This review originally appeared on WorldOfJoel.com
I really, really enjoyed Age of Myth. After reading some of the best fantasy has to offer (at least in my humble opinion) like George R. R. Martin, Patrick Rothfuss, and Brandon Sanderson it can be really difficult to get into new fantasy novels. And yet I've continued my long search for new series to jump into. For some reason (probably the cover art) I decided to try out Michael J. Sullivan's prequel novels set in the same world as his previous series the Riyria Revelation and Chronicles. It felt a little odd jumping into the world that's already had so many book entries, but that was put to ease.
At the start of the audiobook for Age of Myth, Sullivan himself gives a ten-minute rundown that basically tells you that you don't need to have read the other series to jump in here. This series is set in the same world but happens thousands of years before his other series. Age of Myth doesn't make the best first impression and was to be a bit tedious. Luckily both the world and the characters open up and the novel begins to take shape about 20% in. That starts with his character development as we start to get introduced to the very complex and multifaceted string of main characters that take us through this adventure.
What makes me want to invest in a fantasy series is learning about both the characters and the world dynamics combine. I love understanding the customs, politics, and religion. In this world there are basically two types of humans in this world, one who lives for a normal human lifetime (under a hundred years), and there are the Gods of this world that live for thousands. What's interesting is the two sects don't know each other very well and the dynamics between the two are tinkered with throughout the book. There is also a magic system in Age of Myth in which the Gods utilize to show dominance over the rest of the world. Unlike books from Brandon Sanderson, the magic is more implied to be a thing and isn't described or over complicated with rules.
I really loved the journey of Age of Myth and it only fell a little short towards the very end. For the majority of this book, I anticipated giving it a perfect 5/5 score. The characters are great, the world is interesting, and the mysteries of the world kept me wanting more. However, at the very end you realize that Sullivan showed his hand quite a bit during the book, and by the last couple of paragraphs, the obvious conclusion was the actual one. And although I know I will continue on with the series, the lackluster ending kept this back from being a top-tier fantasy novel.
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