Review: A Darkness Forged in Fire – Book 1 of The Iron Elves Trilogy by Chris Evans

12 Aug

Before I get to the review I should mention that I was interviewed for a Book Blogger Interview by the lovely Jo Stapley who runs Ink and Paper, a blog loaded with great fantasy book reviews! 🙂 Thanks Jo, it was a really cool interview! 🙂

Onto Chris Evans…

Sir, I am impressed! 🙂

When I began reading the book, I was a bit worried that the book might turn out to be a case study in stereotypical fantasy – a wizard, transformed into an animal, sneaking into a very dangerous place – but as I read on, and sank deeper into the storyline, I got the feeling that a Steven Erikson was being pulled – the use of normal fantasy tropes in new, unique and interesting ways! Once I realized that, I really got down to enjoying the book. 🙂

There are a few things that Chris does very well, and one of them is characters – not only does he not spend an inordinate amount of time describing the character (he fixes them in your mind in a few sentences), but each character is vibrant and unique and interesting. The main character, for example, is a pretty damn strange one! 🙂 An elf that hates the forest definitely makes for an interesting character!

Konowa’s.. erm, lady friend did get a bit irritating, though, but maybe I’m just biased, because Konowa practically drives her to it, being a man’s elf and all. 🙂 The way they dance around each other is very entertaining, though, and hopefully we’ll see them get a bit closer in The Light of Burning Shadows. 🙂

Another character that was absolutely awesome was the rock-munching section leader! 🙂 That dwarf is one of the best fantasy characters I’ve ever come across! He does steel the show, and I can’t wait to see where he goes and what he does in Book 2. 🙂 (He better be in Book 2, Chris!)

Chris also builds a convincing, beautiful world with more than it’s fair share of dangers and intrigues, and he also handles the release of information about this world well – there are no info dumps, with info being made available as the characters themselves discover what they need to know, and this is always great to have, especially in fantasy. Fantasy worlds should speak for themselves and not be explained, something that Chris understands very well. 🙂

In terms of action, the addition of muskets works very well! 🙂 I got this whole Colonial England Vs Magic vibe, standing firm in the face of fearless natives! 🙂 Chris takes us close in, very it’s furious and brutal, and also gives us those tactical viewpoints that are always cool (but not overdone here) in battle scenes! I hope we get to see what Chris can do with huge numbers in battle one day!

All in all, I was very impressed with A Darkness Forged in Fire – not only is it a great addition to Epic Fantasy, but it’s also a fun, entertaining book – something that will intrigue you with it’s cool characters, interesting plot, and it’s unique take on required fantasy elements! 🙂

A definite 8/10!

A Darkness Forged in Fire

For those of you in SA, order your copies here, and order Book 2 here, and for those in the US, Book 1 and Book 2, and those in the UK, Book 1 and Book 2. 🙂 Check out more info in Chris and his work at the Iron Elves website, and click here for Chris’ LiveJournal. 🙂

A Darkness Forged in Fire is published in South Africa by Jonathan Ball.



Posted by on August 12, 2009 in Reviews


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5 responses to “Review: A Darkness Forged in Fire – Book 1 of The Iron Elves Trilogy by Chris Evans

  1. edifanob

    August 12, 2009 at 9:42 pm

    There are so many unread books on my shelf but I can’t stay away from reviews about new books or books I don’t own. Your good review makes me weak. I know that sooner or later I have to buy and read it…..

  2. Jenna

    August 30, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    Jesus Christ – I started reading this review, and then was absolutely mind-raped by the smilies. Why so many? It detracted from the overall review and gives the reader (me, in this case) the feeling that you can’t articulate well enough to be an opinion worthy of real consideration; i really like this book lul 🙂 read it 🙂 please 🙂 please please please 🙂

    You can see the problem, right?

    • Dave-Brendon de Burgh

      August 30, 2009 at 12:29 pm

      Jenna, to be blunt, I really don’t care. If I feel like smiling, I WILL smile. I am by nature a good-natured, happy person, who usually accepts the POV’s of others, but in your case, I’ll make an exception. I’m not forcing you to read the reviews I post or anything on this blog, so go right ahead and boycott the blog – I really don’t care. What I’m doing with this blog is giving people my opinions on what I read – it’s your choice if you want to use MY opinion to choose what you’ll be reading next – it’s got nothing to do with me. And since I’m an individual, I WILL do things the way I want to do them, and I won’t conform to a ‘standard’ just because you can’t seem to focus on the words. Once again, it’s all YOUR problem, and I invite you not to read anything I blog about, because let’s face it, I’m not going to stop smiling, not for you or anyone. Deal with it or don’t, it’s your problem.


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