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 from within.
Raithe, the God Killer, may have started the rebellion by killing a Fhrey, but long-standing enmities dividing the Rhunes 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. There, an ancient adversary waits, as fearsome as it is deadly.
Magic, fantasy, and mythology collide in Michael J. Sullivan’s Legends of the First Empire series:
AGE OF MYTH • AGE OF SWORDS • AGE OF WAR
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Excerpted from "Age of Swords"
Copyright © 2018 Michael J. Sullivan.
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Table of Contents
Author's Note xi
Chapter 1 The Storm 3
Chapter 2 Giant Problems 23
Chapter 3 The Circle of Fire 29
Chapter 4 Rapnagar 41
Chapter 5 Small Solutions 54
Chapter 6 The Prince 67
Chapter 7 The Road to Tirre 81
Chapter 8 Ride of the Stone God 95
Chapter 9 Under the Rose Bridge 104
Chapter 10 Something to Believe In 117
Chapter 11 Under the Wool 134
Chapter 12 The Council of Tirre 145
Chapter 13 Crossing the Bridge 161
Chapter 14 The Nightmare 177
Chapter 15 Caric 189
Chapter 16 Long Gone 202
Chapter 17 Gronbach 209
Chapter 18 Choosing Swords and Shield 221
Chapter 19 Neith 236
Chapter 20 Betrayal 252
Chapter 21 Losing Face 267
Chapter 22 The Agave 287
Chapter 23 The Gula-Rhunes 302
Chapter 24 Balgargarath 314
Chapter 25 Makareta 331
Chapter 26 The Challenge 339
Chapter 27 Facing the Demon 350
Chapter 28 Death by Steps 375
Chapter 29 Aftermath 386
Chapter 30 The Nature of Dwarfs 397
Chapter 31 The Keenig 419
Chapter 32 The Plan 440
Glossary of Terms and Names 449
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
One of the best books I've read. Well paced, great chacters, suspense, surprises, heart touching moments. You will love it too.
I liked it more than the first book, which was great also, but this one is even better.
thoroughly impressed with the authors ability to bring the imagery of the story to the fore front of the readers mind. The books are an easy read and hard to put down. As a reader of adult fantasy for over 40 years Sullivan is my favorite author after reading my way thro7gh his epic tales. Bravo
Truly magnificent, sor far my favorite.
Exciting adventures, great character development - every thing we've come to expect from a Michael J. Sullivan novel. He delivers every time! You cannot go wrong with this book!
Michael J. Sullivan said in an interview that this is his favorite story in the Legends of the First Empire series, and I absolutely understand why. This book, in the 2nd book of his new series gives the same level of payoff in the story that he built to over six (and/or three) books in the Riyria Revelations. Often time fantasy authors when they write about dwarfs and elves get viewed as derivative because of the works that Tolkien and other who came before them have done. However, in this story of the Belgric, Fhrey, and Gods of Elan, Michael J Sullivan truly builds our the world of Elan and incapsulates the tides of myth and history in an entertaining and riveting story. Most importantly, in writing about the Book Michael J Sullivan mentioned how he is inspired by the Island of Misfit Toys from the Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer claymation film. It is important to see how people who come from different experiences, and backgrounds who can be viewed as weak by the world around them, are in fact more powerful than anyone could ever had imagined. If you have not read Age of Myth, read it soon, and then come, buy this book, because you will not regret it.
This book takes you on a journey to the land of the Dwarves where disaster and heartbreak will occur but also something new and amazing will come from this journey which will propel the story forward into the next novel.
Before continuing, note some mild spoilers contained in the second paragraph. In an email I received from the author (who is an extremely personable individual), this was described as his favorite of the series. I'm not sure how to feel about, nor what to make of that assertion. While this time around, the story moves along at a much more rapid pace, its focus seems off and its characters confused. ***************************************************************** The bulk of this book takes place away from the familiar villages and forests of man and instead sees a smaller cast of characters from the first book traveling in the land of the dwarves. While on their adventure, they all grow as characters with more complicated goals and ambitions. However, during this time, it seems as though all those left behind begin to degenerate. Raithe, the Conan-lite character from the first book, the only one capable of defeating an enemy once thought of as immortal, a man that is literally called the 'god killer'? Apparently during Persephone's absence he forgets how to fight, his goals and ambitions are reduced to a one-dimensional cry for mercy. Roan, on the other hand, one of the ones traveling along with Persephone, flourishes into a convenient plot device. I'm not positive if it was as apparent in the first book, but Roan's engineering genius seems to be mentioned every other chapter here. The wheel? Roan made it. Pockets? Check. Roan. Bows and arrows (did they really need a cute reason to be called 'arrows'?) You bet, it was Roan. Pulling humankind out of the bronze age by learning how to forge iron? Roan does that too. That's not to mention that written language simultaneously gets created along the way and humans can now learn magic. ********************************************************************* Overall, having a predominately female cast is great, we need more of that in mainstream genre fiction. But the way it is presented here, with the protagonists the only ones advancing in terms of ability or mental capacity while everyone else either stays ignorant or regresses is silly. At the very least, the cover is still beautifully done.
**The book was reviewed for the San Francisco and Seattle Book Reviews Age of Swords is second in Michael J Sullivan's Legends of the First Empire series. War continues to loom between Fhrey and Rhune. A vicious attack leaves those of Dahl Rhen without a home, and more determined than ever to shake free of the yoke of Fhrey oppression. Persephone, now chieftain of Dahl Rhen, issues invitations to all the Rhune clans, even the feared and fearsome Gula, to a summit to appoint a keenig who will lead the united clans against the Fhrey. Trouble plagues the effort from the beginning. No clan wants another's chieftain to be keenig. The most logical choice refuses to even consider it because he thinks superior numbers, and Nyphron’s training mean nothing without weapons at least equal to their opponents. While the council continues to argue it out, Persephone and a band of intrepid females set out to the Dherg nation to barter for weapons of quality. What they are required to pay, and what they find are far beyond their imagination. Question is- will it be enough? I love Sullivan's writing! He has dynamic characters and engaging, immersive story. Swords was no exception. Each character continues to grow, even as they struggle with inner and outer demons. For the women, Neith becomes their crucible, forging alchemic change. This is especially true of Suri, who pays the highest price of all for their cause. Persephone and the others grow as well. Brin and Roan, the two youngest, step into greater maturity. Moya finds her true confidence I love that alchemic themes are teased at with Mawyndulë also. The secret Miralyth meetings are under the Rose Bridge, they are sub rosa, beneath the rose. This begins Mawyndulë's transformation, which continues in the Airenthenon. He is young, with much potential, and at a critical age for shaping ethics. I admit, I didn't like him at first. He seemed petty, shallow, and childish. These things get stripped from him in the fires of his own Calcination. This book is all about alchemic change. It isn't just the individuals, but entire cultures. Sullivan does a masterful job showing cultural diffusion, as Rhune, Dherg, and Fhrey cultures begin to bleed into one another, sharing technology and information, however reluctantly. This diffusion sparks a great deal of growth in Rhune culture. Being the least insular, and shortest-lived seems to have made them quite adaptable. It's a great message, too, that the majority of change is instigated by women, often despite the men’s behaviour and beliefs. I'll admit. It is a rare book that can make me actually cry. Not just tear up, but sit bawling, hugging my very confused, and increasingly irritated kitty cat. In the depths of Neith, I truly shared Suri’s sorrow. Sullivan plays the heartstrings of imagination as Suri plucks the strings of creation. Powerful magic indeed.
Great book. All of his books are wonderful...