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I am an avid Fantasy genre reader. Michael J Sullivan would make my top 3 list. From his very first book I've read/listened with excitement and focused attention, so much a part of the story, invested in the characters. The storylines held me captive and swept me away. I eagerly anticipated this release. Excitement built when the author declared this book his favorite. I struggled to stay focused. My attention wanders. For the first time I found myself "putting the book down" because I got bored. Is it a bad book? No, I just don't think it's the caliber of his others. Michael J Sullivan set a very high bar for himself. I will continue with the series as other books are released because I am a fan of the author and the narrator... and I have experienced the magic they are capable of creating together.
29 of 33 people found this review helpful
I know reverse empire building must be difficult but so many times throughout this book, I just couldn't suspend reality and buy into the story. A determined group of four or five women lead the humans (Rhunes) to new heights almost over night. This is particularly true with regard to Suri, who manages to invent the wheeled cart, improve metallurgy, invent the bow and arrow, and undertake other assorted advances almost simultaneously. And then again, maybe it was the development of written records books in a few days that ruined it for me. First because, with a civilization as old and as advanced as the elves and dwarves, it was hard to accept that none of these things already existed. Second because Persephone, who traveled extensively with her husband to other villages and even the elven outpost, would surely have seen wheeled vehicles and other innovations.
While I do applaud women having larger, more significant roles than in previous Sullivan books, I can't say that I liked some of them. Persephone spends so much time with internal whining and questioning that I was wishing for her to be gone. The same is true for Suri and Brie (?). I haven't encountered so much female angst in a long time. The only female with any semblance of a sense of humor was Moira, who turns out the be the warrior. Hmm-the woman with the masculine profession. Is there a message there? Even the dwarves have a sense of humor and sarcastic dialogue.
I have noticed this lack of females with well rounded characters in other books in the Riyira series. Generally, the males get to have a sense of the absurd, spout witty repartee, and be light hearted on occasion. (Even Myron the monk is amusing.) Women tend to be sober and austere. Arista is a dead bore at times. I was able to get past this in the earlier books because so much happens and external dialogue moves the stories along. It is much harder to ignore in Age of Swords where so much time is spent on the internal turmoil of the main female characters.
SPOILER ALERT: Don't read further if you haven't read this book.
Nephron, one of the major characters in the future development of Elan and the empire, is basically absent from this volume. Not only does he not play much of a role in the story, the cliff hanger he reveals at the end of Age of Myth doesn't come up again until the last few pages of the Age of Swords. I found this more than annoying.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful
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Ok I liked the first book, and you simply can’t complain about anything Tim Reynolds narrates. However, even then and with the second book I just couldn’t get past a few issues; for one the elves come across as petulant children, and the dwarves as real scumbags. I guess you could argue that Tolkien’s vision has given many a perspection of those race, but still the racial tone of both just felt wrong.
But by far the main complaint I have is the humans. You have a race that as clearly intelligent and has dialog to supposed they aren’t a stupid race, and yet in the space of a few chapters they discover, the wheel, bow and arrows (which even the elves knew nothing about), learned how to read and create books, then go onto being able to decipher an ancient language, and cast a spell that should have been clearly beyond them. Plus quite a lot of other technological insights they had.
Now I will take this all back if the author has a logical reason for all the above, and I will listen to the rest of the series, but as it stands the structural framework/historical bases for each race for me just doesn’t sit well.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Continuing just where we left Age of Myth, we follow our characters into new adventures, this time with much deeper understanding of the universe.
In this book as the last, we follow both Fhrey and Rhunes and are introduced to Dherg.
The book balances politic discussion with action brilliantly!
I also like the little bit in the beginning, where the Author give a little taste of how he processes his work.
Excellent narrator. The story continues to flow with unforseen twists. I was enthralled to the end.
just wish I didn't have to wait for next in series 😁 still, really fun story