A Quest of Swords and Wizards: The Crown Conspiracy

Day 17) Q is for Quest: Choose a book in which the characters go on a Quest

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So a quest? Which book to do? There are so, so many to choose from.

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I thought and thought and finally settled on:

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The Crown Conspiracy (The Riyria Revelations #1) by Michael J. Sullivan

I know I’ve talked about this before on here, but I wanted to bring it back as it was such a fantastic story.

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And I think more need to know about it.

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So four years ago I had just come back from class and after dropping off my bags and books I got on the computer to check my email. When I went on, I was notified by the school’s post office that I had received a package and needed to go pick it up as it was too big to put in my box.

ooh!

ooh!

I was surprised as I hadn’t ordered anything or was expecting anything from anyone, so I couldn’t wait to pick it up. When I got it, I didn’t recognize the sender’s label and had no clue who it was.

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When I got home I opened the package and saw Theft of Swords-Volume I of The Riyria Revelations containing The Crown Conspiracy and Avempartha by Michael J. Sullivan.

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I was completely puzzled. Who was this who sent this to me? How did I get it?

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Then I realized, I must have won it on GoodreadsGoodreads does drawings in which you win a free book, and all you have to do is give an honest review and post it on the site. I used to enter in every drawing for every book and the books I had won prior to this all had not been very good.

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So when I received this book I wasn’t very thrilled to read it. In fact I put it off for a long time until my curiosity got the better of me. One day I decided to read a few pages and see what it was all about.

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Well one page turned into many as I just couldn’t put it down.

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After I consumed the novel I had to keep going, reading the second book and then trying to locate the rest. There weren’t any at the local or college library so I had to Inter Library Loan them and wait…

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Finally they came and I just devoured them, the rest of my life taking a back seat as I had to find out what happened next.

Or class. Or lunch. Or anything!

Or class. Or lunch. Or anything!

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Hadrian Blackwater and Royce Melbourn are two of the greatest thieves you could ever go against. Their duo goes by the name Riyria, that name being known throughout the land.

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At the beginning of the novel, the two are heading to work on a job when they are stopped by some thieves. All they have to do is say who they and they scare the others off like rabbits.

Run Away

They head off to try and rob Archie Ballentyne, the Earl of Chadwick, by breaking into his impenetrable tower.

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Meanwhile, Archie Ballentyne has been waiting for Marquis Victor Lanaklin. Archie has unsuccessfully been trying to woo his daughter, Alenda, as he is after the Lanaklin lands. He has managed to intercept some of her private love letters to the rebel Degan Gault, and wants to use them as leverage with the father. In order to keep them safe he has locked then in his study in the crown tower, a gigantic tower with only one entrance, the only one who can open it being Archie.

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But when he goes to show the letters, they are MISSING! They have been stolen, along with the Marquis’ carriage. Who could have done this? Riyria.

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They return back to their pub and deliver the goods to Alenda, receiving their payments.

Today life is great

Today life is great

But just as one job is finished, there appears there is another who wishes their services.

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Hadrian goes to meet with the man, Baron Delano DeWitt. He has a job that needs to be done tonight. Sadly, Baron DeWitt has committed the biggest mistake anyone in that region could, he looked upon the wife of the master swordsman, Colonel Pickering. Colonel Pickering will duel anyone who stares at his wife, and with his skill he is impossible to beat.

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His only weakness? His special rapier that he cannot fight without. Baron DeWitt has stolen the sword and hid it in the castle’s chapel and he wants Riyria to smuggle the sword out of the castle before they search and  find it.

suspicious Hmm

Now Riyria has a rule about accepting rush jobs, they don’t. But Hadrian isn’t really a thief, he has a warrior’s heart. He likes things to be fair or to fight for something “right”, justice, etc.

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He has felt a little disheartened at stealing things for royals, then notifying the party they stole from to get payment to steal it back. This is a job that will mean something. Plus the pay is really good.

Hmmm....

Hmmm….

Royce was raised on the streets and has been a thief as far back as he can remember. He has no qualms about what they do, and because of what he has been through he is also extremely suspicious. He does not want to take this job, but Hadrian convinces him it is worth it as they will get 200 gold tenets.

That's a lot of money

That’s a lot of money

That night they sneak into the castle and into its chapel. They go to search for the sword but find the king, dead.

Ahhh!

Ahhh!

As their minds grasp the situation, a dwarf starts screaming out that they killed the king. Guards swarm on them and they end up locked up in the dungeon.

Not good

Not good

Yes, someone murdered the king and framed them. But who? And why?

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Alric Essendon wakes from a tumble with a maid to discover he is the new King. He is furious over the death and prepares a horrible punishment as his revenge.

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Alric is a little lost at what to do, but his Uncle Percy Braga is there to lend a hand and assist him. Meanwhile, Hadrian and Royce await their fate in the dungeon; Hadrian wishing he hadn’t tried to take the job and Royce wishing he had talked Hadrian out of it. To their surprise they receive a royal visit from princess Arista Essendon.

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Arista questions them, so Hardrian tells her the story, claiming they did not kill her father. And to their surprise, she believes them.

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Arista is not like other women. Her father sent her to University and she studied the lost art of magic. She had been given a warning about the threat upon her father’s life but unfortunately didn’t heed it. Now she wants to hire the two to kidnap her brother.

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Hadrian and Royce are surprised, but Arista explains that she thinks someone is after the Essendon line and wants to kill her brother as well. She wants them to smuggle him out of the castle and go to Gutaria Prison, the secret ecclesiastical jail. They they will meet the wizard, Esrahaddon, who will be able to guide her brother. They think it is odd, but faced with death, they take the job.

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Arista has a complete plan in place. She will send two monks in to administer the last rites and have the two unchained to pray. They will knock the monks out, switch clothes and meet her in the kitchen where she will have Alric.

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Everything goes off without a hitch as they head off to the prison to find Esrahaddon, the wizard. As they continue their quest they run into a monk with a photographic memory that survived a massacre; a hidden prison that not only is built into a rock wall but once you enter cannot leave; the great wizard Esrahaddon who has been alive for eons; and secret church and government plot to answer the legend of the god Novron’s son and unite all the kingdoms under one rule!

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Meanwhile, Arista tries to rule in her brother’s place but finds treachery very close to home. They try to brand her a witch and kill her.

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Will this ragtag group be able save the throne? Or will they be outwitted and destroyed by these agents of Novron.

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The book was so fantastic, that I won’t reveal the ending. You must read this book and rest in the series yourself. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

May

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To start the 30 Day Challenge from the beginning, go to It Was a Pleasure to Burn: Fahrenheit 451

For the previous post, go to So You’re the Little Woman Who Wrote the Book that Made this Great War: Uncle Tom’s Cabin

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For more on The Riyria Revelations, go to Portrait of a Fangirl

For more magic and wizards, go to The Unknown Princess Nevermore

For more on Jane Smiley, go to Is This Really Just the Same?: Daring Chloe

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Speaking of magic, there is just a magic of Christmas that cannot be beat. It is just an amazing time of the year. That thought leads us to today’s Christmas Carol, Christmas Needs Love to be Christmas. It was written and recorded in 1993 for Andy Williams’ Christmas Album. It was released in 1994 and marked his first appearance on Billboard 200 album chart in 20 years. That’s magical.

I like this song because it reminds you what the heart of Christmas is, love.

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For more Andy Williams, go to When I Get Into a Novel

For more Christmas Carols, go to The Great Depths of the Ocean are Entirely Unknown to Us: Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

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Portrait of a Fangirl

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Yes our Life of a Fangirl posts are back!

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Sorry to have taken so long to finish these posts. It just seemed as if every time I tried to something came up, and then I had to stop for Horrorfest, the holidays came up, etc.

But here we are with another fandom post!

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Journey

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What can I say about this band other than the fact that they are AWESOME!!!!

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Their songs are amazing, the vocals fantastic, the music incredible, and the lyrics are just out of this world.

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I don’t know how they do it, but every song just connects to you as a listener.

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Every time I hear a song, I just get so excited and crank up the volume as I sing at the top of my lungs.

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If I had to choose my five favorite Journey songs, which is a practically impossible feat, I would choose…….

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Don’t Stop Believin’ (you all saw that one coming), Any Way You Want ItSeparate Ways Worlds Apart, Wheel in the Sky, and I’ll Be Alright Without You.

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For more on Journey, go to Any Way You Want It

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Michael J. Fox

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I just love Michael J. Fox. He is one of my all-time favorite actors.

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Oh yes, Michael J. Fox you can do no wrong with me. I love you and everything you have ever been in. Even when you wore horrible shirts in that film that made zero sense, High School U.S.A.; and the camp one, Poison Ivy.

Now you all know my favorite is Back to the Future, one of the best films ever and the best starring him.

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No one can beat the amazingnest he bring to the role of Marty McFly. It just wouldn’t be as cool without him.

And of course he isn’t a one hit wonder, I love everything else he has been in: Doc Hollywood, The Secret of My Success, Greedy, For Love or Money, Homeward Bound I & II,  The Frighteners, Atlantis, Teen Wolf, I could go on but should stop now.

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Besides his films he is an amazing writer. I’ve read all his  books and his style is so fresh and reads like a conversation. When you read his words he is so humble, caring, and completely honest. I enjoy his books as much as I love his films. I just love him.

For more on Michael J. Fox, go to The Future is NOW!: Happy Back to the Future Day

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The Riyria Revelations

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I was first introduced to this series on a giveaway on Goodreads. Like once a month I’ll go through and just enter to win free books. Often times, by the time they have picked a winner and are sending out the books, I’ve completely forgotten about it and am surprised to receive a package.

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One day I checked the mail and found a package for me. When I opened it up I saw that it was Theft of Swords the first volume in the Riyria Revelations by Michael J. Sullivan. I had totally forgotten ever entering any giveaway and was completely unsure as to what this book was.

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I looked it up on Goodreads and thought it sounded interesting so I decided to give it a read. I was unprepared for what I found.

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I LOVED IT!!!!! I started reading a few pages which quickly grew into the first book. I would have continued completing the second, but had homework.

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As I worked on it, all I could do was think about what was going to happen next. I quickly finished my work and went back to the book, reading long into the night.

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I finshed it, but then I needed the next book.

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Unfortunately I had to wait as my library didn’t have it, but a sister library did. It was agony! I just had to find out what happened and I needed to now!

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What made it even worse was that I knew NOBODY who liked it, making me suffer alone.

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Eventually the next book came in and was just as good as the first. I had to experience the same trauma waiting for the third volume, but it was worth it. Unfortunately, it was over too soon.

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I still kept it around as I didn’t want it to be over.

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So Volume 1: Theft of Swords contains the first two books.

Book 1: The Crown Conspiracy

Hadrian Blackwater and Royce Melbourn are thieves for hire. Hadrian is tall, broad shouldered, and a skilled swordsman; being an ex-solider and mercenary. Royce is althletic and wiry, once belonging to a gang of thieves his skills are quietly stalking, safe-cracking, etc. The two were introduced and while orginally disagreeable with each other, they became great teammates and best friends. Hardian has a strong moral code and sense of justice, while Royce is cautious and more of a planner. The two balance each other well.

One day they are hired to steal a sword, and when they go to retrieve it; they find themselves as scapegoats for the the murder of the King! His son and now king, Alric, locks them up, soon to be hanged. Unbeknownst to him, his sister Arista, sorcerer in training, frees them and has them join her in her quest to free a long ago locked up wizard. They set out on the quest, along with ateempting to find out who really set them up and what was their ulterior motives.

Book 2: Avempartha

A young, innocent, farm girl, Thrace; travels to find Hadrian and Royce to get their help. In her hometown there is a monster attacking, the only thing that can stop it being a sword. As the two are caught up in the schemes of the freed wizard Esrahaddon; Royce finds himself trying to enter an Elven tower, while Hadrian tries to rally the town folk to stop the beast. Things become more complicated as it appears there is a contest to detsroy the beast; the victor being the fulfillment of an age old prophecy and ruler of the world.

The second volume contains books 3-4, Volume II: Rise of the Empire

Book 3: Nyphron Rising

The traumatized and completely shell shocked Thrace has been crowned the fulfiller of the prophecy. People are backing her, which causes King Alric and his sister Arista to go to War. Arista once again hires the thieves, who discover that the only way they can emerge victorious is to discover the truth of Hadrian’s past.

Book 4: The Emerald Storm

Hadrian has discovered the mission he was born for and sets out to discover the true heir of Novron. His quest takes him onto a ship, setting out to find Merrick Mauris. Even though Royce hates going on ships, he joins him on the quest, for their “final trip”. As they sail out, they discover much more about the people they know and what the ulterior plans are, more than they ever expected.

The third volume contains books 5-6, Volume III: The Heir of Novron

Book 5: Wintertide

The New Empire, with the puppet empress Thrace, has decided to hold a victory celebration. The prepare to execute Degan Gault, leader of the rebels; along with the Witch of Melengar, Arista. After the execution, they prepare to marry Thrace off and later kill her. Unfortunate for them, Hadrian and Royce have returned to save Arista and the true Heir, preparing help place him on the throne.

Book 6: Percepliquis

This is it, the end. The thieves have decided to head out to the ancient ruins of Percepliquis, in order to gain the tools needed for the true Heir and to restore them to the throne. They are accompanied by a mass of friends from their previous adventures. But what happens next is a shock to all; and when the true heir is revealed will these characters be able to survive what happens next and pick up their lives after their adventures?

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These books were just so amazing. Not only do you have such fantastic and incredible adventures, but two extremely hot, loyal, and awesome men.

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I highly recommend to it all. Check it out!

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Sabrina the Teenage Witch

I grew up reading the comic in the Archie Comics magazine. This grew to the animated TV show and then of course the live action TV show that I absolutely loved.

Sabrina Spellman is a sixteen-year-old half witch living with her witch aunts and their cat Salem, a warlock banished into animal form.

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Every episode lasted a half hour and involved Sabrina getting into some type of shenanigans because of her powers and later trying to solve them.

The show was great until she went to college. They lost the funny characters and she was too mature and grounded in her magic.

Besides the amazing comedy, this show had one of the best pairings.

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Harvey and Sabrina forever. Harvey was just a regular guy; football quarterback, car mechanic, etc. But when he got with Sabrina, he’d find himself caught up in the craziness of her magic. Being turned into a silent film mountie, having to save her from a troll, turned into a frog, etc.

Through it all he just rolled with it and was always there for Sabrina. Love them.

Most of the episodes are on Youtube, and all are on Amazon Instant Watch. You should definitely give it a look.

For more on Sabrina the Teenage Witch, go to A River of Candy Corn Runs Through It: Sabrina the Teenage Witch (1997)

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LifeasaFangirl

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For the previous post, go to It’s A Fan World After All

And Stay tuned for part 18

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For more book-filled posts, go to Folio Fatigue