Please Note: I received an ARC copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my opinions in my review in any way.
Synopsis (From GoodReads):Since time immemorial, humans have worshiped 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.
Review:This is the first time I have read a book from author Michael J. Sullivan, and it won't be my last. Age of Myth is everything a fantasy novel should be: Engaging characters, a complex plot and an Epic setting. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
Characters:The book has so many interesting and unusual characters that I cannot write about them all. One of the main characters is Persephone, the widow of the recently deceased chieftain. She has been the "second chair" for twenty years, giving wise counsel to her husband. When a new chieftain takes over, Persephone finds it hard not to speak her mind when she sees Konniger making mistakes. This, of course, gets her in trouble. Even when everyone is against her, Persephone is level-headed, wise, and compassionate. She is a natural leader.
Another wonderful character is Suri, the teenage mystic. She is a child of the forest and is more comfortable sleeping outdoors with her wolf than being cooped up in a lodge. She comes to the village to warn about a grave danger, saying, "Everyone is going to die". She is brave, intelligent and loyal to her wolf companion.
Plot:I thought the plot to be complex without trying to be deliberately confusing. There are power struggles in the two societies, mythology that may, or may not, guide the story, and blossoming love. I appreciated that there was a balance of exposition and action. So often, in the beginning of a new series, there is a tendency to burden the first book with explanation upon explanation of the book's universe. The author is a wonderful storyteller who doesn't need to spell everything out to the reader. He knows that we are along for the ride and can wait to have aspects revealed to us at the appropriate time. This also shows great respect for the audience. There are harrowing scenes of battles that had me staying up late because I couldn't put the book down.
Setting:As with any fantasy novel, the setting creates the tone. Age Of Myth is set in a time long ago (it seemed very like the middle ages in Europe). Of the various societies there are the Rhune (us mere mortals), and the Fhrey ( a race of people who live for thousands of years). The Fhrey can perform "The Art" and are believed by the Rhune to be gods. The Fhrey don't see the Rhune as even human. They consider any other races to be sub-human; more like wild animals. Both cultures will begin to see their perceptions tested when a fateful encounter occurs that begins the events in the book.
This is an exciting beginning to a five book series. I loved that the events in this book are resolved, but some things started will carry over into the next book. If you enjoy action, adventure, and fantasy, you are in for a treat.
Release Date: June 28th, 2016
Format: ARC E-book
Recommendation: With strong characters, both male and female, a complex plot, and "The Art", this book has it all. A must read for fantasy readers.