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 men 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.
Book 1 of the Legends of the First Empire series
Age of Myth by Michael J Sullivan
It’s hard to find a title that actually lives up to the Epic Fantasy genre claim. Many try, and fall very short of reaching the standards some, possibly just I?, have when it comes to Epic Fantasy. Age of Myth by Michael J Sullivan, however, manages to take the genre and run with it, creating his own new and unique world that feels very epic and very fantasy, without falling into tired tropes. It is very fast-paced, possibly too fast, which is what I felt was its main downfall, knocking it down a star.
There is so much new information packed into Age of Myth, it feels very dense at the start. I felt a bit bombarded learning all of this new information, new words, and having no reference point. It was a bit like being swept away with the current and just trying to enjoy the ride. Thankfully, about 20% into the book, I felt centered. I knew what was happening (or so I thought) and was excited, so much so that I finished the book that very sitting.
Pacing was very fast. I think that was a greater problem for me than feeling lost by new words and new worlds. The author tried too quickly to create this world and prep the story, which is a common problem sometimes with introductory books in a fantasy series. Pacing is a hard thing to get right with long series’. Either they go too slow, trying to keep information for subsequent books, or too fast, which was the case in Age of Myth by Michael J Sullivan.
Other than pacing, book was great! Characters were fantastic, especially Penelope and Suri! Raithe was well fleshed out, while Malcolm’s appearances were always fun. I’ll talk more about the characters during my spoiler vlog on the book tomorrow!
More akin to George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, than Lord of the Rings at the moment, Age of Myth by Michael J Sullivan does an impressive job of creating a grand new world with fully fleshed characters, keeping fresh in the epic fantasy genre.
Quotes & Excerpts
“So stunning and delicate; it’s marvelous. No one can see a butterfly and not stop to admire it. I’d love to be one. To go to sleep and wake up a season later with such beautiful wings and the ability to flutter about. That’s the most wonderful sort of magic, don’t you think? To change, to grow, to fly. But…” She paused. “I wonder what the cost would be.” The smile diminished once more. “There’s always a cost when it comes to magic. I suspect there is a great price to go from lowly caterpillar to glorious butterfly.”
– Chapter Six: Rumors
“Fulfillment comes from striving to succeed, to survive by your own wits and strength. Such things make each of us who we are.” Using the blanket, he rubbed his hair. “You lose that in captivity, lose yourself, and that loss saps your capacity for joy. I think comfort can be a curse, an addiction that without warning or notice erodes hope. You know what I mean?” He looked at each of them, but no one answered. “Live with it long enough and the prison stops being the walls or the guards. Instead, it’s the fear you can’t survive on your own, the belief you aren’t as capable, or as worthy, as others. I think everyone has the capacity to do great things, to rise above their everyday lives; they just need a little push now and then.”
– Chapter Nine: Tight Places
There is an old clan saying: When a stranger comes to the door, always be generous because it might be a god in disguise. In my experience, gods do not use disguises. They are too arrogant.
– Chapter Ten: The Galantians
We were foolish to think the Fhrey were gods, but it was insanity for the Fhrey to believe it, too. I’d rather be foolish than insane.
– Chapter Twenty: The Prince
When the dead betray the living, the victims are memories.
– Chapter Twenty-Two: Curse of the Brown Bear
About the Author
After finding a manual typewriter in the basement of a friend’s house, Michael J. Sullivan inserted a blank piece of paper and typed: It was a dark and stormy night. He was just ten years old and mimicking the only writer he knew at the time…Snoopy. That spark ignited a flame and Michael’s desire to fill blank pages would become a life-long obsession. As an adult, Michael spent more than ten years developing his craft by studying authors such as Stephen King, Ernest Hemingway, and John Steinbeck. During that time, he wrote thirteen novels without finding any traction in publishing. Since insanity is repeating the same act but expecting a different result, he did the only sane thing he could think of and quit, vowing never to write creatively again.
Never turned out to be too long for Michael and after a decade he returned to the keyboard in his forties…but with one condition: he wouldn’t seek publication. Instead, he wrote a series of books that had been building in his head during his hiatus. His first reading love was fantasy, and his hope was to help foster a love of reading in his then thirteen-year-old daughter, who struggled due to severe dyslexia. After reading the third book of this series, his wife insisted the novels needed to “get out there.” When Michael refused to jump back onto the query-go-round, she took over the publication tasks and has run “the business side” of his writing ever since.
- Riyria Blog: www.riyria.com
- Hollow World Blog: www.hollowworldnovel.wordpress.com
- Legends of the First Empire Series Blog: www.firstempireseries.com
- Twitter: @author_sullivan
- Riyria Facebook: www.facebook.com/riyria
- Author Facebook: www.facebook.com/author.michael.sullivan
- Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/2063919.Michael_J_Sullivan