Book Review

Book Review: Age of War (The Legends of the First Empire #3) by Michael J. Sullivan

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆  
Audience: High fantasy
Length: 420 pages
Author: Michael J. Sullivan
Publisher: Del Rey Books
Release Date: July 3rd, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Rich in magic and adventure, Michael J. Sullivan’s soaring fantasy novels are masterworks of heroism, love, and sacrifice. Now, in Age of War, the epic battle between humankind and the cruel godlike beings who once ruled them finally ignites in all its fury.

The alliance of humans and renegade Fhrey is fragile—and about to be tested as never before. Persephone keeps the human clans from turning on one another through her iron will and a compassionate heart. The arrogant Fhrey are barely held in check by their leader, Nyphron, who seeks to advance his own nefarious agenda through a loveless marriage that will result in the betrayal of the person Persephone loves most: Raithe, the God Killer.

As the Fhrey overlords marshal their army and sorcerers to crush the rebellion, old loyalties will be challenged while fresh conspiracies will threaten to undo all that Persephone has accomplished. In the darkest hour, when hope is all but lost, new heroes will rise . . . but at what terrible cost?

WHY. WHY DID IT HAVE TO BE THIS WAY?

From the summary alone, I knew I was going to be destroyed by this book. And I was unfortunately right, but it hurt even worse. I sat there numb after, not knowing what I was supposed to do next. How do we go on?

I love this series so much. All of these characters are absolutely stunning. Everyone has back story, desires, strengths and weaknesses, EVERYTHING. I love each one of them in their own ways. Even the antagonists have stories and reasons. It makes this push and pull so intriguing and well thought out. There’s a lot of political movements, battles, and quiet moments.

In previous reviews I mentioned that I felt it was missing a touch of romance. THIS GAVE IT TO ME. It just needed a little and this was the perfect amount. I saw some new relationships blossom (and I AM HERE FOR IT) that were tender and precious to watch. I saw some relationships strengthen and hold fast to one another in the darkest moments. I unfortunately saw some relationships ripped from my hands as I pleaded to the bookish gods to give them ONE MORE MOMENT. *walks away from review*

*deep breath*

Okay, I’m back. I clearly am still struggling with that conclusion. Age of War does not mess around and the loss that occurred throughout this book was devastating. I’m really invested in these characters y’all.

And while I love them, the world building and magic system bring it all together. This world is vast and I feel I’m only scratching the surface. It’s utterly stunning. I think the magic system is clever and actually makes sense (I know we’ve all read magic books when we sit there saying “what….?”). There’s reasoning and explanations for why things are the way they are (regardless if it should or will remain that way).

This series is fantastic and I will recommend it ALL DAY.

Overall audience notes:

  • High fantasy
  • Language: b*tch used two or three times
  • Romance: a few kisses
  • Violence: swords, elemental magic, poison, arrows, demons, physical
  • Trigger warnings: suicide ideation

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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