Friday, July 11, 2008

Debut Showcase: A Darkness Forged in Fire

A Darkness Forged in Fire
by Chris Evans (website, blog)
Pocket
Hardcover

Blurb:
Konowa Swift Dragon, former commander of the Empire's elite Iron Elves, is looked upon as anything but ordinary. He's murdered a Viceroy, been court-martialed, seen his beloved regiment disbanded, and finally been banished in disgrace to the one place he despises the most -- the forest.

Now, all he wants is to be left alone with his misery...but for Konowa, nothing is ever that simple. The mysterious and alluring Visyna Tekoy, the highborn daughter of an elfkynan governor, seeks him out in the dangerous wild with a royal decree that he resume his commission as an officer in Her Majesty's Imperial Army, effective immediately.

For in the east, a falling Red Star heralds the return of a magic long vanished from the earth. Rebellion grows within the Empire as a frantic race to reach the Star unfolds. It is a chance for Konowa to redeem himself -- even if the entire affair appears doomed to be a suicide mission...

and that the soldiers recruited for the task are not at all what he expects. And worse, his key adversary in the perilous race for the Star is the dreaded Shadow Monarch -- a legendary elf-witch whose machinations for absolute domination spread deeper than Konowa could ever imagine....

Iron and Elves have a tradition of not mixing very well in fantasy literature, so this one appears to be a new twist. However, it also seems to be gritty, and I don't seem to be having much luck reading gritty fantasy lately. Gritty science fiction I can enjoy in quite heavy doses, but for some reason, gritty fantasy is not working for me these days.

What about the rest of you? Sound interesting?

6 comments:

Raven said...

Sounds interesting, but it also seems to include a lot of fantasy plot cliches. Also, I hate mysterious and alluring women characters. We women are generally not all that fascinating or alluring. But I'd give this book a shot for the sake of the main character, who sounds like the dark type of character I like.

Tia Nevitt said...

There are some readers (even occasionally me) who never get tired of elves and all the variations that people can come up with on elves. That probably explains why we still see new elf fantasy from year to year. I suspect they are as entrenched as FTL technology is in space opera.

Chris, The Book Swede said...

So I've heard, it's nowhere near as gritty as advertised :) I have it, but I'll probably start it tomorrow ... or the next day...

CaroleMcDonnell said...

OOh, he hates the forest! I like that. -C

Raven said...

I don't mind the elves, but you've got the disgraced retired guy being called back for one last job, and the job is being given to him by a mysterious and alluring female (highborn at that), and the job is a quest for some lost magic, and there's a rebellion going on, and they've got a band of misfits who have to save the day, and their enemy is a dark lord (in this case a dark lady). This may be due to the way the blurb is written, but it sounds like a bunch of stock elements.

Having said that, however, I'd still pick this one up and read the first chapter to see if it worked for me, and if it did I'd buy it. I'm a sucker for disgraced retired characters who just want to be left alone.

Tia Nevitt said...

So do I, Raven. I guess that's why these plot elements keep coming up!