Review: Age of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan

Publisher: Del Rey

Publishing Date: July 2017

ISBN: 9781101965368

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 1.5/5

Publishers Description: Raithe, the God Killer, may have started the rebellion by killing a Fhrey, but long-standing enmities dividing the Rhunes make it all but impossible to unite against the common foe. And even if the clans can join forces, how will they defeat an enemy whose magical prowess renders them indistinguishable from gods?

Review: This is my second review, the first as a Beta reviewer and this review has been re-drafted as well.

The anticipatory suspense that canvasses each scene and rides the story line like a gay linebacker, is never resolved throughout the entirety of the novel. When scenes finally culminate in epic fashion, they are wholly unbelievable. I think that every chapter I reviewed I kept asking the question “what happened to this story line?”.  So what makes it suck? Persephone and a dreary story line that never moves in a direction to develop the characters in a way that draws interest. In short, you don’t care what happens to them.

 I was mildly disappointed by a few things. The final version did not change hardly at all from the Beta which leads me to believe that a) the author dismissed input in favor of his own ideas or b) most of the comments ran parallel with his approval. It is hard to believe that I am not all knowing BUT I know entertaining fantasy, and I know when a novel is derailed by a host of instances. In this case it was a combination of an uninteresting quest coupled with forced movement and characters that were unable to develop under the yoke of stilted scene progression.

This re-write is due in part to me coming down off being put off from Beta reading subsequent novels. Boo-hoo, yeah I know. But I take it seriously and consider it an honor while doing my damnedest to provide good input.  I felt summarily cast aside without consideration for past efforts and my little ego got bruised in the process. Beta reading is a thankless job and you really have to love reading and the author’s work in order to provide some avenues not considered when constructing a novel. I still believe this author is one of the best I have ever read so it is still unclear to me what happened. If I had to guess, I would say his wife is taking a stab at writing. 

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