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Friday, July 8, 2016

Age of Myth (The Legends of the First Empire #1)Age of Myth by Michael J. Sullivan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC!

This happens to be my entry tome into Michael J. Sullivan's fantasy, so all I'm bringing into it is what I know of the epic fantasy genre.

That being said, a few themes really stood out, with Art-wielding immortals, the Fhrey, looking down upon the ignorant savages, the Rhunes, who are nothing of the sort, being tribes of normal humans taught to revere and fear the gods which inhabit the lands, with one new twist: A man named Raithe killed a god.

It shouldn't have happened, and it sparked many questions and conflicts between the two peoples, kinda like the trigger of an avalanche, creating an eventually delightful mix of cultural and magical explorations, with both sides learning to be both more and less prejudiced with the other side. Of course, this is a story of rebellion, of David versus Goliath, and as the natural allies gather to their respective sides, we get a taste of what the series will eventually deliver: All-Out War.

We do get a treat of characters, of course. We can't have a building tale without memorable sub-plots, either, and it's a toss-up for me whether I love Suri and her wolf Minna more than Raithe, the God-Killer. All the sub-stories were rather fine, and the action and adventure speaks volumes as to what could actually come to us in the later books, but there is a formula here that I can't ignore. This is going to be a long series, so the book reads like the clearing of a beachhead, an island of establishment, a bright and violent spark before a grand conflagration. We don't have the grand conflagration, yet. Maybe it will come, maybe it won't. This is where we as readers need to either trust the author or not, to learn to prolong our expectations over grand sweeps of volumes, or not.

And maybe that's just me and my thing with grand epic fantasies. Maybe this is a non-issue with fans of the sub-genre of fantasy. :) As it is, here, we have a generally satisfying opening to a war between gods and mortals, but it's still going to require a good deal of personal investment.

Fortunately, there is a glossary. :)

Looking forward to a many-book epic sweep. :)

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