A Book Review: Crown Tower by Michael J. Sullivan

Do you know what pleases me more than a lovable rogue?

Two lovable rogues.

I stumbled upon The Crown Tower by Michael J. Sullivan a while back. And, after re-reading it, I can safely say that my memory wasn’t failing me. It was a pretty good book!

But how good is pretty good? And do the protagonists of this story enthrall me the way a good pair of lovable rogues should?


Published by Orbit

Hadrian, a warrior with nothing to fight for, is paired with Royce, a thieving assassin with nothing to lose. Together they must steal a treasure that no one can reach. The Crown Tower is the impregnable remains of the grandest fortress ever built and home to the realm’s most prized possessions. But it isn’t gold or jewels that their employer is after, and if he can only keep them from killing each other, they might just get him his prize.


The dynamic of the two protagonists in this novel is fantastic. Royce the cynical, slightly disturbed, lone wolf plays wonderfully against the loyal, slightly naive, well-trained skills of Hadrian.

Neither is the comic relief and, by the end, the two forge a great and believable relationship, one which carries over the rest of the Riyria chronicles. Reading these two work together – despite their differences – was entertaining, and makes me intrigued to see what other escapades they will get up to in later books.

Even the sub-plot of this book is really entertaining. Seeing a woman, beaten and almost broken, overcome her struggles, both with her past as well as the present threat in the city, to become a no-nonsense business woman was surprisingly riveting. It actually had me on the edge of my seats at some points.

But that’s the one word I would use to describe this book: entertaining. Does it have deep morals and themes? Not really. Does it explore wider themes like death, love, corruption and bravery? Eh, again, not really.

The book is easy to read, easy to fall into. Its characters are relatable, if a tad cliche. Royce and Hadrian are as lovable as rogues come. At the end of it all, this book is a straightforward adventure with a couple of mercenaries. For some, this might be a turn-off. For others, it might be just what they’re looking for, the no-nonsense novel that they can jump into quickly.

I am most certainly the latter category. If you’re looking for an entertaining read, something with an easy to follow plot, likeable characters, and with a historical edge, then I recommend this book. These lovable rogues are the perfect bedside table book, or holiday read. Just open the book up, sit back, and let the adventure begin.


Have you read The Crown Tower? Do you have a lovable duo that you want to share? Leave a comment below, or let me know @ERHollands. I want to know!


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