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 men 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.
I was so excited to receive an ARC from NetGalley! I’m a fan of Sullivan’s work, and first started with his Riyria Revelations series. From there I read the Riyria Chronicles as well. So maybe I was a little biased going into this, based on how much I’ve enjoyed his past work.
When the new series was announced I was very eager. And the first installment, Age of Myth, did not disappoint. In the Legends of the First Empire Sullivan is expanding the world that readers have come to know through Riyria by taking us back in time so we can learn some of the history as to how this world developed. Age of Myth is the start of that history, where we see fundamental beliefs challenged. Humans are learning that elves aren’t gods, and the elves are learning that humans aren’t animals.
If you haven’t read any of Sullivan’s previous work, that’s not an issue. You can pick this one up and dive right in. There are some throwbacks that readers will pick up on. A few things they’ll recognize from the Riyria novels. However, I think it would be just as interesting to read the Legends of the First Empire first, and then follow up with Riyria.
Age of Myth is well paced. I was always eager to read more, and did not get bored with any section. Sullivan has a way of writing a large cast of characters, where each character has their own history. Sometimes with larger casts some of the characters can come off as two-dimensional. Not here. Even Grin the Brown has a history that’s woven into the story, making her feel every bit a full fledged character. And she’s a bear.
I can’t wait for the story to continue in the second novel!
For decades, Thorn has reigned as the most powerful demon in Atlanta, lurking in the spirit realm, whispering lies to unsuspecting human ears, commanding all other demons to do his bidding. But when Marcus, an old demonic rival, returns from exile to attack Thorn unexpectedly, Thorn finds his power ripped from his grasp.
Wounded, desperate, and abandoned by his allies, Thorn is forced to ask himself questions—forbidden questions about demonkind’s place in the universe. Questions that threaten to undermine everything Thorn and his fellow demons have believed for millennia.
With enemies closing in from all sides, Thorn grows ever more desperate for a way to escape his vicious life and to keep the people he loves safe in the process.
But Thorn is a vile, wicked demon who has committed unspeakably evil acts. He could never truly love someone. He could never become good.
I didn’t make it very far into this book, let alone finishing it. That being said, let me try to explain why I felt this book wasn’t the right choice for me.
Thorn is the story of a demon, and demons generally veer toward the bad side of things. In this book, the demons’ purpose is to push negative thoughts on people and encourage those thoughts to grow and fester.
In the short bit that I read, Thorn talked about a murder-suicide he was working to make happen, and how he couldn’t get a different person to commit suicide yet. The world is filled with enough news stories that are sad and depressing. That is not what I want out of a story I’m reading for an escape. Although the cover copy indicates that Thorn may become good, there was no hint of that in what I read. I didn’t see any evidence that Thorn was going to be different from the other demons or have some redeeming qualities.
This is probably a case of giving up too soon, but there are so many books that I want to read that I’m not going to force myself to read something if it’s just not working for me. Every time I thought of picking this back up, I rejected it because I didn’t want to read about someone being belittled, or hurt, or told that they’re unattractive or not good enough. The negative beginning may be needed for the book to pay off later if Thorn undergoes a transformation, but it was enough that I found it off putting.
Although the subject of the writing didn’t work for me, the writing itself was well done and I enjoyed some of the images the descriptions evoked. I found the demons themselves interesting, especially how they were not corporeal beings. Rather than interacting with the landscape and tangential items, they could float their body where they wanted it to be. However, they were corporeal to each other, as Thorn is able to be beaten. This is an interesting choice, and I liked that it wasn’t just a case of a demon inhabiting a body in order to roam the earth.
Although I decided not to finish this story, I encourage anyone to check it out if the darker tone would not bother you.
Became kind of obsessed with a new romance series of books. Can’t wait to read more of them!
Was approved on NetGalley for an ARC of Age of Myth by Michael J. Sullivan. I am so excited to read this! I have enjoyed pretty much all of his books.
Also got sucked into a new series called Vera, and the accompanying books. It’s a crime series that falls into the murder mystery genre. It’s also very good at keeping the audience from figuring out the killer.