The discovery of a strange and superior warship sends Dion, youngest son of the king of Xanthos, and Chloe, a Phalesian princess, on a journey across the sea, where they are confronted by a kingdom far more powerful than they could ever have imagined.
But they also find a place in turmoil, for the ruthless sun king, Solon, is dying. In order to gain entrance to heaven, Solon is building a tomb - a pyramid clad in gold - and has scoured his own empire for gold until there's no more to be found.
Now Solon's gaze turns to Chloe's homeland, Phalesia, and its famous sacred ark, made of solid gold. The legends say it must never be opened, but Solon has no fear of foreigners' legends or even their armies. And he isn't afraid of the eldren, an ancient race of shape-shifters, long ago driven into the Wilds.
For when he gets the gold, Solon knows he will live forever.
©2016 James Maxwell (P)2016 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
I sure hope there is a follow up.
This narrator had me willing the story on. I wanted to know the end; yet savoured every detail on the way
"Not Epic .... But Great Story!"
When I need a change or break from my usual genres I listen too, I usually look for an epic fantasy to get lost in, and stumbled across Golden Age. While I don’t think I would consider Golden Age to be an “epic” fantasy, it was most certainly an intriguing, well developed story that capture my attention, and took me on an journey; albeit sometimes an intense journey, with two unique characters as they headed out on their own journey one by choice, the other by capture.
Like with most fantasy stories, Golden Age starts off a bit slowly while developing the world, and characters making them appear both real and tangible. However, before long the story picks up, moves at a steady pace all the way till the end.
Simon Vance performance was outstanding, and his voice is perfect for fantasy stories. He really brought both the story and characters to life.
A Kindle Unlimited gem and great story for fantasy fans.
I wish this book was made into the movie, it's that great! The performance is excellent! Love it!
"Imagiinative Ancient Days"
A fun read, with engaging characters. Great for fantasy lovers.
Simon Vance is the best narrator ever!!!!
I liked this book but was not in love with the characters.. I wish the writer would have developed the character in more depth with more to relate to.
"One of my absolute favorites!"
The narrator was excellent! I can't wait to get started on the next book. I found myself so emotionally attached to the characters. Epic story!
"Awesome story and performance"
This was a great audiobook of an exceptional story. I'm a big lover of fantasy stories, but tend toward stories that are mostly realistic. I love authors who are careful with the fantastic elements they put in their novels.
Golden Age is an exceptional example of such a novel. Almost everything is realistic, with only one major element of fantasy. The fantasy therefore enriches the drama and story rather than detracting from it.
Strongly recommended for anyone who enjoys fantasy, especially for those who enjoy strong female characters.
"Well written and well narrated but with faults"
The author once again crafted his characters with appealing and vile personalities for protagonists and antagonists, respectively. The story is as old as Hobbs where peaceful human kingdoms are threatened by an overwhelming enemy military might commanded by a fanatical king. There are fantastical hybrid characters who are mistrusted by humans and who have the ability to transform their civilized human form into huge dragons, sea serpents and giants who end up aligning with both warring factions for their own self-interests.
There were a few glaring problems that surface early on, the biggest being that of Chloe, who is the eldest teenage daughter of a peaceful kingdom's head of the ruling high council. In the beginning, when her father hosted the visiting fleet commander of what was to become their enemy, she acted, almost demurely, as a server to the dinner feast. Later, after being kidnapped by this commander to be used as ransom she was befriended by a slave who, in a matter of a couple of weeks taught her several ninja tricks and even sword wielding. She later, like Zena the Princess Warrior, she best many enemy soldiers through guile and boldness.
Again, while the characters were well-crafted, the story is not compelling enough to keep me following it.
Enjoyed listening. I recommend this book for those fantasy fans. Love the heroin,brave caring, loving personality.
"Encapsulating Expositional Epic"
Despite being an introductory book for Maxwell's new series, the story remains unencumbered by the "set-up" and has a dynamic plot that flows seamlessly through perfectly paced chapters (~11 minutes on average). I will admit some bias, as I am a sucker for anything with the slightest hint of greek mythological flavor; however, the originality and unforeseeable details that drive the somewhat predictable climax was what impressed/enthralled me the most. Vance's performance synergistically submerged the reader with its expertly individualized dialogue and sincere tones. I can't even criticize the tragic flaws of the characters because the circumstances were brilliantly crafted so that the limitations were logical. The Golden Age's dynamic plot, compelling characters, and surface penetrating proposed philosophical quandaries earned it 5 stars from me; I'm all too anxious for the sequel.
**The following crude summary may contain some "spoiled" content**
Chloe, the protagonist, is the daughter of the First Counsel of Fulija. After an unusual natural disaster that demands the help of the dangerous but powerful Eldrin (shape shifting people that can turn into: dragons, servants, giants, furies, and mer-people) her father holds an assembly attempting to sort out how to respond. Additionally, the seismic activity ushered a foreign warship, representative of a mysterious and powerful expansionist nation to their shore. The first counsel welcomes them and allows them to make repairs in his harbor; however, this act of kindness was in vain, as they kidnapped his daughter and gathered reconnaissance for their gold-hungry king. Fortunately, a misfit heir with a unique origin from Fulija's neighboring ally (Xanthos) sets out across the sea to rescue her and learn what he can about this new enemy. I have to commend Maxwell for expertly alternating between perspectives and suspense-fully sequencing eachs' reveals, as it had me glued to my car stereo from chapter to chapter instead festering in traffic.
"as usual with Maxwell/Vance great listen "
Narration well suited to story and I am sure the series will be a winner.
I am looking forward to hearing the next one.
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