Age of Myth by Michael J. Sullivan Review

Now here we go with Michael J. Sullivan's promise of another glimpse into the world of Elan. Since Riyria was long done, finished, ended, and it's quite unsavory to go beyond the story of what is otherwise, an already perfect ending, there's no other way but to go back in time. Thus, was born the series of The Legends of the First Empire, about three millennia before Riyria's time.

Age of Myth by Michael J. Sullivan Review
Age of Myth by
Series: The Legends of the First Empire #1
Date Published:
Publisher: Del Rey
Language: English
Genre: Epic Fantasy
ISBN: 1101965347
Format: ebook
Pages: 432

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.

Of course, there's always the unfinished The Riyria Chronicles that you can always wait on if you're still craving on the Hadrian-Royce duo (or is it the other way around?) aka The Riyria but the author is not busy with them and besides, this series has long been written. It's just a matter of waiting for the publication date of the next book.

The Legends of the First Empire series (TLotFE; ugly acronym, I know), so to speak, is a huge blast from the past. For those who want to know more of the world of Elan, this is another series you can gobble up. If you're new to the world of Elan, fret not. Your understanding of the story will not be affected if you have not read a single book happening in the world of Elan. TLotFE has a different story from the other series. Although, I would highly recommend for you to read The Riyria Revelations series.

The Age of Myth has a narrative that's far from the narrative of The Riyria Revelations series. Where TRR is very humorous and inducing curiosity and excitement, I find this book bland in comparison. On the first third part of the book, the narration was lacking in taste (that it didn't feel like the writing of Michael J. Sullivan). I would have loved it that the narration is entirely different from his previous works (because I got an overdoes of narrative sameness with James A. Moore's Seven Forges series and The Tides of War series) but still, I would love to be engaged and here, I was not. Bluntly speaking, I got bored.

I was already a third into this book and I felt like I got nobody to root for, which for the long run, should be good as we're going to expect impressive character development for all the characters. Needless to say, the characters here are all flawed that I wasn't hooked instantly on any of them. It's hard holding onto your attention on a book when you've got no love for it.

Things changed and so was the pacing when a band of Fhreys entered Dhal Rhen. They refer to themselves as the Galantians, the strongest warrior Fhreys from the tribe of Instarya. And then to my surprise, I found myself rooting for a particular duo: a little girl and her pet wolf. Suri and Minna are the only ones I truly care for in this book.

Fulfillment comes from striving to succeed, to survive by your own wits and strength. Such things make each of us who we are. You lose that in captivity, lose yourself, and that loss saps your capacity for joy.

As I kept reading, I noticed Raiteh's seemingly naivety and I realized my stupidity. Of course, Raithe's seeming innocence is reminiscent with that of Hadrian Blackwater's personality! Hadrian, after all, is Raithe's descendant. Why didn't I even instantly recognize the massive sword behind his back as a spadon? *Scolds self* Of course, that's just my guess, but it should be obvious. Also, among the Galantians, there's a warrior Fhey named Tekchin. If my memory serves me right, that's the name of the "special weapons arts" taught to Hadrian by his father.

The part that's hard for me to follow was recognizing elven words. The Freys (the elves) are divided according to tribe. There's Eilywin (forgot what they're for), the Miralyith (user of the Art, aka wizards of the elves), Instarya (the military group, easy to remember because of Instagram) and a whole bunch of other Frey words I couldn't remember. I appreciate the author's constant use of the words but still, I'm always lost. And oh, lest I forget, let me throw in this Frey word, Cenzlyor. It means swift of mind. Anyway, in the end, I found out that there's a glossary of terms by the end of the book. Yup, there sure is a disadvantage of reading an ebook.

If given a choice between a potentially great hardship and doing nothing, people gravitate toward what was most familiar and comfortable. That was why leadership was needed. To do what was necessary rather than what was easy.

Just like in most fantasy series I've read, the thing I hate most would be the "romance" or the forcing of it. I know, I know. It's human nature to just fall in love to somebody no matter what the circumstance. No, let me change that. It's easy to fall for someone when you go through the same experiences and find comfort in each other's company. But still, I want to wretch when you don't want any romance and there should be as how the author sees fit. As always, Michael J. Sullivan has a poor execution of it (like in TRR).

I found the climax a bit anticlimactic. The whole thing looks like a rehashed scene from most scenes with force users/magic wielders/nature benders/chakra masters. I perceive the Age of Myth as a bit shoddy but I acknowledge its tangible approach. Of course, no hero is perfect and one's origin story is never grand.


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