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  • Writer's pictureL.L. Stephens

Where to Start Reading the Triempery Revelations

Updated: Mar 28, 2023

Now that The Second Stone is being published next month, and three books in this six-book series will be out, readers might reasonably ask if they need to start with Sordaneon, the first book.

The answer is No.

Fans of the series can argue that Sordaneon should be read first. Dorilian is such a strong main character and his arc—his birthright, the Rill, his possible destiny—drive the first two books powerfully. But Dorilian's story is not the lone entry point. In fact, The Second Stone not only continues Dorilian's arc, it begins a new arc that provides a different way to enter the story.

If Dorilian intrigues you—because you have read excerpts or read reviews or otherwise gotten interested in him as a character—by all means... start with Sordaneon! It may be the best book for entering the world of the Triempery series and it is definitely best for introducing Dorilian. Because the book starts with Dorilian as a child, then teen, Sordaneon provides a deep dive into a fascinating, complicated character and showcases what prove to be two crucial relationships for the entire series: Dorilian’s love for his brother Levyathan, and Dorilian's deep attachment to Marc Frederick Stauberg-Randolph. Both relationships resonate through the next books in profound ways.

By starting with Sordaneon, readers get to see firsthand major events that shatter the Triempery. They get to see firsthand Dorilian and Stefan's feud and witness the betrayals and miscalculations that follow. They get a closer look at the adversaries, too, who they are and the motivations that move them. By the end of The Kheld King, the series has posed the question of whether the Triempery can be saved at all... because things look grim.

Starting with The Second Stone provides readers with a different entry point: Marc Frederick’s grandson Handurin, younger brother to tragically flawed Stefan of Sordaneon and The Kheld King. Sheltered and idealistic Hans meets a Dorilian Sordaneon who is already adult, ruler of an empire—and deeply damaged by the terrible events of the first two books. This Dorilian is someone Hans must figure out, even as Hans must figure out the very world into which he has been thrust. He appears to be ill-prepared for either. And Dorilian, for his part, must figure out Hans, who is not like Stefan at all.

Beginning with The Second Stone, Hans and Dorilian must find ways to work together despite the hostilities that have crippled the Triempery and its Entities. Sordaneon and The Kheld King give the history of those hostilities. The rest of the series must resolve them. The Second Stone is the launching pad for that ultimate battle: the calm before the storm.

Sordaneon and The Second Stone are both good books with which to start the series. Both Dorilian and Hans are good characters with which to start. Indeed, in The Second Stone the reader starts with both main characters. A lot will come down to what kind of story/experience the reader wants to start with:

1. Dorilian, an arrogant asshole of a teenage main character who believes in his own great destiny and gets handed hard lessons. (Along with the backstory that includes Marc Frederick and Stefan.) Readers get to watch him grow into a formidable adult.

2. Or Hans, an idealistic, often awkward, young man burdened by his brother's legacy but trying his best to do the right thing for himself and others--and who also gets handed hard lessons, some of those from the very man he seeks to enlist as an ally. For one thing, Hans needs to learn how to fight with a sword. He also needs to make a few friends, because staying alive, much less saving Essera, means fighting his family's enemies--the greatest of whom is supposedly Dorilian.

The Second Creation needs Dorilian and Hans, and they need each other. The Entities are working through both men in ways they do not yet perceive. Can Dorilian see past Stefan? Can Hans put his infamous brother's legacy behind him?

Maybe. Because if they can, there might be a bromance in the making.

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