Review copy was received from Purchased. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Age of Empyre by Michael J. Sullivan
Narrator: Tim Gerard Reynolds
Series: Legends of the First Empire #6
Published by Audible on May 5, 2020
Length: 16 hours, 42 minutes
Amazon, Audible, Barnes & Noble, Apple
After obtaining the secret to creating dragons, the leader of the Fhrey has turned the tide of war once more—but gaining the advantage has come at a terrible price. While Imaly plots to overthrow the fane for transgressions against his people, a mystic and a keeper are the only hope for the Rhunes. Time is short, and the future of both races hangs in the balance. In this exciting conclusion to the Legends of the First Empire series, the Great War finally comes to a climactic end, and with it dawns a new era in the Age of Empyre.
From the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Michael J. Sullivan comes the concluding installment of his six-book epic fantasy. This series chronicles a pivotal point in Elan’s history when humans and those they once saw as gods warred until a new world order was born. Set three thousand years before the Riyria tales, Legends is a standalone fantasy series that is independent of the Riyria novels. But for those who do read both series, Legends will unmask lies and reveal the truth about Elan’s history and the men and women who shaped what the world became.
“That’s what stories are for, Brin realized. They are magic that aid people in times like this. They provide hope, a light to see by when all others are snuffed out”.
As most endings to series, Age of Empyre left me with bittersweet feelings. The final book in the Legends of the First Empire series is one of the better series completions I have read, tying up most of the threads in the storylines and enlightening the reader to the true history of the war between the Elves and Humans that plays part in the Riyria Revelations series. It isn’t perfect, most endings aren’t but it was very satisfying. I’ve grown so fond of these characters; I will miss them all.
The Fhrey now have Dragons and are at the boundaries of the human war camps. Malcolm, as always, is in the middle of it all gently pushing here and pulling there, so when the time comes for all the threads to meet up he might push the coarse of the world in the direction he’d like it to go.
“With the world as his mother, the sky his father, and immortality granted from Alurya’s gift, he might be the only true god. Unfortunately, he’s the god of evil.”
The reader gets to travel through the underworld with our group of intrepid heroes, see the politics and machinations of the Fhrey (not as united as one might first think), and see the wonder of the some mythos as it is unfolded right before our eyes.
I loved the journey this series took me on and I’m so glad that Michael J Sullivan (MJS), with a bit of help from his wife Robin, understood the series couldn’t be wrapped up well in four books and so expanded the last book to be able to give the story the ending it deserved. In a hat tip to Dante’s Inferno some characters traveled the realm of death, some to return and others to be lost. Most of the story was focused on the underworld with other PoVs to let us know what was happening the Fhrey city and Nyphron’s camp. It was a well-told story that had some surprises in the end.
“All too often, that which we are most certain of is that which we are most wrong about; and that which we are wrong about can change everything.”
I read all of the Riyria books and so I should have guessed a few things since I know how the true history didn’t survive and many of the facts have been twisted three thousand years later. Still it did come as somewhat of a surprise, which I credit MJS with being a skilled writer to make that so. One of my favorite parts of the story will be the origin of Kyle and the Feathers, I liked seeing how that started and learning the true tale.
So much has happened since the day Wraith accidentally killed a Fhrey to the ending. Suri still remains a favorite character of mine and I love where her story went, even if I didn’t agree with everything in it. Roan and Gifford are one of my favorite couples of all time, that remains even through this book. Moya and Tekchin also a romance for the ages. And Brin…well Brin was probably my biggest surprise of all.
If you are in the market for some solid Fantasy writing I recommend everything currently written by MJS. I personally would start with The Riyria Revelations before reading this series, but it isn’t necessary. It was just fun to see how twisted all of the history became over time. After finishing all I wanted to do was jump into Riyria Revelations and see what new Easter eggs were there for me.
Tim Gerard Reynolds did a great job as always. He has narrated this entire series and all the others set in this world and does it well. He even, in light of the current global situation, did all of it from his home studio and much of the editing to get it out on time. I want to thank him for all the extra work he did to make the production just as great as all the other books in the series.
Listen to a clip:
- The Sinister Booksellers of Bath by Garth Nix @garthnix @harperteen @SnyderBridge4 - March 20, 2023
- 🎧 The Heiress at Sea by Christi Caldwell @ChristiCaldwell @TimCampbellVO Profile @BrillianceAudio #LoveAudiobooks#KindleUnlimited @SnyderBridge4 - March 13, 2023
- Backpacking Through Bedlam by Seanan McGuire @seananmcguire @dawbooks @penguinrandom @SnyderBridge4 - March 6, 2023
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- Robin Audio20
I think it’s an autjor I should try. The name does ring a bell and I’ll take a look at the cover to see which one I heard the most about
I hope you have a chance to give him a shot. I do like how well plotted and planned his series tend to be.
I can’t remember if I bought some of these or if they have them at the library but I intend to listen to them since you think so highly of this series. Great review!
Thanks Anne. I enjoy his style of writing, I hope you get a chance to read them.
I’ve not tried this author before and the series sounds thrilling. Six books isn’t too long either:)
I really enjoy his well thought out writing and I love when an author finishes a series in a timely manner. I really appreciate his follow through.