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Elfhunter (Tales of Alterra, The World That Is #1)

3.67  ·  Rating Details  ·  582 Ratings  ·  71 Reviews
Elfhunter is the first of the tales of Alterra, the World that Is. It concerns the quest of an unlikely pair of heroines, Gaelen and Nelwyn, who are Wood-elves of the Dominglas Forest. They are hunter-scouts in the realm of King Ri-Aruin, and they have sworn to protect their woodland home, but they are drawn into a quest to defend all the Elves of Alterra as they seek to d ...more
Paperback, 532 pages
Published November 9th 2005 by Authorhouse
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,971)
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Nov 23, 2008 Dave rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fantasy Enthusiasts.
Recommended to Dave by: a Friend
"This work has been inspired by the works of JRR Tolkien." Thus Marks sets out her stall from the outset, lest the reader be in any doubt as to the nature and design of her work. And much like Gaelen , wayward wood elf and protagonist of Marks' Elfhunter, it is a bold yet honest statement; a blatant battle line drawn in the literary sand - a gauntlet cast down before other fantasy authors who may have failed to suggest that they are somehow different.

Elfhunter is the first book in the tales of
Jan 24, 2008 Dannette rated it it was amazing
Amazingly creative! I can't wait to read the sequels. I'd never picked up a novel like this before, but I'm now addicted. Marks does an extraordinary descriptive job and easily transports me to the world of Alterra.
May 19, 2012 Brian rated it did not like it
I'm giving this book one more star than it deserves because I like wood elves. I'm tempted to leave the review at that, but no. Let's get something clear: I have nothing against fantasy cliches. I have nothing against amateur fiction. I say bring on the tropes and the giddy fans. And while this book is nothing but cliches, barely-veiled Tolkien analogues, and such, that is actually why I wanted to read it. I always wanted Mirkwood Adventures, basically, and this has a lot of the right ingredient ...more
Kevis Hendrickson
Jan 23, 2009 Kevis Hendrickson rated it it was amazing
One of the remarkable things about discovering new books is that you never know when a book is going to come along that knocks you completely off of your feet. Elfhunter by C.S. Marks is one of those books. I have been a long time fan of J.R.R. Tolkien and can truly say that Marks has picked up from where the late professor left off. She has created a vast and completely believable secondary world in which fantasy readers can immerse themselves. That world is Alterra and it is a place I intend t ...more
Jun 12, 2008 Tricia rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who likes Tolkien, Darth Vader, Elves, long reads
Recommended to Tricia by: found online at Amazon
Readers will be taken to another world in which a menacing, malicious creature, Gorgon, pursues the two major characters and those like them...if he is merciful which he isn't inclined to be, he will kill you quickly, if not...well...C.S.Marks takes her readers on a perilous venture through a dark forests and lands riddled with danger,making you wish you had a sword at hand. The ending had a twist, I never saw coming and am thirsting for the second in her series.
Mar 01, 2016 Winter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone who loves fantasy and animals, or just a nice tale.
Shelves: 2015-read, favorites
Lovely, charming and exiting tale, it never cease to give me joy and comfort. It is one of the few tales I will never leave completely, always re-read.

I have now read further into Fire-heart which I think is the book where she really found her own voice. Not that this one isn't great or her own in that sense, but in Fire-heart everything runs very smooth.

The whole trilogy should be read and need to be read. It is a long tale to come back to again and again.
Jan 20, 2008 Shanna rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. The characters are all well done, and the bad guy is one of the best I've read about. I really enjoyed this!
Mar 26, 2013 Zarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: a2r-done
Elfhunter will likely appeal to most Tolkien fans. It would be almost impossible to miss the similarities between the two. I read Tolkien when I was younger and I loved his writing, his stories, and the way he could just reach in and snatch the breath from my chest with the seemingly simplest of prose. I enjoyed Marks' writing, but it's not Tolkien.

I have to be honest. There is a small part of me who whats to lay my head back, close my eyes, and just relish the fact that I finally finished this
Sep 12, 2014 Taylor rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has so much potential. The background of each character, how they relate to one another, and the premise of the book...(to defeat what I will just call the 'darkness')...all held my attention. C. S. Marks is a great writer. The issue I have with the book is for 500 pages, the characters basically have one task. At the end of the book...this task is STILL not resolved. *Add a second story line that involves romance and love relationships that progress* I am disappointed that things were ...more
Steven Schaefer
Dec 14, 2015 Steven Schaefer rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was fortunate to have met the author at St. Louis Comic Con this year. We were attending for the first time and stumbled across her booth amidst the spectacle. The covers of the displayed works intrigued me, so I struck up a brief conversation with the occupants, not realizing one of the two was the author. She asked my 11 year old about his tastes in reading and recommended her books. This is of course to be expected given the venue. We later returned and purchased this and one of the later t ...more
Jessie Potts
3.5 Stars

Elfhunter is no easy sci-fi/fantasy book to sneer at and finish in a day. It’s a long and lengthy read that takes readers into the depths of Alterra where terrible beast like creatures rampage, Elves take up arms, and two small heroines can conquer greatness.

Gaelen and Nelwyn are Wood-Elves and are on a quest to destroy the Elfhunter who is brutally killing and exterminating their kind. Along the way they will discover who they are and what it means to be a hero.

This was a fun read. I
Jul 01, 2010 Laura rated it did not like it
Shelves: ebook, fantasy
I don't know if I'll ever finish reading this book. I'm finding it kind of painful to read. I think the writing style is just not for me, although is probably exactly right for others. It's too....descriptive, and not in a way that I find enjoyable to read. I don't need to know that one character's boots are green and another's are brown, or what they are wearing whenever they change clothes. There is also a lot of telling and not very much showing. The four main characters have personalities, t ...more
Samaya Young
Apr 22, 2009 Samaya Young rated it really liked it
When I first started with Marks’ Elfhunter, I’ll admit to not being in the best of moods, so part of my problem (if it can be called such) with getting “into” the story might be explained by that. At first glance the story appears to be set in a slow pace, and a considerable lack of dialogue fails to really grab my attention.

I like literate descriptions that draw out the “world” in my mind, well enough, and Marks manages this beautifully in those first pages that are there to set the scene, so t
Nov 27, 2012 Diayll rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Fantasy
Originally Reviewed At: Mother/Gamer/Writer
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Controllers
Review Source: Publisher
Reviewer: Bailey

Elfhunter is an epic tale of a headstrong She-Elf named Gaelen and her cousin Nelwyn who discover slain elves in the woods, prompting them to track the killer. They, alongside some friends met along the way, go on a journey in hopes to exact vengeance upon an entity that calls itself ‘Elfhunter’ and whose only purpose is to exterminate the Elven race. Will the band of heroes succeed
Daniella Vargas
Feb 05, 2010 Daniella Vargas rated it really liked it
I cringe whenevr I see someone write "like Lord of the Rings" when reviewing a fantasy novel. Tolkien may be the best known, but really people, have you ever read something besides LOtR? Does EVERYTHING have to be like LOtR? It's like going into a nice restaurant, eating a wonderful meal, and saying it tasted like chicken. Everything does not taste like chicken and every fantasy book is not just like LOtR!

Anyway, rant aside, I'm not going to make LOtR comparisons because this book is nothing lik
Aug 18, 2015 Stephen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Elfhunter is an epic tale of a headstrong She-Elf named Gaelen and her cousin Nelwyn who discover slain elves in the woods, prompting them to track the killer. They, alongside some friends met along the way, go on a journey in hopes to exact vengeance upon an entity that calls itself ‘Elfhunter’ and whose only purpose is to exterminate the Elven race. Will the band of heroes succeed?
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I liked that the action in the story started straight away. The plot moved alon
Apr 22, 2009 Tanner rated it it was amazing
"Elfhunter" is a vivid tale that draws the reader in the the world of Alterra. Strong characters and an exciting plot will drive you down the road of sleep deprivation, you won't be able to put it down. The tale is well told. So hearken to the lore-master. Buy the book and enter the world that is!

Highly recommended!
Thomi Elmore
Absolutely wonderful character driven fantasy. Immersion in the world of Alterra was as deep as finding myself in Middle Earth years ago. Memorable villains - honorable heroes - grand themes of loyalty and friendship. Love it!
Ruby Ridge
Aug 25, 2015 Ruby Ridge rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I really did want to like this book but I found it boring. It is a Tolkien type story, which is good, but it is too long and for long periods nothing really happens. You get the feeling that even during the action sequences the author tries to get these out of the way as quickly as possible to get on with the business of describing things. I wonder if the author would be more at home writing a book of poetry lookind at the overlong descriptions.
I got no real feel for any of the characters with t
Kim Hunt
Oct 03, 2013 Kim Hunt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
love this book. the author made me fall in love with several of the characters. i look forward to the continuation of the story.
Apr 19, 2014 Donna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The next in the series about our heroine Wood-elven Gaelen Taldin on Alterra. Gorgon Elfhunter, a monster has sworn to destroy all the Elves of Alterra. Gorgon is hunting Gaelen and she to has sworn to rid the world of him. The story is filled with both tender and terrifying, thrilling and yet thought-provoking moments. Again as I've said before this is a fanasty suitable for all ages filled with lots of action, detailed descriptions and page turning emotions. A thrilling series that will keep y ...more
Keru Faye
I tried. I really tried to finish this. But alas, Elfhunter must go to the dnf shelf because I have many more better books to read and I ended up about halfway through the book when I felt that I should be much farther.

I love elves, so I thought that this would be a win for me, but the writing suffers from tell-don't-show and over-description in the wrong places. This bogs down the pace dramatically and makes Elfhunter a chore to read.

The characters aren't exactly super-compelling either, despit
James Williams
Jan 29, 2013 James Williams rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The story opens with two simple wood elves "camping" on a starry night and quickly transforms into a murder mystery!

The characters are incredibly well-formed, they are complicated and intricately portrayed. Marks truly employs character development as a method of introducing you the characters in the book rather than simply describing them. She brings you along as silent participant in the quest to find and kill the hideous creature that is brutally murdering her elven brethren.

As the story prog
Catherine Fitzsimmons
It took me a while to at last get around to reading this book by fellow Gen Con Author's Avenue regular C. S. Marks, but I did at last, largely in need of some escapism. Elfhunter certainly provided that. I went in not really knowing what I was getting into, aside from the somewhat unspecific back cover blurb, a short story in one of the Missing Pieces volumes, and some very scant words by a previous reader more regarding writing style than content.

Put simply, I found Elfhunter very, very Tolkie
Oct 31, 2015 Kara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Elfhunter by CS Marks (ebook version)
Review by Kara Grant

*need to re read this, love how long it is......Nov.2015*

My Review
Gaelen and her cousin, Nelwyn, are Wood-elves dedicated to serving as guardians of their forest home. They are both skilled trackers, over 1000 years old, and determined to protect not just their land but also their people in the surrounding lands of Alterra. Gaelen has keen eyesight, listening and scenting abilities as well as fearlessness. Nelwyn has a sharp eye and deadly
Douglas Cook
Sep 04, 2013 Douglas Cook rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure, fantasy
Excellent first book of the Alterra series. Good characterization. A truly nasty bad guy. Female main character. Well worth reading.

First paragraphs
The darkness came early in midwinter, especially in the Greatwood. Even in the height of summer the forest was not a bright place. Very little sunlight penetrated the vast canopy, hence the overall effect of a cool, dark haven shot with green and gold. In winter more light could pass through the layers of skeletal branches, but it was a cold light, t
Jan 13, 2014 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For as long as I remember, I loved stories with elves, dwarves, men and campaigns. When I was told about this series, I put it on my list of books to check out and I wasn't disappointed. It was a bit slow at first as the author began to build the foundations of both the story and the world of Alterra itself. In my opinion, it needed to be slow because everything within Alterra played a part in the story. The characters, the land, the animals - they all played a role in the events which came to p ...more
I was drawn into this book by the promise of a new epic fantasy, and I was very happy to immerse myself in this new world. It's very rich with detail and characters with complex backstories. The novel gradually reveals each character's hidden secrets and desires in a way that makes the whole story compelling. The Elfhunter is pretty sinister as well, and finding out more about his vendetta was very interesting.

Although I enjoy the characters and the worldbuilding, there are times when I feel the
Oct 17, 2012 Linda rated it really liked it
The narrative story telling, at the beginning, was slow for me to get into at first; but the author had a world to set up and players to introduce. This is an intricate tale of an epic fantasy with a richly detailed plot, which grows into a quest.

The characters are solid and well rounded with personalities that you will come to love. Gaelen is a strong driven female elf who drives the quest. Orogond is the human ranger with heart. Fima is the dwarf lore master who has the wisdom and knowledge th
Aug 24, 2014 Anne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The story was interesting, don't get me wrong. However, it was very difficult to actually love and know a character. From what I read, of about 40%, it followed four characters at the same time, in the same exact path. Also, the characters weren't loveable. They were okay, interesting but at the same time too conveint. I did want to like this book, I honestly did, I tried, I pushed, but I wasn't able to see things through. Someone else may have a better chance of it, but it just wasn't for me... ...more
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Indie Book Club: September 2013 Fantasy BotM: Elfhunter 6 18 Sep 07, 2013 02:00PM  
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C.S. Marks has often been described as a ‘Renaissance woman’. The child of an English professor, Chris has always loved classic literature as well as epic fantasy, and decided to try her hand at writing and illustrating an epic series. The result: The very successful Elfhunter trilogy, which has sold over 40,000 copies both in print and e-book form. This epic trilogy has garnered awards (Reviewer’ ...more
More about C.S. Marks...

Other Books in the Series

Tales of Alterra, The World That Is (3 books)
  • Fire-Heart (Tales of Alterra, The World That Is, #2)
  • Ravenshade (Tales of Alterra, The World That Is, #3)

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“She-elves were therefore his next choice, for although they knew no more of healing pestilence that he did, they still seemed to have unique instincts. Galador knew, for example, that Gaelen’s idea of embracing a raving, sweat-soaked, delirious man would never have occurred to him, but it had certainly made a difference to Rogond.” 1 likes
“Fima was not comfortable in this deep gloom at all, surrounded by ancient, moss-covered trees that seemed to resent his mere presence.” 1 likes
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