The characterization was amazing. I had a huge smile on my face so often because the writing was so brilliant. The scenarios the characters are thrown into paint comedic irony very well. I loved the banter between the two main characters, Royce and Hadrian. Also, they're really badasss, the kind of characters you want to follow. Some rip offs of "Assassin's Creed”?...possibly.
This story had two main sequences: The perspective of Hadrian and Royce, and the perspective of Gwen and the brothel. I liked all of the story, but I felt the story was almost written as a standalone adventure following Hadrian and Royce (which I wouldn't have minded). Then, as if Gwen's story was later added. It was a very short novel, so I can see how it'd be hard to follow all these fascinating story trails, but it was a little disappointing to feel like some of the side story was cut short. The ending was good, but it was very abrupt. It felt as if the last couple pages could have been stretched into 50 more, easily.
I felt like the author was a little bit needy in the extras in the book. Like, self-centered almost. It included an author's note. The ending was followed by a glossary of terms (Which I thought was cool), acknowledgements, an extensive interview with the author, an "about the author" and lastly, part of the next book of the series. He goes on about the struggles of writing and how he doesn't write for the money, only for the enjoyment, but I'm not really buying it. It's almost like this sad plea "Oh, look at me, writing's so hard and I'm just struggling by to make great novels, thanks for everyone's continued support". It all seems a bit over the top.
Overall, a really enjoyable read. I'm definitely excited to read more from Riyria.