Book Review

Book Review: Age of Empyre (The Legends of the First Empire #6) by Michael J. Sullivan

Rating: ☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Fantasy
Length: 395 pages
Author: Michael J. Sullivan
Publisher: Riyria Enterprises, LLC
Release Date: May 5th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

A door opens. An army of dragons advance. And the fate of the living rests with the dead.

After obtaining the secret to creating dragons, the leader of the Fhrey has turned the tide of war once more—but gaining the advantage has come at a terrible price. While Imaly plots to overthrow the fane for transgressions against his people, a mystic and a keeper are the only hope for the Rhunes. Time is short, and the future of both races hangs in the balance. In this exciting conclusion to the Legends of the First Empire series, the Great War finally comes to a climactic end, and with it dawns a new era in the Age of Empyre.

From the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Michael J. Sullivan comes the concluding installment of his six-book epic fantasy. This series chronicles a pivotal point in Elan’s history when humans and those they once saw as gods warred until a new world order was born. Set three thousand years before the Riyria tales, Legends is a standalone fantasy series that is independent of the Riyria novels. But for those who do read both series, Legends will unmask lies and reveal the truth about Elan’s history and the men and women who shaped what the world became.

WELL, THAT’S IT.

I have mixed feelings over this series.

First three books (where it was originally supposed to end) stellar, loved them. These last three books? I’ve had a much harder time getting into them. Many things changed gear and direction that I struggled to catch on to.

Not to say that this story isn’t amazingly thought out, and written well. They’re a quicker fantasy that is still stuffed with an incredible amount of story.

I did enjoy these characters and loved the emphasis on forgiveness, letting go of the things you can’t control, love, compassion, and other qualities. They were all a continual theme throughout and I felt there were many highlight worthy quotes.

The ending did feel a bit rushed, or maybe not even that, just not as fulfilling as I hoped. There was some information about where characters ended up, but not for everyone. There were some storylines left open when I was hoping they’d be closed. I’m sitting here with too many questions about where everyone is and what they’re up to.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy
  • Language: very little, light
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: battles, war, dragons, swords/arrows, physical altercations, magic; fairly detailed but not overly gory

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Book Review

Book Review: Age of Legend (The Legends of the First Empire #4) by Michael J. Sullivan

Rating: ☆☆☆☆ 
Audience: Epic fantasy
Length: 480 pages
Author: Michael J. Sullivan
Publisher: Grim Oak Press
Release Date: July 9th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Each culture has its own myths and legends, but only one is shared, and it is feared by all.

With Age of Myth, Age of Swords, and Age of War, fantasy master Michael J. Sullivan riveted readers with a tale of unlikely heroes locked in a desperate battle to save mankind. After years of warfare, humanity has gained the upper hand and has pushed the Fhrey to the edge of their homeland, but no farther. Now comes the pivotal moment. Persephone’s plan to use the stalemate to seek peace is destroyed by an unexpected betrayal that threatens to hand victory to the Fhrey and leaves a dear friend in peril. Her only hope lies in the legend of a witch, a forgotten song, and a simple garden door.

TOOK A NEW DIRECTION.

This book is prefaced with Sullivan addressing how he changed up the timeline a bit in this story. A few chapters were immediately after the last book, then the next small section was a year later, then 3/4 of the book was SIX years later. I understand the need for progression, but why? This was the main issue I had with everything. I missed out on relationships, friendships and children (?!) that happened during this time. WHAT. I’m still sad I didn’t get to experience any of that with my favs. Changing up the timeline caused the book to be slower and took longer for the action to come in.

The politics and dynamics of this book have shifted as well. Nyphron is stuck in a never ending battle he refused to yield. While the other side pulls some trickery that has me wanting to beat down their door to take care of them myself.

Focusing on other characters in this book was new too. Most of the secondary (but much closer to first than in most books) really became the top main characters and point-of-views in this installment. I did like getting to know them better and seeing the strengths and flaws they possess. But don’t even get me started on the one scene with two of my favorites from the first three books because I will tear up all over again. IF YOU KNOW, YOU KNOW.

I felt there was a lot more evil drifting around. I have my eyes on so many people questioning motives, decisions, and partnerships. I think this second half of this series has the potential to go the distance, I’m just still iffy on it. Definitely will read the next book though, don’t worry!

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy
  • Language: very little light language
  • Romance: a few kisses
  • Violence: skirmishes, battles, arrows, murder, beheading, kidnapping

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Book Review

Book Review: Age of Swords (The Legends of the First Empire #2) by Michael J. Sullivan

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Epic fantasy
Length: 512 pages
Author: Michael J. Sullivan
Publisher: Del Rey Books
Release Date: July 25th, 2017
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

In Age of Myth, fantasy master Michael J. Sullivan launched readers on an epic journey of magic and adventure, heroism and betrayal, love and loss. Now the thrilling saga continues as the human uprising is threatened by powerful enemies from without—and bitter rivalries within.

Raithe, the God Killer, may have started the rebellion by killing a Fhrey, but long-standing enmities dividing the Rhune make it all but impossible to unite against a common foe. And even if the clans can join forces, how will they defeat an enemy whose magical prowess makes the Fhrey indistinguishable from gods?

The answer lies across the sea in a faraway land populated by a reclusive and dour race who feels nothing but disdain for both Fhrey and mankind. With time running out, Persephone leads the gifted young seer Suri, the Fhrey sorceress Arion, and a small band of misfits in a desperate search for aid—a quest that will take them into the darkest depths of Elan. There, an ancient adversary waits—an enemy as surprising as it is deadly.

HEROINES ALL OVER THE PLACE.

This is one of my new favorite high fantasy series (so far *crosses fingers*). My favorite part? THE AMAZING LADIES.

Seriously. Persephone, Moya, Roan, Suri, Arion, and Brin will rule and I will be a willing member of their clan. Holy wow, I love the emphasis that women can do more than the men say they can. They are solving all of the problems, holding down meetings, putting together war plans and taking down the enemy. Yes. If you read this for any reason, this is a big one. I can’t get over how much I love the focus on them.

There is so much action and politicking, near-death moments and all the pulls on the heart strings. The focus is much more heavily on found family and the clan that you’re part of. This is a focus on friendship. This is a book that has done that in an absolute stunning way.

Everything is so intricately being planned out. We jump through multiple POVs and different locations. I have no idea where everything is weaving towards and it makes me that much more stoked to see where it goes. The plot lines & sub-plots are so well formulated. Even better when plenty of betrayals and WHAT moments happen that cause you to continually flip pages.

The only thing I personally wanted a little more of is better developed romances. There’s mentions that so and so loves so and so, but they don’t appear to have a lot of conversations and interactions causing me to wonder where the deepness of those feelings lie? I don’t think this book needs any major romantic scenes or anything, just a little uhmph would take it over the top.

Overall audience notes:

  • High fantasy
  • Language: I believe *witch was used once, otherwise it’s clean
  • Romance: none
  • Violence: swords, arrows, creepy cave creatures, demons, dragons, physical

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Book Review

Book Review: Age of Myth (The Legends of the First Empire #1) by Michael J. Sullivan

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Fantasy
Length: 432 pages
Author: Michael J. Sullivan
Publisher: Del Ray
Release Date: June 28th, 2016
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Age of Myth inaugurates another six-book series set in Elan.

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.

I’M INVESTED NOW.

I picked this up because of a recommendation from a friend on Bookstagram. She had mentioned if after seeing how much I loved the Mistborn Series by Brandon Sanderson. Y’all, she was right. This is definitely another great fantasy.

I wouldn’t say [at this time] that it’s on par with Sanderson, but I am not disappointed in what I read. I feel invested in this story now.

What was interesting is that these are all older characters. And I loved that! It was different from the my usual (since I’m a big reader of YA). The characters already came in with experiences and I amazed at how much I enjoyed each one. Persephone is a stunning, brave woman who holds her own among the men who claim she can’t handle her position. UGH, MEN.

Honestly though, that was only a handful. Raithe and Malcom? YES PLEASE. I love their bro-ship. They are so different and are great budding friends. I am obsessed with Raithe. He’s the brooding warrior type I’m always attracted to in books. I’m so pumped to see what happens in book two. Malcom is that witty side character you want to be friends with. He’s there at the right time, saying the right thing, and I loved his comical breaks in a somewhat heavy plot line.

“The worst that can happen is you’ll die.”

In a weird way, a lot happened, but didn’t happen. It’s definitely a first book. A lot more set-up, world-building and politicking happens then actual action scenes. While I minded a little, it was still such an enticing read. I constantly wanted to pick it up and see where the story was going next. The larger plot line was left open while a few ones this book focused on were wrapped up well.

Arion’s POV was the only one that took time to grow on me. At first I was wondering why she was even present. Luckily her story-line wove into the main plot and she definitely has a bigger role to play as these two worlds collide.

I absolutely adored Suri. As the only young main character in this book she was fantastic. Witty, intelligent, a little odd. It was a great mix. Her and Minna (her wolf) made me smile and cheer for them often.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy
  • Language: I think b*tch was used twice, that was it
  • Violence: knives, falling off cliffs, swords, animal attacks, magic, mauling by bears, all things are a bit gory