The Disappearance of Winter’s Daughter by Michael J. Sullivan @author_sullivan

Posted November 19, 2018 by Robin in Book Review / 10 Comments

The Disappearance of Winter’s Daughter by Michael J. Sullivan @author_sullivan The Disappearance of Winter's Daughter by Michael J. Sullivan
Series: Riyria Chronicles #4
Published by Indie on October 2, 2018
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 521
Format: eBook
Source: Author
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One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

When Gabriel Winter's daughter mysteriously disappears and is presumed dead, the wealthy whiskey baron seeks revenge. Having lived in Colnora during the infamous Year of Fear, he hires the one man he knows can deliver a bloody retribution - the notorious Duster.

Ride with Royce and Hadrian as the cynical ex-assassin and idealistic ex-mercenary travel to a mysterious old-world city filled with nobles claiming descent from the imperial aristocracy. Riyria's job appears easy: discover what happened to the missing duchess and, if she lives, bring her home . . . if not, punish those responsible. But nothing is simple in the crowded, narrow, mist-filled streets of Rochelle, where more than one ancient legend lurks.

Haydrian and Royce have one of my favorite Bromances in literature.  They fight and banter and are genuinely hilarious together. Even though both come from bloody and brutal pasts, one has opted to see life for all it could be and the other remains cynical of everyone and everything.  They make up the duo called Riyria, a less than above board service for hire kind of team.

The interesting thing about The Disappearance of Winter’s Daughter is that it is a prequel to The Riyria Revelations.  Set approximately ten years before the main series starts. Normally I don’t like it when authors do that. It is really hard to build tension when you know that the main characters will be fine and together later on.  But Sullivan manages to do a great job at it and so I think that while this is more enjoyable if you have read the other series, you do not need to have read them. Each of the prequels is a stand-alone story with a few Easter Eggs for the later series but fantastic all on their own.

Genny, the new Duchess of Rochelle, is missing and presumed dead by her father.  With retribution in mind, Mr. Winter hires Haydrian and Royce to find out what befell his daughter and make those responsible pay with blood.  Which leads Riyria into the city of Rochelle that is on the cusp of revolting.

With every new clue as to what happened to the new Duchess, the duo is more convinced that things are not what they appear and maybe, just maybe, there is a chance they can find the Duchess and stop the Revolt.   With some weird magic happening and superstitions abounding, it will be hard to figure out what is real and what is just superstition.

Hayrain and Royce get better every time I read them and this book made me want to reread the entire main series all over again.  Genny was fantastic in this and I love how full of life she was. She knew exactly who she was and accepted it and made the best out of everything she touched.  She is another strong female character in the world of Riyria and there are many of them.

The Prequels are episodic in nature and so this can be read with no other knowledge of the series.  And just in case you were wondering a few of my other favorite Bromances are Wax and Wayne from the Mistborn series and Tyrion and Bran from Game of Thrones.  

“Reason, truth, innocence” –Royce sat back against the wall and folded his arms–“unicorns, pixies, and dragons; you’re not that young to believe in such things. How is it that you fancy yourself a resident of a make-believe world.”
“I told you. At this point, it’s a choice.”
“It’s not. It’s fooling yourself. I can decide between eating fish or pork, but I can only pretend to eat unicorn meat. I can’t actually eat a unicorn. The world is the world, and you live in it with open eyes or choose to be blind. It’s all the same to me, but don’t stand there pretending your right.”


“I have a friend and I think about killing him all the time.”
“Oh, so you admit it now. We’re friends?”
“I never said anything about you. Don’t be so presumptuous.”


About Michael J. Sullivan

After finding a manual typewriter in the basement of a friend’s house, Michael J. Sullivan 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 act but 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 severe 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:

* Named to io9’s Most Successful Self-Published Sci-Fi and Fantasy authors
* Sold more than 1,250,000 English copies
* Been translated into 14 foreign languages
* Spent more than 4 years on Amazon’s Bestselling Fantasy Author’s list
* A six-time Goodread Choice Award’s Nominee
* At the time of funding, The Dulgath Kickstarter was the third highest-funded fiction project of all time

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Posted November 19, 2018 by Robin in Book Review / 10 Comments

10 responses to “The Disappearance of Winter’s Daughter by Michael J. Sullivan

    • Laura, I really feel like he is underrated and he has some of the best female characters in his series. They are all strong and 3 dimensional. They are strong in different ways though. Not all of them are kickass or anything like that but there is a sincere depth to them all.

      I love the writer’s story too. It is never too late to try your dream again and if you write what you want to read then maybe just maybe you will find an audience

      • I think Mark Lawrence does that also. He had his whole trilogy written before the first was published with Books of the Ancestor series (Red Sister is the 1st one) It makes it easier when you know you will get them all. These were a year apart. I asked him about it and he told me the publisher chose the schedule to spread it out.