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Age of Swords Audiobook

Age of Swords: The Legends of the First Empire, Book 2

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Publisher's 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 Rating

4.7 (123 )
5 star
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4.6 (117 )
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4.9 (116 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jacob 02/10/2017
    Jacob 02/10/2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Understandable that this is the author's favorite"

    Continuing just where we left Age of Myth, we follow our characters into new adventures, this time with much deeper understanding of the universe.
    In this book as the last, we follow both Fhrey and Rhunes and are introduced to Dherg.
    The book balances politic discussion with action brilliantly!

    I also like the little bit in the beginning, where the Author give a little taste of how he processes his work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Delaney 27/08/2017
    Andrew Delaney 27/08/2017 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    31
    ratings
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    48
    23
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
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    Story
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Tuson 18/08/2017
    Paul Tuson 18/08/2017 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    6
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
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    Story
    "love it."

    gutted that I have to wait till next year for the next one.

    It is as good if not better than ryiria

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark keith 12/08/2017
    Mark keith 12/08/2017 Member Since 2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "good story"

    narrator amazing ability for different accents make audio book great book. good story develop. sad to lose Mina

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • yorkiemom
    Atlanta, GA
    06/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    23 of 26 people found this review helpful
  • Nathan Krassin
    Waseca, MN United States
    03/10/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Marie
    ALEXANDRIA, VA, United States
    18/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Darrin
    SPOKANE, WA, United States
    06/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    33 of 39 people found this review helpful
  • Allan
    Canada
    06/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    28 of 34 people found this review helpful
  • Gunnar
    18/10/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Barely made it through"

    I found the first book in the series to be great and rated it a strong 4. This one barely manages a 3.

    After finishing the book the main things I remember is the extremely implausible invention spree of this one genius and a somewhat boring and annoying "main quest" by the main characters where the main heroine is so irresponsible a couple of times it's funny.

    The pacing is a bit slow, but this would be fine if the character interactions were a bit more interesting.

    Looking back the chapters I enjoyed the most were the Mawyndulë (elven prince) ones. Kind of funny and more interesting than the other chapters.

    And there is such a thing as too much backstory and/or "flashbacks". It just ruins the momentum when the main hero is in an fast action scene trying to keep alive and then suddenly has a long slow "flashback" moment...

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. Smash
    SLC, UT
    11/10/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Social Justice and Feminism to the max"

    I really loved the Riyria books. I also liked Age of Myth well enough, but as a male, this book was painful to experience. There were zero characters that a male could identify with as all the males in this book are all weak, helpless morons. I'm all for strong female characters, and love a blended cast, but if you are writing an inspirational feminist fantasy, then please title it as such. Nothing wrong with that, but I'd rather spend my money on something else. Unlikely that I'll be able to read anything else in this series as I have to assume the core idea that males are useless idiots will be the main idea. Consuming fiction is a guilty-pleasure to begin with so it has to be something really enjoyable to justify the time it takes.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Will Durning
    Utah
    15/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Slow. No "HOOK""

    I tried and I tried to like this book. I had waited like everyone else, and this book just wasn't entertaining. There just wasn't a "HOOK" or "CATCH" to keep me reading and wondering what's going to happen.

    I made it to 14 of 33 chapters and then gave up.

    This series is over for me, on to other authors and more interesting tales.

    Perhaps one day I will revisit the Riyria tales, but never this book again. There just isn't anything that I am missing.

    Perhaps further innovation and the bow will be perfected, or the wheel will gain traction or the barrels will get rolled out - but I really don't care.

    I don't mean to be hurtful or mean. I understand that writing is a labor and so much of a person goes into a book. But there just wasn't anything for me in this book.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • A. Bunting
    New Orleans
    28/07/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Colin
    atascadero, CA, United States
    04/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Work-shopped to Death"

    After really enjoying Age of Myth (4 stars), and of course all the Riyia books, I was very excited when Age of Swords was released. In the authors foreword Sullivan described the book as his favorite work so I was ready for more well developed, interesting characters, appropriate pacing and descriptive prose. Unfortunately, it seems like this book went through 100 revisions so that no thought of any character went unexplored. It was pretty much the definition of work-shopping a good story to death. A few times makes for a solid backstory, but to interrupt action scenes that took hours of multiple backstories to get to only to throw in more irrelevant backstories is really testing the readers will to finish this book! Again, if it was just once or twice I'd understand but it was constant and a major flaw in what could have been a good book

    Add in the complete lack of character growth as they make the same mistakes over and over or ask the same questions in every situation, incredibly predictable plot lines, repetitive and dull conversations that don't advance the plot or the characters, abandonment of some of the most interesting characters and, fatally, a very basic plot that could have been thoroughly explored in 1/4 the length, and this book was definitely a disappointment. Oh, and do I need to mention the unrealistic inventions of one of the characters that somehow invents every bit of technology that took actual humans thousands of years to develop in just a few weeks?

    Finally, and I can't believe I'm criticizing Tim Reynolds work as it's normally excellent, but a few of the characters he voices extremely slowly to the point where I was thinking "get on with it!" Of course that was also a function of the poor dialogue as I knew exactly what those characters were about to ramble on about as they had rambled about the same thing many times before. Can't blame Reynolds for that but throw in a halting and slow voice for those characters and it was pretty frustrating.

    Mr. Sullivan mentions in the foreword that he reads reader reviews. While I'm sure I will be down-voted by many for the unfavorable review, I really hope that Mr. Sullivan or his editors see this and let him get back to the raw style of storytelling that suits him best. A great story needs to have edges and surprises, not every thought needs to be backstoried and not every character needs to go through ten examples of their current paradigm before they blossom into the character they will be.

    41 of 51 people found this review helpful

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