Series


Thank you for your interest in my writing. My website is in desperate need of revamping, but I'll try to fill you in on the various series and hopefully help people decide where to start reading. To learn more about each book, see this page. I should also mention that you can buy copies directly from my store. Doing so cuts out the middlemen (a higher percentage of your money will stay with me), and you can get your books signed.

Currently, I have three different series and one standalone novel. They are:
  • The Riyria Revelations: Theft of Swords | Rise of Empire | Heir of Novron
  • The Riyria Chronicles: The Crown Tower | The Rose and the Thorn | The Death of Dulgath
  • Legends of the First Empire: Age of Myth | Age of Swords Age of War | Age of Legends | Age of Wonder | Age of Empire
  • Hollow World 
People often confuse The Riyria Revelations and The Riyria Chronicles. To further complicate matters, the Riyria Revelations series was published in two different ways. The original self-published versions were released as six novels. When Orbit bought the rights to the series, the six books were re-released as three, two-book omnibus editions. The original versions are now out of print and not widely available. Here is how they break down:
  • Theft of Swords contains (The Crown Conspiracy & Avempartha)
  • Rise of Empire contains (Nyphron Rising and The Emerald Storm)
  • Heir of Novron contains (Wintertide & Percepliquis)


Series Timelines

All the books take place in my fictional world called Elan, but at different historical times. 
  • Riyria Revelations - furthest forward in the timeline
  • Riyria Chronicles - a prequel to Revelations that occurs 12 years in the past
  • Legends of the First Empire - a separate series occurring 3,000 years in the past
Some people call Legends a prequel (because it happens before the Riyria books), but that's not accurate. First, the characters (the heart of the book) are very different between the two series. Also, the events in Legends take place in the distant past when the cultures and technology were dramatically different. Most importantly, no knowledge of Riyria is required to enjoy the Legend books to their fullest. As such, these are two independent series that just happen to share the same geography. The primary connection between the two is that characters who are mentioned in historical terms in Riyria are met face-to-face in Legends. For those who do read the Riyria books, they'll see the contrast between legends and the reality of the people who shaped the world.


Chronicles vs. Revelations

Unlike Legends, The Riyria Chronicles truly are a prequel to Revelations. I know many people shy away from prequels, and I think that's unfortunate as there are some great stories in the Chronicle novels. I will say that I'm pleased that so many people refer to Chronicles as "prequels done right." To understand why I wrote a prequel (rather than a sequel) some background would help.

When I wrote the six novels of the Revelations, I completed the entire series before publishing any of the books. This technique allowed me to create a story with interwoven plot threads and a satisfying conclusion.  I didn't expect there to be any more stories with Royce and Hadrian, but pressure from my wife (who has a crush on Hadrian), and outcries from my readers, encouraged me to write more. I feared that "tacking on" by writing a sequel would have the very real possibility of ruining an ending I was exceedingly pleased with.  So I decided to go to "the other end" of the timeline. Since Royce and Hadrian had been together for twelve years before the first page of the Riyria Revelations, it made sense to go back in time and explore the full details of how they met and formed their little thieves-for-hire enterprise.

I wrote The Riyria Chronicle very differently than The Riyria Revelations. I would rather have the pair leave too soon than overstay their welcome. As such, the Chronicles are standalone novels, and I want to be able to end the series without leaving readers hanging with unanswered plot points. So I release a book, take the reader's pulse, and if they still want more...well, no one is happier than myself. I've outlined ten novels, but I have no idea if all of them will be produced. Because of this uncertainty, I write those stories as standalone tales. Writing self-contained novels also means that each Chronicle could serve as an introduction point for the entire body of work that is Riyria.

Because the two series are so closely related, people often ask me where they should begin. When I started writing Chronicles, one of my goals was to ensure an enjoyable reading experience for people regardless of which book #1 they started with. Personally, I prefer order of publication for the following reasons:

  • It's a better value - each book is two full-length novels in one volume, and since all the books cost the same, you get two books for the price of one.
  • It's the way I wanted to introduce readers to the characters and the world. I start out simply (holding back so I can expose character backgrounds and world building across the whole narrative). And I ramp up the stakes with each subsequent novel. The idea was to make each book better than the previous, and feedback indicates I hit that goal.
  • I put little Easter eggs in Chronicles for people who have read Revelations. These aren't anything that would affect the plot, just little winks and nods for "people in the know."

So, with that in mind, I suggest starting with Theft of Swords.  But if you like tales told chronologically, then, by all means, begin with The Crown Tower. Those that have read chronologically swear their way is best, so I feel like I hit the mark of making either approach work well.

Here's a handy guide for all the Riyria books:

    Legends of the First Empire

    As mentioned, this series is completely separate from my other books, and no prior knowledge of Riyria is necessary to enjoy Legends. For those who do read both, they'll find many Easter eggs related to the truth behind historical figures. After all, history is written by the victors and they dictate what future generations will remember about their exploits.

    Like Revelations, all six books of The Legends of the First Empire were written before the first book was published. This statement has caused some frustrations with readers who can't get the next book right away. There has also been speculation that there's a nefarious plan (by myself and/or my publisher) to keep the books from readers. The answer is far less sinister and very simple:  there is a big difference between written and done.

    After finishing a series, I gather feedback from Robin, my wife and alpha reader. In the case of Legends, she indicated that books 1 - 3 were in good shape, but 4 & 5 were rushed, had some plot holes, and some of the character's motivations were muddled. To correct these deficiencies, I spent a year implementing the changes, and in the process, the series grew from 5 books to six. While that work was going on. Age of Swords (book #2) remained idle.

    You see, not only is there additional work after a series, but each individual novel has it's own heavy lifting. For instance I solicit feedback from a number of sources: beta readers, my agent, and two or three people at my publisher. These people provide me with valuable input that has to be incorporated. Sometimes, a change may have a chain effect, requiring alterations not only to the book being critiqued but all the books that come after. In addition to the story, there are other aspects of the final product that take time to produce: book covers, line edits (to improve and smooth the prose), copy edits (to fix grammar errors), layout and proofing, and many, many, re-reads to make sure everything is the best it can be. All that takes tremendous amounts of time, and that effects the release schedule.

    Taking the time to rework the end of the series facilitated the need for a one year gap between book #1 (Age of Myth - June 2016) and book #2 (Age of Swords - June 2017). But the series is now in good  shape so I, and my publisher, believe we can put the books out on an accelerated timetable. Here is the near-term release plan for Legends of the First Empire.
    • Age of Myth - currently available
    • Age of  Swords  - pre-orders posted, book releasing June 20, 2017
    • Age of  War - scheduled for Jan 2018
    • Age of  Legends - scheduled for June/July 2018
    The schedule for the remaining books is a bit harder to predict because my contract with Del Rey only covers the first three titles. My hope is they will pick up the rest of the series, but until that happens I don't want to make commitments on their behalf. What I can say emphatically is even if they don't sign the other books the stories will be released. I have a long-standing history with successful self-publishing, and because I use the same editors and cover designers that my publishers do, the self-produced books are indistinguishable from the traditionally produced ones.



    Where to start

    Okay, so given all that, where should you begin reading? Well, several possibilities exist: 
    • Age of Myth (book #1 of Legends of the First Empire) - if you like epic fantasy with a large ensemble cast.
    • Theft of Swords (book #1 of Riyria Revelations) - if you like adventure stories with likable rogues who "have a very particular set of skills; skills they have acquired over a very long career." And you want their story to unfold as originally intended by the author.
    • The Crown Tower (book #1 of Riyria Chronicles) - if you like adventure stories with likable rogues and you prefer to read chronologically.
    • The Death of Dulgath (book #3 of Riyria Chronicles) - if you are interested in the Riyria books but want to hedge your bet a bit. This is a standalone novel, so if you don't like it, you won't be left with unanswered questions that would occur when starting with the other Riyria books. If you like it, then I would suggest the next read should be Theft of Swords, and you should read the remaining books in order of publication.


    Works in Progress

    To learn more about what I'm working on, you can check out this page. But here is a brief overview.
    • Untitled: Book #4 of Riyria Chronicles - currently being written, the book should be completed by February 2017 and beta reading will begin in April 2017.
    • Age of Swords - currently in production. I'm waiting on changes from the copyeditors.
    • Age of War - currently in its second alpha read. Generally speaking, this book was in good shape, and no major rewrites are anticipated. I won't be able to incorporate the changes until Feb when I finish writing the 4th Chronicle. I suspect the beta read will occur in April or May.
    • Age of Legends | Age of Wonder | Age of Empire - Each of these books is in the same state. Major rewrites have occurred since the first alpha read, and until I get feedback on the revised versions, I won't know for sure the extent of additional work. My sense is they are in good shape, and I expect to have alpha feedback waiting when I finish edits for Age of War. At this time it's too early to discuss possible beta reading dates.

    2 comments:

    1. I just finished my second listen through the Riyira Revelations series and, as always, the second time around brings up more detail!

      I'm stuck with the feeling that there could be a book series that picks up where Revelations ends. (SPOILER ALERT) since Marick took Deegan's necklace did he survive Royce's assasination attempt?
      Since Ally told Arista that Arcadiace could do magic and we never saw him do any, did he survive the explosion and if so, is he still scheming and manipulating?

      What about the guy Ezra Harden was scared of? The one who set the world on a wobble to watch how it would correct itself, where is the resolution for his storyline thread? Does he have agents or descendants in Elan that are causing a wobble?

      I sure hope your planning on answering these questions in a new book series soon!

      PS sorry if I got the names wrong, I've been listening to your books on audible!

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    2. Never have I encountered a book (series) that contained characters with whom I both identified with and fell in love. Royce and Hadrian presented a dream team of excitement that I plan on listening to again and again!
      Thanks for such lovable characters and such an intriguing story line!

      ReplyDelete