Fantasy

Age of Swords, by Michael J Sullivan – an Early Release Non Spoiler Review

If you liked Riyria Chronicles/Revelations, if youve read and enjoyed Age of Myth you absolutely have to get Age of Swords.

This book wont be available until July 25th, but the lovely and generous u/michaeljsullivan sent me the ebook in advance!

This book starts off with a bang, right away in the first few pages shit is going down. This is not a “slow start” or “slow burn” kind of book, so if youre looking for a book to catch you from the first chapter this is it.

The author is getting better and better at his craft, and this book is just amazing. Many people think that Riyria Revelations is good at the start, and great by the end. This series started off great with Age of Myth, and is turning into one of my top favorite series Ive read. Hes in the Sanderson/GRRM teir at this point for me – I can not wait to see where this story is going.

We meet the DHERG! WHATS UP DWARVES? We got hints of them in Age of Myth but never met them, now we get a trio of dwarves and we even get to see their city which is a huge stone city carved into the face of a cliff on the seaside. We get some background on their ancestry and legends, and go way down into their cave system.

Other new places include Tirre, a neighboring Dahl (town). Theres a call for unification of the tribes to help with the war the Fhrey (Elves) are waging against the Rhunes (humans). We meet new cheiftans and new characters and insights into how the different cultures and gods of the different clans and its all fascinating.

We also get to see giants!

Theres also an inner rebellion amongst the elves, with one faction considering themselves a race above the others because of their ability to use the Art (magic). We get to watch as the smug and totally unlikeable (but interesting POV) join a secret order of Artists planning to overpower the other factions.

This book like the last one is multi POV, and I love all of the POVs, Im never disappointed by a switch.

Suri is still reigning as my favorite character, she reminds me in some ways of Auri from King Killer Chronicles – who is my favorite character from that series. Shes mysterious and sweet, young but not naive. She also talks to things and loves things the way Auri does – but instead of inanimate objects that talk to her, its nature. Shes talks to the trees, and animals and has relationships with them – the forest is alive amd she brings it alive for you. I cant say Ive ever grown attached to a tree in a book before, but you become attached to them through her relationshionships with them. I was taken by surprise by my own attachment to a tree. She also is taking a larger role in this book as she developes her abilities to use the Art, and its so much fun.

Two equally fascinating characters named Brin and Roan are inventing things and making remarkable strides forward for the human race that will be crucial in the war against the Fhrey, and for civilization in general. They are creating things we all consider mundane, but we wouldnt be who we are without them. I cant go much into that without giving things away, but suffice it to say that watching them invent things has been one of the highlights of the book.

This book has amazingly well written female characters, if thats a thing you look for in books, this book is full of them. Roan, Persephone, Brin, Arion and Suri are all brilliantly written and all unique adding their own perspectives to the world youre reading about. Whats best about them is they feel real, and not forced to be “strongly written female characters”, it feels completely natural.

I started and finished this book within the same day, and only took breaks to eat. I literally could not stop reading this book, impossible to put down. The pacing in the book leaves you needing to keep reading, there are no slogs or slow parts to the book.

The tone is also remains lighter than many books revolving around an impending war. Its not exactly “cheery”, but its not doom and gloom and despair. Ill read grim dark books and enjoy them, shit I just got done with IT which is a messed up and twisted book – but I think I prefer readong things that dont leave me saying “wtf”. Although there are serious parts of the book, and very sad moments, the overall tone isnt dark.

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