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Age of War

The Legends of the First Empire, Book 3
Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
Series: Legends of the First Empire, Book 3
Length: 16 hrs and 47 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (299 ratings)

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Summary

Rich in magic and adventure, Michael J. Sullivan’s soaring fantasy novels are masterworks of heroism, love, and sacrifice. Now, in the New York Times best-selling Age of War, the epic battle between humankind and the cruel godlike beings who once ruled them finally ignites in all its fury. 

The alliance of humans and renegade Fhrey is fragile - and about to be tested as never before. Persephone keeps the human clans from turning on one another through her iron will and a compassionate heart. The arrogant Fhrey are barely held in check by their leader, Nyphron, who seeks to advance his own nefarious agenda through a loveless marriage that will result in the betrayal of the person Persephone loves most: Raithe, the God Killer. 

As the Fhrey overlords marshal their army and sorcerers to crush the rebellion, old loyalties will be challenged while fresh conspiracies will threaten to undo all that Persephone has accomplished. In the darkest hour, when hope is all but lost, new heroes will rise...but at what terrible cost? 

©2018 Michael J. Sullivan (P)2018 Recorded Books

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Can’t put this down

Great continuation left wanting more as always
Only let down as for once I thought it was cramped it should have been a little longer ended up getting board waiting for cliff hanger endings and not enough intrigue but that’s me being over the top it’s a very good book

1 person found this helpful

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A good book, but painful.

So sad.....

It's a good book.... it's just sad....

I like Sullivan. Reynolds does a great job.



1 person found this helpful

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Always leaves you wanting more..

I loved this book, its stuffed full with great characters who you cant help but care for. For me Michael J is one of the best around when it comes to writing dialogue , always interesting and engaging . From the first word to the last i was hooked and couldn’t stop listening.
Having TGR deliver the words makes the experience all the more rewarding . In my opinion he’s one of the best narrators around.
This third book in the series was my favourite so far and i cant wait for the next, and thankfully with that book already written the wait wont be too painful..

1 person found this helpful

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Captivating, enjoyed every second.

Couldn't Wait to start this book as the story developed and didn't want it to end. Deep and colourful, passionate and lovingly crafted, such a roller coaster of emotions :) ;) :') using my next credit to pre-order #4 can't wait.

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This Does Not End Well!

Nyphron, a Fhrey, has persuaded his people to surrender the great fortress of his people to the humans, led by Persephone, who is now leader of all the clans.

War is coming and Fane, Lothian, accompanied by his son, Prince Mawyndulë will lead the battle himself. This book will see:

Nyphron show just how devious he is.
Malcolm reveal himself to be more than just a Fhrey slave.
Suri start to come into her own as the clans' mystic.
Gifford show that he is much more than his disability and heroes come in all shapes and sizes.
Persephone ... well, she, in my opinion, proves to be a great disappointment.

This is a book of struggle, of Fhrey, Dwarfs, Elves and a Dragon and an ending no-one will want.

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Ooooh wow

After listening to books one and two that are throughly enjoyable I can safely say I’m hooked and pleased to say that Michael j Sullivan is an author I’m going to keep an eye on.

Thankfully the narrator (Tim G Reynolds) has a voice that’s easy to listen to (which is vital for me I dislike it when a good book that’s a truly enjoyable read is turned into a badly narrated dialogue that makes me want to shout out in frustration at their monotonous sounds )

All the characters along with their situations are made to fire the imagination and have me engaged even more so when theses likeable characters meet new challenges that make me say
What!! ....
Why ?? .....
Ohhhhhh (thumbs up) as the storyline unfolds.

My only dilemma is what to listen to while waiting for the next book in this series.

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GOOD BOOK

I have over 300 audible titles and I have to say that the narration and performance of this book is one of the best I've heard. It's a compelling universe with a great story and awesome characters. I can't wait for a sequel.

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Superb

I have been reading and listening to fantasy books for close to half a century, the genre seems to be going from strength to strength, there are so many talented story tellers weaving entertaining, engaging and skillfully written tales it's a great time to love fantasy. Michael J Sullivan is in my opinion up there with the best of them, I adored the Riyria trilogies, so naturally was looking forward to the Legends of the First Empire. It would have been safer, I suppose, for MJS to give us another set of tales featuring Hadrian and Royce rather than to recount the genesis of the world of Riyria. I'm glad he took the risk these novels brought me back the days when I first fell in love with the genre in a way that very few books that I've read in the intervening years have. They are entertaining, heartbreaking, exciting, fresh and oh so beautifully crafted - in short an absolute joy.

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I'm enjoying this series more and more...

Fantastic. Story progression and revelations, coupled with new questions and possibilities.

Exciting and harrowing both. Read/listen to it!

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Great follow-up

I’m quite fond of these Age Of .... books! They have in common they start a little slow, but it always pays of in the end!
Charecters are great and the world is really interesting!
But make sure to hear the two other books first!

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  • David
  • 24-07-18

Story Lost Me

Second book started to loose me when the author decided to make Wraith a non-character and Malcom all powerful. This just finished the process. The rest of the characters do things but many of the ones that I grew to like stood still.

Conflict was good. Narrator is excellent. Just bummed at the authors decision making. I likely won't listen to the next books in this series.

22 people found this helpful

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  • McKell
  • 05-07-18

The series continues, but the best of it has been left in book one

I want to love this series. I greatly enjoyed the first book and the other books Sullivan has written. This installment has taken my favorite parts and aspects of book one and shattered them without ceremony.

Too much of the villains and drama felt like a copy from book two. This book felt a lot less creative and more geared at gutting the fan base. I can’t say if I’ll continue with the series (which I thought was an unshakeable dedication) or not at this juncture. I know it’s a prequel story that isn’t meant to be roses and rainbows, but I wasn’t looking for a tragedy and that is what this book felt like to me.

28 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 20-02-19

long

What can I say about this audio book? The narration by Tim Reynolds was great, but the book was a long drawn-out suicide.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Daniel
  • 03-08-18

Raithe the ruined

I just finished the book, and I can't help but feel a bit angry at how Raithe was handled in this book. It wasn't even the major plot points in which he was involved. He is just a chump in this book. Thanks for treating my favorite character in this series like bear scat.

23 people found this helpful

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  • Glorianna
  • 05-12-18

Unrealized potential

I have loved everything done by the author prior to the "Age" series. I did enjoy the connections to the more modern age. Too much self-loathing and undeserved guilt and nonsense daddy issues. Adolescent love amongst teens, totally fitting, but between adults is ridiculous. Author sound like he has an SJW Patriarchy disorder while writing a world dependent upon swords and armies. (Not that I won't read all that follows). I can't wait to hear more about Gifford.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Dale
  • 28-07-18

A disappointing offering that does not capitalize on one of the author's key strengths

I would like to preface this review by saying I truly enjoy Michael J. Sullivan's works. The Ryira series is the first contemporary series in years that I have read (listened to) multiple times. I find his insights into his craft entertaining and enlightening (and I confess I share his wife's affinity for Hadrian :) ). Sullivan's strengths are his wonderfully indelible characters, his mastery of combat scenes that place you right in the midst of the action, and his engrossing way of weaving you from each mini-adventure to the next. His books hearken back to the swashbuckling films of Errol Flynn. Really my only criticisms of his works are the character's names, which seem to be borrowed from a peculiar variety of inexplicable sources ("Moya" from Farscape, "Arista" from a record label, "Royce" from a car, "Persephone" from Greek Mythology, Suri from Katie Holmes' daughter, etc), and the gratuitous use of "smirking". EVERYBODY smirks. They don't leer, they don't sneer, they don't grimace, they don't grin. It's like the "chuckling" that pervaded the ridiculous "Twilight" series. Please: find (and use) a thesaurus!

(Spoiler Alerts)
It is because of my admiration for Sullivan that it is difficult for me to say I was quite disappointed in "Age of War". In fact, I find the series is diminishing rapidly in appeal with each book, to the point where I questioned if I would continue with it. After devouring "Age of Myth", I (like many) waited on tenterhooks for its follow-on. But when "Age of Swords" arrived, it took me weeks to get through it. It had the characters endeared to us in the
first book behaving in ways that, at best, went against the grain, or, at worst, were wholly unbelievable. The elimination of one of my favorite characters also did not sit well; I accepted that it might have needed to be done to satisfy the storyline, but the way in which it was done was so clumsily prolonged it was excruciating, and, as noted earlier, was simply not believable (especially on repeat).

Now comes "Age of War". Here, Sullivan pulls a Rowling and disperses with yet another beloved character in a horrid deja vu from AoS. And if that wasn't enough, throughout the book, almost all the characters engage in lengthy internal dialogues of incessant vacillation which undermined the depth of characterization and quickly became wearisome. Having these formerly strong characters churn repeatedly in emotional indecision ("Does Persephone love me or is
she shagging Nyphron?" "Do I still love Reglan, or do I love Raithe, or ???" "Will Tesh notice me? He's so wonderful and I am nothing!" "Ivar said I'm useless so it must be true, mustn't it?") was painful. I think these thought-spews are meant to help us empathize with the characters, but for me they had the opposite effect. In fact, I grew to hate Persephone--who was such a powerful female force in the first book, overcoming both terrible sorrow and adversity with aplomb--so much that I confess I was cheering for the Raow when he was dispatched to eat off her face! And don't even get me started on that self-serving slimeball Nyphron! Those two deserve each other!

Of course, there was more smirking, though less perhaps in this book than the others. (One of the characters actually did sneer!) I also got pretty tired of all the "Tetlin" epithets. Even the cute "Sure?...Pretty sure." exchanges were repeated enough in AoW that they were in danger of becoming cloying. Like Royce flipping up his hood...funny the first dozen times...then, not so much.

AoW was not completely without its bright spots. I thought the chapter where Raithe took a walk with Suri was a real coup for Sullivan, and one of the most beautiful and touching pieces of writing I have experienced in a while. I was also captivated by Tesh. This boy is going places! And he is intriguing enough that I'm already imagining how his tale will spin out and blend with that of Hadrian and his father and the Pickerings--which is
the main reason why I will probably continue with the series. And yes, as others have noted, there was climactic scene that moved me (against my will) almost to tears. (I was saved only by the fact that it wedged an old Barry Manilow song into my head for a bit: Even Now. Darn you Mr. Sullivan!)

I suppose one might argue that a work that stirs such a diversity of emotion is powerful indeed. And perhaps they would be right. Maybe it's just that I am overfond of happy endings.

As for the narration, Tim Gerard Reynolds is as superb as ever; I believe I would pay to hear him read a cookery book!

21 people found this helpful

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  • Michael Van Glahn
  • 11-12-18

Weakest in the series

Not a lot of story here, in the first half of the book almost nothing happens. The speed with which the protagonists progress beyond the bronze age would put a game of Age of Empires to shame. Notably, how Roan decides to name steel made me want to throw something. Gifford's storyline is just comical. This book was another continuation of the decline in quality started by book two after a promising start to the series.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 15-08-18

Disappointing.

The worst book in the whole series. Very disappointing. I couldn’t wait for it to be over.

9 people found this helpful

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  • gmm
  • 08-07-18

Wonderful Story and Performance

I try not to give perfect scores unless I absolutely mean it. I always reread a book that I want to give a perfect score so I know it isn't just recency bias. After the second reading, and some time to think, I still felt the same way about this novel.
The story is gripping and Mr Reynolds narrating is always amazing. If you have enjoyed any of Mr Sullivan work, this one is just as good if not better.
The characters have grown and more entertaining then ever. This is a serious novel that grabs your attention and doesn't let go till the end. However serious the story, Mr Sullivan makes it fun and keeps it moving through both the sad and tense moments with the feeling that we will still be satisfied, and I was always satisfied. We learn just as much in this novel as in the previous while not learning so much we can guess the next step.
Best way for me to recommend this is to simply say, I love Epic Fantasy novels and this novel and series is why. It isn't just for those of us who read Fantasy, but for anyone who enjoys characters with meaning and a story that makes you feel something. I truly hope everyone has a chance to enjoy this novel along all of Mr Sullivan's novels and Mr Reynolds amazing performance ad narrator.

18 people found this helpful

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  • LC
  • 20-04-19

War has arrived

Age of war is a fantastic book! The war that has been building in the prior two books of the Age of Legends series has finally arrived and Michael J. Sullivan delivers. There are three more books left in the series so I thought that this opening confrontation between the two sides might be a bit lacking as is sometimes the case with series that have a war stretched out across multiple books. Boy was I was wrong! The stakes are huge and I felt that the ending was very well done. It doesn’t end on a massive cliffhanger that feels as if you’ve been cutoff mid-sentence which is always good in my book. Age of War also really developed two characters, Tesh and Gifford, that have joined the list of my favorite characters. I’m really looking forward to their progression and story in the next three books!

2 people found this helpful