. Through some twist of fate, Nolyn was assigned to this squad in the frontlines of the Goblin War. It seems that the Seventh Sik-Aux have already established a reputation of being the most feared and legendary squad amongst the legionnaires - warriors who trained in the art of fighting called the Tesh.  Oh yes, seasoned readers know exactly what this means, and it's immensely exciting.  Aside from the implications of who these warriors will eventually become in the course of the rise and fall of empire, the interactions between the individuals as well as Nolyn are some of the best moments in the book. The Rise and Fall appear to be a trilogy of stand-alone stories of significant individuals, that hopefully will eventually provide all the revelations to the pertinent questions that I still have.  There are plenty of delectable Easter Eggs yet to be found and I'm very eager for the hunt to continue.  The next book can't come soon enough. You can pre-order the book from Book Depository (Free Shipping) | Bookshop.Org (Support Independent Bookstores | Amazon US | Amazon UK You can find this and my other reviews at Novel Notions.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    My thanks to Grim Oak Press, Michael J. Sullivan and Netgalley. I didn't know that this was in the same world as another series of Mr. Sullivans. I wish I had known. I have somehow managed to collect all of his previous books. They always say that you don't need to read "this" in order to read the newest. Lies! Always! Every series I've ever read and finished that eventually starts anew in the same world? One single mention of the before, then?? Person, place, thing or magic. I do have Sullivan' My thanks to Grim Oak Press, Michael J. Sullivan and Netgalley. I didn't know that this was in the same world as another series of Mr. Sullivans. I wish I had known. I have somehow managed to collect all of his previous books. They always say that you don't need to read "this" in order to read the newest. Lies! Always! Every series I've ever read and finished that eventually starts anew in the same world? One single mention of the before, then?? Person, place, thing or magic. I do have Sullivan's earlier series. I will read it, but I am not going to hump my ass over reading other books of his, just to review this one! Not recommended if you are.a newby, like me! If you've read these previous books? Good luck.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Claudia

    I think I'm wearing out of this universe. As much as I liked the previous series, this one seemed rather unnecessary. It doesn't bring much value to the universe, and, to be honest, it felt like it was written just to milk the story a bit more. The Riyria Revelations Series was great, my favorite of them all. The Legends of the First Empire Series had a great start, but the sixth and final instalment was dissapointing. This first volume takes place 800 years after the events in The Legends of the I think I'm wearing out of this universe. As much as I liked the previous series, this one seemed rather unnecessary. It doesn't bring much value to the universe, and, to be honest, it felt like it was written just to milk the story a bit more. The Riyria Revelations Series was great, my favorite of them all. The Legends of the First Empire Series had a great start, but the sixth and final instalment was dissapointing. This first volume takes place 800 years after the events in The Legends of the First Empire, and follows Nolyn, Nyphron's and Persephone's heir, and Sephryn, Tekchin's and Moya's daughter. First half seems written by someone else - very childish, to say the least. The second half picks up eventually with some twists, but ends up with way too many deux ex machina moments. It was nice to meet some old characters, but the new ones are cartoonish and silly. Still, it's an easy and relaxing read, made me chortle a few times. But I think it's my last Kickstarter backup. Will see if I change my mind by the next volume, in 6 months.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Eon ♒Windrunner♒

    Preliminary 4.5 stars, and I think I will round up. Just so good to be back in Elan and getting a new story with so many nods at the past. Full RTC! Also, I need MOOOAAARRR!!!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Robin (Bridge Four)

    This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Micheal J. Sullivan has created a world I just cannot get enough of.  Nolyn is the first book in the new The Rise and Fall trilogy.  It is actually the 13th full length novel set in the fantastic Fantasy world of Elan with stories spanning millennia.  While this is a new series and supposed to be an entry point, there are tons This review was originally posted on Books of My Heart Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Micheal J. Sullivan has created a world I just cannot get enough of.  Nolyn is the first book in the new The Rise and Fall trilogy.  It is actually the 13th full length novel set in the fantastic Fantasy world of Elan with stories spanning millennia.  While this is a new series and supposed to be an entry point, there are tons of Easter eggs for readers for the past set The Legends of the First Empire series as well as future set The Riyria Revelations and The Riyria Chronicles.  I honestly recommend reading all the books in their order of publication.  But if you can't fit 12 other books into your reading schedule, you could get by just reading the Legends of the First Empire series.  Still Michael J. Sullivan is one of my favorite fantasy authors and he always delivers.  He has an unusual writing style of finishing the first drafts of all of his series before releasing a book so the reader can trust they will not be left hanging with an unfinished book series, *cough* other fantasy authors, you know who you are *cough* Nolyn is set 600ish years after the events of The Legends of the First Empire.  Nolyn is the son of the Fhrey (Elf) king and his human wife.  He is one of the first hybrid children ever produced and there are very few like him.  He has been pretty much estranged from his king father for the past 500 years; they have a bit of a complicated relationship. But he has just been sent into an unwinnable battle in a war that has been going on fifty years and he is about to meet some people who will change his life forever. “Something I’ve learned about people, both human and Fhrey, is that they hate having long-held beliefs challenged by facts, even about stupid things. Once you get something settled in your head, it becomes comfortable and difficult to dislodge.” Luckily, Nolyn was sent out with Seventh Sikaria Auxillary Squadron; they don't seem to die as easily as other soldiers.  Could be the Teshlor training their leader has given them.  With a squadron in tow, Nolyn now has to find out who is trying to get him killed, even if it is probably his own father, and possibly find a way to make amends with the woman he has loved for centuries. Decisions based on a feeling. Women referred to it as intuition. Men called it gut instinct. His father believed such things to be foolishness, but his mother had referred to it as the Voice of Elan. Suri once told him his feelings were the sounds his soul heard when listening to the world singing the music of truth. Nolyn didn’t know which to believe, but he missed Sephryn, and those eyes reminded him of her. Sephryn is the daughter of Moya and Tekchin and another elf/human hybrid.  Her son has been stolen by someone and will not be returned until she can figure out a way to steal a horn she has never heard of before.  She will do anything to find her child, even if it means figuring out how to steal something from the Emperor himself. The story is told with multiple PoVs so the reader can get into the head of all the important players.  Even the villain, who readers of the other series will know, gives great insight into the motivations and the personalities of the characters.  Moya was a favorite character of mine from the prior series, so it was hard to read how she could be with both her daughter and her husband, but it would be hard to grow old while those you loved stayed young looking and perfect.  As a reader of all the books set in this world, I always marvel how history has been corrupted in the future and the real events are so different from the ones I first read.  I also love how MJS takes something that you think you knew from the books set in the future and turns it completely on its heels making you see it so differently. If you love fantasy I recommend all the books set in this world highly.  The banter between characters, the twists, the betrayals and the workings of the gods of this world really do know how to capture the reader.  He is in my top 5 fantasy authors and absolutely an auto-buy for me.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Blaise

    I am honored to be a beta-reader for this book and Michael hits it out of the park! This will be a spoiler free review. This novel takes place between Michael's First Empire series and his Riyria novels, but do not let that deter any new readers. Anybody can pick up this book with essentially zero background and not be lost, but there are plenty of Easter eggs for long time fans! The story follows several characters, but primarily Nolyn and how he is dealing with the Goblin Wars and the conflict I am honored to be a beta-reader for this book and Michael hits it out of the park! This will be a spoiler free review. This novel takes place between Michael's First Empire series and his Riyria novels, but do not let that deter any new readers. Anybody can pick up this book with essentially zero background and not be lost, but there are plenty of Easter eggs for long time fans! The story follows several characters, but primarily Nolyn and how he is dealing with the Goblin Wars and the conflicts created from it. Characters are written exceptionally well, as has come to be expected, but this book had more surprises than any other of Sullivan's books I can remember. I couldn't put this book down and neither will you! Long time fans, like myself, will adore this book as well as waiting on pins and needles for the entire trilogy to be finished. Here's to you Michael, job well done!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Terence

    Nolyn, the son of Nyphron and Persephone and heir to the Empyre has been reassigned after 500 years of exile. Nolyn has been sent to the front lines in war and is certain he's being sent to his death. Fortunately for him he's been assigned to the Seventh Sikaria Auxillary Squadron, an already noteworthy squadron who has a legendary warrior among it's ranks. New legends are beginning in the midst of deception and tragedy. Nolyn is supposed to be one of three bridge books between Legends of the Fir Nolyn, the son of Nyphron and Persephone and heir to the Empyre has been reassigned after 500 years of exile. Nolyn has been sent to the front lines in war and is certain he's being sent to his death. Fortunately for him he's been assigned to the Seventh Sikaria Auxillary Squadron, an already noteworthy squadron who has a legendary warrior among it's ranks. New legends are beginning in the midst of deception and tragedy. Nolyn is supposed to be one of three bridge books between Legends of the First Empire and the Riyria Chronicles / Revelations. For those familiar with the mentioned series, there is a lot of familiar occurrences happening. The story revolves largely around the first two half human and half Fhrey people in existence, Nolyn son of Nyphron and Persephone and Sephryn daughter of Tekchin and Moya. The story is largely told from their perspective though there are additional point of view shifts to other characters. It seems to me that one of the largest themes throughout all the books in this world is history repeats itself, history is forgotten, and history is rediscovered. Nyphron or someone serving him has largely forgotten the contributions of the humans to help him become the Emperor. Humans are second class citizens while the Instarya largely behave like the Miralyth before them. Nyphron has outlawed magic and many have forgotten about its very existence. There are still embers of the past, of a better way, waiting to be rediscovered by all and rekindled. I enjoyed Nolyn overall, but I largely feel as though I know too much of the world at this point for these books to have the same emotional impact for me. We've seen the beginning in The Legends of the First Empire and the conclusion of events in Riyria Revelations. Seeing the specific events that put things into place is enjoyable, but not quite as rewarding. The events I'd truly love to see more of is Turin/Malcolm/Rex Uberlin vs Trilos. That's the unknown tale in the midst of the familiar and what I'm most curious about at this point. I also realize their battle largely occurs in the shadows and goes unseen. Bringing it to the forefront may not be likely. I want to find out if Trilos is still the thorn in Turin's side in Riyria Revelations or if he's been dealt with before then. Nolyn is an interesting history lesson and I'm curious to see what happens next. 3.5 out of 5 stars

  10. 4 out of 5

    Maja Ingrid

    Putting this on hold at 20%. Not as severe as a DNF (but it's unlikely I'll pick it up again anytime soon). I'm not feeling the story and don't care for the characters. And honestly, it's getting a bit many series set within the same world. As fun as it is spotting easter eggs and fun details relating to the other series I don't really need several series spanning over huge period of time. Why did I bother with this one then, you might ask. Well I had hoped this one would at least scratch a littl Putting this on hold at 20%. Not as severe as a DNF (but it's unlikely I'll pick it up again anytime soon). I'm not feeling the story and don't care for the characters. And honestly, it's getting a bit many series set within the same world. As fun as it is spotting easter eggs and fun details relating to the other series I don't really need several series spanning over huge period of time. Why did I bother with this one then, you might ask. Well I had hoped this one would at least scratch a little on the mega itch crave I have for Drumindor. I'm a huge trash for Royce and Hadrian and honestly could never tire on more adventures with them. I do also have an interest in the third book in this trilogy, Esrahaddon. Which was also a reason to pick this one up even though I had little interest in it, and also don't have that much interest in the second book.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mogsy (MMOGC)

    3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2021/09/05/... With Nolyn, we’ve reached yet another point in the Elan saga, the world in which the books of Riyria Revelations, Riyria Chronicles, and The Legends of the First Empire by Michael J. Sullivan take place. This novel kicks off a new series called The Rise and Fall, which is set a several centuries following the events of Age of Empyre, though it can be enjoyed as a standalone tale without any prior knowledge. This story pri 3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2021/09/05/... With Nolyn, we’ve reached yet another point in the Elan saga, the world in which the books of Riyria Revelations, Riyria Chronicles, and The Legends of the First Empire by Michael J. Sullivan take place. This novel kicks off a new series called The Rise and Fall, which is set a several centuries following the events of Age of Empyre, though it can be enjoyed as a standalone tale without any prior knowledge. This story primarily focuses on two main protagonists, both of whom are the offspring of prominent characters who played a part in the birth of the First Empire. They are Nolyn, the half-human, half-Fhrey son of Nyphron and Persephone, as well as Sephryn, the daughter of Moya and Tekchin. After more than five hundred years of exile, Nolyn, the heir to the empyre, is convinced his father is sending him off to die when he is suddenly reassigned to active duty on the front lines of the Goblin Wars. Fortunately, fate lands him with the legendary Seventh Sikaria Auxiliary Squadron, made up of some of the most fearsome and elite warriors who will aid Nolyn in his fight to survive the battles ahead. Meanwhile in the capital, seemingly a whole other world away, Sephryn is blackmailed into a scheme to steal a priceless artifact from the heart of the palace. Desperate to save her son, she has no choice but to go through with it. Having grown up with the weight of history and her mother’s famous legacy upon her shoulders, Sephryn also feels like she has a lot to live up to. Gathering up her wits and courage, she sets out to pull off an impossible heist with the help of a few quirky friends. I confess, I never got to finish The Legends of the First Empire series, with Age of War being the farthest I got. However, getting into Nolyn was not a problem. You absolutely do not need any of the prior books as prerequisites to read this one. That said though, I think it benefited me to have some familiarity with the characters, places, and events from The Legends of the Fire Empire, even if just a little, as they helped anchor me to the setting very early on. After all, Nolyn and Sephryn’s storylines don’t have much in common when we first start out, and they remain rather separate until quite later. However, having some knowledge about their parents and their connections to the past made them more interesting to me right off the bat. Still, there is definitely something that I call a “diluting” effect as we progress through each new series by Sullivan. Like so many others, my first experience with the author was The Riyria Revelations, which bar none remains my favorite work of his to date. When it comes to protagonists in Sullivan’s books, Hadrian and Royce will always be the gold standard in terms of characterization and development. As winsome as some of the characters were in The Legends of the First Empire series, none of them even came close (who knows, that might even be part of why I stalled out and never felt the urge to finish the series), and now that we have The Rise and Fall, I somehow felt even more removed and disconnected from Nolyn and Sephryn. Don’t get me wrong though, it’s not like they weren’t written well. Quite the opposite, in fact. Between our two POV characters, we got to see a good mix of thrilling action as well as deep emotion. Nolyn’s arc, which took us to the heart of the fighting in the war against the enemy, brought us most of the former, while Sephryn’s chapters exploring her struggles with difficult decisions and painful memories brought much of the latter (to be fair, her heist plot also featured plenty of excitement). But at the end of the day, how much of it was truly different and memorable? Characterization was good, but probably not beyond what was honestly to be expected. I think they could have been more fleshed out, but given that this novel was written to be a standalone, maybe there just wasn’t enough time. And yes, this book truly is a standalone, but while it might feel nice for once to get a self-contained epic fantasy story with a satisfying conclusion, this does give Nolyn a bit of that “throwaway” feel. The plot was on the simpler, more straightforward side, and many of the deeper themes it attempted were also glossed over or merely shallowly touched upon. Still, these can be seen as positive aspects depending on what you’re looking for. For one, the novel’s ideal audience might be fantasy fans interested in a lighter read, or even newcomers to the genre looking for accessible entry point. For those curious about Michael J. Sullivan’s work this would also be the perfect place to jump on board, and of course for longtime fans, returning to this world will bring much comfort and maybe even some entertainment spotting all the fun references and other cool easter eggs. Finally, I was lucky enough to review the audiobook edition of Nolyn, and I just want to give a big kudos to Tim Gerard Reynolds, whose voice has done so much for the books of Michael J. Sullivan. It simply wouldn’t have been the same without his narration, and of course he was awesome as always.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Dyrk Ashton

    I was super lucky enough to get a very early draft of this, and I'm so glad I did. I loved everything about this book. With Nolyn, a true master of epic fantasy shines even brighter. Sullivan has an amazing ability to set up a fascinating story in the first chapter and craft a brilliant ensemble of characters - with bizarre and terrifying bad guys - then lead readers on an adventure that keeps them wide-eyed and begging for more with each expertly written page. Sullivan fans rejoice! If you have I was super lucky enough to get a very early draft of this, and I'm so glad I did. I loved everything about this book. With Nolyn, a true master of epic fantasy shines even brighter. Sullivan has an amazing ability to set up a fascinating story in the first chapter and craft a brilliant ensemble of characters - with bizarre and terrifying bad guys - then lead readers on an adventure that keeps them wide-eyed and begging for more with each expertly written page. Sullivan fans rejoice! If you haven't read any of his books, you really should.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jayadev

    Firstly I would like to thank the publisher Grim Oak press and Netgalley for providing me with an Advanced Reading copy of the book. This does not affect my opinions and overall ratings of the book. Nolyn is the first book in a planned standalone trilogy titled 'Rise and Fall' that tells the story of..... well the rise and fall of the first empire told in three separate instances of the empire's lifespan. We return to the world of Elan about eight hundred years after the events of the previous se Firstly I would like to thank the publisher Grim Oak press and Netgalley for providing me with an Advanced Reading copy of the book. This does not affect my opinions and overall ratings of the book. Nolyn is the first book in a planned standalone trilogy titled 'Rise and Fall' that tells the story of..... well the rise and fall of the first empire told in three separate instances of the empire's lifespan. We return to the world of Elan about eight hundred years after the events of the previous series (The Legends of the First Empire). The story is told mainly in the perspective of Nolyn Nyphronian and Sephryn, the children of the heroes from the previous series, Nolyn being the son of Emperor Nyphron and Persephone. The Fhrey have been overcome, the alliance between humans and Nyphron's group of "rebel fhrey" have succeeded in defeating them. A new empire dawns, one that allows both human and Fhrey to coexist equally. Well that was the ideal. In reality, Persephone is dead, the heroes of humanity have faded into myths and legends but Nyphron and his Fhrey remain and they run the empire. Humanity have traded one master for another slightly less ruthless one. In comes Nolyn the young prince (if you call 800ish years old young) Supposedly hated by his father, Nolyn is constantly sent to defend the outermost fringes of the empire from external threats. On his most recent ordeal, he learns of a plot on his life that might have come all the way up from the emperor himself, his story follows him along with a squad of soldiers who are loyal to him in his quest for the truth. This was easily the strongest part of the book, the author excells at his storytelling when we follow a ragtag cast of characters. They bounce off each other perfectly in their interactions, the quick wit and lighthearted tone made these sections fly away quickly. The second major POV Sephryn on the other hand was less intriguing and this honestly is where the book looses steam after the explosive start with Nolyn's battle. Sephryn's POV starts just as strong as Nolyn's but then quickly drops off. Her story is one of desperation and follows the ordeals she undertakes to save her loved ones. As said above, the author excells when there is a cast that bounces off each other, but in Sephryn's case it feels like the author tried to convey a more serious tone and was ultimately unsuccessful in pulling it off. The slower pacing of the book at this section is what did it most harm. The pacing dropping off is probably the biggest factor against this book. Its starts really well (for both POV's) and then slows to a crawl and then finally picking back up for an explosive finale in the last 100 or so pages. This is especially more annoying considering that this is a rather small book (Not a 1000 page doorstopper or potential murder weapon), so technically the section of slower pace accounts to roughly 100 pages and still the drag in pacing made it feel longer than what it actually was (personal opinion) is worrying. That said, the finale was spectacular enough to forgive some of the pacing issues. It conveyed love, loss, pain and a conclusion that left a bittersweet feeling. Here's to hoping the author improves on the pacing issues in his upcoming sequels. Lastly, although the author has mentioned that this book could be read without reading the prequel or sequel series, I wouldn't recommend it IF you are currently reading through 'Legends of the first Empire' (this was my situation as I was halfway through' Age of War' book three of that series) and this book contains some spoilers for the ending as well as some of the later events of that series.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Amara

    A bridge story?! I can't wait, just another reason to read everything again. A bridge story?! I can't wait, just another reason to read everything again.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Flying Monkey

    4 Stars!!! Another great addition to the World of Elan. I loved how so many of my favorite characters from The Legends of the Empire series were referenced in one way or another. A great story and the next 2 editions are already written to be released in 2022 and 2023. Please take note: Patrick Rothfuss and George RR Martin. This is how you do it!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Audrey

    I just finished the beta read for this, so it will probably be tweaked a bit before publication. I also can’t reveal anything about the book at this point, so a real review will come later. Rating is also tentative. I’ll just say that it takes place about 800 years after Age of Empyre, but you can start reading here without any prior knowledge of the world. It follows two main characters who are separated for most of the book, then builds to a pretty exciting climax. I just finished the beta read for this, so it will probably be tweaked a bit before publication. I also can’t reveal anything about the book at this point, so a real review will come later. Rating is also tentative. I’ll just say that it takes place about 800 years after Age of Empyre, but you can start reading here without any prior knowledge of the world. It follows two main characters who are separated for most of the book, then builds to a pretty exciting climax.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Dominic

    ** Review copy supplied by Netgalley, with my thanks to them and to the publisher, Grim Oak Press ** Nolyn is the first in a new series by Riyria author Michael J Sullivan. His Riyria Revelations series is in my top 10 list, but for some reason I just couldn’t get into the Riyria Chronicles, which is a prequel series detailing the origin story of the Riyria duo, Royce and Hadrian. Nevertheless, Nolyn interested me and I wanted to have another try of Sullivan’s work. The Rise and Fall series, of wh ** Review copy supplied by Netgalley, with my thanks to them and to the publisher, Grim Oak Press ** Nolyn is the first in a new series by Riyria author Michael J Sullivan. His Riyria Revelations series is in my top 10 list, but for some reason I just couldn’t get into the Riyria Chronicles, which is a prequel series detailing the origin story of the Riyria duo, Royce and Hadrian. Nevertheless, Nolyn interested me and I wanted to have another try of Sullivan’s work. The Rise and Fall series, of which Nolyn is the opener, is set one or two thousand years prior to events in the Riyria books, and it’s planned to be three books detailing the rise and fall (I assume) of three key figures in this world’s history. This sounds like the books might be a trio of standalones rather than a traditional trilogy where events follow on from one book to the next. In Nolyn, we follow the emperor’s son, Nolyn Nyphronian, who starts out in the middle of the jungle on a certain death mission. Along with a small band of survivors, Nolyn sets off on a course of action to find out who wants him dead, and ends up caught up in much more than a single assassination plot. We also follow Sephryn, who is Nolyn’s lover, or former lover, I’m not entirely sure where they stand at the start of the book. Sephryn is like Nolyn – half-human, half-Fhrey (basically an elf) – and is being forced by a sinister stranger to acquire a mythical item, for reasons unknown to her. Worldbuilding: This is a book that should benefit from the work that has been done before. There is history that was crafted for previously released novels, even those set after Nolyn in the timeline. Similarly with the world itself, a lot of the work has already been done before we get to Nolyn. The notes for Nolyn state that this is a standalone work that requires no prior knowledge of the books set in this world. While this is true, I feel that readers with that prior knowledge will have a richer experience with Nolyn than those who go into it as their first taste of Sullivan’s writing. There are some nods to the earlier books, in the Legends of the First Empire series, and those who have read the Riyria books may also pick up some references, Easter eggs if you will. With that said, the world we see in Nolyn is adequate – there’s a bit of travel, and a bit of talk of the lay of the land, but a good portion of the book is spent in Percepliquis, so this is where we get most of our actual building. We also learn various point of history, but it does at times seem a little unnatural. There are events that seem to be brought up a little too often to point to a fully fleshed out history – although these are important events, it would be nice if there were other examples that are pointed to. As it stands, it almost seems like there are one or two historical events and everything else that has gone before is completely inconsequential. Characters: The characters in Nolyn were a bit hit and miss for me. Some felt like they weren’t well enough fleshed out, with little to learn about them beyond what is important to Nolyn or Sephryn’s storylines. I felt I wasn’t really invested in any of the characters and that some of the decisions made did a disservice to the character work that was attempted. For the majority of the book, we alternate between Nolyn chapters and Sephryn chapters, then, randomly, we’ll switch to a quick POV of another character. This seemed a little odd when it came up – it was only once or twice, and it was a character we already knew, so it seemed like we should have had the occasional POV chapter from them at an earlier point, rather than just a single chapter mid-book when it was convenient. Some of the actual character choices also seemed a bit odd considering the scale of their impact. Without going into specifics, to avoid spoilers, we have an almost complete change of direction at one point with very minimal build up or coercion. When this happened, it almost seemed like the author had a new idea and just went with it from that point on, rather than going back and building it into the earlier parts of the books so it wasn’t such a tangent when it did occur. The supporting characters didn’t get a vast amount of page time, but we follow a handful of warriors by extension of Nolyn’s storyline, and a smaller handful of citizens alongside Sephryn. Some of these are interesting characters, although some do seem a bit underused. A key example of this is where the entirety of a character’s importance to the story can be summarised in one single event. Their inclusion in the remainder of the story is inconsequential, they are simply referenced so we are aware of them when they appear for that one single task at a key point in the story. While this might not necessarily be uncommon in fiction, we do normally tend to find these characters have some time spent on them, some development and history to add a bit of depth. Otherwise, it seems like they have no life, no existence outside of the one part of the story they are actually involved in. Enjoyment: Nolyn starts with a battle, or at least, it’s not long until we’re in the midst of one. This would normally lead to a quick pace and suck me in from the outset, but here I just couldn’t seem to get going until I was a good way through the book. I think part of this was because of the story itself, but a larger part was because I had some specific gripes with the writing. From an early stage when being introduced to Nolyn, he references Sephryn, and although we’ve been given that disclaimer that no prior knowledge of the world / other books is necessary before reading Nolyn, these passages seem like they are a continuation of an existing story that we should be aware of. It seemed almost like we were missing an introduction to some of the characters and settings before we actually came upon them. With these references to Sephryn, it’s a simple explanation, or a different introduction to her, that would have made things a bit clearer. What we get instead is Nolyn talking about her as if we already knew her, and we’re left playing catchup. The best example of this though, and one that really stood out to me, is a simple missing introduction of an “extra” in the city of Percepliquis. There are a couple of mentions of a baker, and in one scene we see an interaction with this baker, then at one point he says something followed by the dialog tag “Rodney declared.” This would be absolutely fine, however this is the first point that we have been given the name Rodney – the baker isn’t introduced by name, so I spent a couple of minutes flicking back a page or two, then using the Kindle’s search function, to see if I had missed something. I was left needing to make an assumption that Rodney was indeed the baker, as there seemed no other alternative (the other results in the Kindle search did confirm this assumption). In other areas of the book, it was the over use of names that caused the issue. Most characters followed the standard sort of convention where they are referred to by a common name, and only where the situation dictates (such as introductions), are they given both a first and a last name. For some reason, the soldiers with Nolyn were often given both names where there seemed no need to do this. Although a bit out of place, there’s nothing inherently wrong with this, but when one such name is Ramahanaparus Mirk, it interrupts the flow a bit to be tripping over the pronunciation. Similarly, we have the Belgriclungreians. This is the name, in this world, for Dwarfs, and while we meet a Dwarf who happily uses the term “Dwarf” to refer to himself / his people, we more commonly see the five-syllable alternative, which seems unnecessarily complicated. I get that the author is using his own creativity to avoid simply using Dwarfs and Elves (instead having Belgriclungreians and Fhrey) but we do at various points of the book use “Dwarfs” and “Elves” anyway, and if renaming them, it would be nice to have a word that doesn’t interrupt the flow of the story each time it surfaces. There were a few other bits that took me out of the story a bit when I came across them, little names (Bristol, Brighton) or turns of phrase (“a horrible cocktail…all mixer, no alcohol”) that seemed to me a bit out of place in a fantasy setting. Although mentioning things like these might seem incredibly nitpicky, the number of these little quirks all put together really had a negative impact on my overall enjoyment of Nolyn, detracting from the actual events and characters of the story itself. The overall story though was OK. There are a few events at the end that seemed a bit too coincidental, as if particular effort was made to ensure all loose ends were tied up. Some felt a bit unnecessary however, giving happy endings for the sake of happy endings but having no actual impact on the story itself. I came away from Nolyn feeling that I hadn’t really gained anything by reading it. It was an “OK” book, not a poor one, but certainly not a really good one either. I do genuinely feel that I might have fared slightly better reading a more polished version of the book itself though, as opposed to specifically the story and the gripes I mention earlier. The ARC I read had the text aligned to the left rather than justified, which I found made it oddly difficult to settle down and read for a long period. With this, there were unusual little quirks, like ellipses frequently breaking onto the next line (potentially this was due to using “. . .” instead of an actual ellipsis of “…” – thus allowing them to break over lines). With the story just being OK, I found that there weren’t really aspects of it that really stood out for me, and coming back a few days later to write my review, the main things that do stick out in my memory are the gripes I had with the book. I may therefore be doing a disservice to the book in my review, but I suppose the way around this would be to have had a story that outweighed those issues for me.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Arundeepak Jayaseelan

    4.25/5 With some unpredictable twists and an explosive last 150 pages, Nolyn is a solid introduction to the Rise and Fall trilogy First of all huge thanks to the publisher and author for approving my request in NetGalley and this review is solely my unbiased opinion. Quick Summary: Set between The Legend of the First Empire series and Riyiria books, 'Nolyn' follows the story of the titular character Nolyn, the heir to the throne who was sent to his death seemingly by his father, the emperor and Se 4.25/5 With some unpredictable twists and an explosive last 150 pages, Nolyn is a solid introduction to the Rise and Fall trilogy First of all huge thanks to the publisher and author for approving my request in NetGalley and this review is solely my unbiased opinion. Quick Summary: Set between The Legend of the First Empire series and Riyiria books, 'Nolyn' follows the story of the titular character Nolyn, the heir to the throne who was sent to his death seemingly by his father, the emperor and Sephryn, the councilwoman in the Precepliques whose son was kidnapped and was forced to do a bidding by the 'Voice' in her head. I've read the Riyiria revelations a while ago and absolutely loved it and read the first 3 books of The Legend of the First Empire series before i called quits on it. Even though i caught most of the reference and cameos from the previous works, I've probably missed out a lot but the point is you can clearly enjoy this book without any previous knowledge about the world of Elan WHAT WORKED FOR ME IN THIS BOOK: The writing, it was on point, no unnecessary pages and easily accessible. I powered through the entire book in just 2 sittings. The camaraderie between Nolyn and the Seventh Sikaria Auxiliary squadron. I'm a sucker for the military brotherhood and found family trope so it naturally worked well for me and it was written really well too. Their brotherhood was one of the strongest point in this book IMO. The subtle humor between the Seventh Sikaria and their trust in Nolyn was really nice to read. The last 150 pages, man o man it was wild. I saw one twist that was coming but it was immediately followed by plenty of em I didn't see. The battle, betrayal, reveals and intimate moments between the main characters written in the last section of this book was near perfect. WHAT DIDN'T WORKED FOR ME IN THIS BOOK: Sephyn's POV, I wouldn't say it was bad but it didn't held my attention as Nolyn's chapters did. And the other thing that bothered me was the first 200 pages, it was just I don't know... I couldn't find anything troubling about it but there was nothing new and exhilarating to turn the pages. but I also gotta point out that the second half of this book more than made up for it. Simple put, Nolyn is well written first entry in the Rise and Fall trilogy with mostly a standalone feel to it but leaves some thread to explore in the following books.

  19. 4 out of 5

    David S Meanderings)

    4.5 stars “He could love them as he loved life itself because they were life–an existence lived as it ought to be: swift and brilliant, careless and courageous. They were shooting stars, sparks from a campfire, a first touch, and a final kiss. Fleeting moments of beauty made all the more wondrous by their brief nature.” Nolyn comes out August 3rd, 2021! If you end up loving this book, follow Michael J Sullivan on Twitter so you can be informed when he does his Kickstarter for each book so you too 4.5 stars “He could love them as he loved life itself because they were life–an existence lived as it ought to be: swift and brilliant, careless and courageous. They were shooting stars, sparks from a campfire, a first touch, and a final kiss. Fleeting moments of beauty made all the more wondrous by their brief nature.” Nolyn comes out August 3rd, 2021! If you end up loving this book, follow Michael J Sullivan on Twitter so you can be informed when he does his Kickstarter for each book so you too can get the next book early! If you have any questions about that let me know and I would be happy to help! A question I get asked a lot is where to start reading in this Universe. The simple answer is that you can start anywhere. Michael J Sullivan has said that he writes his series so that they stand wholly on their own. However, I would also say to get the full experience, easter eggs and all, read each series in publication order starting with Riyria Revelations (Omnibus Trilogy), then Legends of the First Empire (6 books), and then The Rise and Fall trilogy, of which Nolyn is the first book. However, as I said above, ultimately you can read any of the series at any time and enjoy each very much. Welcome to the world of Elan! Every time I return to this world it feels like a breath of fresh air. Sullivan writes in such a way that every time I read a novel in this world it feels like coming home. I am suddenly transported to the depths of the Erbon Forest. I am a traveler amidst the hustle and bustle of Percepliquis. I am a crewman on a ship sailing the Bern River. I honestly don’t know what Sullivan does to make his worlds come alive so, but come alive they do. In Nolyn, we have two main POV characters and then 2 POVs that come up more than once, but not as often. The only reason that this book did not get a perfect score from me is that one of the main POVs did not have me as engaged and invested for about the first 50% of the book. It had nothing to do with the character. Sephryn is a conflicted, caring, and fierce character who will stop at nothing to protect her son. However, I felt like there just wasn’t much happening in the first half of the book in her POV so at times I felt myself longing for another POV to come up soon while reading her chapters. However, in the second half I found myself riveted to the page having to know what was going to happen. “What good is it to breathe if I don’t live? What value is there in loyalty if it blocks every path? What will I do now?“ The other main POV was the titular character Nolyn. Nolyn is the half elf, half human son of the Emperor Nyphron. We start following him in the depths of a jungle filled with the enemy Ghazel and his chapters are pretty action packed from there. I think my favorite thing about Nolyn’s chapters were the bonds that he shared with the men of the Seventh Sikaria Auxiliary Squadron. Known throughout the empire as the best of the best, the “Seventh Sik-Aux” are a band of brothers. They look out for one another and when things go from bad to worse, they are utterly loyal to each other. I loved seeing the respect and admiration grow between the men of the Squadron and Nolyn, their commander. Their bonds and banter was probably my favorite part of the entire story. The other two POVs were both very good. Arvis’ POV was very compelling and included a really cool twist near the end that I didn’t see coming. The other POV was the main antagonist, but I don’t want to name them because of spoilers from Legends of the First Empire. Suffice it to say it was really fascinating to see how far this character has come from that series power-wise, while still having the same selfish and arrogant motivations that were motivating them then. Sullivan as always wrote some really high octane fight scenes, somehow infusing high stakes while still making them a ton of fun to read. There were quite a few action sequences in this one and I enjoyed all of them. This was another really good book in the world of Elan, as well as an excellent start to what promises to be an exciting series. Nolyn is a gradual buildup to an explosive ending with big reveals and plenty of twists that blew my mind and left me wanting more! I think both veteran and new readers will really enjoy this opening entry to The Rise and Fall trilogy. I can’t wait for Farilane!

  20. 5 out of 5

    FanFiAddict

    Rating: 8.5/10 Thanks to the Michael and Robin for having me on to be a Gamma reader for Nolyn (The Rise and Fall #1). This did not influence my thoughts or opinions. Rapid pacing, intense battles, and captivating characters make Nolyn a tremendous first entry in the Rise and Fall series. Fans of Sullivan’s previous works, and even new readers, will find a ton to love here. First off, another winner from Marc Simonetti, amirite? His art never ceases to amaze and I’m always happy to see what he has Rating: 8.5/10 Thanks to the Michael and Robin for having me on to be a Gamma reader for Nolyn (The Rise and Fall #1). This did not influence my thoughts or opinions. Rapid pacing, intense battles, and captivating characters make Nolyn a tremendous first entry in the Rise and Fall series. Fans of Sullivan’s previous works, and even new readers, will find a ton to love here. First off, another winner from Marc Simonetti, amirite? His art never ceases to amaze and I’m always happy to see what he has in store for a Sullivan release. So, set between Legends of the First Empire and the Riyria novels, we have Nolyn. Fans of either series will find plenty to enjoy here, along with some Easter eggy goodness, but like with any other series Michael puts out, it can be a starting point for new readers, too. New characters, new adventures, and new machinations with the same fantastic writing you have come to love from Sullivan. The one thing I definitely did not expect were all of the plot twists. Just when you think you have it all figured out. The majority of the story is told from two (2) POVs, Nolyn and Sephryn, both of whom you get acquainted with fairly quickly in the onset. The chapters have character breaks throughout so you are getting the “real-time” perspectives of the characters as the story progresses. I quite enjoy when chapters aren’t 100% focused on one character at a time as it can feel like playing catch-up once you hit the next chapter, sometimes having to rehash pieces already explained – only from a different vantage point. I have to say that I enjoyed Nolyn’s storyline over Sephryn’s, mostly because it dealt with the Goblin War and him blazing a trail to find who put him in his current predicament. I mean, if someone wants you dead and you don’t, in fact, die, you’re going to be pretty pissed, right? Having said that, Sephryn’s arc definitely appealed more to my emotions and I felt more of a connection with her because of that. Having a child of your own really changes your perspectives, even when reading fiction, and my heart went out for her during the entirety of the novel. I honestly figured Nolyn was going to be fine once I got to a feel for the Seventh Sikaria Auxiliary Squadron. I don’t want to deep-dive into the story because it is one you need to experience for yourself. If you enjoy high fantasy with war, magic, betrayal, a little dose of humor, and likeable characters, this is one to definitely add to the list.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay

    That’s an easy 5 stars! Nolyn is not only one of the best books I’ve read in 2021, but it is also very high on my personal list for best MJS book! I don’t care that I just finished rereading all of his books earlier this year I’m already in the mood to dive back in again 😂😂 Basically I need the next book now and I don’t know how I’ll manage till next year.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Joel

    Nolyn returns us to the world of Riyria, which for many of us longtime readers is like putting on a nice old sweatshirt that is comforting. It is several hundred years after the events of the previous released series, but features some of the same characters who have lived on, and/or references them quite often. Without the time or energy to write a huge lengthy review, I will say that I enjoyed returning to this world, but that Nolyn left a bit to be filled in, and felt a bit watered-down in so Nolyn returns us to the world of Riyria, which for many of us longtime readers is like putting on a nice old sweatshirt that is comforting. It is several hundred years after the events of the previous released series, but features some of the same characters who have lived on, and/or references them quite often. Without the time or energy to write a huge lengthy review, I will say that I enjoyed returning to this world, but that Nolyn left a bit to be filled in, and felt a bit watered-down in some areas. It had engaging characters, but just lacked some "oomph" I was looking for, and some of the fullness of story from the previous series. I am still extremely eager to get my hands on the next novel in the series, and will assuredly still back the upcoming kickstarter. I don't want to sound as though I did not enjoy Nolyn, as I very much did - it just didn't blow me away as some of the previous novels have.

  23. 5 out of 5

    John Decarteret

    Well what a fantastic start to a new series! No spoilers for those who will want to read it. I will say I LOVE meeting a few old friends. Of course this series is completely new and stands alone. No previous knowledge of other books is needed, but for those of us who have read the other Michael J Sullivan books we get to see and hear about characters we have already met. The gap is bridged between all of the novels from this world throughout its history. Now I'm sad that I don't have the next boo Well what a fantastic start to a new series! No spoilers for those who will want to read it. I will say I LOVE meeting a few old friends. Of course this series is completely new and stands alone. No previous knowledge of other books is needed, but for those of us who have read the other Michael J Sullivan books we get to see and hear about characters we have already met. The gap is bridged between all of the novels from this world throughout its history. Now I'm sad that I don't have the next book! But it is certainly something to look forward to! 5 stars! *****

  24. 4 out of 5

    Pamela

    Having read everything else by Michael J Sullivan, I was anxious to read this new series. I was thinking 3.5 stars, as that is an OK enjoyable story, but will round up. I enjoyed the book, but something about it was missing for me. I've thought and thought, coming up with what will be an unpopular opinion, but here goes. Believe it or not, it's all the Easter eggs....just too many references to previous series. As a seasoned reader of the two previous series, I was glad to get the info, but as a Having read everything else by Michael J Sullivan, I was anxious to read this new series. I was thinking 3.5 stars, as that is an OK enjoyable story, but will round up. I enjoyed the book, but something about it was missing for me. I've thought and thought, coming up with what will be an unpopular opinion, but here goes. Believe it or not, it's all the Easter eggs....just too many references to previous series. As a seasoned reader of the two previous series, I was glad to get the info, but as a new reader I would find the story lacking in character and world development. In fact, Sephryn did nothing for me. Nolyn seemed to be a good guy, but we are briefly taken back to a 500 year adolescence to connect with his views, which wasn't substantial to really get a connection to the character. Just me, but I would have rather grown up with Nolyn and Sephryn to develop a bond to them, but that's not the direction the author took, and it's his story. I respect that, and did enjoy the story as it does create a bridge for the other two series, but that's all I took away from the book, quick to read and quick to move away from. Royce and Hadrian will always be my favorites, a chemistry that can't be topped, well worth a re-read.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mia

    So Michael J Sullivan has done it again, and woe is me that have to wait a whole year until the next book...

  26. 4 out of 5

    Elise

    As a Kickstarter backer, I got to read this book early. Nolyn is the start to a follow up series to The Legends of the First Empire series, set hundreds of years in the future. It follows a couple of characters that are descendants of characters from that series, and there are a lot of references and callbacks to Legends, so I highly recommend reading that series first or you'll miss out on the context. Plus there are some spoilers for that series too. Nolyn and Sephryn are the two main players h As a Kickstarter backer, I got to read this book early. Nolyn is the start to a follow up series to The Legends of the First Empire series, set hundreds of years in the future. It follows a couple of characters that are descendants of characters from that series, and there are a lot of references and callbacks to Legends, so I highly recommend reading that series first or you'll miss out on the context. Plus there are some spoilers for that series too. Nolyn and Sephryn are the two main players here. They each have their own subplots that become intertwined by a lynchpin. It took me a little time to warm up to them at first, being that they are new characters and all. It takes some time to get to know them. In the beginning, I was more engaged with Sephryn's side of the story and what was going on there than Nolyn's, but his side got me invested eventually later on down the road. On the one side, you have a caper story and the other a revolution, and it all comes together in a really fantastic way. I really enjoyed seeing how the characters perceived and interpreted the events of the past, and how things are beginning to change. It's kind of heartbreaking because the characters who were directly involved in those events (and therefore still remember what happened), are slowly fading away into history. Yes, a few characters from the previous series do make an appearance and they have an important role to play. I enjoyed some of the new characters too though, especially Errol. I hope he comes back in future books. The last one hundred pages or so were an absolute roller coaster, and I think up there with Michael J. Sullivan's best writing. Some really great twists. This book was really really good, and I can't wait for what's next.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Anj✨

    Nolyn by Michael J. Sullivan is the first book I finished this month. I read Riyria Revelations ages ago and I don't remember much, but it didn't hamper my enjoyment. And I probably missed a lot of cameos 🤷🏽‍♀️. IMO anyone can enjoy Nolyn with no background from previous books without feeling lost. 𝑾𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝑰 𝒍𝒊𝒌𝒆: →an unputdownable read! I finished this in the wee hours of the night and I can confidently say, "No ragrets!" →it hooked me right from the start, where after a few pages, a well-executed b Nolyn by Michael J. Sullivan is the first book I finished this month. I read Riyria Revelations ages ago and I don't remember much, but it didn't hamper my enjoyment. And I probably missed a lot of cameos 🤷🏽‍♀️. IMO anyone can enjoy Nolyn with no background from previous books without feeling lost. 𝑾𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝑰 𝒍𝒊𝒌𝒆: →an unputdownable read! I finished this in the wee hours of the night and I can confidently say, "No ragrets!" →it hooked me right from the start, where after a few pages, a well-executed battle began →rich in lore, fast-paced, epic battle scenes, and intricate plot →Michael J. Sullivan's writing style is enjoyable! It flowed easily, beautiful, and no words wasted. →the banters between the Seventh Sikaria Auxiliary squadron and Nolyn made me laugh at times and their camaraderie is heartwarming →I love Nolyn and Nyphron's conversation. So weirdly good →that last 20% was WILD!!! 𝑾𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝑰 𝒅𝒊𝒅 𝒏𝒐𝒕 𝒍𝒊𝒌𝒆: →there are a lot of deus ex machina moments →Nolyn's daddy issue Overall, if you like epic fantasy goodness, magic, intense battles, humor, and friendship - Nolyn is perfect for you! Thank you so much, Grim Oak Press and Netgalley for the DRC 🥰

  28. 5 out of 5

    Minx

    What an amazing adventure and introduction to The Rise and Fall series Nolyn was. Not to mention that from reading every book from this Author I was already familiar Nolyn but never him or his story. Now I am and I loved seeing the influences of Persephone in his character as a man. Being introduced to Sephryn was bittersweet because through her I was able to learn more about her parents and their story. Overall, Nolyn did not disappoint as a high fantasy novel and I am eagerly anticipating the What an amazing adventure and introduction to The Rise and Fall series Nolyn was. Not to mention that from reading every book from this Author I was already familiar Nolyn but never him or his story. Now I am and I loved seeing the influences of Persephone in his character as a man. Being introduced to Sephryn was bittersweet because through her I was able to learn more about her parents and their story. Overall, Nolyn did not disappoint as a high fantasy novel and I am eagerly anticipating the next two books in this series.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kaffeeklatsch and Books

    This was my first Michael J. Sullivan book, although I'm familiar with the names of other series the author has published. I mainly read epic fantasy like GRR, Joe Abercrombie, Steven Erikson, Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson etc. so I have to compare this also to where this new series stands within the genre. The cover art is amazing and I really appreciated the ebook link to a bigger map - well done publisher! I also adored the foreword by the author himself, this gave it a very nice personal to This was my first Michael J. Sullivan book, although I'm familiar with the names of other series the author has published. I mainly read epic fantasy like GRR, Joe Abercrombie, Steven Erikson, Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson etc. so I have to compare this also to where this new series stands within the genre. The cover art is amazing and I really appreciated the ebook link to a bigger map - well done publisher! I also adored the foreword by the author himself, this gave it a very nice personal touch we readers like. First up there's no question. Michael J. Sullivan can write. I preferred Sephryn's POV simply because I was far more emotionally invested and the plot itself was interesting enough. However the side characters were not fleshed out enough for my taste. They were just names and occupations next to our two main characters. I hardly got background stories or motives. I did like the tension between all the races, but the whole "my god is better than your god" is not one of my favorite tropes and put me off a bit. The pantheon also needed something more (maybe there's more info in the other books?). Altogether still an entertaining read, but it's a case of "it's me" not the book itself. Thank you Grim Oak Press and Netgalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review. 3.5 out of 5 stars

  30. 5 out of 5

    Katy

    Nolyn is Micheal J Sullivans latest novel in the universe he has created, this time being the first instalment in the Rise and Fall trilogy. We are following Noyln, son of Nyphron (the emperor) and Persephone, who has been sent to the fringes of society at the front lines of the war - under the impression he has been sent there by his father to die. We are also following Sephryn, daughter of the legendary Moya and Tekchin, who gets roped into a scheme to steal the horn of glyndora from the emper Nolyn is Micheal J Sullivans latest novel in the universe he has created, this time being the first instalment in the Rise and Fall trilogy. We are following Noyln, son of Nyphron (the emperor) and Persephone, who has been sent to the fringes of society at the front lines of the war - under the impression he has been sent there by his father to die. We are also following Sephryn, daughter of the legendary Moya and Tekchin, who gets roped into a scheme to steal the horn of glyndora from the emperor by a mysterious voice in her head. I thought this was a really strong entry into the series, initially I was a bit hesitant about the Rise and Fall series as it is set between events of his two other main series and was unsure how much it would add to the world, but I really enjoyed following the new characters and loved the theme of how often no matter how hard we try not to be our parents we often become very similar to them, once we understand the choices they have made. Also just the themes of parenthood and sacrifice in general I really enjoyed! I also liked exploring the growing pains of an empire and how often things don't go smoothly, how greed and corruption can easily ruin an idealistic dream. Sephryn was by far my favourite character and story arc in the book, she was such a strong driven character who also happened to be a desperate mother trying relentlessly to rescue her son. I loved her interactions with Seymor, a monk who reminded her of an old friend, who was a gentle voice of reason, and Errol, a thief who was so cheeky, charming and a total mischief maker!! I loved their little trio and following their heist storyline. Sephryn also had a very interesting relationship with her mother, Moya, a character I really loved in legends but I thought it was a really good choice to explore her through Sephryn's eyes, as we see she is very flawed. The pressure of living up to being a legend both for Moya and Sephryn is a fascinating theme to explore - and how often the pressure of living to up a false reality or ideal can be crushing. I also really liked Arvis, she was a very tragic character and I thought the way her character came in a full circle and was also a dark mirror of Sephryn was very beautifully done. Nolyn as a character I took a bit of time to warm up to, I liked him fine I just didn't feel like he was particularly special compared to other fantasy heros, but I did really like the friendship and camaradrie he has with his fellow soldiers. And towards the end I really liked the exploration of his complicated relationship with his father, misjudgements that have been made and how Nolyn comes to terms with the fact that his father may not have been the father he wanted, but might have been the one he needed. I have always felt that Sullivan's book have great climaxes/conclusions and this book was no exception. I really loved how all the storylines tied together towards the end, and the little clues and hints from throughout coming together. I also felt like this was really satisfying to read as a standalone, and felt like an end for the characters we are following whilst still managing to have some subtle set up for the other two book in the trilogy - and safe to say I am very excited for those!! I feel like while the author says this book can be read as a standalone, you will get a lot more out of it if you have read legends of the first empire beforehand. A lot of the events are directly connected and characters are direct descendants of legends characters, and I think you wuld miss out on a lot of depth to the story if you haven't read them. However I don't think you have to have read the Royce and Hadrian books (Riyria Chronicles/Revelations) to enjoy this one though, as it is set a long time before those!

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...