The Elvenbane

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

The elvenlords rule the world with a magical iron hand, secure in their dominion over the animal kingdom—including the original human inhabitants of the planet. If they find cause for worry, and the elvenlords are not normally inclined in that manner, it is in respect to the Prophecy. The Prophecy insists that a child born of an elvenlord and a human will lead a successful rebellion against their rule. Not surprisingly, the elvenlords take extraordinary pains to avoid impregnating their human concubines.

This practice does not arise from any special fear concerning the Prophecy, but rather the memory of a past confrontation between the elvenlords and their halfbreed offspring—a battle in which the elvenlords found victory, but only by the narrowest of margins. Unknown to the elvenlords, however, there is another threat to their tyranny.

Inhabiting the same planet, and possessed of magical skills powerful in their own right, are the race of dragons. It is such a dragon, Alara, who discovers a human woman in labor deep in the desert. Alara assists in the birth of the child and raises it alongside her son Keman. As the years pass, it becomes clear that the Prophecy of an elvenbane is more fact than fiction as dragons, elvenlords, halfbreeds, and talented humans struggle to determine the destiny of the world.

This collaboration between one of the most accomplished authors in the genre and a relative newcomer tot he scene is most successful. Such unions of master and apprentice are a popular trend, but this particular partnership is exceptionally satisfying. Norton is not unfamiliar with dragons, and ELVENBANE demonstrates that she’s not lost her touch.