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Publisher's Summary

The epic battle between humankind and their godlike rulers finally ignites in the masterful follow-up to Age of Myth and Age of Swords.

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?

©2018 Michael J. Sullivan (P)2018 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A disappointing offering that does not capitalize on one of the author's key strengths

I would like to preface this review by saying I truly enjoy Michael J. Sullivan's works. The Ryira series is the first contemporary series in years that I have read (listened to) multiple times. I find his insights into his craft entertaining and enlightening (and I confess I share his wife's affinity for Hadrian :) ). Sullivan's strengths are his wonderfully indelible characters, his mastery of combat scenes that place you right in the midst of the action, and his engrossing way of weaving you from each mini-adventure to the next. His books hearken back to the swashbuckling films of Errol Flynn. Really my only criticisms of his works are the character's names, which seem to be borrowed from a peculiar variety of inexplicable sources ("Moya" from Farscape, "Arista" from a record label, "Royce" from a car, "Persephone" from Greek Mythology, Suri from Katie Holmes' daughter, etc), and the gratuitous use of "smirking". EVERYBODY smirks. They don't leer, they don't sneer, they don't grimace, they don't grin. It's like the "chuckling" that pervaded the ridiculous "Twilight" series. Please: find (and use) a thesaurus!

(Spoiler Alerts)
It is because of my admiration for Sullivan that it is difficult for me to say I was quite disappointed in "Age of War". In fact, I find the series is diminishing rapidly in appeal with each book, to the point where I questioned if I would continue with it. After devouring "Age of Myth", I (like many) waited on tenterhooks for its follow-on. But when "Age of Swords" arrived, it took me weeks to get through it. It had the characters endeared to us in the
first book behaving in ways that, at best, went against the grain, or, at worst, were wholly unbelievable. The elimination of one of my favorite characters also did not sit well; I accepted that it might have needed to be done to satisfy the storyline, but the way in which it was done was so clumsily prolonged it was excruciating, and, as noted earlier, was simply not believable (especially on repeat).

Now comes "Age of War". Here, Sullivan pulls a Rowling and disperses with yet another beloved character in a horrid deja vu from AoS. And if that wasn't enough, throughout the book, almost all the characters engage in lengthy internal dialogues of incessant vacillation which undermined the depth of characterization and quickly became wearisome. Having these formerly strong characters churn repeatedly in emotional indecision ("Does Persephone love me or is
she shagging Nyphron?" "Do I still love Reglan, or do I love Raithe, or ???" "Will Tesh notice me? He's so wonderful and I am nothing!" "Ivar said I'm useless so it must be true, mustn't it?") was painful. I think these thought-spews are meant to help us empathize with the characters, but for me they had the opposite effect. In fact, I grew to hate Persephone--who was such a powerful female force in the first book, overcoming both terrible sorrow and adversity with aplomb--so much that I confess I was cheering for the Raow when he was dispatched to eat off her face! And don't even get me started on that self-serving slimeball Nyphron! Those two deserve each other!

Of course, there was more smirking, though less perhaps in this book than the others. (One of the characters actually did sneer!) I also got pretty tired of all the "Tetlin" epithets. Even the cute "Sure?...Pretty sure." exchanges were repeated enough in AoW that they were in danger of becoming cloying. Like Royce flipping up his hood...funny the first dozen times...then, not so much.

AoW was not completely without its bright spots. I thought the chapter where Raithe took a walk with Suri was a real coup for Sullivan, and one of the most beautiful and touching pieces of writing I have experienced in a while. I was also captivated by Tesh. This boy is going places! And he is intriguing enough that I'm already imagining how his tale will spin out and blend with that of Hadrian and his father and the Pickerings--which is
the main reason why I will probably continue with the series. And yes, as others have noted, there was climactic scene that moved me (against my will) almost to tears. (I was saved only by the fact that it wedged an old Barry Manilow song into my head for a bit: Even Now. Darn you Mr. Sullivan!)

I suppose one might argue that a work that stirs such a diversity of emotion is powerful indeed. And perhaps they would be right. Maybe it's just that I am overfond of happy endings.

As for the narration, Tim Gerard Reynolds is as superb as ever; I believe I would pay to hear him read a cookery book!

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointing series so far

Story line drags a bit. No characters that I found sympathetic. Kept hoping it would develop but it didn't. I had the feeling that author wasn't sure what he was trying to write. Disappointing series from a generally good author.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Story Lost Me

Second book started to loose me when the author decided to make Wraith a non-character and Malcom all powerful. This just finished the process. The rest of the characters do things but many of the ones that I grew to like stood still.

Conflict was good. Narrator is excellent. Just bummed at the authors decision making. I likely won't listen to the next books in this series.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Raithe the ruined

I just finished the book, and I can't help but feel a bit angry at how Raithe was handled in this book. It wasn't even the major plot points in which he was involved. He is just a chump in this book. Thanks for treating my favorite character in this series like bear scat.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Wonderful Story and Performance

I try not to give perfect scores unless I absolutely mean it. I always reread a book that I want to give a perfect score so I know it isn't just recency bias. After the second reading, and some time to think, I still felt the same way about this novel.
The story is gripping and Mr Reynolds narrating is always amazing. If you have enjoyed any of Mr Sullivan work, this one is just as good if not better.
The characters have grown and more entertaining then ever. This is a serious novel that grabs your attention and doesn't let go till the end. However serious the story, Mr Sullivan makes it fun and keeps it moving through both the sad and tense moments with the feeling that we will still be satisfied, and I was always satisfied. We learn just as much in this novel as in the previous while not learning so much we can guess the next step.
Best way for me to recommend this is to simply say, I love Epic Fantasy novels and this novel and series is why. It isn't just for those of us who read Fantasy, but for anyone who enjoys characters with meaning and a story that makes you feel something. I truly hope everyone has a chance to enjoy this novel along all of Mr Sullivan's novels and Mr Reynolds amazing performance ad narrator.

17 of 20 people found this review helpful

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The ending was heavy

I almost cried... a sad and heavy ending that melted my heart, but I’m happy on how good the story telling was. Longing now for the next audio book

16 of 19 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

The series continues, but the best of it has been left in book one

I want to love this series. I greatly enjoyed the first book and the other books Sullivan has written. This installment has taken my favorite parts and aspects of book one and shattered them without ceremony.

Too much of the villains and drama felt like a copy from book two. This book felt a lot less creative and more geared at gutting the fan base. I can’t say if I’ll continue with the series (which I thought was an unshakeable dedication) or not at this juncture. I know it’s a prequel story that isn’t meant to be roses and rainbows, but I wasn’t looking for a tragedy and that is what this book felt like to me.

17 of 21 people found this review helpful

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Damn. damn. damn. when does the next one come out?

It's book 3 of 6 of a prequel series. why does it have so many twists, turns, character arc payoffs and gut punches? a lot of these characters need some hugs as the war between man and elf really gets going.

Sullivan is at the top of his game. Reynolds does the amazing job he always does.

I love Royce and Hadrian but can't wait for the next volume of this series.

this is solid fantasy right here

18 of 23 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Weakest in the series

Not a lot of story here, in the first half of the book almost nothing happens. The speed with which the protagonists progress beyond the bronze age would put a game of Age of Empires to shame. Notably, how Roan decides to name steel made me want to throw something. Gifford's storyline is just comical. This book was another continuation of the decline in quality started by book two after a promising start to the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Unrealized potential

I have loved everything done by the author prior to the "Age" series. I did enjoy the connections to the more modern age. Too much self-loathing and undeserved guilt and nonsense daddy issues. Adolescent love amongst teens, fitting, between adults is ridiculous. Author sound like he has an SJW Patriarchy disorder while writing a world dependent upon swords and armies. (Not that I won't read all that follows). I can't wait to hear more about Gifford.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-08-18

A good book, but painful.

So sad.....

It's a good book.... it's just sad....

I like Sullivan. Reynolds does a great job.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • norman hobson
  • 07-08-18

Always leaves you wanting more..

I loved this book, its stuffed full with great characters who you cant help but care for. For me Michael J is one of the best around when it comes to writing dialogue , always interesting and engaging . From the first word to the last i was hooked and couldn’t stop listening.
Having TGR deliver the words makes the experience all the more rewarding . In my opinion he’s one of the best narrators around.
This third book in the series was my favourite so far and i cant wait for the next, and thankfully with that book already written the wait wont be too painful..

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • JPA
  • 11-14-18

I'm enjoying this series more and more...

Fantastic. Story progression and revelations, coupled with new questions and possibilities.

Exciting and harrowing both. Read/listen to it!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jacob
  • 11-07-18

Great follow-up

I’m quite fond of these Age Of .... books! They have in common they start a little slow, but it always pays of in the end!
Charecters are great and the world is really interesting!
But make sure to hear the two other books first!

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  • Tony
  • 10-11-18

Can’t put this down

Great continuation left wanting more as always
Only let down as for once I thought it was cramped it should have been a little longer ended up getting board waiting for cliff hanger endings and not enough intrigue but that’s me being over the top it’s a very good book

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Barbara
  • 08-10-18

very good story

great story line with interesting characters. just a bit short. looking forward to next book

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Rob
  • 08-04-18

Great set-up for the rest of the series

Although I bought this one on pre-order I only just got the chance to listen. Now I’m kinda wishing I had waited for the remaining books to be available so I could binge on the whole series.

Fantastic story and fun to see how different the heros of old from Riyria are so different from their revealed selves. Great seeing and recognising Malcom as a character linking all the major story points across Revelations and Legends, the whole “...seeing it happen again...” being tied into this series is a nice touch.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • LittleMissBookAddict
  • 07-16-18

Brilliant as ever

Loved this instalment in the continuing tale...brilliant though sad. Can’t wait for the next one!

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Lee
  • 07-24-18

Absolutely rubbish

The rott starts in book two where suri the mystic does something that I don’t think her character would do and book three is just an absolute let down from start to finish steer where clear

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-27-18

this enchanting tale continues

with magic and Dragons humans and elves dwarves and giants Michael J Sullivan continues to weave his spell of storytelling in a most captivating way

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  • Lara
  • 09-13-18

Best yet

The best one yet! This adventure kept me listening late into the night, even when I knew I needed to stop and sleep. Loved it!