Elfsorrow: Legends of the Raven (GollanczF.) Paperback – 15 Aug 2002
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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
A new, action-filled epic fantasy from the genre¿s most exciting new star; featuring The Raven ¿ fantasy¿s newest cult heroes.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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!
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Tremendous read action packed once you pick it up you cant put it downPublished 17 months ago by Anthony Ainsley
Have enjoyed this series up to now but think it's getting samey. I will read to the end anyway. Bye.Published on 26 Nov. 2013 by JaniceWare
Fast paced and action packed, the Raven just keep on coming.
Thoroughly good yarn with a surprise twist at the end, well, surprised me anyhow!!
Can highly recommend this for an excellent read at bedtime or otherwise. Found it hard to put the book down.Published on 28 Feb. 2013 by Amazon Customer