Age of Swords by Michael J Sullivan (Legends of the First Empire, #2)

Wow! I really, really enjoyed this book. But part of that had to do, I think, with knowing exactly what to expect. So even though this is a 5 star book to me, I will be addressing some things that I felt were valid complaints. Despite these “complaints”, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Well, there’s not really much I can say about the plot without spoilers, so I’ll say this: this is basically a book where everything gets invented, in a very short time, and where they go on a quest to get, you guessed it, swords.

Firstly, I want to address some things that I’ve seen others say that took away from their enjoyment. Because they’re actually very valid points that they brought up. I just happened to not be bothered much by these things. So i think everyone will be different. The humans in this book went from their greatest inventions being fire and stone tipped spears, to inventing the wheel, pockets, bows and arrows, learning to write and many other things. All being invented by pretty much one person. While it did feel a tad rushed, I didn’t mind so much. Also, this is a very character development heavy book. It focuses less on events and more on developing characters and introducing inventions. Those are pretty much the most common negative comments I’ve seen. I feel like seeing these things addressed actually helped me enjoy the book more, so I felt it important to include them. I included them first because I wanted to end on a happy note. So, let’s get into it. Shall we?

I couldn’t have been more happy with this book. Sure, it was slow, but I just loved getting to see some of our minor characters develop and show their strengths. Characters like Roan, Gifford, Moya, and Brin really got to shine. Gifford and Moya might just be my most favorite characters in all of Sullivan’s works. I would state why, but too many spoilers. And all of our big characters from Age of Myth are back. Suri and Minna constantly being awesome as well. I love that duo! But I think this is what makes Sullivan’s books so awesome; his characters are always so much fun! I also loved how huge of a part the women played, as this is such a rare thing to find in the genre. Or it is in my experience, at least. Maybe I’m just not as well read as I thought, who knows?

The plot really didn’t have all that much going on, but as I said above, I didn’t really mind this since I had such a fun time going and growing with the characters. If you’re familiar with Sullivan’s books, then you’re familiar with his prose; the easy to read, non-flowery, surprisingly vivid prose. This is another thing that’s made me love reading books by MJS. I know that I won’t be bogged down by 2 pages of flowery descriptions of a single room. He’s able to set a scene so vivid and with no more words than are necessary.

While not much happens to further the plot (something big does happen, so don’t fear that it’s a slog), this sets up what truly feels like is going to be a series that’s going to top Riyria Revelations. The ending has seen to that. There’s something about knowing how the history was written that is making me excited to see what has actually happened. I think that that’s where a lot of the appeal comes from, for me. I mean, history is written by the victor, right?

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