Sunday, August 16, 2009

Book Blog Tour: Light of Burning Shadows: Book Two of the Iron Elves by Chris Evans

Review of The Light of Burning Shadows: Book Two of the Iron Elves by Chris Evans

The blurb:

"They might be doomed, damned and buggered for all eternity, but that didn't mean they couldn't sparkle like a diamond in the sun and grin like a skull in the moonlight on their way to oblivion."

Musket and cannon, bow and arrow, and magic and diplomacy vie for supremacy once again in the second epic fantasy adventure from acclaimed author Chris Evans. As the human-dominated Calahrian Empire struggles to maintain its hold on power in the face of armed rebellion from within, the Iron Elves' perilous quest to defeat the power-hungry elf witch, the Shadow Monarch, takes on greater urgency.

The Iron Elves, shunned by their own people for bearing the mark of the Shadow Monarch, and desperately wanting to forever erase this shame, became legendary for their prowess on the battlefield as the Calahrian Imperial Army's elite shock troops. But when their commanding officer, Konowa Swift Dragon, murdered the Viceroy of Elfkyna, he was exiled, and these brave elves were banished to a remote desert outpost, doomed and leaderless, their honor in tatters.

Recalled to duty to reform his regiment from the dregs of the Imperial Army, Konowa thwarted the plans of the Shadow Monarch at the Battle of Luuguth Jor - ensuring that the fabled Red Star, a source of great natural energy, did not fall into Her hands. Now Konowa must cross storm-tossed seas to seek out the lost elves and the prophesied return of another Star somewhere in the desert wasteland roiling with mysterious power, infernos of swirling magic, and legends brought back to life in new and terrible ways. And the fate of every living creature will come to depend on a small band of ragged and desperate soldiers, whose very loyalty to the Empire they have sworn to serve is no longer certain. When death is but a temporary condition, a terrifying question arises: who is the true ally-and fearsome enemy-in a growing conflict that threatens all?


The Light of Burning Shadows continues the story of the Iron Elves a few months after the end of the Battle of Luuguth Jor depicted in A Darkness Forged in Fire. The Iron Elves have won a reputation as fearsome fighters with unwavering loyalty to the Calharian Empire. Their reward for success and beating suicidal odds? More impossible assignments.

Traveling to remote islands and the deserts of the Calharian Empire, the Iron Elves encounter a new supernatural enemy. As they make sense of their new enemy's powers, the Elves discover powers of their own that derive from their oath.

This time around, some things have changed. The Iron Elves see the advantages in the Crown Prince's leadership and the Crown Prince has become protective of his troops. The interaction between the Crown Prince and the commanding officer Konowa reflects their growing respect for one another. I thoroughly enjoyed the increased emphasis on Sergeant Yimt Arkhorn in The Light of Burning Shadows. One of the most interesting characters that I've encountered lately, Yimt has the street smarts and the familiarity that comes with spending much of his life as an enlist man. He guides the younger troops through sticky situations, keeps up their spirits, and acts as the glue that keeps the troops together. The sole dwarf in the Iron Elves, more than anyone else he understands what it means to be an outsider.

A complex, carefully crafted fantasy and military adventure, The Light of Burning Shadows is a wonderful escape.

Publisher: Pocket (July 28, 2009), 384 pages.
Courtesy of Pocket Books.

About the Author, courtesy of the publisher:

Chris Evans was born in Canada and now lives in New York City. As a military historian he has conducted battlefield tours of Europe, and was the historical consultant on a television documentary on the First World War. He's earned degrees in English, Political Science, and a Masters in History. This is his second novel.

Listen to an interview of the author at

Visit Chris Evan's website and blog to read more about him, the Iron Elves series, and his other books at

Participating sites in the blog tour:

The Epic Rat:
Drey’s Library:
Must Read Faster:
Carol’s Notebook:
The Crotchety Old Fan:
A Journey of Books:
Book Soulmates:
A Book Bloggers Diary:
Horror and Fantasy Book Review:
Booksie’s Blog:
Temple Library Reviews:
Fantasy Freak:
Starting Fresh:
The Mad Hatter’s Bookshelf and Review:
Pick of the Literate:
Books Joseph Reads:
Morbid Romantic:
Poisoned Rationality:

Thank you so much, Sarah and Pocket Books for this opportunity!
Photos courtesy of the author's website.

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