Michael J. Sullivan

Michael J. Sullivan is a New York Times, USA Today, and Washington Post bestselling author. Those are distinctions that he never thought would apply to him. When he was a boy, Michael found a typewriter in the basement of a friend’s house, inserted a blank piece of paper, and typed: It was a dark and stormy night. He was just ten years old and mimicking the only writer he knew at the time…Snoopy. That spark ignited a flame and Michael’s desire to fill blank pages would become a life-long obsession. As an adult, Michael spent more than ten years developing his craft by studying authors such as Stephen King, Ernest Hemingway, and John Steinbeck. During that time, he wrote thirteen novels without finding any traction in publishing. Since insanity is repeating the same action while expecting a different result, he did the only sane thing he could think of and quit, vowing never to write creatively again.

Never turned out to be too long for Michael and after a decade he returned to the keyboard in his forties…but with one condition: He wouldn’t seek publication. Instead, he wrote a series of books that had been building in his head during his hiatus. His first reading love was fantasy, and his hope was to help foster a love of reading in his then thirteen-year-old daughter who struggled due to dyslexia. After reading the third book of this series, his wife insisted the novels needed to “get out there.” When Michael refused to jump back onto the query-go-round, she took over the publication tasks and has run “the business side” of his writing ever since.

Michael is one of the few authors who has successfully published through all three routes: small press, self, and big five. Some key accomplishments of his career include: 

* New York Times, Washington Post, and USA Today bestselling author
* Named to io9’s Most Successful Self-Published Sci-Fi and Fantasy authors
* Sold nearly 2 Million English copies 
* Been translated into 14 foreign languages
* Spent more than 5 years on Amazon’s Bestselling Fantasy Author’s list 
* A seven-time Goodreads Choice Award’s Nominee
* His books have been named to more than 250 best-of or most-anticipated lists including those compiled by Library Journal, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Goodreads.com, and Audible.com

Find Michael on his website, or follow him on Twitter @author_sullivan.

Bibliography

  • The Legends of the First Empire Series
    Age of Myth (#1)
    Michael J. Sullivan
  • The Legends of the First Empire Series
    Age of Swords (#2)
    Michael J. Sullivan
  • The Legends of the First Empire Series
    Age of War (#3)
    Michael J. Sullivan
  • The Legends of the First Empire Series
    Age of Legend (#4)
    Michael J. Sullivan
  • Standalone
    Hollow World
    Michael J. Sullivan
  • The Riyria Revelations
    Theft of Swords (#1)
    Michael J. Sullivan
  • The Riyria Revelations
    Rise of Empire (#2)
    Michael J. Sullivan
  • The Riyria Revelations
    Heir of Novron (#3)
    Michael J. Sullivan
  • The Riyria Chronicles
    The Crown Tower (#1)
    Michael J. Sullivan
  • The Riyria Chronicles
    The Rose and the Thorn (#2)
    Michael J. Sullivan
  • The Riyria Chronicles
    The Death of Dulgath (#3)
    Michael J. Sullivan
  • The Riyria Chronicles
    The Disappearance of Winter’s Daughter (#4)
    Michael J. Sullivan
     

Reviews

The Legends of the First Empire Series

Age of Myth (#1)
“Sullivan’s world is richly detailed.”

Kirkus

“Sullivan brings his masterful world-building and agile imagination to bear on a host of interesting characters and a story that feels new and vibrant.”

B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog

“Sullivan’s stunning hardcover debut, AGE OF MYTH, inaugurates an original five-book series – and one of fantasy’s finest next-generation storytellers continues to break new ground.”

Rising Shadow

“If you enjoy epic fantasy, and are perhaps hungering for something with timeless appeal, then I highly recommend picking up AGE OF MYTH. Newcomers to Michael J. Sullivan’s work will find this to be a perfect place to jump on board, and if you’re already a fan, there’s absolutely no excuse—you must read this book!”

The BiblioSanctum

“The world-building is exemplary; the characters are as diverse as any group of people can produce–the good, the foolish, the arrogant, the brave, the corrupt, the vicious, the honorable. The plot is exciting and full of energy. I loved it.”

Book Garden

“AGE OF MYTH is a fast moving book with lots of action and adventure. It is a fun read, not too deep, but entertaining. I think this novel is stronger than his Riyria books with deeper characterization. Fans of Dave Duncan or Brent Weeks will enjoy the book.”

SFRevu

“This is a big entertainment with alliances, betrayals, magic and fighting, all set against some great scenery […] AGE OF MYTH delivers.”

Fantasy Literature

Age of Swords (#2)
“This novel has a refreshing, if somewhat dated, feminist ethos: ‘a handful of women and a few young girls’ emerge as the newfound font of cultural strength in a changing society and are the heroes.”

Kirkus

“The unusual technological level and prevalence of thoughtful women as leading characters set this apart from other fantasies.”

Publishers Weekly

“AGE OF SWORDS is compelling reading. Several characters develop in intriguing ways, rising to the occasion when trouble comes. […] It left me ― and, I think it’s safe to predict, will leave most readers ― anxious for AGE OF WAR, the next novel in this series.”

Fantasy Literature

“AGE OF SWORDS is light, fun epic fantasy with strong, likable characters. Even minor characters have strong personalities […] It is worth noting that most of the main human characters in the book are female.”

SFRevu

“There’s lots to like about AGE OF SWORDS and I found the book enjoyable overall. […] I’m looking forward to see how this series will unfold, and will be picking up the next book without hesitation.”

Bibliosanctum

“I loved this new thrilling, unputdownable audiobook and can’t wait for the 3rd installment into the Legends of the First Empire series.”

The Audiobook Blog

“This sequel is a powerful, emotional tale that truly makes you feel like you’re going on an adventure with unforgettable characters. Furthermore, if you’re looking for a fantasy epic with strong, unconventional female characters, THIS is the book you’ve been waiting for.”

Amy Braun, author of Obsidian Sky

Age of War (#3)
“In this powerful third book of a projected six-book series, Sullivan continues providing excellent worldbuilding and character development […] Sullivan’s fans will be delighted.”

Publishers Weekly

“The tears are still in my eyes when I think of this book [...] AGE OF WAR encompasses all the emotions one would feel during a war. Not everyone makes it through battles and some sacrifices are as beautiful as they are heartbreaking.”

Books of My Heart

“One of the things Sullivan has done wonderfully on the series so far is continually building up the world and exploring its history/customs without feeling forced or overwhelming. That continues to be the case with AGE OF WAR.”

Cinelinx

“These books are ‘high fantasy’ in the truest sense of the phrase: creative, adventurous and exciting, written with dry wit and expansive humor. If you enjoy all those things, as well as characters that you will truly miss once you’re finished reading, then you will love not only The Legends Of The First Empire but all of Michael J. Sullivan’s wonderful series.”

Aspen Daily News

“AGE OF WAR moves the overall story arc of the LEGENDS OF THE FIRST EMPIRE along well. Characters have difficult, even heart-wrenching choices to make. Long-held secrets and plans are revealed. Twists are turned…”

Fantasy Literature

Age of Legend (#4)
“Fans of the earlier works will want to continue to follow the stories of Sullivan’s very human characters.”

Publishers Weekly

Standalone

The Riyria Revelations

Theft of Swords (#1)
“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

Rise of Empire (#2)
“Every time I finish a book in this series it makes me want the next one instantly […] Michael Sullivan shows that he isn’t just a one book wonder, or that his other novels were random hits. His Riyria Revelations series is taking shape very nicely, and it’ll be amazing to watch where he takes the other novels after this because with each novel there is a new surprise or approach to his writing.”

Fantasy Book Critic

“A delightful, entertaining and page-turning read that reminds us just how enjoyable, and how good – the Riyria Revelations series is. A must-buy for all fantasy lovers.”

The Founding Fields

“Four novels/two omnibii into The Riyria Revelations and I’m gaining an understanding of why Mr. Sullivan acquired such a devoted fanbase over the past few years when these were small press books – he crafts a story that appeals to many of the hallmarks that make Epic Fantasy popular.”

SFFWorld

“Readers of fast paced adventure stories will enjoy the Riyria Revelations and readers of high fantasy will enjoy the direction the series overall takes. These books however have been some of my favorites from this year and I’d recommend them to any genre fan, sans specifics.”

Reading Realms

“As much as I enjoyed THEFT OF SWORDS, RISE OF EMPIRE is even better, bringing new dimensions to the story.”

The Royal Library

Heir of Novron (#3)
“[HEIR OF NOVRON] delivers a fun story with plenty of sword fighting and some genuine surprises.”

Publishers Weekly

“What started out as a straightforward fantasy adventure in The Crown Conspiracy has evolved into a full-blown epic in Percepliquis.”

Fantasy Literature

“HEIR OF NOVRON is the conclusion to the Riyria Revelations, cementing it in a position as a new classic of modern fantasy: traditional in setting, but extremely unconventional in – well – everything else.”

Drying Ink

“Fans of the first two volumes, then, will be comforted to know the Riyria Revelations come to a close in fine fashion. Sullivan will have kept a few twists up his sleeve to the very end, while we as readers will have been enthralled by the extraordinary deeds of Royce and Hadrian. I heartily recommend HEIR OF NOVRON and its predecessors to fans of classic epic fantasy tales.”

LEC Book Reviews

“All in all, I have to say that the two novels together as the omnibus HEIR OF NOVRON are just plain awesome. No two ways about it.”

The Founding Field

The Riyria Chronicles

The Crown Tower (#1)
“It’s fast-paced, at times funny, at times violent, and the two lead characters (as well as a few supporting ones) are so immediately fascinating that it’s somewhat hard to believe this is fiction. Add to that Sullivan’s absolute mastery of the writing craft (there are some lines which are so brilliantly phrased that it leaves me at once astonished and laughing out loud) and volume one of the Riyria Chonicles is an absolute must for anyone who reads fantasy.”

Fantasy Book Review

“Michael is able to tell a really interesting story here about characters who’ve already had six novels and a prequel short story about them. The entire premise, which we are familiar with on a meta-level, is dealt with in an intelligent and engaging manner, and Michael’s writing held my interest all the way through to the end. THE CROWN TOWER is every bit as good as my two absolute favourite Riyria Revelations novels: Avempartha and Percepliquis.”

The Founding Fields, 9.5/10 stars

“Fans of the Riyria Revelations will have no trouble jumping back into the world as Sullivan does the meeting of the duo justice. Readers unfamiliar with Sullivan’s work, but looking for a fast-paced character-focused adventure will enjoy THE CROWN TOWER as well. With each novel of his planned Riyria Chronicles being a standalone, it’s also a good way to dip your toe into the world with a full story.”

Reading Realms, 4.5/5 stars

“For Riyria fans, THE CROWN TOWER brings a little bit more of your favorite characters. I know you’ll be happy to read about them. As for those unfamiliar to them, I recommend starting with The Ryria Revelations and then using this series to satisfy you yearning for more Royce and Hadrian.”

Bookworm Dreams

“Mr. Sullivan continues to impress. In Royce and Hadrian he has created some of the best characters the genre has seen in some time, and in Avempartha he shows that he knows what to do with them. These books should be in every bookstore and I really hope that they are someday.”

Speculative Fiction Junkie

“A whirlwind of twists, earth-shattering surprises and deadly betrayal.”

Literary Magic

The Rose and the Thorn (#2)
“Riyria fans will appreciate this look into their heroes’ history.”

Publishers Weekly

“THE ROSE AND THE THORN is another brilliant prequel, shedding lights on important events that really open up the wider world of these stories, and explain much of some of its most important characters […] the two books make up an absolute killer-combination.”

Fantasy Book Review

“[THE ROSE AND THE THORN is] packed with all of the things that made Sullivan such a powerhouse in the genre. There are banter and battle in equal measure, a touch of romance, sharply drawn characters, and the wonderful blend of nostalgic sword and sorcery that hearkens back to the books that led many thirty and forty-something readers to the genre in the first place.”

52 Book Review

“An excellent second act in the Riyria Chronicles. Michael J. Sullivan’s THE ROSE AND THE THORN manages to be even better than The Crown Tower, making this book, and the duology – one of my favourite reads of 2013.”

The Founding Fields

“I probably don’t need to say that readers who enjoyed previous Riyria books would enjoy this, but I just did. So far, all of Sullivan’s Riyria books have been very well paced, sword and sorcery style action with strong characters, making them fun and easy to read. I would recommend them to any fan of fantasy, new or veteran, young or old.”

Reading Realms, 4.5/5 stars

The Death of Dulgath (#3)
“A fast-paced and entertaining continuation of the Riyria Chronicles, THE DEATH OF DULGATH continues to explore the Medieval world Michael J. Sullivan created in THEFT OF SWORDS with a rousing tale of assassins, murder, betrayal and intrigue.”

Buzzfeed

The Disappearance of Winter’s Daughter (#4)
“This volume is a highly satisfying addition to the Riyria Chronicles that adds to the backstory of Hadrian and Royce.”

Booknest, 4.5/5 stars

“As a reader, it always amazes me to watch an author’s skill grow over time, and indeed Sullivan’s writing has become a lot more polished since the days of the Riyria Revelations […] It is truly impressive how Hadrian and Royce’s adventures have stayed so fresh and utterly captivating even after all these years and so many novels.”

The BiblioSanctum, 4.5/5 stars

“Royce and Hadrian are very, very easily my two favorite characters in all of fantasy […] [THE DISAPPEARANCE OF WINTER’S DAUGHTER] was just fantastic. This was a really great addition to the series.”

Super Star Drifter

“Nothing in this particular novel shows signs of Michael slowing down when it comes to the Riyria duo. From prose to pacing to interesting plot ideas, a fantastic cast of side characters and the ever-expected witty dialogue and squabbling between the two friends, THE DISAPPEARANCE OF WINTER’S DAUGHTER feels once more like coming home. Or, to put it differently, like inviting two old friends back into your home, having waffles for breakfast and having awkward conversations about unicorns and polka dots. In yet other words, I loved it.”

Reading Lamp

“Fans will rejoice in Tim Gerard Reynolds’s return to narrate the latest adult fantasy featuring professional thieves Hadrian and Royce. The pairing of Reynolds’s narration with Sullivan’s multilayered storytelling is outstanding. Reynolds’s sense of the heroes’ personalities makes the bantering dialogue a joy to hear and enhances the tale’s humor and emotional depths.”

AudioFile

Awards & Accolades

The Riyria Revelations

Theft of Swords (#1)
USA

2013 Audie Award Finalist

USA

2009 National Indie Book Award Finalist

USA

2008 ReaderViews Annual Literary Award Finalist

USA

Foreword Reviews: “Book of the Year Finalist”

USA

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

USA

Audible: “5-star The Best of Everything”

USA

Barnes & Noble: “Best Fantasy Release”

USA

Civilian Reader: “Most Anticipated Reads for November 2011”

USA

Black Gate: “Noteworthy Fantasy Debuts”

USA

Bookworm Blues: “Overall Best Reads of 2010”

USA

Shadowhawk Shade: “Best of the Best”

USA

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

USA

Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review: “Favourite”

USA

The Lost Entwife: “Top Ten Underrated Books”

USA

#7 Mathias Cavanaugh: “Top 10 Books”

USA

WordTipping: “Top 3 Favorite Reads”

Rise of Empire (#2)
USA

Goodreads Choice Award Nominee: “Best Fantasy”

USA

Foreword Magazine Finalist: “Book of the Year”

USA

#1 Fantasy Book Critics: “Best Indie Fantasy”

USA

Civilian Reader: “6 Most Anticipated Reads for December 2011”

USA

#8 Timothy C. Ward: “Top 10 Reads”

USA

#3 Mathias Cavanaugh: “Top 10 Books”

Heir of Novron (#3)
USA

Goodreads Choice Award Nominee: “Best Fantasy”

USA

Audible: August 2012 “Customer Favorite”

USA

#1 Fantasy Book Critic: “Best Indie Fantasy”

USA

#4 Bookworm Blues: “Top 10”

USA

Staffer’s Review: “Books I want to Read”

USA

Civilian Reader: “6 Most Anticipated Reads”

USA

SFF World: “Top 10 Favorite Books”

USA

The Founding Fields: “Best Books”

USA

#4 Mathias Cavanaugh: “Top 10 Books”

USA

Shadowhawk Shade: “Best of the Best”

USA

Bane of Kings: “Best ovels of the First Half of 2012”

USA

Only the Best Sci-Fi / Fantasy: “Books I’m Looking Forward To”

The Riyria Chronicles

The Crown Tower (#1)
USA

Goodreads Choice Award Nominee: 2013 “Best Fantasy“

USA

Audible: “5-Star Listens for Fantasy”

USA

Fantasy Faction: “Top 10 Anticipated Books for 2013”

USA

Best Fantasy Book: “Most Anticipated Fantasy Books for 2013”

USA

Fantasy Book Review: “Six (non-hped) Most Anticipated Books”

USA

The Ranting Dragon: “50 Fantasy and Science Fiction Novels to Look Forward to in 2013”

USA

Shadowhawk’s Shade: “Top 6 Fantasy Reads”

USA

Confessions of an Avid Reader: “Top 10 Books”

Belgium

Draumr Kopa: “Waiting on Wednesday”

The Rose and the Thorn (#2)
USA

Audible: “September 2013 Customer Favorite”

USA

Fantasy Faction: “Top 25 Fantasy Books”

USA

Audiofile Magazine: “Best Books”

USA

Winner 2014 Earphone Award

USA

Confessions of an Avid Reader: “Top 10 Books”

The Death of Dulgath (#3)
The Disappearance of Winter’s Daughter (#4)