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Review: The Legends of the First Empire 03: Age of War

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

The alliance of humans and renegade Fhrey is fragile—and about to be tested as never before. Persephone keeps the human clans from turning on one another through her iron will and a compassionate heart. The arrogant Fhrey are barely held in check by their leader, Nyphron, who seeks to advance his own nefarious agenda through a loveless marriage that will result in the betrayal of the person Persephone loves most: Raithe, the God Killer.

As the Fhrey overlords marshal their army and sorcerers to crush the rebellion, old loyalties will be challenged while fresh conspiracies will threaten to undo all that Persephone has accomplished. In the darkest hour, when hope is all but lost, new heroes will rise… but at what terrible cost?

Goodreads, Synopsis

Reviews of Previous Books in the Series

  1. Age of Myth
  2. Age of Swords


**Recap alert—spoilers for previous books**

Age of Swords finished with Persephone becoming Keenig and the Rhunes possessing knowledge of iron: a metal strong enough to match Fhrey weapons. Meanwhile, in Estramnadon there was a failed attempt on the life of Fane Lothian, and Mawyndulë turned out to be a somewhat unlikely hero. We also saw the growth of Moya, Brin, Roan and Gifford into key characters, and the heartbreak and burden put upon Suri—she sacrificed Minna, her best friend, levelled a mountain that was rich with dwarven culture, and her friend Arion is dying. What effect will this have on her moving forward?

Another character who comes to the foreground in Age of War, Tesh—a young Dureyan, the only Dureyan alive, besides Raithe. He was there, hiding, while his entire people were slaughtered by the Fhrey. Of the Rhunes, only he knows the truth of it. His only ambition is to become a great warrior, so he can take revenge. We are also treated to the continued development of the characters we’ve come to love.

“Heroes are those who refuse to create or become victims. I failed to see it then, but I lived among many heroes. I think maybe everyone does.”

The Book of Brin

With war now inevitable, Nyphron pushes for Persephone to march her people on Alon Rhist: a Fhrey stronghold full of Instarya soldier—Nyphron’s tribe. Raithe, who dislikes Nyphron, and is in love with Persephone, is against marching on Alon Rhist. He’s quick to point out that the Rhunes are ill-equipped and no match for the Instarya. Nyphron, however, insists there will be no battle and Alon Rhist will simply be handed over to him… quite a leap of faith!

Tensions continue to rise between the Rhunes and Fhrey and we encounter our first major battle between them. Fane Lothian travels with his army, armed with the full power of the Avempartha channelled through Mawyndulë, to meet the Rhunes in battle. With Suri and Arion, the only ones among the Rhunes able to use the Art, what burdens will fall upon them?

In open battle, against thousands of Fhrey, including dozens of Myralith, and the power of the Avempartha, surely there is little hope. Who will be the hero? Who will survive? What hope will remain?

I thoroughly enjoyed both Age of Myth and Age of Swords, giving them both 4*. Age of War turned out to be my favourite book of the series yet.

“At first I thought it was a dragon, savage and fierce. I wish that had been true. Dragons only kill you; Gilarabrywns break your heart.”

The Book of Brin