Monday, February 17, 2014

Elfhunter (Tales of Alterra, The World That Is #1) by C.S. Marks

Release Date: November 24, 2012
Publisher: Parthian Press
Series: Tales of Alterra, The World That Is

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

All his life Gorgon knew one mission - to wipe as many Elves as possible from the face of Alterra. He was an abomination, created by the Darkness for the very purpose, and he relished each life he took. At least, he did before the day he crossed paths with a Woodland She-Elf by the name of Gaelen Taldin and her cousin, Nelwyn.

After the Elves witnessed his destruction first-hand, they swore an oath of vengeance for the lives lost and set out to exact their revenge. Their company increases in number along the way as they encounter others who join the quest, but for reasons of their own. Will the company be able to stop Gorgon before he accomplishes his task? Will the Elven realms fall, one by one, beneath the blade of the Elfhunter?

For as long as I remember, I loved stories with elves, dwarves, men and campaigns.  When I was told about this series, I put it on my list of books to check out and I wasn't disappointed. It was a bit slow at first as the author began to build the foundations of both the story and the world of Alterra itself. In my opinion, it needed to be slow because everything within Alterra played a part in the story. The characters, the land, the animals - they all played a role in the events which came to pass.

Right away the reader was shown why Gorgon was given his nickname. From the first strike of the sword, he set into motion a series of events that spanned the world of Alterra and came back upon him. The author did a great job in conveying how devastating the deaths were for all those affected by them. Gaelen and Nelwyn reacted realistically to the knowledge of the deaths of childhood friends. Thus, they began on their journey to find the party responsible and bring him/her to justice.

Of course, they encountered several obstacles and setbacks along the way. I was relieved that the two She-elves weren't left to go through all of them alone. Along the way they began to pick up companions whose destinies became entwined with Gaelen and Nelwyn's. Each one of the characters stood out in their own way. Rogond was stalwart and loyal to a fault. Galador's past blurred his perception of the present almost to the point of turning away the very thing he wanted. There were a number of other characters which impacted the story though they weren't among the main characters.

In the depths of darker times, there were moments of comic relief which provided a welcomed contrast to the battle and death scenes. Not only between the members of the Company but from the horses themselves. Rogond's horse reminded me so much of people in my own life that I couldn't help but laugh at his antics. I loved the descriptions of the horses and the insight of how their minds worked. The descriptions of the land and various realms painted vivid pictures in such a way that I could very easily envision them for myself as I continued reading.

Once the foundation was set, the pacing of the story picked up and continued on a steady path until it reached a fevered pitch. I was caught up in the world of Alterra by the first third of the book. By the end, I was scrambling for the next book in the series. Overall, I enjoyed spending time in their world and look forward to the sequel. Familiar to other adventure or fantasy stories, the author did a wonderful job of including enough differences and unique quirks to create a world and exciting saga all her own. If you're a lover of adventure and fantasy or merely attracted to Elves and Dwarves, this is the series for you. Be sure to pick up a copy of this book and its sequel!

Elfhunter (Tales of Alterra, The World That Is #1) by C.S. Marks is currently available at various retailers in either paperback, hardcover or Kindle formats. You can pick up a copy from Amazon by clicking the link below.
Elfhunter (Tales of Alterra, The World That Is #1) by C.S. Marks

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