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A darkness forged in fire
Chris Evans
Adult Fiction EVANS

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From Publishers' Weekly:

This uncomplicated series debut introduces Konowa Swift Dragon, professional soldier turned full-time cynic. Exiled for killing the brutal viceroy of Elfkyna, an appointee of the Calahrian Empire who secretly served the evil witch known as the Shadow Monarch, Konowa has spent a year wandering around feeling sorry for himself. When the Shadow Monarch threatens the empire, Konowa reluctantly answers the call back to service, furious to find his former elite regiment filled with ordinary men and commanded by the incompetent heir to the throne. With anti-empire elfkynan witch Visyna Tekoy and cigar-chomping journalist Rallie Synjyn as his unlikely allies, Konowa must retrieve the prophesied Red Star and put down a rebellion. Evans hews closely to the high fantasy template, and slyly humorous details--an elf who hates forests, a dark lord who saves babies and saplings--never quite redeem the boilerplate story and its grouchy hero. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Anathema to his own elven people for bearing the birthmark of the Shadow Monarch, which enables him to handle the forged weapons that burn most elves, Konowa Swiftdragon had served the Calahrian Empire as leader of the Iron Elves, an elite company made up of others like him who could fight with musket and sword. His murder of a Viceroy of the Empire resulted in his court-martial and exile and the disbanding of his company. But when the fall of a Red Star marks the return of legendary monsters, Konowa is reinstated as commander of a newly reformed--and very different--Iron Elves and sent on a deadly mission. Evans's first novel heralds the launch of an outstanding military fantasy series unlike any since Glen Cook's beloved "Black Company" series. Konowa, a hero worthy of both admiration and scorn, struggles with his heritage and his conscience as supernatural forces gather around him. Strong storytelling, a compelling cast of heroes and villains, and a keen knowledge of military tactics of the Napoleonic era make this a priority purchase for most libraries and a splendid read for fans of both sf and fantasy military adventure. Highly recommended. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Konowa Swift Dragon
Former commander of the Empire's elite Iron Elves; exiled for killing an appointee of the Calahrian Empire; hates forests which is what he is banished to; reluctantly goes back into service when the Shadow Monarch threatens the empire.

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