Short Fiction Friday: The Viscount and the Witch

The Viscount and the Witch by Michael J Sullivan, The Ryria Chronicles #1.5

Eleven years before they were framed for the murder of a king, before even assuming the title of Riyria, Royce Melborn and Hadrian Blackwater were practically strangers. Unlikely associates, this cynical thief and idealist swordsman, were just learning how to work together as a team.

In this standalone short story of The Riyria Chronicles, Royce is determined to teach his naive partner a lesson about good deeds. Join Royce and Hadrian in this short story.


One of the coolest thieving series out there is the Ryria Revelations and Chronicles of Michael J. Sullivan. When I read the firs prequel series The Crown Tower, I was immediately taken by the main characters Royce and Hadrian. Last year I read the short story The Jester which again made me realize how cool this story is. I recently found out about this short story, The Viscount and the Witch which was actually written before as a short story but was later turned into a chapter of the second book in the Ryria Chronicles, The Rose and Thorn. 

The story of The Viscount and the Witch picks up one day when Royce and Hadrian are travelling, along the road that they are walking the encounter a women in distress. What better way, as the gentlemen they are, to offer their assistance. This particular women is troubled by a man sleeping in her farm shed. After some discussion they both venture into the shed for some explanations. Only then do they find out that this women is not really who they though they are. Seems that the tricksters have been tricked themselves. Since this is a short story I have to be cryptic in my explanations sorry for that. The man that is in the farm shed, Viscount Albert Winslow,  offers some nice explanations about a thieving guild, The Black Diamond who is notorious for thieving in this particular neighborhood. But Royce wouldn't be Royce if he didn't have a plan of his own way before hand, before it escalated. That is as much as I am allowed to say for myself. The Viscount and the Witch is a very nice and clear introduction to the characters once again but also to the world. It's is just a lot a fun to read the dialogues between Hadrian and Royce and how they sometimes do differ in opinion on certain subjects. But also something much bigger is that they are top in what they do, being a thief for Royce and a veteran soldier for Hadrian, they know darn well what they can and cannot do and once push will come to shove I know they will be dangerous foes to deal with. 

In this short story jsut as with The Jester, Michael J. Sullivan once again convinced me that his Ryria stories are must read material for every fantasy fan. The easy way of getting into this story and getting familiar with the surroundings and characters make this readily approachable. On top of this all it is just a whole lot of fun to read and that is what it is all about, backed up ofcourse by a cool story and cooler protagonists.  

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