Age of Myth: Book One of The Legends of the First Empire

Age of Myth: Book One of The Legends of the First Empire

4.4 8
by Michael J. Sullivan
     
 

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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, Sullivan’s stunning hardcover

Overview

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, Sullivan’s stunning hardcover debut, Age of Myth, inaugurates an original five-book series—and one of fantasy’s finest next-generation storytellers continues to break new ground.
 
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 the 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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
04/04/2016
The first volume in Sullivan’s prequel series, set 3,000 years before his Riyria epic fantasy books, is an uneven effort that peters off after an intriguing opening. In “the days of darkness before the war,” men live in fear of the Fhrey, gods who reside across the Bern River. Raithe of the Dureyan clan and his father, Herkimer, have ventured onto the gods’ lands, crossing the forbidden river in search of a place to live, farm, and hunt. Their trespass is quickly detected, and they’re confronted by an immortal. After Herkimer refuses to surrender a cherished family sword, the confrontation turns violent, the god kills Herkimer, and Raithe avenges his father’s death by slitting the god’s throat. He’s shocked that the immortal does not recover from the wound, and the ramifications of a man actually having killed a god drive the rest of the plot as the Fhrey begin a campaign of revenge. The bloodshed and political machinations are mild by grimdark fantasy standards, and the occasional modern phrasing is jarring. Agent: Laurie McLean, Fuse Literary. (June)
Kirkus Reviews
2016-04-13
In Elan's ancient past, men were called Rhunes and were treated as less than animals by the long-lived, magic-wielding Fhrey, whom the Rhunes believe to be immortal gods. With a suspenseful plot and some engaging characters, the first book of a new epic-fantasy series returns Sullivan's (The Death of Dulgath, 2015, etc.) readers to the land of Elan 3,000 years before the events of his previous Riyria Chronicles. One of the five major races of Elan, the Rhunes eke out poverty-stricken lives in clusters of small settlements, or dahls, while the extremely long-lived and well-heeled Fhrey rule as if they were gods. But when Raithe and his father cross the forbidden Bern River, their trespass blossoms into a war between the Fhrey and the Rhunes, in which Raithe earns the name of God-Killer and the Fhrey learn to respect Rhunes as men. Along the way readers will encounter a ferocious, possibly demonic, man-killing bear, Grin the Brown; a mystic child, Suri, who is far more than she seems, and her white wolf companion, Minna; a brave widow, Persephone, who will become the first female chieftain of her dahl; and a host of others, including such genre standards as giants, talking trees, goblins, and woodland spirits, all painted into a vast but familiar fantasy canvas. Sullivan's world is richly detailed but emotionally threadbare since all the action, bloodshed, magic, and menace lead to a clichéd conclusion: the good ones win, and the evil ones lose.
From the Publisher
Praise for Michael J. Sullivan
 
“Hair-raising escapes, flashy sword fights, and faithful friendship complete the formula for good old-fashioned escapist fun.”—Publishers Weekly, on Theft of Swords
 
“Filled with adventure and clever dialog and featuring a pair of not-quite-heroes whose loyalties to each other provide them with their greatest strength, this epic fantasy showcases the arrival of a master storyteller.”—Library Journal, on Theft of Swords
 
“With less gore and a smaller cast of characters than George R. R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire but equally satisfying, Sullivan’s epic fantasy will be gaining fans at exponential rates.”—Library Journal, on The Rose and the Thorn

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101965337
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
06/28/2016
Series:
Legends of the First Empire Series , #1
Pages:
432
Sales rank:
34,651
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.80(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Michael J. Sullivan is the bestselling author of the Riyria Revelations and Riyria Chronicles series. He lives in Virginia with his family.

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Age of Myth: Book One of The Legends of the First Empire 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous 17 days ago
As usual, Sullivan's book has wonderful characters and an engaging story. Buy it now!
Anonymous 23 days ago
I loved the imagination, the fast pace and the continuous surprises in plots. Was a joy to read. Cant wait for the next books to become available!
Connie57103 3 months ago
Michael J. Sullivan has done it again with his new five book series, "Legends of the First Empire." It has that L.O.T.R. vibe that I just cannot get enough of! This series is more of a prequel to his "Riyria Chronicles" and "Riyria Revelations" series, as it is set three millennia before the Chronicles. Mr. Sullivan calls this fantasy series "a separate entryway into the world of Elan." Indeed, this series dives right into an entire world of characters, plot lines, and settings. The book starts out on the very first page with its first myth. The Fhrey are Elves. Men (or Rhunes) think and believe that they are immortal Gods that can bring wrath and destruction to anything and everything inn their way). They cannot be killed nor defeated in battle. This segues into the beginning of the book. Raithe and his father are out in the woods hunting deer with their spears. They follow the wounded deer until it collapses and dies. They then begin to dress the deer, only they don't know that they have crossed the river into Fhrey territory, which is punishable by death. This causes one of the Fhrey to kill Raithe's father on the spot. Raithe, then, kills the Fhrey who killed his father and sets him on the run. He soon gets the nickname "God killer" (something no man is ABLE to do). Like L.O.T.R., this book is gritty but is great for children old enough to read all the way into adulthood. It has something for everyone. From an ancient, majestic old tree that answers questions, to a six pack of wolves that could tear you to shreds, a demonic huge bear, two young girls (that are as different as night is to day) that could become our heroines. It has swords and also lethal rocks when thrown the right way. It has the greatest people, settings, and plot lines. I will be reading this series and the prior series to see what there is yet to learn about them. You will highly enjoy this one as well. Thank you, Michael J. Sullivan, Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine Del Rey and NetGalley for giving me a free e-ARC of this book to read and give my honest review.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Good
ToManyBooksNotEnoughTime 5 months ago
I would like to thank Del Rey & NetGalley for a copy of this e-ARC to review. Though I received this ebook for free, that has no impact upon the honesty of my review. Goodreads Teaser: "What does it mean if the gods can be killed? The first novel in an epic new fantasy series for readers of Brent Weeks, Brandon Sanderson, Peter V. Brett, and Scott Lynch. 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. Now, Sullivan's stunning hardcover debut, Age of Myth, inaugurates an original five-book series, and one of fantasy's finest next-generation storytellers continues to break new ground. 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." Unfortunately I found myself struggling so much with this book that at about 3/4 of the way through I finally stopped trying. I almost never mark a book as Did Not Finish (DNF), but in this case after trying numerous times I simply thought it best if I stopped torturing myself. I was unable to connect with any of the characters, and thus their plight held no interest for me. I certainly hope others fared better than I with this book.
LuluRoadsideReader 6 months ago
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 creative a grand new world with fully fleshed characters, keeping fresh in the epic fantasy genre. // I received this title for free in exchange for an honest review //
Anonymous 7 months ago
Typical Michael J. Sullivan book... Fantastic
MsArdychan 8 months ago
Please Note: I received an ARC copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my opinions in my review in any way. This is the first time I have read a book from author Michael J. Sullivan, and it won't be my last. Age of Myth is everything a fantasy novel should be: Engaging characters, a complex plot and an Epic setting. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Characters: The book has so many interesting and unusual characters that I cannot write about them all. One of the main characters is Persephone, the widow of the recently deceased chieftain. She has been the "second chair" for twenty years, giving wise counsel to her husband. When a new chieftain takes over, Persephone finds it hard not to speak her mind when she sees Konniger making mistakes. This, of course, gets her in trouble. Even when everyone is against her, Persephone is level-headed, wise, and compassionate. She is a natural leader. Another wonderful character is Suri, the teenage mystic. She is a child of the forest and is more comfortable sleeping outdoors with her wolf than being cooped up in a lodge. She comes to the village to warn about a grave danger, saying, "Everyone is going to die". She is brave, intelligent and loyal to her wolf companion. Plot: I thought the plot to be complex without trying to be deliberately confusing. There are power struggles in the two societies, mythology that may, or may not, guide the story, and blossoming love. I appreciated that there was a balance of exposition and action. So often, in the beginning of a new series, there is a tendency to burden the first book with explanation upon explanation of the book's universe. The author is a wonderful storyteller who doesn't need to spell everything out to the reader. He knows that we are along for the ride and can wait to have aspects revealed to us at the appropriate time. This also shows great respect for the audience. There are harrowing scenes of battles that had me staying up late because I couldn't put the book down. Setting: As with any fantasy novel, the setting creates the tone. Age Of Myth is set in a time long ago (it seemed very like the middle ages in Europe). Of the various societies there are the Rhune (us mere mortals), and the Fhrey ( a race of people who live for thousands of years). The Fhrey can perform "The Art" and are believed by the Rhune to be gods. The Fhrey don't see the Rhune as even human. They consider any other races to be sub-human; more like wild animals. Both cultures will begin to see their perceptions tested when a fateful encounter occurs that begins the events in the book. This is an exciting beginning to a five book series. I loved that the events in this book are resolved, but some things started will carry over into the next book. If you enjoy action, adventure, and fantasy, you are in for a treat.