Michael J Sullivan “Age of Myth” (Del Rey, 2016)
Sometimes you don’t want challenging. Sometimes you want pasta or a hamburger or mac & cheese. You want the enjoyment of the familiar, done well.
Michael J Sullivan isn’t looking to reinvent genre here. He’s looking to go straight down the middle of the road, & tell a damn good story. It’s steak & potatoes, fantasy style.
This is the start of a new series, set thousands (?) of years before the beginning of his earlier work. As the start of a fantasy series, there is a whole lot more set up than follow through in this volume, but there is easily enough to enjoy volume one.
A Stone Age human kills an elf-analogue & the whole thing seems to start a war between the two races. At the end of this volume the war hasn’t really started yet, but it’s inevitable.
This is a fantastic summer read! Sullivan does a great job with tropes & characters. There’s a sense that this is familiar, but it’s so well done that you enjoy the familiarity. AND THAT”S OK. There are lots of interesting characters, great action scenes, intriguing world building.
I for one appreciate how this is a step back from the grimdark stories that seemed to have a strangle hold on the genre a few years ago. There are consequences and bad things happen, but there’s no torture porn here.
I’m ready for the next volume please!