Ever since I’ve finished his Riyria books (Revelations and Chronicles), I’ve been recommending them to my family and friends either as a gateway to fantasy or as a breath of fresh air amidst all the grimdark of contemporary fantasy. Also, in just a short space of 1 year, I’ve reread all his books and was hungry for more.
Age of Myth was more than up to task of satisfying my hunger. Set 3,000 years ago, the Legends of the First Empire series is set up to be the actual account of the historical events that eventually lead to the story of our two favourite thieves.
To take a quote from Michael J Sullivan’s recent blogpost:
”Age of Myth is a small story that will launch an epic tale that will lay the foundations for a world where in three thousand years two thieves will uncover much of what was lost, but so many more revelations remain to be discovered.”
And true to his words, reading about and meeting these heroes and legends that shaped Elan as we know of in Riyria Revelations felt epic even though the story at this point was still relatively small in scale. There were elements of world-building at the start to introduce the reader to a more primitive rendition of Elan and as such, the first one-third of the book was of a slower pacing. However, as I love the way Michael writes, the journey was comforting (if such a word can be used to describe a reading experience). The last third of the book really picked up in pace and the climax was suitably amazing and unexpected at the same time.
Each chapter was preceded by an excerpt from the in-world "The Book of Brin" that was thematically appropriate to what unfolded therein. Those who have read The Death of Dulgath will also appreciate an 'Easter egg' in that book that was linked to this Legends series.
As with Riyria, the main characters in this book are those who you want to get to know better and happily spend lots of time doing so. Again, I will like to salute Mr Sullivan for his ability to write the most amazing female characters to ever grace the pages of a fantasy book. Every time he introduces a new female character, she displaces an existing one on my top 10 list. And in the Age of Myth, there were more than one. Persephone is the epitome of a woman who is smart, strong, and yet extremely graceful in her portrayal of such attributes (bear in mind, the human race was still pretty primitive at that time and official female leadership was non-existent). And then there is Arion of the Fhrey, a female Miraliyth who also demonstrated wisdom and quiet strength, albeit not in reference to her powers, over her more arrogant male peers.
As you can probably tell, I loved this book and am very eager for the next one, Age of Swords.
Thanks Michael, for again sharing such a wonderful story of characters that we want to care about.