Book review · novel

Book review: Age of myth

Age of Myth (The Legends of the First Empire #1), by Michael J. Sullivan

age-of-mythDescription : (from Random House Books )

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.

Expected publication: June 28, 2016

A review copy (eARC) of this book was provided by the publisher through Netgalley.

I first discovered Michael J. Sullivan with Hollow World and ever since this book I’ve wanted to read his Riyria Revelations/Chronicles series. I haven’t taken the time yet but when I found out he was writing a new series set in the distant past of the Riyria books, I was really interested. I love to find a new world to dive in, one that I know the author has a lot figured out and where different time period are explored. I didn’t know if I should read the Riyria books first or just get on with this new one, but then I saw this quote (bellow) about this new series and it decided me on starting with that one anyway! I think that quote can spoil this new series a bit about the fate of two characters if you are, like me, just discovering this world. But it didn’t bothered me that much so here it is:

The Legends of the First Empire is an upcoming series set in the distant past of the Riyria books coming from Random House’s Del Rey imprint starting in the summer of 2016. It tells the “true” story of how Novron saved mankind from extinction, won the heart of his wife Persephone, and founded The First Empire. It can be read by both new readers and veterans of the Riyria books.

So I’m part of the new readers, and planning on following Michael J. Sullivan’s books because WOW, second book of his I’m reading and again: 5/5 on goodreads without any hesitation. I’m even more eager to read all his other books now, I’ll dive in as soon as I can!

I really fell in love with the characters, I cared for all of them. Except the bad guy obviously but I find that having the bad guy POV is really interesting to add something to the story. It adds this sense that something bad is coming for the characters, a certain ominous feeling. Thankfully that POV wasn’t present a lot throughout the novel and wasn’t too stressful to read. These days I’m not really into scary stressful stories so the villain’s POV can spoil a book for me; but here it was actually well done and didn’t took that many pages.

The first character encountered is Raithe. He ends up killing some kind of god with a slave’s help and finds himself with a God Killer reputation that he doesn’t really like. The slave, Malcolm, ends up free but decides to stay with Raithe anyway, despite how different they are, because he doesn’t actually know how to deal with the world. I loved Persephone for her humanity, how she tried to do her best for her clan and how she sees the best in people, even when there is not that much good to see. Suri was maybe my favourite. Found and raised by a mystic in the forest, she’s more at ease among trees and animals than with people with walls everywhere. She has a white wolf named Minna as her best friend: I loooooved this, ever since Fitz and Nighteye (Farseer Trilogy) I have a weakness for human/wolf friendship. I loved how they were so close and inseparable, their devotion to one another.

From the official description of this novel, these are the three main characters, but there are also some minor characters who were as important for the story and as compelling to follow. There is Arion, a member of a Fhrey clan who possesses powers called “the art” that seem to control all sorts of things, mostly forces of Nature. This explains why humans (or Rhunes as they are called by the Fhrey, also the working title of Age of Myth before it was changed) sees them as Gods, adding to that that Fhrey can live for thousands of years. Then there is Nyphron, a rebel leader of the Galantian clan of the Fhrey. He is intriguing, not that much present but you can sense that he will be of importance in the next books.

When reading the book, I knew not everything was revealed and there were some secrets but I wasn’t frustrated at all. You kind of know it will be revealed in due time and, when you least expect it, it hits you right in the feels. There was a moment when I had to stand up because I was too dumbstruck and had tears in my eyes. It’s really a story full of emotions, truly humane and powerful.

There was not a single chapter where I was bored. When the pace was slowing it was still engaging and serving the characters development. There was always something happening, something being revealed or dealt with.

This story left me hungry for more but I also felt satisfied. There are a lot of openings for the following books but it still brought some closure and that is something I love in book series. No cliffhanger that made me think “uh? Where is the next page?” but more like “So! This is the end! But I can sense more is coming! Great!

I can’t find any flaw to this book, it is really well done and entertaining with an amazing cast of characters.

I loved it so much that I added the second book on goodreads even before I was finished with Age of Myth, I’m really looking forward to what will happen next. I usually don’t read the extract from the next books that is at the end but there, I couldn’t help but read it because I was so taken by the story and the characters that I couldn’t stop myself. Obviously it made me desperate to read the sequel, good job there! Really looking forward to more AND to have a finished copy of that one on my hands!

(originally posted: 27th June 2016)

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