Listen free for 30 days

Age of Swords

The Legends of the First Empire, Book 2
Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
Series: Legends of the First Empire, Book 2
Length: 20 hrs and 3 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (371 ratings)

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

The gods have been proven mortal, and new heroes will arise as the battle continues in the sequel to Age of Myth - from the author of the Riyria Revelations and Riyria Chronicles series.

In Age of Myth, fantasy master Michael J. Sullivan launched listeners on an epic journey of magic and adventure, heroism and betrayal, love and loss. Now the thrilling saga continues as the human uprising is threatened by powerful enemies from without - and bitter rivalries from within.

Raithe, the God Killer, may have started the rebellion by killing a Fhrey, but longstanding enmities dividing the Rhune make it all but impossible to unite against the common foe. And even if the clans can join forces, how will they defeat an enemy whose magical prowess renders them indistinguishable from gods?

The answer lies across the sea in a faraway land populated by a reclusive and dour race who feel nothing but disdain for both Fhrey and mankind. With time running out, Persephone leads the gifted young seer Suri, the Fhrey sorceress Arion, and a small band of misfits in a desperate search for aid - a quest that will take them into the darkest depths of Elan, where waits an ancient adversary as fearsome as it is deadly.

©2017 Michael J. Sullivan (P)2017 Recorded Books

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    285
  • 4 Stars
    69
  • 3 Stars
    12
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    1

Performance

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    301
  • 4 Stars
    47
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    256
  • 4 Stars
    76
  • 3 Stars
    13
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Hmmm

Any additional comments?

Ok I liked the first book, and you simply can’t complain about anything Tim Reynolds narrates. However, even then and with the second book I just couldn’t get past a few issues; for one the elves come across as petulant children, and the dwarves as real scumbags. I guess you could argue that Tolkien’s vision has given many a perspection of those race, but still the racial tone of both just felt wrong.

But by far the main complaint I have is the humans. You have a race that as clearly intelligent and has dialog to supposed they aren’t a stupid race, and yet in the space of a few chapters they discover, the wheel, bow and arrows (which even the elves knew nothing about), learned how to read and create books, then go onto being able to decipher an ancient language, and cast a spell that should have been clearly beyond them. Plus quite a lot of other technological insights they had.

Now I will take this all back if the author has a logical reason for all the above, and I will listen to the rest of the series, but as it stands the structural framework/historical bases for each race for me just doesn’t sit well.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Gripping and seductive both story and narrator.

Characters and story flow like a a gentle stream with the inevitable rush towards and over waterfalls with dramatic effect. Thoroughly good next book pls

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

More twists and turns than a roller-coaster.

Found this author a few months ago, great story teller,hard to put down a must read

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

and the penny drops

I liked this book, but it felt somewhat more stretched out that its predecessors, still looking forward to part 3.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing, one of my favourites

Really enjoyed this and find myself immersed in the world. I really like the way the art is explained and makes perfect sense, so sad for meena :'( the characters are so well crafted and brought to life through the narrator, a perfect blend and can't wait to listen to next book (already purchased)

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Better than the first one

After listening to the first one I was not sure about the series, but decided to give the second one a try and was pleasantly surprised, all the things that I felt he missed in the first one are here. He introduces more rounded an more interesting characters that don't fit in to fantasy mold necessary. I still think he needs a better editor because there are some pacing problems.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Terridic story

Tearjerking in places, what an intriguing epic saga, more twists than a corkscrew. Can't wait to read next one.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

disappointing

the story is dragged down by a mass of banter. it reads like a children's educational book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

oh my

After loving book one (Age of Myth )
I looked forward to getting book two (Age of swords) both the author and narrator have not disappointed me
the storyline (nope not giving away any spoils... trust me you'll be glad you didnt get a heads up )~ it's characters All of it had me binge listening amazing how you find ways to have a quick listen or grab the headphones for a quite five minutes before you know it 20 hours of listening flies by

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Really enjoyable story

Took a little while to get into the story but once I did, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Much more action packed storylines than the first book in the series and the depth of the characters as it all progresses is worth the perseverance. Nice to see some strong female characters that are believable.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for A. Bunting
  • A. Bunting
  • 28-07-17

Too slow paced

I love this authors stories up to this book . It just seemed too slow paced. Found myself stopping after a chapter or 2. Normally I read for for hours but just kept finding it tedious.

18 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Robert
  • Robert
  • 29-08-17

Bad sequel after a strong start.

My buddy and I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in this series - strong characters, decent plot evolution, great narration. I have no idea what happend with this sequel, but it'll be the last I'm reading in this series.

The author seemed pandering to folks who like easy, deliberate writing. It seemed to want to appeal to young readers (think tweens or even younger). The story's 'reveals' were too obvious, too cliche. It's as if the author got feedback from a minority of audio book listeners and catered his story writing to the medium, but in a bad way.

It presented (read) like a teleplay of sorts. Some of the goofy tendencies which I disliked in the first book were carried forward and amplified. There were several instances where I groaned out loud it was so cliche and pandering.

**spoiler**

I almost gave up when I got to about the six-hour mark when he decided to have one of his characters invent ... the wheel. Literally, the wheel. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Then it got markedly worse as they then invented archery and writing. I could only shake my head.

I like strong female characters, but this book was too much and seemed overdone with exemplifying the role/type. We get it, enough already. I'm truly surprised this made it past editors and other readers in this state and was released. Maybe I'm just cynical and jaded, maybe.

23 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Allan
  • Allan
  • 06-08-17

Drags on Predictably.

I was excited for this book. I wanted it to be great, it takes all the predictable paths fantasy books tend to follow. Characters are whiney and shirk responsibilities only to have it thrusted on them anyways. Maybe I'm jaded or I've gone through too many books, I found myself rolling my eyes and just skipping chapters because you could literally tell what it was building up to and listening to the author drag it on just frustrated me. By no means should this mean it's not the book for you, it just wasn't the book for me. Happy reading.

39 of 45 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for yorkiemom
  • yorkiemom
  • 06-08-17

Not His Best Offering

Any additional comments?

I am an avid Fantasy genre reader. Michael J Sullivan would make my top 3 list. From his very first book I've read/listened with excitement and focused attention, so much a part of the story, invested in the characters. The storylines held me captive and swept me away. I eagerly anticipated this release. Excitement built when the author declared this book his favorite. I struggled to stay focused. My attention wanders. For the first time I found myself "putting the book down" because I got bored. Is it a bad book? No, I just don't think it's the caliber of his others. Michael J Sullivan set a very high bar for himself. I will continue with the series as other books are released because I am a fan of the author and the narrator... and I have experienced the magic they are capable of creating together.

37 of 43 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Darrin
  • Darrin
  • 06-08-17

Hard to believe its Sullivan's favorite

I've been a huge fan of all of Sullivan's work thus far, but this book was pretty disappointing.

Things I liked:
1. Bringing the females forward to lead. Loved to see that even if aspects of their character and actions seemed odd.
2. Seeing the beginning of threads from previous series.
3. Really enjoyed the love/hate I developed for the elven prince character.

My issues:
1. Wish he had dreamed up a more believable way for technological progress because it became ludicrous that one 'genius' came up with a new invention at every turn and that a basically illiterate person had invented writing and then was translating ancient dwarven texts within weeks.
2. The main boss battle was so tediously written that I felt compelled to fast forward and by the end I just wanted it to be over.
3. Seemed like snarkiness bled into each character too much so they began to feel a bit homogeneous and seemed really out of character for some and in some situations.

46 of 54 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-08-17

Technological progression is jarring

I had some real hard times suspending my disbelief of how the fuck no one ever invented a god damn bow and arrow when they have bronze, iron, and husbandry.

24 of 29 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Nathan Krassin
  • Nathan Krassin
  • 03-10-17

Issues with Ideology

I have no problem with the idea that women achieving great things but through most if the books their is a constant theme of most men are selfish pigs and women have to fight to be recognized. I love the general story and the writing style and even most of the plot points. Its just hard to get through at times feeling like i'm being preached to.

If you want a strong female character just have one, you don't need to have this side story of all men trying to pull them down and the only "good" men being guilt ridden cowards. Most men in the stories fall into 3 groups. Noble protectors who defend women even at their own expense. Selfish pigs who think women can't do anything and men should be in charge. Love sick puppies who follow women around hoping to be noticed.

While most women are determined, intelligent, kind, and feel like something is holding them back from achieving. It just comes across as the same tired story that is constantly beaten into everyone head.

The issue is strong women don't need help, or encouragement, to achieve and most men don't care if women succeed if they put in the effort. The constant insistence that because someone, somewhere, may hold the idea that women are less than men, so we must repeat over and over that women are strong and can achieve, is just condescending. You might as well say women can only be strong if they have people help them and tell them they can succeed.

That added with the tacit implication that men need to be told that women can be leaders and should help them succeed. Just comes across as the writer thinking all men are bad and all women are good and trying correct a perceived problem that for most men does not exist.

28 of 34 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Marie
  • Marie
  • 18-08-17

Disappointing and unbelievable at times

I know reverse empire building must be difficult but so many times throughout this book, I just couldn't suspend reality and buy into the story. A determined group of four or five women lead the humans (Rhunes) to new heights almost over night. This is particularly true with regard to Suri, who manages to invent the wheeled cart, improve metallurgy, invent the bow and arrow, and undertake other assorted advances almost simultaneously. And then again, maybe it was the development of written records books in a few days that ruined it for me. First because, with a civilization as old and as advanced as the elves and dwarves, it was hard to accept that none of these things already existed. Second because Persephone, who traveled extensively with her husband to other villages and even the elven outpost, would surely have seen wheeled vehicles and other innovations.

While I do applaud women having larger, more significant roles than in previous Sullivan books, I can't say that I liked some of them. Persephone spends so much time with internal whining and questioning that I was wishing for her to be gone. The same is true for Suri and Brie (?). I haven't encountered so much female angst in a long time. The only female with any semblance of a sense of humor was Moira, who turns out the be the warrior. Hmm-the woman with the masculine profession. Is there a message there? Even the dwarves have a sense of humor and sarcastic dialogue.

I have noticed this lack of females with well rounded characters in other books in the Riyira series. Generally, the males get to have a sense of the absurd, spout witty repartee, and be light hearted on occasion. (Even Myron the monk is amusing.) Women tend to be sober and austere. Arista is a dead bore at times. I was able to get past this in the earlier books because so much happens and external dialogue moves the stories along. It is much harder to ignore in Age of Swords where so much time is spent on the internal turmoil of the main female characters.

SPOILER ALERT: Don't read further if you haven't read this book.
Nephron, one of the major characters in the future development of Elan and the empire, is basically absent from this volume. Not only does he not play much of a role in the story, the cliff hanger he reveals at the end of Age of Myth doesn't come up again until the last few pages of the Age of Swords. I found this more than annoying.

15 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Joona
  • Joona
  • 09-08-17

Facepalm

The first book was a little awkward with the random new inventions, but this time it's just unbearable. I can almous smell the gunpowder and industrial revolution coming from the next book.

14 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 28-07-17

extremely annoying

i liked the first book. enjoyed it thoroughly. but this second installment, even if the author in the preface claims it is his favorite in the series, does not live up.

the pacing is slow to the point of boredom. the main characters who I suppose we are meant see grow? (they don't) are annoying and contrivedly bickering on a level i thought reserved for cheap teen horror. I honestly couldn't care what happened to them, except the mystic.

spoiler - we also see the spontaneous discovery of several technologies and terms. this process is contrived, awkward and forced. did I say awkward? I cringed.

that said, the narration is first class, and at least two loved main characters grow, and are interesting.

25 of 31 people found this review helpful