Nolyn

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Pub Date 3 Aug 2021 | Archive Date 15 Nov 2021

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Description

From the bestselling author of the Legends of the First Empire: New York Times, USA Today, Washington Post

After two hundred years of service, the heir to the empire is suspicious about his reassignment to active duty on the front lines of the Goblin War. His first assignment to rescue an outpost leads to a dead-end canyon deep inside enemy territory. Suspicion turns to dread and then sinks to despair when it’s discovered no such outpost exists. But whoever went to the trouble of making his death look like an accident didn’t know anything about the Seventh Sikaria Auxiliary Squadron he was assigned to. In the depths of an unforgiving jungle, a legend is about to be born, and the world of Elan will never be the same.

Here begins a new adventure with the first book of the Rise and Fall trilogy. While set in the same world as Riyria and Legends of the First Empire, this is a standalone series, so no prior knowledge of the other books is required to enjoy it to its fullest.

From the bestselling author of the Legends of the First Empire: New York Times, USA Today, Washington Post

After two hundred years of service, the heir to the empire is suspicious about his...


A Note From the Publisher

Author of nineteen completed novels, (17 published and 3 scheduled for release (2021-2023). Michael J. Sullivan writes stories of unlikely heroes and classic adventure. His debut novel was released in 2008 and in 2012 io9 named him one of the most-successful self-published fantasy authors. His Riyria tales were re-released by Hachette’s Orbit imprint (2011-2013), and his Legends of the First Empire novels were published through Penguin Random House’s Del Rey imprint from 2016-2018 and Grim Oak Press from 2019-2020. Some key successes of Michael's career include: 2 Million English language books sold 85+ Foreign language translations 3 bestselling series: The Riyria Revelations, Riyria Chronicles, and Legends of the First Empire 1 New York Times bestselling title 3 Washington Post bestselling hardcovers 4 1/2 years on Amazon's Top 100 Fantasy List 7 Goodreads Choice Award Nominations 31st most-followed US Goodreads author in US (34th worldwide) 300+ books on various best-of and most-anticipated lists including those compiled by Library Journal, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Goodreads, and Audible.com.

Author of nineteen completed novels, (17 published and 3 scheduled for release (2021-2023). Michael J. Sullivan writes stories of unlikely heroes and classic adventure. His debut novel was released...


Advance Praise

"Nolyn is masterfully executed and the disparate storylines are equally intriguing as they are spun beautifully together into an ending full of gnarled twists and grim surprises that will leave you clamoring for more. For true fans of epic fantasy, Michael J. Sullivan’s The Rise and the Fall series is not one to miss.” – David Estes, Amazon #1 bestselling author of Fatemarked


“Breathtakingly epic in scope, yet the characters are infused with the breath of genuine humanity that makes Sullivan’s work utterly unique.” – Andy Peloquin, bestselling author of The Silent Champions series

“Vengeance and love test the boundaries of honor in this phenomenal epic fantasy by Michael J. Sullivan. Heart-wrenching and powerful, you can’t help but root for Nolyn and Sephryn as they struggle to unravel the plots against them before the final trap is sprung. I loved every minute and can’t wait to see what happens next!” – Megan Haskell, award-winning author of The Sanyare Chronicles


“With Nolyn, a true master of epic fantasy shines even brighter. Sullivan has an amazing ability to craft a brilliant ensemble of characters and lead readers on an adventure that keeps them wide-eyed and begging for more with each expertly written page.” – Dyrk Ashton, author of The Paternus Trilogy

"Nolyn is masterfully executed and the disparate storylines are equally intriguing as they are spun beautifully together into an ending full of gnarled twists and grim surprises that will leave you...


Marketing Plan

$10,000 marketing and publicity budget

Key online advertising on Shelf Awareness to booksellers and librarians. Additional advertising on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

An Ask Me Anything event on Reddit's r/Fantasy (1.4 million) community

ARC Giveaways: On Goodreads, Reddit, Grim Oak Press, and Shelf Awareness

eARCs available on Shelf Awareness and NetGalley

Virtual Bookstore Tour with other SF&F authors moderating

$10,000 marketing and publicity budget

Key online advertising on Shelf Awareness to booksellers and librarians. Additional advertising on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

An Ask Me Anything event on...


Available Editions

EDITION Hardcover
ISBN 9781944145910
PRICE US$28.00 (USD)

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (EPUB)
Send To Kindle (MOBI)
Download (EPUB)

Average rating from 60 members


Featured Reviews

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.

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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!

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I am sure that anyone who has read Sullivan’s works before probably won’t be surprised by how good this book was. I am a first time reader and I loved it! After years of service, a young heir to the empire is sent on a job that seems to be a dead end (literally). Luckily for him his new squad of soldiers may have been underestimated. I enjoyed the depth of character in this story as well as the incredible world building. Sullivan has written a top notch story and I for one will be diving in to his previous works so I can get some more!

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The first book in a new Riyria series, the story here is whole within itself. No worries that you will reach the end and be left upon a major cliffhanger, unsatisfied and incomplete. Neither does it require that the reader first be familiar with the other Riyria works, the world building is complete with enough references to the past to offer explanation to new readers without bogging down in repetition for those familiar. From the first pages, the descriptions grab you. No fault to be found there, you can feel the scenes, smell the hot humid air, see the mottled play of light and dark upon the large leathery leaves of the forest floor. and while I am no fan of ubermench, the super characters now littering some corner of the fantasy space, these are not they - the only disbelief that must be suspended is the way in which characters famous for their just believable personal accomplishments all happened to be gathered in that place, at that moment - and eventually, even that is hinted at. Nolyn himself is anything but - a character of long years nursing very human, understandable, grievances of his youth, his time in the world not wasted, but neither did it result in the unbelievable levels of skills and experience found in other author's work's.. The weakness here comes in the narration choices, editorial decisions of what events to offer first, and from whose perspective.is it offered. Tension and mystery that should have built within the chapters, I felt, never got the opportunity as Nolyn unraveled mysteries before him. Because those mysteries' answers were previously revealed by the actions and thoughts of the focus antagonist in prior chapters... If intended for an audience younger, or less well read in the genre, the choices are not just understandable but desirous. If, on the other hand, you are a reader (or movie viewer) who routinely and accurately predicts the conclusion during the first quarter of the work, you will find this a book that could have been better. Thus, I cautiously recommend the book 3.5 - 4 stars. Full disclosure - I received advance copy of the book as an ARC, in exchange for a fair review. I believe the above qualifies.

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(Full disclosure: Received an ARC through Netgalley from the author. But this review is honest and subjective.) A three and a half read rounded to four. Why? Ask Goodreads why I can't do three and a half. To begin with, I did enjoy the book. Nolyn was written objectively good. I finished earlier than I had expected. I especially liked how the fledgling, but colourful Percepliquis was done. I admired the new tone that the author started the book with Nolyn. When I started reading the first page, I said to myself, 'boy Hassan, this will be a grimish darkish one.' And coming from early legends, and then Riyria Revelations' tone, it was darker. At least in the start. That's where thing sent wrong. Yes, usually things do go wrong in books because these pesky little shits called inciting incidents barrel into the characters' lives. I liked the tone the first, the foremost part of the book, set. It was dark. It was primarily from a Prince's view who wasn't just the heir, but also a career soldier and as well as a worker. Aside from Nolyn (I'll come back), Sephryn was fine. I am not going to sing praises. In fact, I have no songs to sing off of any of the characters in this book, sadly. Ah... Nolyn. Nolyn. Such expectations I held. Not entirely smashed, nor were they held. He started off so good. I was loving the landscape of his mind and the tapestry of his experiences. But then it became too much. In each chapter, he would go and on about expositioning. Then he started coming across as an unemphatic, uncaring arsehole. I stopped connecting. Maybe that's what happens with expectations. But this certainly wasn't what I thought Nolyn would. But I also didn't think he would be doing exposition heavy, run-on dialogues. (I'll come back to the writing itself.) Sephryn's motivations were good. First a humanitarian, in unique circumstances, then as a mother. But I swear to god I had to force myself some chapters to push forward. Sometimes she came off so naive. (as many characters did, especially Nolyn.) Sometimes I would think, yes, this is it, this is the point when she starts becoming a character and not just a whiny brat always going off and off about her mum. Damn it, Sephryn is over eight hundred years old and she comes off as a seventeen years old. The amount of disappointment I hold with how Nyphron was done in this book... God, what happened, Michael Sullivan? You had such a wonderful character. Ripe already from a six book series. You could've done so much more with him. So many things. Better and even worse. But no, in reality Nyphron was barely in the book. No, in fact, Nyphron wasn't even a character in the book. He was just a plot device. Not even Nolyn or Sephryn's motivation in truth, but just a thing to move the story forward in any way no matter what. Finally, my main grievance with the book. The writing was a step down from RR, and two or maybe even four steps down from Legends. Honestly sometimes I thought to myself, "so, maybe infodumps and exposition heavy dialogues are okay now?" And even if they are, I subjectively dislike it. The characters other than Sephryn and Nolyn didn't exist. The plot devices had names, but they had no motivations, (sole exception being Mawyndulë), they had dialogues accounted for like good NPCs, but they had no consequences for their actions. Yes I am talking about the Seventh Sikaria Auxiliary. Some people will like their camaraderie, but to me it came off across as forced , with no feelings or will put into them. They were made to be this epic fighting force kicking ass and being badass but all I found was several men with the thickest plot armour, and the sharpest destiny blades. They're the bestest and the goodest. Also, I disliked how the author keeps doing the Goblin dirty. The goblins are like those stuntman in low budget movies who fall or swing aside before the hero punches or kicks them. There was a man pretending to be Malcolm. There was a man pretending to be Trilos. But all I got was just names and not the characters the reader was already familiar. One of the things that I liked in this book was how the author presented the still-present power and class divide between humans and Fhreys. It showed a vision of the eventual future and the reasons for it, and it also showed a glimpse of the past. I know many of my critiques for this book probably come from the fact that the author meant this book to be read as a standalone from all his other installments in Elan. But to be honest, it didn't work. He struggled with trying to keep the old readers invested in the story by infodumping about the events of Legends while also trying to keep the new readers hooked. Overall, I had held many expectations from this book but so few were met. And thus, I am changing my ending note from the usual. Good book. (With complications.)

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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.

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That's another book of one of my favourite authors. We're back in a world of Elan, and we meet some of new and some of old characters, every of them and indyvidual and very interesting. That it what I like so much about Sullivan's novels. He had written so many book, and yet characters he created are always unique and have their own personality. Nolyn takes place over 8 hundred years after the ending of The Legends of the First Empire. Is it encessary to read previous trilogy? The author says, it's not, but I would seriously recommend reading it first, ebcause there's so much easter eggs, it will be just much mroe pleasurable experience. In Nolyn we have two main PoV's - Nolyn and Sephryn. They are both kids of people that were heroes in Legens of the First Empire. The story is mostly about trying to run the revolution against emperor Nyphron and about Sephryn trying to get back her son who was stolen by one of the Frey, But to get his kid back, she needs to do some bad things that cost her well. It;s as much as I can say about the plot. Did I like the book? Very much. Apart of Nolyn and Sephryn, we meet a bunch of new great characters. Actually, my favourite were the Seventh Sikaria Auxiliary squadron which were Nolyn's companions and gave us the most between pages enetrtaintment. I give the story 4,5 stars, but round it up to five, because I know the author is a great storyteller and I can see through this book, it's a start of another great series.

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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.

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From the start this book wasn't the most explosive read of 2021 but it really picked up after the second half. One standout was the world building it seemed to encapsulate the right atmosphere for the land and the monsters that roamed it. Nolyn really had a grasp as a character allowing everyone to see what he brings to the table from the get go. Sephryn offered an alternate view but coinciding with the general plot and feel in it's own way. Having never read a previous book by Sullivan the beginning was off-putting but sticking it out becomes worth it further down.

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New book by Michel J. Sulllivan was a jump right in ARC. And It didn't disappoint! It was great! The same vivid imagination, world building and cool characters that the author made us expect from him. The story was awesome and of course, closing it, you just want to continue the journey, but for that, we will have to wait... And that is the only negative thing about this book. You should read it if you're a fantasy fan!

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Reviewed by my co-blogger, TS Chan, at Novel Notions Read an early copy of the ebook as a Kickstarter backer 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.

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I absolutely love Sullivan's works. I have been beta reading for him for years, and it's incredible to watch a book grow from a beta to a finished copy. Having said that, being a beta reader does not influence my opinion on the books at all. Nolyn is the first book in a new series that follows on from the Age of Myth series. There are several well known characters from the previous series, but you do not need to have read that one to read this one. For me, Sullivan's real strength lies in the creation of his characters. He creates characters that you love, know, and invest in. Or, in the case of the 'baddies', love to hate. Nolyn and Sephryn are the two main characters in this book that you get to know very well over the course of the book. Sometimes they frustrate you with their very human choices and mistakes, but they are real and likeable. I really enjoy the side characters as well, especially the Seventh Sikaria Auxiliary Squadron. I felt that they really added to Nolyn's storyline. The plot moves along quite quickly and the pacing is excellent throughout with lots of battles and epic scenes. There are some twists, especially if you have read the Age of Myth series before reading this one. Overall, this is an excellent read that I would highly recommend to anyone that loves a good fantasy book.

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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.

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