Chris Evans debut fantasy novel features a unique spin on the stereotypical elf. Konowa Swift Dragon, former leader of the Iron Elves, is more in tune with his musket than with the natural world. I enjoyed this twist, and the tension it created between the main character and the more traditional elvish community. Overall though, I had a hard time connecting with Konowa himself. Whatever the reason, I found myself pushing through the Konowa chapters to get to the chapters written from the perspective of the supporting characters.
I loved Yimt, the battle-hardened dwarf, and his protege Alwyn, the weak of body but noble of heart young soldier. I felt more invested in their parts of the story and am more interested in what will happen to these characters as the new band of Iron Elves sets out to battle the Shadow Monarch in book two The Light of Burning Shadows.
I think that fans of Elizabeth Moon’s The Deed of Paksenarrion, and fans of epic militaristic fantasy in general, would enjoy this novel.