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Elfsorrow: Legends of the Raven (GollanczF.) Paperback – 15 Aug 2002

4.2 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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£10.99 FREE Delivery in the UK. Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we dispatch the item. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz; illustrated edition edition (15 Aug. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575073292
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575073296
  • Product Dimensions: 23.7 x 15.3 x 3.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,262,335 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Book Description

A new, action-filled epic fantasy from the genre¿s most exciting new star; featuring The Raven ¿ fantasy¿s newest cult heroes.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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By A Customer 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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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
If you're going to read fantasy novels, I think you have to accept that normal rules do not apply. Out here in the literary badlands (where men carry swords, and woman carry warhammers, where wizards, mages, magic-users, sorcerors, thaumaturgists, necromancers and conjurers lurk in every woodland cottage, where inns have straw-strewn floors, where the standard currency is the gold coin, where every state is a monarchy) psychological acuity is regarded with suspicion, social commentary as a priggish conceit, beauty scarcely considered worth taking a swing at, innovation the work of the devil (who, presumably, can only be killed with a special magic axe) and, most oddly, but most definitely, imagination is rarer, and far more precious than diamonds.
What we have instead are ripping yarns: action, pace, cool props, special effects, a little romance. Let these be our watchwords.
Elfsorrow: a thimbleful of real quality and an ocean of swordplay make it perfectly good fun. Its one bought (rather than borrowed) joy, is the sense it gives of a computer or pen-and-paper RPG which one of the players enjoyed so much he couldn't leave alone. When you're 12, and sitting around in your bedroom, "Hirad Coldheart" and "The Unknown Warrior" seem like pretty cool names for pretty cool guys who would know what to do if someone took their lunch box and threw it in the bin, etc. Also, the fact that a small group of "mercenaries" have a wildly disproportionate effect on national events and are often faintly surprised about it themselves was, I thought, genuinely and consistently funny.
It's fine. It's quite good. It's got elves, and armour and fighting and killing, and magic, and moments that are a little better than you think they're going to be. Read it if you like that sort of thing.
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