The First Empire is my new epic fantasy series. The first book Age of Swords was released on June 28th from Del Rey. The original working titles for the books were Rhune, Dherg, Rhist, Phyre, and Fhrey. The current titles are Age of Myth, Age of Swords, Age of War, Age of Legends, Age of Empire, and an untitled six book. Originally I thought it would be a trilogy, and now it’s officially expanded to six books.
At this point all books are written, and I’m finishing up the incorporation of alpa-read edits to the last book. For those that don’t know, I write the entire series before publishing the first book. This means it takes a while, but once done there is no long wait between titles and no questions about if and how the series will end. This technique has worked well for me for both The Riyria Revelations and The Riyria Chronicles so I’m sticking with it. One of the big advantages is that I can make adjustments in earlier volumes as something new and interesting is discovered in the later ones.
From a publishing perspective, the series has been sold to Random House’s Del Rey Imprint. The audio books have been sold to Recorded Books (who released the Riyria stories), and Tim Gerard Reynolds will once more be the narrator. Several foreign language deals have been brokered including German and Russian.
So, what’s this series about? Well here is the “back of the book copy” that Del Rey wrote for the first novel.
What does it mean if the gods can be killed?
Michael J. Sullivan’s trailblazing career began with the breakout success of his Riyria series: full-bodied, spellbinding fantasy adventures whose imaginative scope and sympathetic characters won a devoted readership and comparisons to fantasy masters Brandon Sanderson, Scott Lynch, and Tolkien himself. Now, Sullivan’s stunning hardcover debut, Age of Myth, inaugurates an original five-book series–and one of fantasy’s finest next-generation storytellers continues to break new ground.
Since time immemorial, humans have worshipped the gods they call Fhrey, truly a race apart: invincible in battle, masters of magic, and seemingly immortal. But when a god falls to a human blade, the balance of power between men and those they thought were gods changes forever. Now, only a few stand between humankind and annihilation: Raithe, reluctant to embrace his destiny as the God Killer. Suri, a young seer burdened by signs of impending doom. And Persephone, who must overcome personal tragedy to lead her people.
The Age of Myth is over; the time of rebellion has begun.
For those familiar with my other books, here are some things that might answer some of your questions as to where The First Empire fits into my lexicon.
- Yes, it is based in the same world as Riyria but many thousands of years in the past (3,000 give or take), so while the land forms are the same, you’ll not recognize much else. The cultures, technologies, races, and characters will be unlike anything you met in Elan previously.
- Unlike much of fantasy, the setting will not be a variation on a medieval world. In this series, there are no kings or knights, and people fight with spears rather than swords.
- These books can be read completely independent of the Riyria books (both Revelations and Chronicles) but those that have read the full series will have some fun making connections between what they’ve been told about Elan’s history and what actually happened.
- My standard techniques will be employed: fast-paced, humor, interesting characters, and a good number of twists and turns. Also, like my other books, each will be a complete tale with it’s own conflict and resolution, but there will also be plot points that span the entire series.
- Unlike Riyria (which focuses primarily on two main protagonists), this is more of an “ensemble” piece where the efforts of a small group of people will each have their own parts to play.
I hope some of this sounds interesting to you. And if you want to sign-up for notification of releases, or to get some of the pre-release goodies and giveaways, here is a link where you can sign up.