I will say right now that i love Fantasy Literature, everything about it from mysterious worlds, to strange dialects, magic systems to fascinating characters. There is not a single thing that i do not love, this has been optimised by my reading of the Ryria Revelations by Michael J Sullivan. This is a series of three books each made up of two volumes, they follow the adventures of two very unlikely heroes Royce Melbourne ( a cynical thief) and Hadrian Blackwater (an idealist swordsman and ex mercenary). The pair are thieves for hire, pulling off jobs for nobles and others in the land of Elan.
One of the things that i have most enjoyed about the books is the subtle layers of the story that are laid and then unraveled in each of the books. Important plot sequences in the third book for example are mentioned in the first book and second and then come to light in the third book or are deepened further. Anyway the books focus on a pair of thieves, no heroic knights, no dragons although there is a Princess to save.... who happened to be hired for a strange job that propels them on a epic journey, discovering as much about the world, it's creation as well as about themselves.
This is arguably on the most enjoyable fantasy book series that i have read in a while, it has kept me hooked with a very easy to read writing style, great characters, fantastic plots and realistic settings, i would easily rate this 10/10 for sheer brilliance.
Check out the authors site for more info about the books, the world and himself and his interests http://riyria.blogspot.co.uk
Michael has a new series coming out called "The First Empire" which from the previews looks to be as stunning as the Ryria Revelations if not going one better.
I offer one piece of advice to all, treat yourself to this authors work, you will not be disappointed!