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Elfsorrow: Legends of the Raven (Legends of the Raven 1) Paperback – 13 Nov 2008

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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (13 Nov. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575082771
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575082779
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 425,842 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

The latest of James Barclay's series about the Raven mercenary company, Elfsorrow handily picks up on various loose ends. The war between the Colleges of Magic has ever more terrible consequences--the mages of Xetesk steal magic from a remote temple triggering a curse that will exterminate all elves. The Raven mage Erienne is racked with guilt over her failure to save her daughter and her possession of the vast magical power that burned her daughter out. The witch-hunters of the Black Wing are busy exploiting the situation and recruiting dispossessed farmers for a massive pogrom of magic workers. Barclay's work is always at its best when conveying a sense of urgency and of people caught up between bad choices; he is also not frightened of killing his characters off, which means that the sense of jeopardy here is real. We know, by now, that the Raven is more than individual vulnerable warriors--it is a way of life and a commitment to muddling through to righteousness. Barclay has many of the faults of pulp fantasy--his dialogue is unmemorable and his characterisation perfunctory--but his well-paced tales have both emotional force and a sense of being about things that matter. --Roz Kaveney --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

Heroic fantasy from the heir to David Gemmell - the first in an epic series.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By C. Woodhead on 20 Feb. 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I first read DawnThief and the first thing that struck me was the ammount of tradgedy wrapped up with the heroism, James Barclay writes disaster beutifully using individual charecters unrelated from the central plott to illustrate suffering.
This book is everything the presedecessors were and I have a massive ammount of respect for James Barclay for not taking the easy way out. It would be very easy to have everything go right for his charecters but in real life everything doesn't go right. Happy co-incidences abound and in one piece of the excellent dialogue exhibited through this book one of the charecters comments on this.
NightChild was traumatic and Elf Sorrow is no exception, expect death and pain for the people of this world though through it all one force keeps fighting The Raven so much more than a mercenary band contains a group of diverse individuals the barbarian Hirad, The Unknown Warrior, Denser, the shape changer Thraun and others from completly different backgrounds but all of one mind, all Raven.
This book is a classic and as I say the dialogue is excellent, when Hirad talks of his belief in the Raven its like he is addressing the reader directly, hats off to James Barclay and looking forward to the next one, though please don't take the easy way out!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 9 Sept. 2002
Format: Paperback
Barclay starts a new series and the Raven meet their biggest threat yet in Barclay's best book yet. And we get to find out more about the elves - a whole continent of them. And boy are they mean; some of the best described, most purely lethal fighters I've come across in any fantasy. As always Barclay describes the action brilliantly and with the elves introduces some brilliant new characters and concepts. The Clawbound and the Tai Gethan are so cool! You'll know what I mean when you get to them. The book ends on a bit of a shock but I'll be back for more.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By "xander151" on 5 Sept. 2002
Format: Paperback
Lets get one thing straight, the only reason this didn't get a five star rating from me is because it isn't quite as good as it's predesessor "Nightchild". This is an excellent book and I read it almost non-stop until I finished it. James Barclay's first two books in the series were good but not excellent, however with his last two books his style has improved and the weaknesses have all but gone. I cannot recommend the chronicles of the Raven enough, they are excellent and seem to go from strength to strength. Set about six months after Nightchild the characters are still dealing with the events of that book; however things move swiftly on and things become more and more confused. You know full well who the heroes are, but are the villains really that bad? are they evil at all? This isn't straight foward good vs evil. Also the elves are fleshed out here, in previous stories they seemed just like humans with pointy ears. I have to say the elves are the best I have read in any fantasy series, James Barclay avoids alot of the usual elven cliches. These are hardcore elves with axes to grind. As usual the heroes are as mortal as you and I, another of Barclays strengths. If you have read the others you won't be disappointed, if you haven't try them, and persevere with the first one, you will be rewarded.
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By Icarus on 24 Sept. 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
I have enjoyed the stories of the Raven. This one was really sad as the Elves were subject of the ambitions of the Mages. Have we seen somewhere else the world's giants running rough shod through rainforest for their own ends? The Raven overcome the odds to save the Elven race from final annihilation. A fault, if there is one, is the over described sword fighting. What will the outcome of the One transfer be? I shall have to move on to Shadowheart. Icarus
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By clare1770 on 31 Dec. 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
I was looking forward to finding out what happened after Nightchild and I wasn't disappointed. I love the fact that James Barclay isn't afraid to take a few chances and everything isn't always alright at the end. I loved the Chronicles of the Raven (although I found Dawnthief hard to get into once it got going I couldn't stop reading) and I'm looking forward to Legends of the Raven
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By Mr S A McCourt on 2 Mar. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Always been a fan of James Barclay. Enjoyable read and seemed to get a lot better the further you get in. Just don't do what I did and check out how much the 2nd book is before finishing this. The premise on the back gives away a lot of the surprises of the ending of this one.
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Format: Paperback
I have read the a few times now and I find the first half hard going but interesting. The main characters do little for the first half of the book and it isn't until they get into action the book picks up speed.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sebastian Lee on 5 Nov. 2005
Format: Paperback
In a genre cluttered with too much recycled crap, Elfsorrow is a breath of fresh air. Barclay writes with a very distinctive style that hooks you from beginning to end. With lovable characters and a clearly defined world, this book makes me want to read it hundreds of times.
It is the start of the 'Legends' series, but there is a preceding 'Chronicles' series that should be read too, however you do not necessarily need to read one before the other.
Just make sure you buy this book, as it is a must read and you will come back to it time and time again.
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