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Elfsorrow: Legends of the Raven Paperback – May 1, 2003

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Paperback, May 1, 2003
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About the Author

Trained as an actor James Barclay now works in the city as an advertising manager. Born in 1965 in Suffolk he went to Sheffield City Polytechnic to study Electrical Engineering but quickly realised his mistake and switched to communications studies. He then moved to London where he lives now.

Product Details

  • Series: GollanczF.
  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (May 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575073292
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575073296
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,619,135 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Hulet on February 17, 2011
Format: Paperback
Elfsorrow is the first book in a second series about a group of mercenaries called the Raven. To be clear, if you have not read all previous books then you are going to end up guessing at a lot of stuff that is going on. If I had it to do over again, I would have read the previous series, The Chronicles of the Raven first because it sounds like a great story just based on all the information that I had to figure out from context.
Elfsorrow takes place on two different continents and tracks about four different storylines. The first is a group of highly skilled mages and fighters who work as a group known as the Raven. There are many different, interesting characters in the Raven ranging between a mourning mother/female mage who has just lost her child, a former general in the army of one of the Magic Colleges(think an order/school of magic), a shapeshifter who has returned from being a wolf and is still getting used to being human, and a former soul-sworn warrior from a different Magic college. These are characters with lots and lots of backstory that I didn't know, but I was still fascinated about.
The second storyline is of a fanatic rabble-rouser who is trying to turn the populace of one continent against all magic users. Again, there is more to his story that Elfsorrow tells, but clearly, he's motivations and convictions truly match with some of the most heinous. The phrase the End Justifies the Means truly fits.
The third storyline is about a group of Elves who are guarding a magic shrine/temple in the heart of the second continent. They are elite warriors and combat magi whose dedication to what they are doing makes them very prejudiced. It's a believable combination and their storyline almost struck me as tragic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Corliss on November 14, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is solid writing from an author that I was previously ignorant of. Barclay puts interesting twists on classic fantasy archtypes while combining vivid imagery during action sequences to create a thrilling read. Great detail is afforded to the uses and limitations of magic and melee combat in tactical situations. Each of the characters depicted is a hero, but the group is legend. Possibly the most enticing of the long list of positives is the elves introduced in this novel. They are, without doubt, the most hardcore BAMF'in version of an elf I have ever encountered. These folk would take Tolkein's and anyone else's, close call with Salvatore's Dark Elves,to school and then some. Worth the read just to see what the little buggers can do.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on November 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
Following the cessation of the horrific war between the four colleges of magic (see Chronicles of the Raven: Dawnthief, Noonshade and Nightchild), Balaia survivors struggle to stay alive. Making matters worse during the ordeal is the desecration of the Elven god Yniss Temple has revealed a previously unknown plague Elfsorrow that is further destroyed the already devastated land.

The Raven Mercenaries have no time to rest as they trek to the new continent Calaius, which was the ancient home of the elven. They seek mages to end to the conflict. Others also arrive with plans to plunder the island by stealing magic and mages. At the same time in Balaia, Selik and his Black Wings anti-magic insurgency demands the leaders vow to not use magic as no one any longer trusts in this type of force.

The opening act of the Legends of the Raven fantasy is a terrific complex follow-up to the harrowing war vividly described in the Chronicles of the Raven trilogy as the survivors hope to get on with their lives in the aftermath. The story line is fast-paced even with several major subplots that ties cleverly together. Mindful of "Mission Accomplished" in Iraq, readers will appreciate James Barclay's superb thriller as the war is won, yet the peace remains unsteadily unresolved.

Harriet Klausner
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Elfsorrow certainly had its own rhythm compared to the first three books, but fabulous nonetheless. Barclay's elves totally rock, giving Tolkien's elves a run for their money. Yeah, the elves were in and out of the previous novels, but here we get to see them in their full glory: Armed to the teeth and ready to kick some serious butt while fighting along side the Raven mercenaries. Most of the times unwillingly, but in the end, the elves see value in the Raven's actions. (I can't wait to read Barclay's Elves series)

What a sad, sad, sad, ending. The title certainly lives up to it's name. I got teary eyed; one tear escaped and went rolling down my cheek. A little embarrassing considering I was in the waiting room of the dentist office at the time.

The one thing I love most about the Raven serial is character uniformity. From book one of the Chronicles of the Ravens and throughout the Legacy of the Ravens the characters stayed true. The author never falters in the personalities and distinctive qualities of each of the characters, weather they be the Raven mercenaries themselves or other important figures in the epic tale: No mater what the time span between each book. A few authors could take a lesson in consistency from Barclay.
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By 16VolFan on December 30, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love every book in the raven series. I would recommend reading them in order, to keep up with the story lines, history, and characters. One of the best series I have ever highest recommendation. Never boring or tedious, I really just wish I hadn't read them so quickly or that there were another 20 books to read. And BTW the publisher should make the elves series available on kindle in the us, since I can't get it thru the uk site.
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