This review is based on a complimentary book I received from NetGalley. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.Age of Myth by Michael J. Sullivan
Series: The Legends of the First Empire #1
Also in this series:Age of Swords
Also by this author: Age of Swords
Release Date: June 28, 2016
Publisher: Del Rey
Purchase at: Amazon
What does it mean if the gods can be killed? The first novel in an epic new fantasy series for readers of Brent Weeks, Brandon Sanderson, Peter V. Brett, and Scott Lynch.
Age of Myth inaugurates an original six-book series, and one of fantasy's finest next-generation storytellers continues to break new ground.
Since time immemorial, humans have worshipped the gods they call Fhrey, truly a race apart: invincible in battle, masters of magic, and seemingly immortal. But when a god falls to a human blade, the balance of power between men and those they thought were gods changes forever. Now, only a few stand between humankind and annihilation: Raithe, reluctant to embrace his destiny as the God Killer; Suri, a young seer burdened by signs of impending doom; and Persephone, who must overcome personal tragedy to lead her people. The Age of Myth is over; the time of rebellion has begun.
This is an epic fantasy and I mean epic as, well EPIC, and also as in fantastically awesome and worthy of much regard! This story takes place in the same world as the Riyria Revelations & Riyria Chronicles, Elan, but it precedes those events by about three thousand years. Now, before you go thinking that you need to read the Riyria series in order to enjoy this one, you-do-not. The geography is the same, but the cultures and races are different. This is a stand-alone series and there are no real tie-ins with the most awesome series ever, oops did I say that?
There are two main races in the story Fhrey (think Elves), Rhune (Man); there is also mention of a race of Dhergs, Grenmorians (Goblins), and Giants. Within the race of Fhrey there are different tribes but the Fane governs them. The Fane is a high ruler who they deem has been put there by the benevolence of their god Ferrol to act as Ferrol’s voice. This story takes place just as the old Fane has died and the Fane’s son has assumed the throne. Although the new Fane can be challenged for the right to rule at the time of ascendance, the position has stayed within the Miralyith tribe for centuries and does not appear to be moving to another tribe as this tribe practices the “Art.” The Artists of Miralyith can control natural elements so they could do things like raise mountains, change the weather, re-route rivers, set people or objects on fire, which pretty much makes them invincible. Being nearly invincible usually leads to feelings of superiority and that particular poison plays a huge role in the conflict between the tribes Instarya and Miralyith.
The Instarya tribe of Fhrey are the warrior tribe. They were tasked with keeping the Rhunes in Rhulyn and all the other little nasties at bay from their frontier outpost of Alon Rhist. Unfortunately they were tasked with this after the Dherg War and have yet to be allowed back to Erivan, the home of the Fhrey. Who is not allowing them to come back you ask…why the Miralyith leaders of course. Do you think that centuries in exile might make them a little…mmmm…cranky?
Rhune is the Fhrey word for primitive, gives you an idea how the Fhrey saw mankind. They saw man as barely a step above rabbits, life forms that were not even really worth noticing. From the Rhunes perspective the Fhrey were very advanced, lived for a longtime, and did not seem to be vulnerable to harm; they saw them as gods and treated them as such.
Ever since the Dherg War, the Rhunes have held to a treaty that outlines where the Rhunes are allowed to live and that has mostly kept the peace with the Fhrey. Then if the Rhunes feel that the Fhrey are gods and are above them in every way how is it that this story is about the balance of power between men and gods? Some naughty Rhunes crossed over the boundary into Fhrey land….dunt dunt duuuunnntt, and not only did they cross but one of them did the absolute unimaginable. He killed a god. You thinking that maybe this upset the Fhrey? Even just a little?? Oh yes, it leads to the birthing pains of a war in fact.
Enter the main cast of characters. The God Killer: Raithe, the man who started it all. The Slave: Malcolm, he actually assisted in the “starting it all” and then tagged along for the ride. The Mystic: Sari, she was only doing her job to warn them that they were all going to die….every day stuff. The Instaryas: Nyphron and his Galantians, they are actually opposed to the newly ascended Fane. The Tutor: Arion, who happened to be the Miralyith Artist who was once in charge of tutoring the Prince but then was chosen to bring in Nyphron and his Galantians, because she is only one of the best Artists in Erivan…that makes her very scary! Finally, The Lady of the Lodge: Persephone, she was married to the Chieftain of Dahl Ren, before he was killed. Dahl Ren, the focal location of this story, is a hamlet just outside of the Crescent Forest that houses Magda, an ancient oak tree that will answer your questions if you ask. Does it talk? Not to just anybody, good thing there is a mystic around when you need one. 😉
This story is about all the players and their role in this momentous turning point for the world of Elan. The story has twists and turns and the pace is done well. It is told through multiple points of view and the transition between POV’s flows with the storytelling. The characters both main and supportive come from different backgrounds, but together are the force that takes a stand and says enough, here and now, enough! The struggle between gods and men will lead to Elan as we know it to be. Just fantastic!
*Thank you to Del Rey & NetGalley for this ARC of The Age of Myth*