Monday, 20 February 2012

FANTASY REVIEW: Elves 2: Rise of TaiGethen - James Barclay

Release Date: 16/02/12


THE ELVES ARE ENSLAVED Calaius is occupied by an implacable, relentless enemy. The great elven cities are little more than prison camps. Elven slaves are forced to destroy their beloved rainforest to harvest timber for their masters. The enemy has no mercy, no honour and little skill in battle. The enemy is Man. Those few elves who remain free are fragmented, in squabbling factions, and they must unite before they can take a stand against Man. Many believe that the battle is already lost, but Auum is not one of them. He knows Men's numbers are great but their tactics are weak; he knows Men think the Elves are already beaten; he is convinced that his people must fight now, or see their race destroyed. Takaar disagrees. He believes Elven salvation lies in unlocking their magic, not in fighting pitched battles against Man. He is determined to save his people too, but his tactics are entirely different ...and if some Elves must die now to ensure Calaius will be free of Man in the future, it's a sacrifice he is willing to make. The Elves must choose their sides. Whatever they decide, victory will win their freedom ...and failure will mean extermination ...


It’s no secret that I’ve enjoyed the Raven series by James Barclay nor is it a secret how much fun I had with the last outing, Elves: Once Walked with Gods, yet this title does something a little different. Yes you still get the high octane action, the bloody conflict and phyrric victories where you mourn the death of each character passing, but when you add the lessons learned along the way with a brand new character who’s also schizophrenic then it gets a whole load more complex.

The writing is gripping, the characters multifaceted and of course when you add to the mix solid prose as well as dialogue, it’s a book that shows not only James growth as a writer but one that also demonstrates that an author who continues to improve with every release shows not only commitment to his craft but one that believes that the fans deserve the best.

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