Book reviews

Book Review: Age of Myth

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a book review. I’ve been reading (obviously), just not anything that I felt like reviewing. That changed when I read Age of Myth.

Age of Myth coverAge of Myth is a high fantasy book by Michael J. Sullivan (apparently another Canuck). I hadn’t read any of his other books, so I didn’t know what to expect. I picked this one up in my latest fit of ‘ach, my to-be-read’ pile only has 25 books. If I had realized at the time that it was the first book in a 5 book series, I might have left it at the bookstore.

However, I thoroughly enjoyed it…and now need to buy books 2-5. The story drew me along from the first page to the end, and managed to almost surprise me a couple of times (which can be hard to do – I’m the one who *SPOILER ALERT* said they’re dead 1/4 of the way into The Others…okay, I kept it to myself, but I thought it).

The story

I get the impression that this story tells of some legend that referenced in another set of books. I didn’t feel like I missed anything for not having read those other books. This one (or five) definitely feels like it stands on its own.
It tells the story of Raithe the God Killer, the characters he meets and the lives he impacts as he tries to run away from becoming a legend.

The cast of characters

The story really turns around its cast of characters. And the book, despite having its nominal hero, felt more like it was an ensemble.

I liked Raithe, the reluctant hero trying to resist the moniker of God Killer that others seem intent on foisting upon him. He sees himself as just another guy, doing what needs to be done – but aren’t so many heroes like that? I like heroes to have angst and be afraid, and do what needs to be done anyway. He’s a good example of the saying that courage is not the absence of fear but acting despite it.

But Raithe didn’t hog the screen time, if you will. My favourite characters were from the supporting cast.

My favourite character was Suri, the seer. Suri is just on the edge of being a teenager, but bears the heavy weight of prophesy. Despite that, she’s a bright spot in the book. I love her quirks, and her interactions with other characters. She reminded in some ways of Folly from Jim Butcher’s The Aeronaut’s Windlass. Quirky but pivotal.

The Bechdel test

We don’t always think about measuring books against the Bechdel test. But Age of Myth stood out to me as passing with flying colours, although I didn’t actually sit down and count. It had a surprisingly diverse cast of female characters who talk to each other about things besides men…and sometimes kick butt (though there could be more of that – maybe in book 2?)

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