“Most people believe the ffirst battle of the Great War occurred at Grandford in the early spring, but the first attack actually took place on a summer’s day in Dahl Rhen.”
Author: Michael J. Sullivan
Category: High Fantasy
Publication Date: July 25th, 2017
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Age of Swords continues the story of the human Rhunes as they prepare themselves to confront a foe that they once believed to be gods.
First off, this was certainly a worthy sequel to Age of Myth.
One thing that can definitely be said for this series is that Michael J Sullivan can certainly write well-rounded female characters. In a lot of books it can sometimes seem like the women are just slight variations of the same copy-and-pasted cutout. For over half of this book, several of the female characters were separated from the major male characters of the story and, frankly, they kicked ass. None of them are just like another in the group; they all have their own traits and flaws, they respond to things differently, and they all are amazing people in their own way.
One of the more compelling parts of this book was that it was more politically-driven than its predecessor. There were some complicated machinations going on in the Fhrey hierarchy and the humans were attempted to decide on a leader to unite them all. As someone that is fascinated by politics, it was fascinating to read from both the Fhrey and the humans perspectives, their differences in opinions, and how things could be different if it were not for a handful of people with over-bloated egos messing it up for literally everyone.
While there were some slow parts to the book, the pace kept going fairly well. The character development for some of the minor characters of the first book took a huge upturn here.
The only specific flaw that really comes to mind was in the beginning of the book. Without spoilers, there was something that happened that should have made that part of the read very emotional but it was glossed over so quickly that there was no time to be emotionally involved. It was sad on the surface, from an objective viewpoint, but there was really no immersion into the effects of the catastrophe.
Beyond this, there seems to be one aspect to this story that everyone is talking about that could conceivably be considered as spoiler-y so we will discuss it at the very bottom of the review
The spoiler-y stuff bothered me a little bit as I was reading it but once it was all said and done (read: once it all stopped happening), I liked where it was all leading. I still think it was overdone and possibly handled poorly but as long as we don’t really revisit things of that sort in future books, I can be happy with this book.
With the politics driving much of this book, as annoying as the Fhrey prince was, I think I ended up liking this one just a tad more than the first.
Age of Myth was a better story. This one felt very slow and seemed to drag on instead of giving us a fun and exciting story. There were times that good, fight scenes that were cool. The fact the the Fhrey were not just one dimensional god-like characters was a good twist.
I just did not have as much fun with this one as I did with Age of Myth. It kind of worries me when the author said that this is his favorite book in the series. I hope it only goes up from here.
***SPOILER STUFF AHEAD!!***
So, the invention stuff. Basically what goes on is that a bunch of stuff is “invented” by the humans as they search for solutions to their problems. Most of these inventions seem to be relatively small things; pockets are created for the first time, the concept of buttons is introduced, several words are developed. But there were some more fairly major developments. The wheel was literally invented in this book. The concept of writing was developed in the space of about a week. Along with the bow and the iron sword being added the arsenal of weapons the human can use in roughly the same amount of time.
Something about this felt kind of cheap when reading it.
There is really no indication that humans are this far behind and then BAM they are inventing things left and right. The reader doesn’t have anything to go on that would say that they don’t have something as basic as wheels or buttons or even really writing until it is suddenly a thing.
It all lead to the humans being able to use the bow and the iron sword which is a huge step up from using stone tip spears and will undoubtedly assist the humans in their fight. But the way of getting there just felt so….off.