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Age of Myth

Book One of The Legends of the First Empire
Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
Series: Legends of the First Empire, Book 1
Length: 16 hrs and 55 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (115 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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 humans 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.

©2016 Michael J. Sullivan (P)2016 Recorded Books

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A true armchair adventure

A marvellous book, the best I've read from an author I already enjoyed, performed by my favourite Audiobook star. There wasn't anywhere to go wrong, so it was perfect. My only complaints are how hard it was to turn off at night and that I now have to buy the rest of the series immediately...

2 people found this helpful

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Thank you...

For writing this book! What's more, thank you for writing so many in this series! I finished my other favourite series, the Cycle of Galand, also narrated by the same awesome narrator; Tim Gerard Reynolds, and the last one was just released. I was so depressed thinking I'd have to wait another 2 years for the next one in the series before I found another good read... and then by luck, I found this!!! I love it! It's brilliant, I love the characters, I love the detail in it, the way you have to pay attention to all the little hints and details in it. I was thoroughly engrossed from start to finish and what's ever better, is there is another 6 books to go baha!

Awesome. Again, THANK YOU!!!

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    4 out of 5 stars

Remarkable

I'm not generally a fan of epic fantasy, with a few exceptions. But this was remarkable and a very strong start to the series.

Despite prominently featuring god-like wizards battling with magic, the heart of this novel is about community. Specifically a community, a sort of pre bronze age [?] village of humans who are under the subjugation of the much longer lived Frey. So the epic battles are super epic, but the story stays grounded on a very human level.

The narrator was excellent. The only reason the story is 4 instead of 5 stars is because there's just a little too much exposition for me. Evil characters talking about their evil plans, that kind of thing. But this is part of the world building and really doesn't distract too much from the story.

I haven't read any of the author's other series, although I probably will after finishing this series. It's not necessary as Age of Myth is set before any of the others.

Overall really enjoyable.

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Page turner!

The story started a bit slow and I was not sure how I felt about a fantasy set in the Bronze Age. However the main characters were very engaging and by the end I couldn’t put the book down. Heroism, magic, and humanity wrapped in a ripper of a story. Can’t wait to listen to the next book in the series.

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up there with the best in fantasy

charming delightful and witty a refreshing story on the tolkienesque multi race world founded heart to stop listening

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Don’t waste your time

This story lacks real substance and a story that is not even half plausible. The characters lacked depth and the story not believable.

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  • Joel
  • 20-06-2017

Almost an Epic Fantasy

I really, really enjoyed Age of Myth. After reading some of the best fantasy has to offer (at least in my humble opinion) like George R. R. Martin, Patrick Rothfuss, and Brandon Sanderson it can be really difficult to get into new fantasy novels. And yet I've continued my long search for new series to jump into. For some reason (probably the cover art) I decided to try out Michael J. Sullivan's prequel novels set in the same world as his previous series the Riyria Revelation and Chronicles. It felt a little odd jumping into the world that's already had so many book entries, but that was put to ease.

At the start of the audiobook for Age of Myth, Sullivan himself gives a ten-minute rundown that basically tells you that you don't need to have read the other series to jump in here. This series is set in the same world but happens thousands of years before his other series. Age of Myth doesn't make the best first impression and was to be a bit tedious. Luckily both the world and the characters open up and the novel begins to take shape about 20% in. That starts with his character development as we start to get introduced to the very complex and multifaceted string of main characters that take us through this adventure.

What makes me want to invest in a fantasy series is learning about both the characters and the world dynamics combine. I love understanding the customs, politics, and religion. In this world there are basically two types of humans in this world, one who lives for a normal human lifetime (under a hundred years), and there are the Gods of this world that live for thousands. What's interesting is the two sects don't know each other very well and the dynamics between the two are tinkered with throughout the book. There is also a magic system in Age of Myth in which the Gods utilize to show dominance over the rest of the world. Unlike books from Brandon Sanderson, the magic is more implied to be a thing and isn't described or over complicated with rules.

I really loved the journey of Age of Myth and it only fell a little short towards the very end. For the majority of this book, I anticipated giving it a perfect 5/5 score. The characters are great, the world is interesting, and the mysteries of the world kept me wanting more. However, at the very end you realize that Sullivan showed his hand quite a bit during the book, and by the last couple of paragraphs, the obvious conclusion was the actual one. And although I know I will continue on with the series, the lackluster ending kept this back from being a top-tier fantasy novel.

73 people found this helpful

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  • GLENNO
  • 23-07-2016

M. J. Sullivan is my favorite modern author but...

In this one Sullivan takes a little too much time introducing the characters and locations in the world. I was a little bored at times and I imagine this five part series could have been pared down to 4 books.

There are some great moments in this book but there is NEVER a dull moment in the Riyria Revelations and the Riyria Chronicles. I'm sad to say there are a few here.

Tim Gerard Reynolds is perfect for this book and he does a masterful job of the narration.

Sullivan remains my favorite author and so of course I will be buying the next book. But I have to say this one (and Hollow World) didn't meet my very high expectations. His own fault I guess for being so amazing.

56 people found this helpful

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  • Sterling
  • 30-06-2016

Stop what you are doing and buy this book.

Any additional comments?

Let me start by saying that I read a lot of fantasy books. I read a lot of books period. We are at the end of June and I have finished nearly 70 books this year. That being said AGE OF MYTH IS THE BEST BOOK I HAVE READ THIS YEAR. It is already one of my favorite books ever. Oh and the last few chapters are an absolute roller coaster ride, and I didn't want to get off.
Michael J Sullivan is such an amazing storyteller. He does such a brilliant job painting a picture of this world and these people. Not only that but the story is fresh and unique. I read so many stories that just seem to be a slight deviation of the same old story. This book is not like that. If you want to read a book full of adventure and deceit with strong male and female characters, but not full of violence and sex, this is the perfect book for you.
I had just finished a book right before this came out so I was able to start listening the morning it was released. I couldn't put it down. I just had to keep listening. It was so good and I was so invested in the story. Have you ever had a meal that was so good you just couldn't stop eating? As you get closer to finishing the meal you realize that it is almost gone and you won't have anymore, so you want to slow down and savor each bite. Maybe you will leave a little piece so you can enjoy it later. But it is just to good, you can't help yourself. You finish every last bite. You are completely satisfied, but down deep you are sad because it is gone forever, you may be able to eat it again but it may never be this good again. That is how I feel about this book. It was so good I didn't want to stop reading, but I kept getting closer to the end and I was panicking because I didn't want the story to end. Thank goodness their is a series that is already written. I don't have to worry that the next book will be years away, or possibly never released. Their are 4 more books in this series and I can't wait to see where this all ends up.
Tim Gerard Reynolds is a brilliant narrator. I have never heard him do a sub par job on a book and he was brilliant reading this one. He does such a great job with emotion and communicating the feelings and emotions of the characters. I can't think of a better author/narrator team than Reynolds and Sullivan.
Simply put this book is a must read especially for fans of epic fantasy. Let's see how this series plays out but if the rest of the series lives up to Age of Myth, this series will be a masterpiece.
Age of Myth gets my highest recommendation.

433 people found this helpful

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  • Ronan
  • 07-12-2018

Great world/ legend building, weak and predictable character development

I loved the origin story, setting and potential of this book. I give the world building 4 stars, the mythology and legend aspect of this book 4 stars as well.

I give character development 1 star, maybe 2. I wanted to reach into the book and strangle the indecisive, constantly questioning, unrealistically naive and chronically hesitant characters myself.

I would recommend this book/s to people that are ok with 2 dimensional and annoying characters lacking depth and contradiction and are instead delighted with overall great stories and heroes.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Nir A.
  • 28-08-2018

A nice book, but shockingly predictable

This is a prequel to The Riyria Chronicles which takes part roughly 3000 years before.
It's a nice take on the genre of prequels... and the character interaction (Wraith and Malcolm) are pretty nice...

However, It is a pale comparison to The Riyria Chronicles. The characters so far are far less rounded and interesting (apart from Suri) and are shockingly stupid in seeing obvious stuff...

I won't spoil anything, but there are a few "twists" near the end that are supposed to be shocking both to us and the characters... I personally saw them coming from the very beginning...

All in all, it's a nice book, nothing too special and sadly not even close to the quality of The Riyria Chronicles.
I'll continue to the next one in hopes it gets better.

21 people found this helpful

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  • Gillian
  • 02-07-2016

I Tried to Love This Book, Really I Did!

I mean, after all, it's Michael J. Sullivan for heaven's sake!
But hear me out.
First, it starts off slow, is totally put-downable, which knocked a star off a "Perfect" rating. Then it has the typical characters: Wise Waif, Strong Woman, Ultra-Strong Man Who Just Wants Someone to Love, and of course, The Snarky Sidekick. Oh, wait. There's The True Believer Who Learns She's Been Wrong and Becomes the Greatest Advocate. But I was easily able to drop what would've been eye-rolling because Sullivan writes them very well, and I cared about them.
Then... there is no tension anywhere. Sure, they get into some terrific scrapes and situations, but there's absolutely no fear about how things are going to turn out for our heroes. Okay, so I was willing to go along with that. Perhaps the first book is just for set-up: We're learning to love the characters so that in FUTURE books, THEN we'll feel the tension and fear. Besides. while I learned that things were always going to go okay (This is not a spoiler. The writing bears it out from the get-go), I did wonder HOW things were going to twist themselves around so that they would turn out okay, and that kept me humming along.
But the last straw was the 180 degree twist in the last five minutes. The LAST FIVE Minutes of the entire book. What I guess Sullivan was going for was the twist that'll make you antsy to see what the heck just happened. Things get so weird, it was exactly the first and only twist in the entire book, that I was quite simply offended. Make me want to get the next book because I care, because there's more story, because I spent two days listening to wonderful plot and characterization. NOT because I'm wondering: What?!? Total manipulation.
I don't know if that's his style as I have his other books but haven't gotten around to listening to them, but now I'm not sure that I want to do that to myself. I'm a fan of his, simply because his premises are so wonderful, his promise of characters sure to be memorable is so compelling.
But really? This?!?
Falling on deaf ears, I know, and an unpopular review, most definitely. I'm just saying it's a disappointing start to what might be a decent series.

293 people found this helpful

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  • Chip Atkinson
  • 04-07-2016

Sullivan Takes Us Far Far Away

There are so many wonderful things about this work, its hard to gather my thoughts. Perhaps I should start with a personal note. It made me feel part of a new world. Fiction, particularly great Fantasy can do that. Sullivan may not be another Tolkien, but he doesnt try to be. His writing is modern, clever and relevant.

Second, the combination of Sullivan's story telling and its interpretation by narrator Tim Reynolds creates an audible masterpiece. Wit and humor require timing when performed and these two are a perfect combination.

The story's timeline is set 3000 years before the Ryira Chronicles occur. Though the characters are far different, Sullivan's wit and flair will be familiar to fans of both Ryira series. And Sullivan explains in the opening that he wrote a completed series before publishing the first. So those of us who love his work will not have to wait as long for additional stories.

Age of Myth is a pure joy to behold.

103 people found this helpful

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  • Andy
  • 08-11-2018

Slow and mostly predictable

Sadly this wasn't up to the high standard of the ryria books. Maybe that's unfair but I find myself losing interest at points and only finished it out of respect for author who I really like from previous works. Was set to read this entire series but not sure anymore. ending was better but predictable unlike previous books. If you are reading this author's books for the first time, do yourself a favor and read the rhyria revelations!

5 people found this helpful

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  • Glorianna
  • 29-11-2018

Big fan of this author but not of this series.

Raife has more daddy issues than a stripper name Tiffany. Persephone repeatedly proved that she can't add two plus two and get the same number twice. She's incapable of planning but lucks her way through anyway. I feel there's an unnecessary level of disdain for the female leaders in primative cultures, she should have been more like Bodica or Gwenavir (the blue King Arturius version)

9 people found this helpful

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  • Fantasy Reader
  • 01-07-2016

A great look at the past and a good start.

Some of us read Michael's other books and were interested in what happened in the early years of the empire. It was kind of odd listening to this book since I believed that I knew at least a good amount of what happened before, but there are actually many surprises. I am waiting for certain things to happen that i guessed from reading the authors other books. This book does start out a bit slow, but it is worth it in the end. There are a couple twists that I was dumbfounded that I did not see. The only gripe I really had with this book is that some of the romance in it seems like it will become annoying in later books. If you are looking for a new fantasy book though, this one is a good one to start with.

58 people found this helpful

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  • Tarnjit
  • 09-07-2016

Winning combinations...

Having enjoyed the stories about Hadrian and Royce I was extremely pleased that Sullivan has kept up his own high standards of storytelling, pace and character chemistry in the start of this new series. On top of that I'm even happier that Reynolds continues to perform for these audio books. He has a great range from sensitive to humorous to dark reflecting what the characters are experiencing as well as what is going on. Looking forward to listening to the rest of these.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Lulu
  • 15-07-2016

A Very Enjoyable Mystical Read

This book grips you from the first page. You can roughly figure out where the story's headed but in no way predict how it'll get there! At every juncture you will be filled with lots of questions but continually satisfied with the ongoing story. You can tell that there is a lot more of the story to come, to be told but you'll never be left wanting. I actually thought to myself how glad I was that all the key characters were undermined because it meant the absence of full scale and multiple battles on multiple fronts. I think the series has been written in this way in order for us to absorb all the intricacies at each stage of the story which promise to be relevant much later in the series. That said, there is sufficient action, humour, mysteries and conspiracies to keep you engaged from start to finish (and when you do reach the finish line of this book, you'll immediately feel and know that the journey's just begun!!).
The narrator is one of my favourites so no doubt, he gets full marks from me!!
I desperately look forward to the next book in this series!

12 people found this helpful

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  • Patricia
  • 30-06-2016

Stunning - a memorable tale

Initially I was worried that this new adventure could be a let down given the superb standard of the Ryeria books. I can state absolutely that this is not the case. Michael J. Sullivan has created a whole new story with excellent characters and a plot which leaves you wanting more. I have ran out of superlatives for Tim Gerard Reynolds narration but again with this book he has raised the bar again. For those of you who will read this review and have not read any of Mr Sullivan 's books I would suggest that you have missed reading/listening to one of the best fantasy authors for over the past 20 years - for those who know his work download now it has been worth the wait. One slight criticism - I have to wait until summer 2017 for the next installment!

7 people found this helpful

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  • Robyn
  • 02-01-2019

Well constructed fantasy

The usual ingredients for a good fantasy epic. Fhrey, Dwarves, Humans, giants, mythical beasts, inept leaders, conspiring leaders, a few heroes - all tossed together with some well constructed plots and some solid (and likeable) characters. A good dose of #metoo and feminism keeps it current (eg it's a group of women who set off to save the world, leaving the men behind to squabble over who the leader is), but there is also some rather useful sword swinging and magic blasts chucked around by all and sundry too.

Yes, it's a typical fantasy, but it's well constructed, with no gaping plot holes or convenient twists, and therefore it's perfectly enjoyable for those fans of this genre. I have now listened to books 1 to 3 in quick succession, and still looking forward to book 4 (release date later in 2019 apparently), which must say something re their standard!

It's the same world as the The Riyria Revelations, but it pre-dates that period. I know I will be tempted to go back and re-listen to that series once I finally get done with this one.

Narration is well suited to the story.

6 people found this helpful

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  • shadowspirit
  • 09-11-2017

Sorry, couldnt get into this one at all

I tried twice to listen to this audiiobook. The narrator is fine, the story is unbelievable and boring. So sorry but this is it I'm afraid.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Mads
  • 09-07-2016

Sullivan + Reynolds = Gold

Would you consider the audio edition of Age of Myth to be better than the print version?

I haven't read the print version as I only listen to audibooks lately, due to detteriorating eyesight.

What other book might you compare Age of Myth to, and why?

This one is hard.. It's quite different from other works by Sullivan, even though it's the same narrator. I feel like it has a slight resemblance in pacing to The Lies of Locke Lamora. ( http://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/The-Lies-of-Locke-Lamora-Audiobook/B004K4EMHE/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1468025799&sr=1-1 )
Though the plot is quite different. The portrayal of characters and humor resemble in part what I loved in The Cycle of Arawn. ( http://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/The-Cycle-of-Arawn-Audiobook/B00W8DHWPS/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1468025917&sr=1-1 )
Though so far it's less... Visceral, less brutal. With kinder characters. It doesn't help to sepperate the two that they're performed by the same person.

Which character – as performed by Tim Gerard Reynolds – was your favourite?

Giffard. Don't know if I'm spelling that correctly, but he's.. Fantastic.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Yes. The scene involved Giffard and a woman. It was.. Heartbreakingly beautiful. Made me sit down and write this review.

Any additional comments?

VERY different from the other books Sullivan has written, yet in a good way. The pacing, humor and strong characters are still there, yet the story is completely different, the world is different.. It's just really fresh.
Even if you've not read any of his other books, read this one.

5 people found this helpful

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  • lyn
  • 18-02-2017

What a fantastic story

I've never gotten through an audio book as quickly, or been as disappointed when I finished it
Easy for this genre to seem similar to something else you by a different author but not this time
Looking forward to book 2

4 people found this helpful

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  • John L.
  • 04-03-2017

A new convert

What did you like most about Age of Myth?

One of those stories that makes you find the time to listen. I found myself looking for reasons to take the dog out for another walk, just so I could keep up with the story.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I think it was the girl sorcerer - an unusual character, I guess she will become of greater importance as the series unwinds.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The battle in the woods.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

The time of the gods

Any additional comments?

Looking forwards to the next in the series.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Sylvia
  • 18-01-2018

Simply fabulous!

Excellent writing, excellent narration, simply fabulous! I enjoyed every minute and look forward to listening to Age of Swords.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Euan
  • 04-09-2016

A great start

This is the first book in what will be a 4-5 book series, set 3000 years before Sullivan's other books. First things first Tim Gerard Reynolds is amazing as always, I'm at the point that I will buy an audiobook purely because he is narrating it.
As for the story, it's a solid start. For a story that forshadows a grand and finely woven tale, the first entry is very straight forward. However there is a clear pathway to expand the story so I still have high hopes for the volumes to come.
The other main point I would like to bring up is the comparison ( which I'm sure Sullivan would hate) between Royce/Hadrian and Malcolm/Raith. The large and only real problem I have is the similarities Raith is written exactly like Hadrian, and because Hadrian has 9 books behind him Raith ends up feeling like a lazy copy. There are far more distinctions between Royce and Malcolm but the partnerships feel to much alike. I do hope he manages to build both of them up to distinct characters.

1 person found this helpful