Book Review

Book Review: Age of Death (The Legends of the First Empire #5) by Michael J. Sullivan

Rating: ☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Fantasy
Length: 432 pages
Author: Michael J. Sullivan
Publisher: Grim Oak Press
Release Date: February 4th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads



Winter blankets the land, and more than hope has died. Barred by the tower of Avempartha, the western army cannot invade the Fhrey homeland. So it must seek a way across the Nidwalden River before the fane obtains the secret of dragons. As time runs out for both humanity and the mystic Suri, the only chance for the living rests with the dead. Having made their fateful choice, can a handful of misfits do the impossible, or are they forever lost to an inescapable grave? As in Virgil’s Aeneid, Dante’s Divine Comedy, and Milton’s Paradise Lost, the most epic tales transcend the world of the living. It’s time to see what lies in Elan’s Age of Death.

From Michael J. Sullivan, New York Times, USA Today, and Washington Post bestselling author comes the second-to-last installment in the epic fantasy series The Legends of the First Empire. These novels chronicle a pivotal point in Elan’s history, when humans rise against the Fhrey, whom they once saw as gods. Set three thousand years before the Riyria tales, Legends is a standalone fantasy series independent of all other Elan stories. But if you have read the other books, Legends will reveal lies and unmask truths about historical figures.


Since this series was originally three books and was expanded to six books, you can definitely see where this second half takes off in a whole new direction. It’s taken me a bit to get into it because of the switch, but they’re still enjoyable nonetheless.

I love the writing style for these. The point-of-view changes often giving me lots of insight to the large cast of characters. I appreciate this because of how many they’re. It always takes me a chapter or two to remember exactly who’s who again.

The title is in no way misleading. I’m frankly not sure who’s actually dead or alive at this point. This crew went on a serious adventure and I loved exploring the new worlds and layouts. The growth and development of this cast was also superb. I like seeing them in contrasting elements. This is obviously a very character driven story. The plot still moves well and plenty happens, but it’s about them and where this story will eventually lead.

It’s a satisfying and quick read. I’m excited to read the last book in this series soon.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy
  • Language: very little, light
  • Romance: kiss
  • Violence: battles/war, physical altercations, swords/arrows, magic, dragons, murder

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