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Age of Myth (Book One of The Legends of the First Empire) by Michael Sullivan

 

The Hit

I’ve been a longtime fan of Michael Sullivan, all the way back to Theft of Swords and the rest of the original Riyria Revelations. It’s been awhile since I’ve returned to his work but I’m sure glad I did. As Michael explains in the intro to the book, Age of Myth takes places thousands of years before the events of the Riyria books. This means you can jump in and enjoy the series even if you’ve never read anything else by Sullivan (although there are plenty of easter eggs throughout for the keen reader to pick up). I loved the setting in Age of Myth — it’s sort of a bronze age society filled with humans and the magical Fhrey (elves) that the humans believe are gods due to their magical abilities and long lives. Sullivan is a true master of world-building and gives you enough to understand the story and some of the world’s history while keeping your thirsty for more. Age of Myth is essentially an origin myth (hence the title) but it’s presented in a way that engages the reader with the characters and leaves you guessing about what might happen next. I listened to the audio version and Tim Gerard Reynolds does an excellent job as the narrator.

The few qualms I had with this story are minor. Namely, I felt that a handful of the characters acted extremely naive in the fact of some very obvious events. Even so, I definitely recommend Age of Myth for fantasy lovers of all kinds. Sullivan is a modern-day Tolkien whose blue-collar writing style gets you hooked and takes you for an entertaining ride.

The Verdict: Green Light (must-read)

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Official Description

One of fantasy’s finest next-generation storytellers continues to break new ground.

Michael J. Sullivan’s trailblazing career began with the breakout success of his Riyria series: full-bodied, spellbinding fantasy adventures whose imaginative scope and sympathetic characters won a devoted readership and comparisons to fantasy masters Brandon Sanderson, Scott Lynch, and J.R.R. Tolkien himself. Now Age of Myth inaugurates an original five-book series.

Since time immemorial, humans have worshipped the gods they call Fhrey, truly a race apart: invincible in battle, masters of magic, and seemingly immortal. But when a god falls to a human blade, the balance of power between humans and those they thought were gods changes forever.

Now only a few stand between humankind and annihilation: Raithe, reluctant to embrace his destiny as the God Killer; Suri, a young seer burdened by signs of impending doom; and Persephone, who must overcome personal tragedy to lead her people. The Age of Myth is over. The time of rebellion has begun.