Saturday, October 23, 2010

Book Review: Elves: Once Walked With Gods by James Barclay

Paperback - C Format
October 2010
368 pages

ORCS was an international bestseller. Now acclaimed writer James Barclay tells the story of the Elves.

The elves have fled to Calius, seeking to escape the overwhelming power of the demonic Garonin. A desperate last stand in their own dimension saved the race, at the cost of 100,000 elves lost to the Garonin. The elf who led that fight, Takaar, is blamed for the losses and has gone into hiding.Now the weakened elf race is tearing itself apart in civil war, human mercenaries have arrived in Calius and are ripping the continent apart. Only one elf can unite the elves. And only one elf believes in him. A young warrior named Auum sets out to bring back the shamed hero and save the elven race.James Barclay’s ELVES trilogy will tell the whole story of his immortal elven race and will appeal to all fans of Tolkien and fantasy – this is a uniquely entertaining take on a fantasy staple perfect to bring new readers to Barclay.


James Barclay is in his 40s and lives in Teddington with his wife and daughter. He is a full-time writer. The Raven novels are published in, amongst other countries, Germany, France and Russia.

Book Review by Scott Wilson

I haven’t read any novels by James Barclay before picking up a copy of Elves: Once Walked With Gods before. I’m not sure how much this one ties in with Barclay’s previous books and if there is a running theme that would add some extra meat to this story. After receiving this book I did do a google search to find out a bit more about Barclay and any other books he’s published.

I was quite surprised to see that he’s already got close to twenty books to his name.
We all have some sort of preconceived idea about Elves and what they should be like, many due to the Peter Jackson Lord of The Ring Movies. The Elves in this book are a stark contrast from Peter Jackson’s Elves, being more of an angry and warlike creature than peaceful woodland creatures. The Elves are actually closer by nature to their evil cousins, Orcs, in this book.

The backdrop to the story is vividly described by Barclay as is the social structure and heirachy of the government system the Elves live by. There is the usual theme of a decline in the population and a severe amount of rivalry between clans. Humans are potrayed as the usual cold and callous and betray the Elves. That just starts another conflict for the old elves.

Overall, the book was a good read, it did lack in some parts but does set up another series possibility for Barclay.

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