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Age of War

The Legends of the First Empire, Book 3
Written by: Michael J. Sullivan
Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
Length: 16 hrs and 47 mins
5 out of 5 stars (125 ratings)
Price: CDN$ 43.85
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Publisher's Summary

The epic battle between humankind and their godlike rulers finally ignites in the masterful follow-up to Age of Myth and Age of Swords.

The alliance of humans and renegade Fhrey is fragile - and about to be tested as never before. Persephone keeps the human clans from turning on one another through her iron will and a compassionate heart. The arrogant Fhrey are barely held in check by their leader, Nyphron, who seeks to advance his own nefarious agenda through a loveless marriage that will result in the betrayal of the person Persephone loves most: Raithe, the God Killer.

As the Fhrey overlords marshal their army and sorcerers to crush the rebellion, old loyalties will be challenged while fresh conspiracies will threaten to undo all that Persephone has accomplished. In the darkest hour, when hope is all but lost, new heroes will rise...but at what terrible cost?

©2018 Michael J. Sullivan (P)2018 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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thoroughly enjoyed

this was an excellent book, I wish the next in the series was out already.

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Clumsy finale

Age of War is poorly written, with little thought given to providing a well formed conclusion to the previous books in the series.

Age of War reads as if the author was out of ideas, & on a tight timeline. New plot lines and twists are clumsily written in making an unbelievable, in satisfying conclusion. Waste of time.

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Age of War

Yet another outstanding performance by Tim Gerard Reynolds narrating the masterful writings of Michael J. Sullivan! I can't wait for the next in the series.... such a long wait!

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  • Rob
  • 2018-10-30

Yes yes yes

Loved it. Probably my favorite of all the series in the Elan universe, including Revelations and Chronicles.

Story was beyond solid.
Tim Reynolds was on point.

The waiting for the next one will be the hardest part.

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Great Series

I am a fan of Michael J. Sullivan and urge others to check out this series and others as well. Mr Sullivan as a really great imagination and his characters are interesting. But I have to say I still love his Riyria series the best. He keeps you guessing as to where he is going to go next with his story line.
So, I look forward to his next novel and Michael keep writing for the Riyria series as well.
And also, keep letting Michael Kramer narrate your books. I love his voice.

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Amazing Journey

I have been a big fan of the Ryira series and this is the back story of how it all began. I would love to see this book as a movie and I thank #Audible1 for making it available!!!

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Great Story and Narration

The world Michael J. Sullivan has created is quickly becoming one of my favourites. The stories are always compelling and Tim Gerard Reynolds narration is amazing. If you're a fan of other works I would definitely read this book, but I think you should probably start with Book 1. My only complaints is how some of the world building has shaped up in these novels. Particularly the inventions of bow and arrows, the wheel, etc. It's a little hokey, takes you out of the immersion, and somewhat unnecessary.

#Audible1

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Sullivan is on a roll

the continuation off the history and legend from the ryera chronicles are a blast to go through. the story by itself is worth the read even if u have not read the ryera chronicles. #audible1

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Great continuation of an exciting series

Once again, Michael J Sullivan does not disappoint. This series is as addictive as Riyria, and hidden references between the two is a pleasant bonus. Tim Gerard Reynolds is phenomenal, as usual. Can't wait for the next book!
#Audible1

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Really bummed out....

that the next book isn't available. I was totally plugged into the story and wanted to know more. It is another excellent book in the series written by Michael J. Sullivan, as well the narration by T.G. Reynolds who raises anything he narrates to a whole new level. The ending was such a surprise' not at all what what I thought would happen, but I guess this is what makes this series such an amazing journey. The 'Age of War' will not disappoint!

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  • Victor @ theAudiobookBlog
  • 2019-01-16

History re-written

Michael J. Sullivan is one of my favorite Fantasy writers out there, alongside Justin Cronin, George R.R. Martin and Robert Jordan. He is the bestselling author of the Riyria Revelations series, Riyria Chronicles series and his latest release is the third volume in the Legends of the First Empire series, called Age of Swords.

Before I get into the review thing, I want to tell you that I listened to all of Mr. Sullivan‘s books and that I enjoyed each and everyone of them tremendously. There are 6 in the Riyria Revelations collection with them packed 2 by 2 on Audible, so you get 2 audiobooks for the price of one. After that, we have 4 prequels in the Riyria Chronicles series and 6 more in the Legends of the First Empire, of witch 3 are already out now. If you want to fall in love with Michael J. Sullivan‘s work, read or listen to the books in the way I mentioned above, although you could start every series at its beginning. There are two Free short stories which I suggest that you grab to see how good this team of author and narrator really is.

Age of War continues the epic adventure started in Age of Myth and Age of Swordsin which a group of humans fight for their lives as they try to survive an all out war between them and the Fhrey, the almost immortal beings that we know as Elves. To find out how and why this conflict began you have to read the first two books because I don’t want to spoil anything for you, but let me assure you that it this third book is excellent as well. 

Our heroes have to find a way to fight and defeat a more powerful enemy, equipped with better weapons and commanding The Art (magic). Luckily, heroes will rise, they will fight an epic battle in a legendary city, but the are outnumbered and they need help and weapons.

This new adventure is filled with deadly perils at every step. Will they survive? Do they have a chance to succeed in their endeavors and win an unwinnable war?

As always when it comes to books written by Michael J. Sullivan, the story is great, very well written and delivered with such vividness that you can imagine everything in your minds eye. The characters feel alive and I deeply cared for them, the threat is terrible, the enemy is merciless and the fate of the human race is in the balance once again.

I found myself instantly immersed into this new spellbinding story set in the world of Elan and that’s in part because of the fantastic performance delivered by Tim Gerard Reynolds and part thanks to the riveting storytelling abilities shown once again by Michael J. Sullivan. The fact that all the other audiobooks by Mr. Sullivan are narrated by Tim has to be mentioned in this review, as you may know that we, the audiobooks fans love the same narrator on all books set in a certain universe.

The amazing narrator, voice over artist and actor Tim Gerard Reynolds brings every character to life with passion and professionalism. He uses different voices, accents and subtile changes in tone and cadence to help the listener easily differentiate who is talking at a specific time. He can be in once scene a worried Elf, a frightened child, a ruthless warrior and a treacherous dwarf, switching between them with ease and style.

I want to say once again a big Thank You to both Michael and Tim for the respect with witch they treat the audiobooks community and for the amazing time spent in to this magical world they created and brought to life, with love and passion, for us!.

For me, Age oF War is another epic adventure in the world of Elan, and this perfect team of author and narrator is amazing as always I already pre-ore-ordered book 4 and can't wait to wrap it around my ears when it comes out this Summer.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • David
  • 2018-07-24

Story Lost Me

Second book started to loose me when the author decided to make Wraith a non-character and Malcom all powerful. This just finished the process. The rest of the characters do things but many of the ones that I grew to like stood still.

Conflict was good. Narrator is excellent. Just bummed at the authors decision making. I likely won't listen to the next books in this series.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Daniel
  • 2018-08-03

Raithe the ruined

I just finished the book, and I can't help but feel a bit angry at how Raithe was handled in this book. It wasn't even the major plot points in which he was involved. He is just a chump in this book. Thanks for treating my favorite character in this series like bear scat.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Dale
  • 2018-07-28

A disappointing offering that does not capitalize on one of the author's key strengths

I would like to preface this review by saying I truly enjoy Michael J. Sullivan's works. The Ryira series is the first contemporary series in years that I have read (listened to) multiple times. I find his insights into his craft entertaining and enlightening (and I confess I share his wife's affinity for Hadrian :) ). Sullivan's strengths are his wonderfully indelible characters, his mastery of combat scenes that place you right in the midst of the action, and his engrossing way of weaving you from each mini-adventure to the next. His books hearken back to the swashbuckling films of Errol Flynn. Really my only criticisms of his works are the character's names, which seem to be borrowed from a peculiar variety of inexplicable sources ("Moya" from Farscape, "Arista" from a record label, "Royce" from a car, "Persephone" from Greek Mythology, Suri from Katie Holmes' daughter, etc), and the gratuitous use of "smirking". EVERYBODY smirks. They don't leer, they don't sneer, they don't grimace, they don't grin. It's like the "chuckling" that pervaded the ridiculous "Twilight" series. Please: find (and use) a thesaurus!

(Spoiler Alerts)
It is because of my admiration for Sullivan that it is difficult for me to say I was quite disappointed in "Age of War". In fact, I find the series is diminishing rapidly in appeal with each book, to the point where I questioned if I would continue with it. After devouring "Age of Myth", I (like many) waited on tenterhooks for its follow-on. But when "Age of Swords" arrived, it took me weeks to get through it. It had the characters endeared to us in the
first book behaving in ways that, at best, went against the grain, or, at worst, were wholly unbelievable. The elimination of one of my favorite characters also did not sit well; I accepted that it might have needed to be done to satisfy the storyline, but the way in which it was done was so clumsily prolonged it was excruciating, and, as noted earlier, was simply not believable (especially on repeat).

Now comes "Age of War". Here, Sullivan pulls a Rowling and disperses with yet another beloved character in a horrid deja vu from AoS. And if that wasn't enough, throughout the book, almost all the characters engage in lengthy internal dialogues of incessant vacillation which undermined the depth of characterization and quickly became wearisome. Having these formerly strong characters churn repeatedly in emotional indecision ("Does Persephone love me or is
she shagging Nyphron?" "Do I still love Reglan, or do I love Raithe, or ???" "Will Tesh notice me? He's so wonderful and I am nothing!" "Ivar said I'm useless so it must be true, mustn't it?") was painful. I think these thought-spews are meant to help us empathize with the characters, but for me they had the opposite effect. In fact, I grew to hate Persephone--who was such a powerful female force in the first book, overcoming both terrible sorrow and adversity with aplomb--so much that I confess I was cheering for the Raow when he was dispatched to eat off her face! And don't even get me started on that self-serving slimeball Nyphron! Those two deserve each other!

Of course, there was more smirking, though less perhaps in this book than the others. (One of the characters actually did sneer!) I also got pretty tired of all the "Tetlin" epithets. Even the cute "Sure?...Pretty sure." exchanges were repeated enough in AoW that they were in danger of becoming cloying. Like Royce flipping up his hood...funny the first dozen times...then, not so much.

AoW was not completely without its bright spots. I thought the chapter where Raithe took a walk with Suri was a real coup for Sullivan, and one of the most beautiful and touching pieces of writing I have experienced in a while. I was also captivated by Tesh. This boy is going places! And he is intriguing enough that I'm already imagining how his tale will spin out and blend with that of Hadrian and his father and the Pickerings--which is
the main reason why I will probably continue with the series. And yes, as others have noted, there was climactic scene that moved me (against my will) almost to tears. (I was saved only by the fact that it wedged an old Barry Manilow song into my head for a bit: Even Now. Darn you Mr. Sullivan!)

I suppose one might argue that a work that stirs such a diversity of emotion is powerful indeed. And perhaps they would be right. Maybe it's just that I am overfond of happy endings.

As for the narration, Tim Gerard Reynolds is as superb as ever; I believe I would pay to hear him read a cookery book!

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • McKell
  • 2018-07-05

The series continues, but the best of it has been left in book one

I want to love this series. I greatly enjoyed the first book and the other books Sullivan has written. This installment has taken my favorite parts and aspects of book one and shattered them without ceremony.

Too much of the villains and drama felt like a copy from book two. This book felt a lot less creative and more geared at gutting the fan base. I can’t say if I’ll continue with the series (which I thought was an unshakeable dedication) or not at this juncture. I know it’s a prequel story that isn’t meant to be roses and rainbows, but I wasn’t looking for a tragedy and that is what this book felt like to me.

20 of 24 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • KAG
  • 2019-01-26

The Title should be "Raithe, thrown under the Bus"

Very disappointed int he way this story developed and played out. Just a total waste of a potentially great character and the plot that you could seriously root and cheer for. Nope, the author tried to get fancy and should have just gone with what made the other book great. No idea how this has an average of 4.8. I have loved his other books........

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • gmm
  • 2018-07-08

Wonderful Story and Performance

I try not to give perfect scores unless I absolutely mean it. I always reread a book that I want to give a perfect score so I know it isn't just recency bias. After the second reading, and some time to think, I still felt the same way about this novel.
The story is gripping and Mr Reynolds narrating is always amazing. If you have enjoyed any of Mr Sullivan work, this one is just as good if not better.
The characters have grown and more entertaining then ever. This is a serious novel that grabs your attention and doesn't let go till the end. However serious the story, Mr Sullivan makes it fun and keeps it moving through both the sad and tense moments with the feeling that we will still be satisfied, and I was always satisfied. We learn just as much in this novel as in the previous while not learning so much we can guess the next step.
Best way for me to recommend this is to simply say, I love Epic Fantasy novels and this novel and series is why. It isn't just for those of us who read Fantasy, but for anyone who enjoys characters with meaning and a story that makes you feel something. I truly hope everyone has a chance to enjoy this novel along all of Mr Sullivan's novels and Mr Reynolds amazing performance ad narrator.

17 of 21 people found this review helpful

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  • June C.
  • 2018-07-09

The ending was heavy

I almost cried... a sad and heavy ending that melted my heart, but I’m happy on how good the story telling was. Longing now for the next audio book

16 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • James Marsh
  • Tucson, AZ USA
  • 2018-07-04

Damn. damn. damn. when does the next one come out?

It's book 3 of 6 of a prequel series. why does it have so many twists, turns, character arc payoffs and gut punches? a lot of these characters need some hugs as the war between man and elf really gets going.

Sullivan is at the top of his game. Reynolds does the amazing job he always does.

I love Royce and Hadrian but can't wait for the next volume of this series.

this is solid fantasy right here

18 of 23 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael Van Glahn
  • 2018-12-11

Weakest in the series

Not a lot of story here, in the first half of the book almost nothing happens. The speed with which the protagonists progress beyond the bronze age would put a game of Age of Empires to shame. Notably, how Roan decides to name steel made me want to throw something. Gifford's storyline is just comical. This book was another continuation of the decline in quality started by book two after a promising start to the series.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful