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
Book Talk

Bookish Things: Library Book Haul

I haven’t been to the library in a few months because I received so many gift cards for books for my birthday and Christmas that I didn’t need to go (my family gets me).

Now, sadly those cards are winding down and I decided that I wanted to grab some books from the library that I wasn’t quite sure about buying.

This took so long in deciding though because my library is currently 25 minutes away. They’re remodeling the one that is only FIVE minutes away for a few more months. And with a wiggly toddler it was an adventure to get out there. This boot I’m still stuck in made it even more comical trying to manage her and all the books I wanted.

Nobody should let me into a library unsupervised. I had requested five books, but upon perusing the shelves I picked up three more. I have no regrets. I will finish all of them in three weeks!…I hope.

Night of Cake & Puppets by Laini Taylor and Jim Di Bartolo (Illustrator)

Why I wanted to read it: It wasn’t a book I was originally going to grab, but I saw and figured why not? I actually already read it and enjoyed it. The novella was absolutely adorable.

Synopsis:

In this stand-alone companion to the New York Times bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone series comes the story of Mik and Zuzana’s fantastical first date—as a gorgeously illustrated gift edition with bonus content included.

Petite though she may be, Zuzana is not known for timidity. Her best friend, Karou, calls her “rabid fairy,” her “voodoo eyes” are said to freeze blood, and even her older brother fears her wrath. But when it comes to the simple matter of talking to Mik, or “Violin Boy,” her courage deserts her. Now, enough is enough. Zuzana is determined to make the first move, and she has a fistful of magic and a plan. It’s a wonderfully elaborate treasure hunt of a plan that will take Mik all over Prague on a cold winter’s night before leading him to the treasure: herself! Violin Boy is not going to know what hit him.

New York Times bestselling author Laini Taylor brings to life a night only hinted at in the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy—the magical first date of fan-favorites Zuzana and Mik. Originally published as an ebook, this new print edition will include breathtaking black and white illustrations, plus bonus content in a gorgeous package perfect for new and current fans of the series.

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Why I wanted to read it: Purely, #bookstagrammademedoit, it sounded like the perfect enemies to lovers trope though, so I’m not mad I borrowed it!

Synopsis:

Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude.

Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job…But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

Stolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy #1) by Danielle L. Jensen

Why I wanted to read it: I had this on my TBR years ago, took it off, then added it back after hearing about Dark Shores. I’m really interested to see what Jensen’s books are like!

Synopsis:

For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the mountain. When Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she realises that the trolls are relying on her to break the curse.

Cécile has only one thing on her mind: escape. But the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time…

But the more time she spends with the trolls, the more she understands their plight. There is a rebellion brewing. And she just might be the one the trolls were looking for…

The Falconer (The Falconer #1) by Elizabeth May

Why I wanted to read it: Purely fae. I’ve heard some mixed things, but this is what’s great about a library! No guilt if I end up not loving it.

Synopsis:

One girl’s nightmare is this girl’s faery tale

She’s a stunner.
Edinburgh, 1844. Eighteen-year-old Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, has everything a girl could dream of: brains, charm, wealth, a title—and drop-dead beauty.

She’s a liar.
But Aileana only looks the part of an aristocratic young lady. she’s leading a double life: She has a rare ability to sense the sìthíchean—the faery race obsessed with slaughtering humans—and, with the aid of a mysterious mentor, has spent the year since her mother died learning how to kill them.

She’s a murderer.
Now Aileana is dedicated to slaying the fae before they take innocent lives. With her knack for inventing ingenious tools and weapons—from flying machines to detonators to lightning pistols—ruthless Aileana has one goal: Destroy the faery who destroyed her mother.

She’s a Falconer.
The last in a line of female warriors born with a gift for hunting and killing the fae, Aileana is the sole hope of preventing a powerful faery population from massacring all of humanity. Suddenly, her quest is a lot more complicated. She still longs to avenge her mother’s murder—but she’ll have to save the world first.

The first volume of a trilogy from an exciting new voice in young adult fantasy, this electrifying thriller combines romance and action, steampunk technology and Scottish lore in a deliciously addictive read.

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

Why I wanted to read it: A bookstagram friend recommended this to me after I mentioned how much I enjoyed Warbreaker. Since it was available at the library I went ahead and grabbed it!

Synopsis:

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.

The Traitor’s Kiss (The Traitor’s Circle #1) by Erin Beaty

Why I want to read it: This book vaguely seemed like The Winner’s Curse (one of my all time fav series), so I’m going to find out!

Synopsis:

An obstinate girl who will not be married. A soldier desperate to prove himself. A kingdom on the brink of war.

With a sharp tongue and an unruly temper, Sage Fowler is not what they’d call a lady―which is perfectly fine with her. Deemed unfit for marriage, Sage is apprenticed to a matchmaker and tasked with wrangling other young ladies to be married off for political alliances. She spies on the girls―and on the soldiers escorting them.

As the girls’ military escort senses a political uprising, Sage is recruited by a handsome soldier to infiltrate the enemy ranks. The more she discovers as a spy, the less certain she becomes about whom to trust―and Sage becomes caught in a dangerous balancing act that will determine the fate of her kingdom. 

The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker

Why I want to read it: I saw this on a few Bookstagram’s and became really curious. It also sounds totally trippy which is up my alley.

Synopsis:

In an isolated college town in the hills of Southern California, a freshman girl stumbles into her dorm room, falls asleep—and doesn’t wake up. She sleeps through the morning, into the evening. Her roommate, Mei, cannot rouse her. Neither can the paramedics who carry her away, nor the perplexed doctors at the hospital. Then a second girl falls asleep, and then another, and panic takes hold of the college and spreads to the town. As the number of cases multiplies, classes are canceled, and stores begin to run out of supplies. A quarantine is established. The National Guard is summoned. 

Mei, an outsider in the cliquish hierarchy of dorm life, finds herself thrust together with an eccentric, idealistic classmate. Two visiting professors try to protect their newborn baby as the once-quiet streets descend into chaos. A father succumbs to the illness, leaving his daughters to fend for themselves. And at the hospital, a new life grows within a college girl, unbeknownst to her—even as she sleeps. A psychiatrist, summoned from Los Angeles, attempts to make sense of the illness as it spreads through the town. Those infected are displaying unusual levels of brain activity, more than has ever been recorded. They are dreaming heightened dreams—but of what? 

Storm Siren (Storm Siren #1) by Mary Weber

Why I want to read it: I know NOTHING about this book, and I’m kinda excited about it. I simply saw the book and grabbed it. Reminded me of Roar by Cora Carmack.

Synopsis:

In a world at war, a slave girl’s lethal curse could become one kingdom’s weapon of salvation. If the curse—and the girl—can be controlled.

As a slave in the war-weary kingdom of Faelen, seventeen-year-old Nym isn’t merely devoid of rights, her Elemental kind are only born male and always killed at birth — meaning, she shouldn’t even exist.

Standing on the auction block beneath smoke-drenched mountains, Nym faces her fifteenth sell. But when her hood is removed and her storm-summoning killing curse revealed, Nym is snatched up by a court advisor and given a choice: be trained as the weapon Faelen needs to win the war, or be killed.

Choosing the former, Nym is unleashed into a world of politics, bizarre parties, and rumors of an evil more sinister than she’s being prepared to fight . . . not to mention the handsome trainer whose dark secrets lie behind a mysterious ability to calm every lightning strike she summons.

But what if she doesn’t want to be the weapon they’ve all been waiting for?

Set in a beautifully eclectic world of suspicion, super abilities, and monsters, Storm Siren is a story of power. And whoever controls that power will win.

Have you read any of these? Which do you think I should get to first? Let’s talk in the comments!

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