Book Review: Age of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan (Five Stars)


Book Review: Age of Swords (Legends of the First Empire #2) by Michael J. Sullivan

Five Stars

“Some things are unimaginable right up until you are looking at them, and even then, you might not want to believe. Love is that way, so is death.”

If anything, better than the first book, Age of Myths. Superficially Sullivan is not an epic fantasy writer like Rothfuss or Tolkien, but he weaves an excellent story amid afresh, if derivative world. Part of the fun is his tongue-in-cheek homages to classic fantasy.

“I hated my brothers. Dead for three years and they’re still trying to kill me.”

Satisfying conclusion with appropriate hooks into the next stories. Well done. Leavened with humor. Not so much as the Riyria stores, but enough. Waited for second volume for magic school, hooray! And the training was organic, taking the reader inside the student. Doubt and lack of confidence are good. Self-loathing and constant handwringing gets old. Fast. Love his take on the nature of magic.

“There are no genuine rules [to magic], except those you set for yourself. Some will be choices you make; others will be made for you, simply because of who you are.”

Quibbles: Setting one language in Italics and the other two in normal typeface dragged the reading. This is the second fantasy I’ve read this year in which someone invents and perfects archery within a few days. Not credible, even in fantasy. Mawyndulë is cardboard compared the other main characters.

“What good is surviving, if I have to give up everything I am to live?” *

Love the cover art by Marc Simonetti. Beautiful and story-related.

“How many tears must we weep? How loud must we cry? How many farewell just we say, For the dead to hear good-bye?”

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