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Elfhunter: A Tale Of Alterra, The World That Is Paperback – November 11, 2005

4.3 out of 5 stars 259 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

About the author: C.S. Marks lives in the Midwest, where she is a professor at a small liberal arts college. An avid horsewoman, she makes her home in the midst of a large forest, together with her husband Jeff, an assortment of dogs and cats, and her five horses; Ramon, Manly, Angel, Red and Marton.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 532 pages
  • Publisher: AuthorHouse (November 11, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1420894609
  • ISBN-13: 978-1420894608
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (259 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,874,765 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Elfhunter by C.S. Marks is the first novel in the A Tale of Alterra, the World That Is trilogy. The second book is titled; Fire-Heart: A Tale of Alterra, The World that Is with the third book being titled Ravenshade: A Tale of Alterra, The World that Is. Ms. Marks is a new author and as such, I wanted to give her a chance. It seems all to often with the plethora of fantasy books being released, that if an author does not have a major publishing house, with a large marketing campaign it is rare they will get noticed by most readers. Here are my thoughts on this novel.

The main plot of this book focuses on a mysterious `person' who is seeking to single-handedly rid the world of Alterra of elves. A small group takes up the search to find and stop this threat to the elven people. There are also several sub plots woven into the story. Sub plots such as the malevolent Wrothgar and just what his plans are, the relationships between the elven people, the requsite love angle, and a surprising point of view from that of the horses. To name a few. This novel is rich in story and provides a deep feel of not only the characters and their plight, but also the richness of the world and setting. This novel single-handedly takes the reader to almost all parts of the world and introduces many things. Though this novel is rich and detailed in terms of plot, it does suffer at times from a slowness. It's almost as though Ms. Marks is writing a play and has interludes between acts. Some of the plot points are more clichéd then I would have liked them to be as well.
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Format: Paperback
Elfhunter is the first fantasy fiction book I have ever completed, and I enjoyed it all the way through. I believe that what separated this book from others is that while many of the characters are of non-human races (elves, dwarves, etc.), they still act in quite human ways and are believably flawed (while retaining unique traits of their races). They all go through changes throughout the tale, believable reactions to the hardships they are facing and the things they learn.

And while the people in the book are very human, the horses in the book are very equine. I love the window into the mind of horses that C.S. Marks has given us in this book. While Eros's cunning may beyond the ability of (most?) horses, his motivations, reactions, and movements (like those of his companion Realta) are pure horse.

Gorgon is a fantastic villain. Not only is he a formidable and terrible foe, but he is also just as complicated as the protagonists, and the story of his past is just as intricate and formative as the others', or perhaps moreso.

There are a few magical objects in the world of Alterra, but they were made by and are used by very human characters, making them anything but simple and all-powerful. Magic is not used in this book as a simple solution to a complicated situation, to my relief.

The excellent characters in this book are brought together into a gripping story line which kept me up late at night reading and left me dreaming about the characters when I slept. When I finished the book, I was relieved to know that Fire-heart, the next book in the series, was already available for me to continue the tale.
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Format: Paperback
Though you start Elfhunter believing you can easily compare characters with those from Tolkien's LotR series, you are quickly set to rights by the quirks and personalities of the individual characters. Even more fascinating than the main protagonists are the peripheral characters; especially the horses, Eros and Realta, whose spirited and intelligent natures charm humans, elves and other horses equally, and the dwarf loremaster, Fima, whose merry attitude and deep stores of knowledge add a captivating facet to the story. Of particular note is the antagonist, Gorgon. Initially terrifying, dark and shadowed, he grows into a creature to be pitied and put out of his misery. I look forward to seeing how much more he grows in the next book.

This book is a fascinating and compelling read; however, the author's near constant use of foreshadowing can be a bit tiring. The writing style is a bit stilted and formal at first but loosens as the book advances, so I look forward to the next books in hopes that the looser style continues there. Overall, this is an excellent addition to any fantasy reader's library and I look forward to the continuation of the series.
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Format: Paperback
C.S. Marks is an phenomanal writer with a C.S. Marks is a phenomenal writer. Elfhunter has everything that a good story needs. Strong characters being first and foremost. Having two strong female characters as the lead it takes a somewhat new take on the fantasy story. Being female myself, I can relate to them. When something happened to them in the story, I felt for the. The other characters are just as lovable and clever as the main ones. The antagonist of the story is deeply troubled and terrifying, but I found myself feeling for it. Not in the same way as the other characters but simply caring about what it was doing and what it may do next. In my mind, it is the best bad guy I have read of or seen in years. The writing style of C.S Marks is one that rivals the great authors of the science fiction and fantasy writing genres. The words flow so well together that it paints a picture in your mind and it is easy to get lost in this new captivating world. It is literally painting for the soul. I can only wait for the next installments. Until then I will try and keep sanity.
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