Age of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan

Book two in the Legends of the First Empire continues exactly where the previous book left off and moves on with the plot without wasting time reiterating events. Personally I like this approach in book series where the author is confident that readers are already familiar with what has happened.

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While the plot continues on as before, we do get a lot more characters and the concentration is on different view points than previous. On occasion this is a bit annoying; it feels like we only some get a full account of some while so many others are left to the wayside. Fortunately all the points of view are interesting save one – that of Mawyndulë the elven prince whose chapters of whining teenager idiocy were quite hard to get through. A few plot elements felt maybe a bit too Lord of the Rings-esque. And honestly, the main heroines inventing the writing, the wheel,AND the bow within what must be just weeks requires quite a bit of suspension of belief. Still, the main plot of the upcoming war feels solid, with the politics and logistics feeling even surprisingly realistic.

Writing is good as ever and pacing feels perfect (except, again, with the prince). I did miss a bit of the odd couple dry humor that exists in Sullivan’s Riyria books, and in the first volume of this series between Raithe and Malcolm.

All in all, I enjoyed this book a lot and am quite looking forward to the next installment.

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