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Age of Swords: The Legends of the First Empire, Book 2 by Michael Sullivan

The Hit

In Age of Swords, Michael Sullivan differentiates his Legends of the First Empire series by taking the story in new directions away from many standard fantasy tropes. While Age of Myth set an excellent foundation, Age of Swords made unique inroads as a can’t-stop-listening book.

We last left our heroes from Dahl Rhen in the midst of a victory over Gryndal, the First Minister of Fane Lothian. But all is not as it seems among some of their allies. Dun. Dun. Dun.  We learn that Nyphron‘s intentions are dubious at best and nefarious at worst. Before he can further his ambitions, however, s#*&! hits the fan for our noble friends in Dahl Rhen.

Long story short, Persephone, Raithe and the rest most journey southward and prepare for war and to appoint a keenig to leader the Rhunes against the Fhrey. Rather than getting bogged down in endless council scenes, the middle build of Age of Swords sends part of our band of heroes on a quest to get — you guessed it — swords. But to win the sharp-pointy sticks capable of withstanding the Fhrey’s weapons, they’ll have to journey into the CENTER OF THE EARTH!

I was especially pleased with the character arc of Mawyndule and Suri in Age of Swords. Without giving away any spoilers, Sullivan deftly molds these characters in unexpected ways. Both of their arcs featured a powerful narrative drive that probably won’t turn out like you’re expecting. The Mines of Moria were one of my favorite part of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and I felt like I was returning there (in a new, fresh way) throughout the journey in Neith.

Age of Myth established an excellent foundation for this series but Sullivan’s unique twist on the classic high fantasy origin tale really shines in Age of Swords. As always, Tim Gerard Reynolds delivers a standout performance (especially considering some of the wacked words in this book!). I can’t wait for the next installment, Age of War to be released in July!

 The Verdict: Green Light (must-read)

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Official Description

The gods have been proven mortal and new heroes will arise as the battle continues in the sequel to Age of Myth—from the author of the Riyria Revelations and Riyria Chronicles series.

In Age of Myth, fantasy master Michael J. Sullivan launched readers on an epic journey of magic and adventure, heroism and betrayal, love and loss. Now the thrilling saga continues as the human uprising is threatened by powerful enemies from without—and bitter rivalries from within.

Raithe, the God Killer, may have started the rebellion by killing a Fhrey, but long-standing enmities dividing the Rhunes make it all but impossible to unite against the common foe. And even if the clans can join forces, how will they defeat an enemy whose magical prowess renders them indistinguishable from gods?

The answer lies across the sea in a faraway land populated by a reclusive and dour race who feel nothing but disdain for both Fhrey and mankind. With time running out, Persephone leads the gifted young seer Suri, the Fhrey sorceress Arion, and a small band of misfits in a desperate search for aid—a quest that will take them into the darkest depths of Elan. There, an ancient adversary waits, as fearsome as it is deadly.