Theft of Swords (#1)

Next: Rise of Empire

Royce Melborn, a skilled thief, and his mercenary partner, Hadrian Blackwater, make a profitable living carrying out dangerous assignments for conspiring nobles-until they are hired to pilfer a famed sword. What appears to be just a simple job finds them framed for the murder of the king and trapped in a conspiracy that uncovers a plot far greater than the mere overthrow of a tiny kingdom. 

Can a self-serving thief and an idealistic swordsman survive long enough to unravel the first part of an ancient mystery that has toppled kings and destroyed empires? 

And so begins the first tale of treachery and adventure, sword fighting and magic, myth and legend.

When author Michael J. Sullivan self-published the first books of his Riyria Revelations, they rapidly became ebook bestsellers. Now, Orbit is pleased to present the complete series for the first time in bookstores everywhere. 

Theft of Swords was originally published as: The Crown Conspiracy and Avempartha


“Filled with adventure and clever dialog and featuring a pair of not-quite-heroes whose loyalties to each other provide them with their greatest strength, this epic fantasy showcases the arrival of a master storyteller […] A winning debut for fantasy lovers.”

Library Journal

“Hair-raising escapes, flashy sword fights, and faithful friendship complete the formula for good old-fashioned escapist fun.”

Publishers Weekly

“A fascinating fantasy tale filled with wonderful feats of heroism and chivalry juxtaposed with unlikely heroes who unabashedly proclaim themselves to be thieves and act accordingly […] [An] enjoyable work, looking forward to more remarkable deeds perpetrated by this engaging pair.”

Night Owl Reviews, Top Pick

“THEFT OF SWORDS is a excellent addition to the fantasy genre, one that tells a fun and modern story with a traditional Tolkien styled setting, and one that you should not hesitate in adding to your library […] A fun fantasy full of wonderful characters, deadly conspiracies, and intricate action sequences.”

Fantasy Book Review

“[The book] completely succeed as one of these more conventional stories that still manages to be very entertaining […] it is entertaining and it manages to keep the plot and characters engaging enough to make the fantasy tropes fun and nostalgic instead of irritating and stale. When I reached the last page, I found myself really eager to find out what happens to Hadrian and Royce next.”

Fantasy Book Cafe

“In the space of two years, Michael Sullivan has moved from a small press debut author who was featured in one of my first “Indie Spotlight Reviews” to a “name” in the fantasy field.”

Fantasy Book Critic

Awards & Accolades


2013 Audie Award Finalist


2009 National Indie Book Award Finalist


2008 ReaderViews Annual Literary Award Finalist


Foreword Reviews: “Book of the Year Finalist”


Library Journal: 2011 “Best Books for Fantasy / Sci-Fi”


Audible: “5-star The Best of Everything”


Barnes & Noble: “Best Fantasy Release”


Civilian Reader: “Most Anticipated Reads for November 2011”


Black Gate: “Noteworthy Fantasy Debuts”


Bookworm Blues: “Overall Best Reads of 2010”


Shadowhawk Shade: “Best of the Best”


#2 Only the Best Science Fiction & Fantasy: “Top 10”


Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review: “Favourite”


The Lost Entwife: “Top Ten Underrated Books”


#7 Mathias Cavanaugh: “Top 10 Books”


WordTipping: “Top 3 Favorite Reads”