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Let me start by saying that I read a lot of fantasy books. I read a lot of books period. We are at the end of June and I have finished nearly 70 books this year. That being said AGE OF MYTH IS THE BEST BOOK I HAVE READ THIS YEAR. It is already one of my favorite books ever. Oh and the last few chapters are an absolute roller coaster ride, and I didn't want to get off. <br/>Michael J Sullivan is such an amazing storyteller. He does such a brilliant job painting a picture of this world and these people. Not only that but the story is fresh and unique. I read so many stories that just seem to be a slight deviation of the same old story. This book is not like that. If you want to read a book full of adventure and deceit with strong male and female characters, but not full of violence and sex, this is the perfect book for you. <br/>I had just finished a book right before this came out so I was able to start listening the morning it was released. I couldn't put it down. I just had to keep listening. It was so good and I was so invested in the story. Have you ever had a meal that was so good you just couldn't stop eating? As you get closer to finishing the meal you realize that it is almost gone and you won't have anymore, so you want to slow down and savor each bite. Maybe you will leave a little piece so you can enjoy it later. But it is just to good, you can't help yourself. You finish every last bite. You are completely satisfied, but down deep you are sad because it is gone forever, you may be able to eat it again but it may never be this good again. That is how I feel about this book. It was so good I didn't want to stop reading, but I kept getting closer to the end and I was panicking because I didn't want the story to end. Thank goodness their is a series that is already written. I don't have to worry that the next book will be years away, or possibly never released. Their are 4 more books in this series and I can't wait to see where this all ends up. <br/>Tim Gerard Reynolds is a brilliant narrator. I have never heard him do a sub par job on a book and he was brilliant reading this one. He does such a great job with emotion and communicating the feelings and emotions of the characters. I can't think of a better author/narrator team than Reynolds and Sullivan. <br/>Simply put this book is a must read especially for fans of epic fantasy. Let's see how this series plays out but if the rest of the series lives up to Age of Myth, this series will be a masterpiece. <br/>Age of Myth gets my highest recommendation.
240 of 254 people found this review helpful
3.5 happy stars for this intriguing story, and I will read the sequel. AGE OF MYTH takes place 3000 years before the two Riyria series (Revelations and Chronicles). Because I'd read Riyria, I already understood many concepts and names, so this book was easy enough to follow. I'd recommend reading at least the Riyria Revelations first, so the mysteries, plot twists, and unveiled secrets remain a fun surprise for the reader.
I alternately read this on kindle and listened to the audiobook. Superb narration by Tim Gerard Reynolds. There's a helpful glossary in the book. There are high resolution maps online. However, in this book's new map, what I see as the Ulum River is labeled the Bernum River — or something is out of sorts when compared with the old Riyria map of Elan. Too many rivers?
I'd rate the contents PG or PG 13. No sex. Minimal cursing with only mild expletives. There is a brief reference to gay lovers (Arion and Celeste). The violence is sometimes gruesome, especially scenes involving the man-eating bear, but I doubt it would inspire nightmares.
I was fairly engrossed. Particularly enjoyed Suri the Mystic and her wolf Minna. The bear made for a good scare, and added a feeling of suspense and mystery.
Some Conections to Riyria Revelations:
We see Mawyndulë when he was a spoiled young prince of 25 years, and meet some of his teachers / advisors. We visit the ancient elven city of Estramnadon, where the Fhrey Fane sits on a throne of trees, and where a sacred "Door" remains a mystery. We also meet the original "Cenzlyor" and Nyphron /Nevron the warrior Fhrey, leader of the Instarya Tribe, and Persephone, for whom the legendary city of Percepliquis was named (also the title of book 6 in Riyria, in Heir of Novron). I kept looking for Yorik the philosopher elf (maybe I found him) and the feather-collecting god Erebus / Kale (I have my suspicions, but no evidence).
This book also brought to mind Riyria Chronicles: The Death of Dulgath. Nysa Dulgath, when telling Royce her ancient personal story, described Brin as a legend, almost worshipped. Brin is a strong secondary character here, plus each chapter begins with an excerpt from Brin's memoirs, as Keeper of Ways. We also see the ancient elven tower Ervanon that Royce and Hadrian climb in Riyria Chronicles: The Crown Tower.
Why not 5 stars? See below:
The occasional intrusion of modern slang in the dialogue diminishes the feeling of an "other" place and time, at least for me. Across Sullivan's work, words like "anywho" and "hello" and "dad" or "daddy" jerk me out of the ancient days feeling.
Apart from the occasional modern dialogue, the writing is solid, and the style suited the story well enough. However, the name Persephone distracted me. It doesn't sound like the other clan names (Brin, Maeve, Raithe, Mora, Sarah) and pulled me constantly into Greek mythology. That's just how my mind works.
Characterization fell a little flat: Persephone is clearly the main protagonist of this book, and I grew to understand and admire her, as well as Suri the Mystic and to some extent Arion the Fhrey Mage. However, some characters felt somewhat like caricatures, especially the villain Gryndal. I think there were just too many half-baked key characters — half a dozen — plus strong secondary characters like Moya, Brin, Maeve, Konniger, etc. Nephron's characterization is oddly fuzzy. Most likely the author intends to solidify these characters in the sequels.
It generally isn't a problem for me that there are discrepancies between this book and the history we heard in Riyria. That's how history goes. However, in Heir of Novron: Percepliquis, a Mirilyth (mage) creates an entire feast apparently out of nothing, while in this book, they cannot manifest creation. Arion made that clear several times.
Use of teasers: At the end there is a sudden twist involving Nyphron and another key character. It occurred in the last few pages of the book and felt disconnected, disjointed, and forced. Better to save it for the sequel and give it some nuance and texture.
Another teaser: All the stuff with the Door and Trilos and Gryndal (and the section with Curator Imaly) felt like digressions, going nowhere. I wonder if most of that should have also waited for the sequel, particularly because it forced some disjointed changes in POV. But not a big deal.
Quibbles aside, I am enjoying this continuation of the mythology that began in the Riyria series and look forward to book two, Age of Swords. As others have said, I wish we didn't have to wait a year, but I wouldn't want to rush the writing process either.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
Having enjoyed the stories about Hadrian and Royce I was extremely pleased that Sullivan has kept up his own high standards of storytelling, pace and character chemistry in the start of this new series. On top of that I'm even happier that Reynolds continues to perform for these audio books. He has a great range from sensitive to humorous to dark reflecting what the characters are experiencing as well as what is going on. Looking forward to listening to the rest of these.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
This book grips you from the first page. You can roughly figure out where the story's headed but in no way predict how it'll get there! At every juncture you will be filled with lots of questions but continually satisfied with the ongoing story. You can tell that there is a lot more of the story to come, to be told but you'll never be left wanting. I actually thought to myself how glad I was that all the key characters were undermined because it meant the absence of full scale and multiple battles on multiple fronts. I think the series has been written in this way in order for us to absorb all the intricacies at each stage of the story which promise to be relevant much later in the series. That said, there is sufficient action, humour, mysteries and conspiracies to keep you engaged from start to finish (and when you do reach the finish line of this book, you'll immediately feel and know that the journey's just begun!!).
The narrator is one of my favourites so no doubt, he gets full marks from me!!
I desperately look forward to the next book in this series!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful