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Summary

New York Times Audio best seller | Amazon Editor's pick | Audible Editor's pick

After more than 500 years of exile, the heir to the empyre is wary about his sudden reassignment to active duty on the Goblin War’s front lines. His mission to rescue an outpost leads to a dead-end canyon deep inside enemy territory, and his suspicion turns to dread when he discovers the stronghold doesn't exist. But whoever went to the trouble of planning his death to look like a casualty of war didn't know he would be assigned to the Seventh Sikaria Auxiliary Squadron. In the depths of an unforgiving jungle, a legend is about to be born, and the world of Elan will never be the same. 

From Michael J. Sullivan, the New York Times, USA Today, and Washington Post best-selling author, a new adventure begins with the first book in The Rise and Fall trilogy. Although this series is set in the same world as the Riyria novels and the Legends of the First Empire books, it is a stand-alone tale. As such, no prior knowledge of the other works is required to enjoy this tale to its fullest.

©2021 Michael J. Sullivan (P)2020 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Nolyn

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Grim but with humour

My first book by this author and I really enjoyed the stand alone story, the narration is outstanding and he really makes me dislike / like the characters

3 people found this helpful

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An Empire on the Edge - One of M.Sullivan's best!

From the dense jungles of the Empire's Edge to the majesty of Percepliquis Michael J. Sullivan's return to Elan is a stunning tour d'force, from both him and the narrator. Indeed this is one of the absolute best depictions of Half-Elves I have ever encountered, Nd the nuanced story will have you on the edge of your seat from minute one, alternately cheering and wide eyed in suspense.

With both clear and enjoyable introductions to this new era in Elan's history, and plenty of scattered Easter eggs for long time readers, Nolyn is a stellar read that is a must for lovers of High-fantasy!

lastly shout out to Michael and Robyn Sullivan for their wonderful Fore & After-words, and to the incredible Tim Gerard Reynolds who delivers another brilliant performance!

3 people found this helpful

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Good story shame about the voice

The narration while not all bad was too nasaly. I found the story engaging but marred by the telling

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Another fantastic novel

Every novel by Michael J. Sullivan has been a cracker. The character & world building is absolutely excellent. I can’t wait to get into another book of his.

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another great addition to a great series

another great book in the series starring the journey of tying all the series together

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just ok and probably will not press ahead

The story was ok but not gripping. The characters were generally fine and likeable. The story just needed a little more fleshing out; a little more depth. perhaps this will come in books two and three.

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Great narration

The story was a little slow in the beginning, only the narrator kept me listening till the story became more interesting. There where some plot mechanics I disliked and even character reactions that didn't feel like they came from the characters that had been building since the beginning of the story. Couldn't decide if it was worth a credit or not but definitely as part of a deal or sale.

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Interesting but not epic

My first outing with this author and clearly there has been some great world building here. However whilst I enjoyed the journey there was nothing that thrilling or original in terms of characters or story. Good solid journeyman fantasy just missed that edge for me be great. Will try more though and not sorry to have gone there.

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Great story telling

A wonderful cornucopia of characters, situations & circumstances, woven together by such detailed & crafted words. All topped off with brilliant narration. A worthy investment of time. I also love the personal touch of the foreword & afterword.

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Fast paced fun!!

What an amazing story! from the first word to the last I was fully immersed in this first book in the new series! Michael really nails all the characters and I found it so easy keeping up with events and characters names and already have some new favourites! A must listen for anyone who is looking for either a new adventure saga or someone who is already familiar with the Royce and Hadrian books. Can't wait till summer 2022 for the next instalment!

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  • Hotel Hero
  • 09-08-21

What are you doing Michael?

Let me start by saying I travel for a living and own over 200+ audio books. I happened across the Ryiria Chronicles and absolutely loved every bit of it, and Revelations. Masterpieces.

But this one?..

Ever watch a movie that was made from a book?
And you know how it's missing the meat of the story because they tried to cram too much into the time slotted?

That's what this book is. Only I would dread the thought of a movie cramming anymore of this already thin story down any further.

*Slight spoilers*
Way too rushed.. and plots were exposed far to simply... like... seriously Mike.. the villain exposing his "elaborate" plan every chance he got? After he supposedly plotted for centuries?
Then to decide he would still be the whiney little brat he was from the previous books even after a dispensation of time that vast?

And you mean to say that centuries of planning with Trilos as an ally, would produce THIS?

All in all the Ryiria books are the only stories with substance and care I've seen from this author so far. I had hoped, but my hopes seem dashed.

It appears the comfort of success has dampened the mind in such a way that the attention to detail has been thrown aside for the sake of an expedient return to the financial income that is Elan.. dissonance embraced in a hurried rush to produce mediocrity.

And that is a shame.

P.S. Tim, as always - did great

140 people found this helpful

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  • FanFiAddict
  • 03-08-21

Tremendous First Entry in the Rise and Fall series

Rating: 8.5/10

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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  • Kevin
  • 07-08-21

usually I like his work but this story dragged.

The story started and ended with some pace and variation,t the the long middle of the book had one slow pace regardless of the activity. i skipped some of the middle chapters because they were so slow, paragraphs were used where sentence would have been sufficient.

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  • Ladd
  • 25-08-21

Skip this title

I am a huge fan of the Riyria books. This book, however, was a dull and boring read. Only the performance by Tim Gerard Reynolds kept me going forward. The main character was plain and the plot simple. I actually cringed during the epilog when the authors wife gave the book high praises. Be sure to read his other books but save time and money and skip this one.

34 people found this helpful

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  • C S
  • 07-09-21

Shoddy writing

I regret purchasing this book. The writing is shoddy. For example,

Right at the start, the main character and his legion is made aware that they are going into an ambush. The leader attempts to relinquish command and is incredibly dismissive of the fact that he is about to die. Essentially dismisses his army. They stay and fight of course… it isn’t believable in the least.

Then in the next chapter there is an elf that is some 800 years old. She encounters a human cleric early in the book and the human uses the term “brother” to refer to another cleric. The 800 year old elf is perplexed by the usage of the term “brother” despite having lived with humans for 800 years - also the human is confused at how this woman could have known the founder of his order (as that would have been some 800 years ago) despite being fully aware of the fact that elves live for thousands of years.

The forced story telling makes it impossible to suspend reality.

28 people found this helpful

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  • VT WRITER
  • 07-08-21

I don’t care about the main characters.

I have enjoyed all of Mr. Sullivan’s books but I’m not really a fun of this one. You get into the book and dramatic things start happening immediately. It really feels like you’re supposed to care about what’s going on but I really don’t care about anything that because I don’t care about the characters. I feel like this book might have been a very good book two. If I had time to get to know the characters I think I would have liked it.

21 people found this helpful

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  • K Hansen
  • 27-08-21

OK at best.

Not bad, but I have no desire to see what happens to anyone in this story. All of the character development is only so-so. Maybe if I read all of his previous works, it would be better. However, for a "first in a series, it should stand on its own....it doesn't. I won't stick around for the next book.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Bethany
  • 05-08-21

A Great Beginning

To get it out of the way, Reynolds is one of the best narrators I've ever listened to. I could listen to him read a phone book.

The book itself is set hundreds of years after the end of Age of Empyre. It follows Nolyn, the son of Emperor Nephron and Persephone. This book isn't meant to lead into a continuation of his life after, so it is more of a 1-off than it is the beginning of a trilogy. You see a lot of how humans will change history into legends and legends into religion. If you've never read the Age of Myth series, I would suggest that before this or you may not get as much enjoyment out of it.

The world of Elan is dark and magical with a complicated history that MJS and his wife, Robin, have done a great job fleshing out for us. I am biased when it comes to MJS, as he has been my favorite author for years now, but I have never gotten someone to read one of his series that didn't enjoy it.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Ryan
  • 06-08-21

Michael J Sullivan is always a great read

So glad to get another book from this world. Although it wasn't my favorite, it kept me listening almost non-stop from beginning to end. I wish it had been longer because unlike the rest of his books, this one felt rushed. I think it missed the usual emotional connection from it's characters. Other than Nolyn, I didn't feel attached to the new characters, so their fates weren't very important to me.
Tim Gerard Reynolds narration was perfection as always.
Looking forward to the next release!

11 people found this helpful

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  • paul nordquist
  • 08-08-21

The magic of Pickles ?

I have listened to every book written by Michael ever since he set the hook with the brilliant world built around Hadrian and his chance meeting with Pickles in the Riyria Chronicles series. If I use the example of Pickles, he represented a short character weave that continued as new characters entered the story line to love and hate, in a world you never wanted to leave. Yet I found Nolyn to be too much of a bridge between established series without the customary hooks and turns to give it stand alone power. I realize that subsequent books may prove me wrong. But I have listened to the writing in Riyria at least once a year to get my "fix". To me Nolyn was a necessary task with the hope of more "magic" down the road. I guess you have to cross some bridges to get to the mountains. TGR is 5 stars as always and MJS will hopefully find his "Pickles" in book 2 and 3.

I am a true believer in the talent of this author that something special awaits.

(UPDATE....BOOK 2 = Fariline).....I could only "grind" through 5 chapters before returning. The main character, Princess Fariline plods through an endless discourse with herself and those around her that becomes ad nauseam. The magic of Pickles was the genius of using the fewest words to create an immediate immersion to Character and plot. Pickles is the finest opening chapter (Hook) I have ever read and remains MJS masterpiece in "The Crown Tower".

10 people found this helpful