When reading Elfhunter by C. S. Marks, I was struck by the profound development of the main antagonist, Gorgon Elfhunter. His tale was dark and anguished. There were times I pitied him. As horrific as his wanton acts of violence were, I knew there was so much more to him than the skin of a cold-blooded murderer. He was a tormented soul, and his hatred of the Elves was the underlying foundation of Elfhunter's plot. Why did he harbor such personal enmity against this race? Would his bloodlust ever be satiated?
These were a couple of the questions I asked myself as I ventured into the enchanted world of Alterra and journeyed alongside Gaelen and Nelwyn, two Elven cousins. They sought to exact revenge upon a creature (Gorgon Elfhunter) bent on eliminating their entire race. Their journey led them far across the map of Alterra where they met many people, some of whom accompanied them on their taxing quest.
Elfhunter was set in a beautifullycomplex and detailed world wrought with intrigue. Alterra's origins were heavily marked by J.R.R. Tolkien's influence. C. S. Marks, however, has created her own unique flavor to a fantastical setting.
In my opinion, Tolkien's plot guided his characters, but Mark's plot was guided by the characters. I grew to care about the unique individuals of Mark's novel, but my affection toward them was slow in development. Early in the tale, I struggled to distinguish the personalities of the four main characters. They were all so noble and so well-spoken that I often forgot who was who. As the adventure unfolded, Gaelen, Nelwyn, Orogond, and Galador eventually emerged as distinct individuals. I look forward to seeing their growth in the next novel.
A few minor issues I felt noteworthy about the novel were the need for a quickened pace at select scenes and a more limited dialogue amongst the characters. In view of the novel as a cohesive and interesting work, however, these issues did little to detract from my reading experience.
Overall, Elfhunter was an enjoyable novel and one I was glad to have read. I would recommend this novel to anyone who wishes to be whisked away on a grand and fantastical adventure. Get Elfhunter now for just 99c on Amazon!