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Age of Myth
Cover of Age of Myth
Age of Myth
Book One of The Legends of the First Empire
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One of fantasy's finest next-generation storytellers continues to break new ground.
Michael J. Sullivan's trailblazing career began with the breakout success of his Riyria series: full-bodied, spellbinding fantasy adventures whose imaginative scope and sympathetic characters won a devoted readership and comparisons to fantasy masters Brandon Sanderson, Scott Lynch, and J.R.R. Tolkien himself. Now Age of Myth inaugurates an original five-book series.
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.
Don't miss any of Michael J. Sullivan's Legends of the First Empire novels:
AGE OF MYTH | AGE OF SWORDS (Coming soon!)
Praise for Michael J. Sullivan
"Hair-raising escapes, flashy sword fights, and faithful friendship complete the formula for good old-fashioned escapist fun."—Publishers Weekly, on Theft of Swords
"Filled with adventure and clever dialog and featuring a pair of not-quite-heroes whose loyalties to each other provide them with their greatest strength, this epic fantasy showcases the arrival of a master storyteller."—Library Journal, on Theft of Swords
"With less gore and a smaller cast of characters than George R. R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire but equally satisfying, Sullivan's epic fantasy will be gaining fans at exponential rates."—Library Journal, on The Rose and the Thorn
One of fantasy's finest next-generation storytellers continues to break new ground.
Michael J. Sullivan's trailblazing career began with the breakout success of his Riyria series: full-bodied, spellbinding fantasy adventures whose imaginative scope and sympathetic characters won a devoted readership and comparisons to fantasy masters Brandon Sanderson, Scott Lynch, and J.R.R. Tolkien himself. Now Age of Myth inaugurates an original five-book series.
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.
Don't miss any of Michael J. Sullivan's Legends of the First Empire novels:
AGE OF MYTH | AGE OF SWORDS (Coming soon!)
Praise for Michael J. Sullivan
"Hair-raising escapes, flashy sword fights, and faithful friendship complete the formula for good old-fashioned escapist fun."—Publishers Weekly, on Theft of Swords
"Filled with adventure and clever dialog and featuring a pair of not-quite-heroes whose loyalties to each other provide them with their greatest strength, this epic fantasy showcases the arrival of a master storyteller."—Library Journal, on Theft of Swords
"With less gore and a smaller cast of characters than George R. R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire but equally satisfying, Sullivan's epic fantasy will be gaining fans at exponential rates."—Library Journal, on The Rose and the Thorn
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Excerpts-
  • From the book Chapter One

    Of Gods and Men

    In the days of darkness before the war, men were called Rhunes. We lived in Rhuneland or Rhulyn as it was once known. We had little to eat and much to fear. What we feared most were the gods across the Bern River where we were not allowed. Most people believe our conflict with the the Fhrey started at the Battle of Grandford, but it actually began on a day in early spring when two men crossed the river.

    —­The Book of Brin

    Raithe's first impulse was to pray. Curse, cry, scream, pray—­people did such things in their last minutes of life. But praying struck Raithe as absurd given that his problem was the angry god twenty feet away. Gods weren't known for their tolerance, and this one appeared on the verge of striking them both dead. Neither Raithe nor his father had noticed the god approach. The waters of the nearby converging rivers made enough noise to mask an army's passage. Raithe would have preferred an army.

    Dressed in shimmering clothes, the god sat on a horse and was accompanied by two servants on foot. They were men, but dressed in the same remarkable clothing. All three silent, watching.

    "Hey?" Raithe called to his father.

    Herkimer knelt beside a deer, opening its stomach with his knife. Earlier, Raithe had landed a spear in the stag's side, and he and his father had spent most of the morning chasing it. Herkimer had stripped off his wool leigh mor as well as his shirt because opening a deer's belly was a bloody business. "What?" He looked up.

    Raithe jerked his head toward the god, and his father's sight tracked to the three figures. The old man's eyes widened, and the color left his face.

    I knew this was a bad idea, Raithe thought.

    His father had seemed so confident, so sure that crossing the forbidden river would solve their problems. But he'd mentioned his certainty enough times to make Raithe wonder. Now the old man looked as if he'd forgotten how to breathe. Herkimer wiped his knife on the deer's side before slipping it into his belt and getting up.

    "Ah . . ." Raithe's father began. Herkimer looked at the half-­gutted deer, then back at the god. "It's . . . okay."

    This was the total sum of his father's wisdom, his grand defense for their high crime of trespassing on divine land. Raithe wasn't sure if slaughtering one of the deities' deer was also an offense but assumed it didn't help their situation. And although Herkimer said it was okay, his face told a different story. Raithe's stomach sank. He had no idea what he'd expected his father to say, but something more than that.

    Not surprisingly, the god wasn't appeased, and the three continued to stare in growing irritation.

    They were on a tiny point of open meadowland where the Bern and Urum rivers met. A pine forest, thick and rich, grew a short distance up the slope behind them. Down at the point where the rivers converged lay a stony beach. Beneath a snow-­gray blanket of sky, the river's roar was the only sound. Just minutes earlier Raithe had seen the tiny field as a paradise. That was then.

    Raithe took a slow breath and reminded himself that he didn't have experience with gods or their expressions. He'd never observed a god up close, never seen beech-­leaf-­shaped ears, eyes blue as the sky, or hair that spilled like molten gold. Such smooth skin and white teeth were beyond reason. This was a being born not of the earth but of air and light. His robes billowed in the breeze and shimmered in the sun, proclaiming an otherworldly glory. The harsh, judgmental glare was exactly the expression Raithe expected from an immortal...
About the Author-
  • Michael J. Sullivan opened the first door to his imagination with typewriter keys found in a friend's basement when he was just ten years old. Today he uses computer keys, writing classic fantasy with unlikely heroes, including the bestselling Riyria novels and his latest epic Legends of the First Empire.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    April 4, 2016
    The first volume in Sullivan’s prequel series, set 3,000 years before his Riyria epic fantasy books, is an uneven effort that peters off after an intriguing opening. In “the days of darkness before the war,” men live in fear of the Fhrey, gods who reside across the Bern River. Raithe of the Dureyan clan and his father, Herkimer, have ventured onto the gods’ lands, crossing the forbidden river in search of a place to live, farm, and hunt. Their trespass is quickly detected, and they’re confronted by an immortal. After Herkimer refuses to surrender a cherished family sword, the confrontation turns violent, the god kills Herkimer, and Raithe avenges his father’s death by slitting the god’s throat. He’s shocked that the immortal does not recover from the wound, and the ramifications of a man actually having killed a god drive the rest of the plot as the Fhrey begin a campaign of revenge. The bloodshed and political machinations are mild by grimdark fantasy standards, and the occasional modern phrasing is jarring. Agent: Laurie McLean, Fuse Literary.

  • Kirkus

    April 15, 2016
    In Elan's ancient past, men were called Rhunes and were treated as less than animals by the long-lived, magic-wielding Fhrey, whom the Rhunes believe to be immortal gods. With a suspenseful plot and some engaging characters, the first book of a new epic-fantasy series returns Sullivan's (The Death of Dulgath, 2015, etc.) readers to the land of Elan 3,000 years before the events of his previous Riyria Chronicles. One of the five major races of Elan, the Rhunes eke out poverty-stricken lives in clusters of small settlements, or dahls, while the extremely long-lived and well-heeled Fhrey rule as if they were gods. But when Raithe and his father cross the forbidden Bern River, their trespass blossoms into a war between the Fhrey and the Rhunes, in which Raithe earns the name of God-Killer and the Fhrey learn to respect Rhunes as men. Along the way readers will encounter a ferocious, possibly demonic, man-killing bear, Grin the Brown; a mystic child, Suri, who is far more than she seems, and her white wolf companion, Minna; a brave widow, Persephone, who will become the first female chieftain of her dahl; and a host of others, including such genre standards as giants, talking trees, goblins, and woodland spirits, all painted into a vast but familiar fantasy canvas. Sullivan's world is richly detailed but emotionally threadbare since all the action, bloodshed, magic, and menace lead to a cliched conclusion: the good ones win, and the evil ones lose.

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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Book One of The Legends of the First Empire
Michael J. Sullivan
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