cover image Age of Swords

Age of Swords

Michael J. Sullivan. Del Rey, $28 (496p) ISBN 978-1-101-96536-8

In Sullivan’s second Legends of the First Empire fantasy epic (after Age of Myth), the conflict between the human Rhune and the elven Fhrey threatens to involve the entirety of both races. In retaliation for events in the first volume, the Fhrey send giants, lightning, and hail to destroy the human settlement of Dahl Rhen. Persephone, new leader of the Rhen clan of humans, calls upon the other clan chieftains to meet and select a keening to lead all of the clans against the Fhrey. Other Rhen women include Brin, the Keeper of Ways; Suri, the only human to wield magic; and Roan, a genius inventor. Persephone leads her small group of women to bargain with the dwarves for weapons to face the Fhrey. In return, the dwarves ask that they defeat the demon that has occupied the dwarven ancestral city. Humans in these tales have only barely discovered bronze, and within these pages Roan invents both the wheel and the bow and Brin invents writing. The unusual technological level and prevalence of thoughtful women as leading characters set this apart from other fantasies. Agent: Joshua A. Bilmes, JABberwocky Literary. (Aug.)