by C.S. Marks
Plot Summary:This is the tale of Gorgon Elfhunter, a monstrous, mysterious creature who has sworn to destroy all the Elves of Alterra—until none remain. It is the story of Wood-elven heroine Gaelen Taldin, who has sworn to rid her world of the Elfhunter even as she is hunted by him. The conflict between them creates a tangled web that blurs the line between Light and Darkness, love and obsession, free will and fate. Filled with moments both tender and terrifying, thrilling yet thought-provoking, it is a timeless epic fantasy suitable for readers of all ages. Join the Company of Elves, dwarves, mortal men, and delightfully intelligent horses. Come to Alterra—the “World that Is”.
Newly remastered by Parthian Press, with illustrations by the incomparable Hope Hoover, this second edition will intrigue and delight fans of the series as well as those who have yet to discover it.
Review:I was drawn into this book by the promise of a new epic fantasy, and I was very happy to immerse myself in this new world. It's very rich with detail and characters with complex backstories. The novel gradually reveals each character's hidden secrets and desires in a way that makes the whole story compelling. The Elfhunter is pretty sinister as well, and finding out more about his vendetta was very interesting.
Although I enjoy the characters and the worldbuilding, there are times when I feel the story is not very fresh. There are elements of it that remind me a little too strongly of Lord of the Rings. And the writing is not as lyrical. It's good, but sometimes I just feel it is too straightforward and unremarkable. And there are times when the author goes on asides that I feel slowed down the pace of the story too much. There are many exciting scenes, but they are sometimes broken up by some bland scenes.
Ultimately, although the story is very richly detailed, and sometimes exciting, with great character building, I think the writing was the most disappointing aspect. It often felt flat emotionally because the author chose to emphasize emotions by stating them, instead of letting the descriptions of characters actions tell the story. Parts of this book stood out, but the whole didn't come together very well for me.
review copy kindly provided by the publisher