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The Disappearance of Winter's Daughter

Written by: Michael J. Sullivan
Length: 13 hrs and 42 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (146 ratings)

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Audible Editor Reviews

Editors Select, December 2017

This was the first Michael J. Sullivan book I've ever experienced. That fact might aggravate some of his more dedicated fans, seeing as it's the fourth book in the series ("you have to start at the beginning!"). But I heard that it could be enjoyed as a stand-alone work, and that it definitely can, because I was obsessed immediately. Sullivan's characters really take on a life of their own, especially with Tim Gerard Reynolds giving them such a dynamic performance. Sullivan's sense of pacing is akin to a thriller writer's; each chapter is succinct and compelling, with frequent cliff-hangers that make it impossible to stop listening. Most crucial, perhaps, is the quality and subtle detail of Sullivan's world building - and his synergy with Reynolds - making it easy to dive headlong into this book. —Michael, Audible Editor

Publisher's Summary

"The pairing of Reynolds's narration with Sullivan's multilayered storytelling is outstanding." — AudioFile Magazine

A daughter vanishes. Two rogues are paid a fortune to find her. It isn't enough.

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 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.

©2017 Michael J. Sullivan (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

What the critics say

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
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😊 Loved it !!!! 😊

Another great story from Michael J Sullivan and a wonderful performance by Mr Reynolds !

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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sooo good!

I just love these characters. I pray Michael will keep their adventures coming. Tim is outstanding in bringing them to life and now the wait begins...

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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fantastic stand alone

story was compelling and fun to listen to. While the narrator is wonderful, the sound team needs to work on splicing the audio together or making sure all the takes are the same quality. some of the transitions are jarring and frankly the low quality takes are just annoying to listen to.

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Consistently Good

Other than the church always being the protagonist this book kept me listening non stop.
Tim Gerard is amazazing.

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Find a kidnap victim or slaughter a town

It is another good Ryira novel and the performance by Tim Gerard Reynolds is excellent. I have become comfortable with Mr. Reynolds narration over all the Ryira books, Red Rising and First Empire books and his performance is always very good.

Royce and Hadrian are tasked with either finding a kidnap victim or devastating a town, and Royce is up for either. This is a typically enjoyable Ryira book. If you are a fan of the series you will be a fan if this book.

I do have two complaints. It feels a bit out of place since it comes after the end of the Ryira Revelations. Although if you were starting the Ryira books today, you would probably read this one somewhere amongst the Ryira Chronicles. It would have been nice to see a book that took place after the Ryira Revelations. The Novron Church conspiracy seems a bit tired as the over arching enemy.

Other than that it is a good adventure, the banter between the characters is what you come to expect, although chronologically it must take place before the second Ryira Revelations as their relationship progressed past the point depicted in this book by then.

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Will never get tired of Riyria

Please, please keep bringing us exciting and thrilling adventures of Riyria. Sullivan creates yet another epic tale of Hadrian and Royce finding themselves interlocked with a job that leaves much more beyond the surface. How these two interact and bring the story together is unmatched, sorry Batman and Robin, you've been bumped.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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royce and haydrean are back.

it was nice to see this series get back on track. the last book was a more dificult listen. this one was another Ryria clasic and well done. #audible1

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  • Rob
  • 2018-09-04

Fun book

I enjoyed this book. The two characters are as snappy as ever. If you like the series you'll enjoy this one.

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Can't get enough!

Just love this series! Wonderful characters, adventures, humour and daring-do. The world Michael Sullivan has created is so real and full of wonders, I miss it when I have to leave. Can't wait for more.

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The best Riyria Chronicles book yet

Having started with the Riyria Revelations, I was really excited for the Chronicles, as they let me continue on with these characters, and learn more about them. While the Chronicles have been good, so far, they didn't capture my imagination in quite the same way that the Revelations did. That changed with this fourth instalment. I felt that Royce and Hadrian finally came into their own in a way I hadn't previously seen in this series. The story was riveting, had some great twists and turns, and the narration was stellar, as usual. Tim Gerard Reynolds is absolutely the voice of this series for me, and he doesn't disappoint here.

I highly recommend the book. It's great for those familiar with the Riyria universe, but stands alone effectively as well, if you're looking for a good read without attempting a series.

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  • Gina
  • 2017-12-30

By Mar! A brilliant addition to my favorite Chronicle

I had feared that with the release of the Origin series (Legends of the First Empire), Mr. Sullivan would no longer reach back/forward to share more of the adventures of the most colorful, humorous and intriguing duo since Holmes & Watson. I can appreciate how Hadrian and Royce have bounced around in MJS’s head for so long, and am thankful for it. Please keep the Chronicles coming, for Maribor’s sake.

Each time I am treated to a new story, I find I must go back and re-listen to the series; sometimes in order of release, others in chronological order. I will do the same this time, adding the Legends into the queue. The epics are so well thought out and true, likely owing to the fact that all 6 Revelations were written before the first was published, that each re-listening only brings more and more detail forward. There are no loose ends; there are no “chance” encounters. Each story reveals something from the one before. The opening scene of Royce & Hadrian in Disappearance of Winter’s Daughter reminded me of how I felt at the beginning of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. After so many years to be instantly transported back to Tatooine.
That same sense of nostalgia, happy to be with these beloved characters again. Here in Winter’s Daughter, we see Royce struggle with his own cynical world view, his worth and lovability, and reconciling it as a necessary yang which allows Hadrian’s Pollyanna yin to exist. It’s such a lovely part of the story, surrounded by action, danger, missteps and unforgettable Riyria banter. (Seriously, only Royce Melborne could talk about eating unicorns with a straight face). And it goes without saying that Tim Gerard Reynolds is to Riyria what Luke Daniels is to the Iron Druid, or Jim Dale to Harry Potter; he has brought a distinct voice to these characters which is now inseparable from Riyria itself. There can be no other.

If you are just joining Riyria, I believe the best experience is to read in the order by which they were released, that is, first with the Revelations, then the Chronicles. I believe knowing the fate of the story only lends more depth to its beginnings. And be prepared to find a new favorite series.

If you are an old fan of Colnora, Riyria and the world of Avron, dive right in. The story is a delight, the setting is filled with new interesting characters, and the boys? As always, bickering, debating, finding new ways to horrify the other, and still coming to grips with the reality that, for better or worse, they are in it together to the end.

34 of 34 people found this review helpful

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  • Sterling
  • 2017-12-06

Another brilliant story by Michael J Sullivan

This was yet another perfect pairing of brilliant storytelling and masterful performance. I can't think of a better pairing of writer and performer than Sullivan and Reynold.
The world that Michael J Sullivan has created in the Riyria stories is so alive and vibrant. The characters are so well developed and really have a life of their own. Sullivan has written the story but he has done such an amazing job of it that I believe Royce and Hadrian are living and breathing somewhere.
I highly recommend buying this book and all the other books in this series. I love that each book can be read independently of the others, other than the original trilogy. Each story is fully developed and complete. This is another perfect fantasy adventure appropriate for all audiences, parental discretion always advised.

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Chip Atkinson
  • 2017-12-12

This is Entertainment! Dilly Dilly!

The author dedicated this book to the Ryira, Royce and Adriene. He explains himself in the preface. For me, every novel the Ryira, elvin word meaning the two, are in is like welcoming two old friends. Listening to this latest novel is better than any movie sequel from any franchise. Make no mistake, Michael J Sullivan has created one of the best series in any genre.

Tim Gerard Reynolds delivers the perfect narration, capturing the wit, wisdom and irony that fill every page. This is one remarkable story. Reynolds does it justice.

Though it’s genre is fantasy, lovers of mystery, thrillers, drama and romance will all be satisfied. It is one of those rare novels where every page builds on the other.

I am forced to write this review on my iPhone, so forgive its brevity and any misspellings. What I want to leave you with is that whether this is your first novel of the Ryira or not, it is a story for the ages.

35 of 38 people found this review helpful

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  • Ginger Fargo
  • 2017-12-27

Start with Theft of Swords - then get all the books.

Always masterful in his story weaving, this tale is no less a treat than the others with the perfectly complimentary and yet opposing characters of Royce and Hadrian - probably my all time favorite in this book genre. I will say the narrator (also one of my favorites) seemed a bit off - the audio was patchy and on occasion I wasn't sure which of the characters was talking - a rarity with this exceptional narrator.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Robert Brown
  • 2017-12-25

So good, I am listening a second time.

Rarely do I enjoy an audiobook so much that I will begin to listen to it a second time immediately upon the conclusion of the first read. This is one such book. The interplay between Royce and Hadrian is so humorous that I am constantly laughing out loud. Even on the second read. This book is just as exceptional as all the others in the series.
Honestly I was not sure if the time setting of the book would work, but although I have read all the books in the series, I found the suspense just as gripping as in previous novels. By the Way, thank you for the backstory on Hadrian.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • T Ginn
  • 2017-12-22

Polka dots!!

I rarely write reviews, however, this mans brilliance in story telling and humor deserves such.

The characters interaction is perfection on a level I cannot describe in my merger words. The hints into character development are unparalleled. And the humor is extraordinary!! “Do you hear something boy?” Is all I can say.

Mr. Sullivan you sir are an exceptional writer.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Kenneth Phelps
  • 2017-12-18

MJS is great, the audio; not so much

The story is great, though I wouldn’t put it at the top of MJS’ works. My preference would be to see this storyline conclude and to focus on the Novron timeline and possibly a post Riyria timeline.

This book needs to be re-recorded. The second half of the book has frequent patches where the sound is distorted. One minute the audio is fine and the next it sounds like they are reading through a paper towel cylinder.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Alyson Williams
  • 2017-12-14

Not the best Riyria story

I have absolutely loved the previous riyria stories and have re-"read" them all multiple times. And while I enjoy hearing more of Royce and Hadrian tails, this story fell flat for me. Although it explains some of their history the plot never really went anywhere and was rather predictable. Also, I am not sure what happened while recording was going but one moment Tim Gerard Reynolds would sound like he was right there, or more like that you were right there, and then it would sound like he was really far away. Anyways, to summarize, this was not the best performance or story from the world of Riyria.

20 of 24 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Peter J.
  • 2018-01-05

An Excellent addition to the Riyria Chronicles

Michael J Sullivan is the finest of story tellers.
He knows his main characters to a fault, describing their best & worst attributes.
He also has a talent for developing interesting secondary characters.
The Disappearance of Winters Daughters was the best novel I've read this year. No pun intended. The only problem is waiting 12 months for the next novel in the series.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2018-01-01

I can't get enough of this series.

The narrator is so perfect for these books. Filled with humor and spirit... Love these books.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful