The first book in the new Iron Elves series by Chris Evans, A Darkness Forged in Fire is a book that I should have enjoyed, but it was sadly lacking.
In this world, Konowa Swift Dragon, former commander of the Empire’s elite Iron Elves, is looked upon as anything but ordinary. He’s murdered a Viceroy, been court-martialed, seen his beloved regiment disbanded, and finally been banished in disgrace to the one place he despises the most — the forest.
Now, all he wants is to be left alone with his misery…but for Konowa, nothing is ever that simple. The mysterious and alluring Visyna Tekoy, the highborn daughter of an elfkynan governor, seeks him out in the dangerous wild with a royal decree that he resume his commission as an officer in Her Majesty’s Imperial Army, effective immediately.
For in the east, a falling Red Star heralds the return of a magic long vanished from the earth. Rebellion grows within the Empire as a frantic race to reach the Star unfolds. It is a chance for Konowa to redeem himself — even if the entire affair appears doomed to be a suicide mission…
In theory, A Darkness Forged in Fire should have been a slam dunk, or at least I should have liked this a little more than I did. Usually when the words epic and fantasy are put together I’m guaranteed to think its good. There was just something about this that put me off.
Maybe it’s because the character’s were a bit stereo typical. There’s the main warrior dude, the dim-witted troops, a fiery love interest, and a evil manipulative villain that works behind the scenes . It actually sounds kind of intriguing when I write it like that, but the execution was poor. Nothing about them had me rooting for them, or feeling empathetic to their problems. If anything I just thought that they were a little on the dim side.
The story itself was just too long. The thing dragged on and on. With 700+ pages, it was daunting enough. If I ever attempt to read a book that large I hope like hell that it’s going to keep my attention. A Darkness Forged in Fire just wasn’t able to and I found myself just hurrying through the book just to finish it.
Overall, I don’t think I would recommend A Darkness Forged in Fire to anybody. The bigger issue for me is that when I think about A Darkness Forged in Fire I can’t think of one chapter or even a page that I liked. It dragged and the characters bored me to tears. I hate writing completely negative reviews, I always try and find something that I liked, but this time I just couldn’t find much of anything.
A Darkness Forged in Fire
The Light of Burning Shadows
Ashes of a Black Frost (2010)
Also reviewed by:
Fantasy Book Critic
A Fantasy Reader