Reading Level: Adult
Length: 432 pages
Publisher: Del Rey
Release Date: June 28, 2016
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in The Legends of the First Empire series
Source: eGalley through Edelweiss.com
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
“Since time immemorial, humans have worshipped 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.”
I got this book to review through Edelweiss. I was a huge fan of Sullivan’s Riyria series (both Revelations and Chronicles) and was eager to start a new series by him set earlier in this world’s timeline. However, I struggled with this book a bit…in short I just didn’t find the setting or the plot to be all that intriguing or interesting.
The book is set in a time where the Rhunes (humans) are in hunter/gatherer mode…kind of; they are also kind of in settlements that remind of a Viking-type civilization. Their greatest foe are the Fhrey (remind of a fey race) who believe the Rhunes are little better than animals. I wasn’t super excited about the setting; it’s just kind of bleak and blah.
The majority of the story focuses on a man-eating bear that has been killing the people in a Rhune village. Woven into this are increasingly tense interactions between the Rhune and the Fhrey and also conflicts between various Fhrey groups. The story moves slow and at the end of the book I felt that not a whole lot has really happened. The book is long and it feels incredibly long; I struggled to stay engaged with the story and only finished it because I got it to review.
That being said the major redeeming quality of this story are the characters. I really enjoyed the characters of Suri, Raithe, Malcom, and Persephone. The story is well balanced between male and female characters. However, I also felt like there was a lot less humor in this book than in the Riyria books and that Malcom/Raithe were very similar to a Hadrian/Royce type of pair (although not nearly as entertaining).
I was struggling between deciding on three stars and four. The writing flows well and I enjoyed the characters. However, I thought the world was boring and uninteresting and also thought the plot was slow. I struggled with being engaged in the story and struggled to actually care about the plot. I don’t plan on continuing this series…sadly.