Elves: Rise of the TaiGethen the latest in the Elves series from James Barclay and a book that takes the series to a new level. This series is set in the same world as the fantastic action fantasy series the Raven a series full of characters that live and breathe adventure, that fight the good fight, that never leave a man behind. But that series for all its brilliance never had the depth of his amazing duo-logy the ascendants ( Cry of the Newborn: The Ascendants of Estorea Book 1 (Gollancz S.F.) & Shout For The Dead: The Ascendants of Estorea Book 2 (Gollancz S.F.) )
The Elves series and especially Rise of the TaiGethen bridge that gap in writing depth, the gap that seemed to exist between Raven and Acendants. That depth of writing and the characters like Auum, Serrin, Garran & Ystorumun and many other really do confirm what i have felt for some time, that James is one of the few Fantasy authors who can write as well Gemmell, and with Rise of the TaiGethen it all comes together in a signle book. Its not about just writing a good story, its about the place, the people, the fight, the message behind the story.
Like many James Barclay books, this one left me wrung out at the end, his plots always gallop along at a high pace, but even more so this time because you get sucked into the fate of the elves and depth of loss felt for every death, the utter bond of the clawbound, and the stark beauty and danger of the land they call home.
I as ever look forward to every word and every book that James writes, i have never been disappointed by a single book, and he just gets better and better.
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 . . .