Age of Myth is my first Michael J. Sullivan book and I can honestly say I’m impressed. It’s the first book in a six book series set 3000 years before the events of The Riyria Chronicles. The Legends of The First Empire series is meant to work as a separate entry into the world of Elan, and it does not contain spoilers for the other books set in the same world.
The Fhrey have ruled the world for eons. They vanquished the Dherg, routed the giants, and chased the goblins into the sea. They have no equal, no fear of any living thing – until now.”
Gods are believed to be immortal, but when Raithe, son of Herkimer, crosses the path of one of the Fhrey, things become a bit more complicated. Paths cross and fates intertwine, secrets are revealed and the perception of power is challenged in this brilliant tale.
Within the first 50 pages, we are introduced to the main players in the novel. The characters are fantastic and a great source of comic release, which adds depths and a peculiar kind of honesty that benefits the feel of the story. Looking beyond that, there is especially one or technically two characters whom I adore and that’s Suri and her wolf, Minna. Suri is rather strange compared to the norm. She is a mystic, which means she’s in tune with the universe and nature. Since she was raised by another mystic in the wild, she has a drastically different perspective on how things are done among so-called civilized people than they do themselves. Maybe we should try that sometimes. Just because it’s how it’s always been, doesn’t neccesarily make it right.
One of the hardest things to teach, after students learned the basics, was that Myralyith weren’t invincible. Everyone in Erivan treated them with respect, deference, and even fear. Such behavior made it all too easy to believe, as Gryndal did, that they were above others.
Underestimating others, dismissing them as inferior beings can prove fatal, but it can be equally as fatal to overestimate one’s own abilities. The story deals with weakness as strength, as well as strength as weakness. Relying too strongly on something as fragile as perception – while at the same time succumbing to arrogance – might just be the undoing of the Fhrey.
Myths have power until they are proven wrong, which is told through intricate plotting and precious characters. The story happens as much between the lines as on the actual page. I had goosebumps more than once when something important was insinuated. And that’s because of how, instead of spelling it out, it leads you in the right direction, meeting you half way and makes you go: HOLY SHIT! Now that is some seriously good storytelling.
Fools believe silence is a void needing to be filled; the wise understand there’s no such thing as silence.
Michael J. Sullivan has created an extraordinary and highly detailed narrative that smoothly guides you through an extensive world of Gods and Men. All while never overloading the reader with information. The world expands organically, and the plot progresses at a pace that keeps you intrigued. It made me think and question why things are the way they are. Age of Myth has a lot going for it, the plot is engaging and the characters are fantastic. I loved every second of it.
The Adventure continues in Age of Swords, which comes out July 25th.