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Publisher's Summary

The gods have been proven mortal, and new heroes will arise as the battle continues in the sequel to Age of Myth - from the author of the Riyria Revelations and Riyria Chronicles series.

In Age of Myth, fantasy master Michael J. Sullivan launched listeners 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 from within.

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

The answer lies across the sea in a faraway land populated by a reclusive and dour race who feel 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, where waits an ancient adversary as fearsome as it is deadly.

©2017 Michael J. Sullivan (P)2017 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Not His Best Offering

Any additional comments?

I am an avid Fantasy genre reader. Michael J Sullivan would make my top 3 list. From his very first book I've read/listened with excitement and focused attention, so much a part of the story, invested in the characters. The storylines held me captive and swept me away. I eagerly anticipated this release. Excitement built when the author declared this book his favorite. I struggled to stay focused. My attention wanders. For the first time I found myself "putting the book down" because I got bored. Is it a bad book? No, I just don't think it's the caliber of his others. Michael J Sullivan set a very high bar for himself. I will continue with the series as other books are released because I am a fan of the author and the narrator... and I have experienced the magic they are capable of creating together.

27 of 31 people found this review helpful

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Hard to believe its Sullivan's favorite

I've been a huge fan of all of Sullivan's work thus far, but this book was pretty disappointing.

Things I liked:
1. Bringing the females forward to lead. Loved to see that even if aspects of their character and actions seemed odd.
2. Seeing the beginning of threads from previous series.
3. Really enjoyed the love/hate I developed for the elven prince character.

My issues:
1. Wish he had dreamed up a more believable way for technological progress because it became ludicrous that one 'genius' came up with a new invention at every turn and that a basically illiterate person had invented writing and then was translating ancient dwarven texts within weeks.
2. The main boss battle was so tediously written that I felt compelled to fast forward and by the end I just wanted it to be over.
3. Seemed like snarkiness bled into each character too much so they began to feel a bit homogeneous and seemed really out of character for some and in some situations.

35 of 41 people found this review helpful

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Too slow paced

I love this authors stories up to this book . It just seemed too slow paced. Found myself stopping after a chapter or 2. Normally I read for for hours but just kept finding it tedious.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Disappointing and unbelievable at times

I know reverse empire building must be difficult but so many times throughout this book, I just couldn't suspend reality and buy into the story. A determined group of four or five women lead the humans (Rhunes) to new heights almost over night. This is particularly true with regard to Suri, who manages to invent the wheeled cart, improve metallurgy, invent the bow and arrow, and undertake other assorted advances almost simultaneously. And then again, maybe it was the development of written records books in a few days that ruined it for me. First because, with a civilization as old and as advanced as the elves and dwarves, it was hard to accept that none of these things already existed. Second because Persephone, who traveled extensively with her husband to other villages and even the elven outpost, would surely have seen wheeled vehicles and other innovations.

While I do applaud women having larger, more significant roles than in previous Sullivan books, I can't say that I liked some of them. Persephone spends so much time with internal whining and questioning that I was wishing for her to be gone. The same is true for Suri and Brie (?). I haven't encountered so much female angst in a long time. The only female with any semblance of a sense of humor was Moira, who turns out the be the warrior. Hmm-the woman with the masculine profession. Is there a message there? Even the dwarves have a sense of humor and sarcastic dialogue.

I have noticed this lack of females with well rounded characters in other books in the Riyira series. Generally, the males get to have a sense of the absurd, spout witty repartee, and be light hearted on occasion. (Even Myron the monk is amusing.) Women tend to be sober and austere. Arista is a dead bore at times. I was able to get past this in the earlier books because so much happens and external dialogue moves the stories along. It is much harder to ignore in Age of Swords where so much time is spent on the internal turmoil of the main female characters.

SPOILER ALERT: Don't read further if you haven't read this book.
Nephron, one of the major characters in the future development of Elan and the empire, is basically absent from this volume. Not only does he not play much of a role in the story, the cliff hanger he reveals at the end of Age of Myth doesn't come up again until the last few pages of the Age of Swords. I found this more than annoying.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Drags on Predictably.

I was excited for this book. I wanted it to be great, it takes all the predictable paths fantasy books tend to follow. Characters are whiney and shirk responsibilities only to have it thrusted on them anyways. Maybe I'm jaded or I've gone through too many books, I found myself rolling my eyes and just skipping chapters because you could literally tell what it was building up to and listening to the author drag it on just frustrated me. By no means should this mean it's not the book for you, it just wasn't the book for me. Happy reading.

30 of 36 people found this review helpful

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  • Colin
  • atascadero, CA, United States
  • 08-04-17

Work-shopped to Death

After really enjoying Age of Myth (4 stars), and of course all the Riyia books, I was very excited when Age of Swords was released. In the authors foreword Sullivan described the book as his favorite work so I was ready for more well developed, interesting characters, appropriate pacing and descriptive prose. Unfortunately, it seems like this book went through 100 revisions so that no thought of any character went unexplored. It was pretty much the definition of work-shopping a good story to death. A few times makes for a solid backstory, but to interrupt action scenes that took hours of multiple backstories to get to only to throw in more irrelevant backstories is really testing the readers will to finish this book! Again, if it was just once or twice I'd understand but it was constant and a major flaw in what could have been a good book

Add in the complete lack of character growth as they make the same mistakes over and over or ask the same questions in every situation, incredibly predictable plot lines, repetitive and dull conversations that don't advance the plot or the characters, abandonment of some of the most interesting characters and, fatally, a very basic plot that could have been thoroughly explored in 1/4 the length, and this book was definitely a disappointment. Oh, and do I need to mention the unrealistic inventions of one of the characters that somehow invents every bit of technology that took actual humans thousands of years to develop in just a few weeks?

Finally, and I can't believe I'm criticizing Tim Reynolds work as it's normally excellent, but a few of the characters he voices extremely slowly to the point where I was thinking "get on with it!" Of course that was also a function of the poor dialogue as I knew exactly what those characters were about to ramble on about as they had rambled about the same thing many times before. Can't blame Reynolds for that but throw in a halting and slow voice for those characters and it was pretty frustrating.

Mr. Sullivan mentions in the foreword that he reads reader reviews. While I'm sure I will be down-voted by many for the unfavorable review, I really hope that Mr. Sullivan or his editors see this and let him get back to the raw style of storytelling that suits him best. A great story needs to have edges and surprises, not every thought needs to be backstoried and not every character needs to go through ten examples of their current paradigm before they blossom into the character they will be.

45 of 55 people found this review helpful

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Facepalm

The first book was a little awkward with the random new inventions, but this time it's just unbearable. I can almous smell the gunpowder and industrial revolution coming from the next book.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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Technological progression is jarring

I had some real hard times suspending my disbelief of how the fuck no one ever invented a god damn bow and arrow when they have bronze, iron, and husbandry.

19 of 23 people found this review helpful

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Very long and drawn out...couldn't finish

I really wanted to like this book, but, unfortunately, I just couldn't get past the first 6 hrs. I have the first book in this series and all the Riyria books and I really wanted to like this one. It is well written and thought out, but the plot is so slow in developing that I got to the point where I did not care about any of the characters nor the story. Perhaps a more patient listener can find the time to let the story develop, but not me. This will be the last book in this particular series that I listen to.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Jeffe
  • Orlando, FL
  • 08-08-17

Great book with a suggestion.

Would you listen to Age of Swords again? Why?

Yes.

What other book might you compare Age of Swords to and why?

Wheel of Time.

Which character – as performed by Tim Gerard Reynolds – was your favorite?

Suri.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No not really. Sometimes it kept me riveted but then others, I was good walking away.

Any additional comments?

It seems strange that the heroes are just women. Seems a bit odd. You would think there would be a little more balance to it. Maybe the writer is trying to get the woman reader or something. Not really sure, but the writer makes men out to be oafs, and the women are pure-hearted, sugar and spice and everything nice. It seems the writer may have had a bit of a problem with men in his life. Sorry about that. Not my image of the way the world should be. Just saying, and making a suggestion to not beat up the men in the book, and raise the women up as if they are the ones who are going to save the world. I believe it takes the strengths of each gender to make that happen.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Andrew Delaney
  • 08-27-17

Hmmm

Any additional comments?

Ok I liked the first book, and you simply can’t complain about anything Tim Reynolds narrates. However, even then and with the second book I just couldn’t get past a few issues; for one the elves come across as petulant children, and the dwarves as real scumbags. I guess you could argue that Tolkien’s vision has given many a perspection of those race, but still the racial tone of both just felt wrong.

But by far the main complaint I have is the humans. You have a race that as clearly intelligent and has dialog to supposed they aren’t a stupid race, and yet in the space of a few chapters they discover, the wheel, bow and arrows (which even the elves knew nothing about), learned how to read and create books, then go onto being able to decipher an ancient language, and cast a spell that should have been clearly beyond them. Plus quite a lot of other technological insights they had.

Now I will take this all back if the author has a logical reason for all the above, and I will listen to the rest of the series, but as it stands the structural framework/historical bases for each race for me just doesn’t sit well.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jacob
  • 10-02-17

Understandable that this is the author's favorite

Continuing just where we left Age of Myth, we follow our characters into new adventures, this time with much deeper understanding of the universe.
In this book as the last, we follow both Fhrey and Rhunes and are introduced to Dherg.
The book balances politic discussion with action brilliantly!

I also like the little bit in the beginning, where the Author give a little taste of how he processes his work.

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  • Paul Tuson
  • 08-18-17

love it.

gutted that I have to wait till next year for the next one.

It is as good if not better than ryiria

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  • Mark keith
  • 08-12-17

good story

narrator amazing ability for different accents make audio book great book. good story develop. sad to lose Mina

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Ed
  • 12-13-17

Excellent continuation of the series.

Excellent narrator. The story continues to flow with unforseen twists. I was enthralled to the end.

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  • James Macdougall
  • 08-18-17

great story

just wish I didn't have to wait for next in series 😁 still, really fun story