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The Elvenbane (Halfblood Chronicles #1)

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  12,708 Ratings  ·  201 Reviews
Two masters of epic fantasy have combined inthis brilliant collaboration to create a rousing tale of the sort that becomes an instant favorite. This is the story of Shana, a halfbreed born of the forbidden union of an Elvenlord father with a human mother. Her exiled mother dead, she was rescued and raised by dragons, a proud, ancient race who existed unbeknownst to elven o ...more
Hardcover, 566 pages
Published January 1st 2004 by Turtleback Books (first published November 1st 1991)
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Mike (the Paladin)
I see that many really enjoyed this book and that many others found it, "not bad". I'm in a definite minority in rating it a 1 star book and maybe I'd consider going 2 stars except for one thing. I disliked it enough to lay it aside.

I see flashes here of why many like this one and my one star rating is strictly subjective, it's my experience of the book. The characters were a bit stock to begin with and I just couldn't get involved with them. The first one we meet, angry at what's been done to h
Apr 21, 2010 Dan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fantasy readers, dragon fans, elf fans, maybe feminists
Recommended to Dan by: Amy L. Campbell
This book was literally shoved into my hands by my fiancee, who had been quite insistant that I read it. I'm glad I have now, for I have a lot to say about it.

My first impression was of an extremely dense narrative, with a few flashbacks of mild interest, but mostly a front-heavy descriptive piece which was difficult to slog through. Things honestly do not start happening until five chapters in, and I found a very clunky -- if thorough -- method of introducing a world, for that's primarily what
I first read this series when I was 13 or 14 and I loved it! Of course, back then I was strictly reading fantasy, heavy on the Mercedes Lackey. So, I can say with certainty this is one of her best creations..... and I have to add that I think Andre Norton had plenty to do with that fact. That sounds mean, but she's written so many books that seem to run together and this series definitely stands on it's own. I just reread the first book and it was highly enjoyable even at this older age. huzzah! ...more
May 31, 2010 Wendi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
In The Elvenbane, a young fiery halfblood (half elven, half human) girl named Shana, is raised by a Kin of dragons. After using her magic to defend her foster brother Keman, Shana is banished to the desert where she is captured by human servants of elven lords; races she thought no longer existed. A rare mystery, Shana is about to be sold in a slave auction when she is rescued by disguised halfbloods who take her to a Citadel where wizards live in secrecy. Yet fate intercedes and soon the most d ...more
Jun 20, 2011 Jon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jon by: Kat Hooper
2.5 stars

I listened to this novel while commuting in May 2011. I found few characters to relate to or care for. I rolled my eyes multiple times at the antics of the adolescents, chalking their behavior down to young adult fiction norms. However, when the adults behaved with even less maturity or even common sense than the youths in their care, I cringed and about gave up reading further. It became a chore to finish. Too much melodrama.

Shana seems to be the only one with any inkling of where he
Originally posted here as part of the 30 Day Book Challenge.

Heh. The topic for today makes me laugh.

A Book I've Read More Than Once

More than once? At least 10, but I think more.

I owned this one, and since my small town library was never open more than 2 days a week during the summer, I did A LOT of re-reading.

Cruel elves, shape-shifting dragons, half-bloods, slavery, bicorns - man, this book had it all.

I last re-read it...probably 10 years ago? When I found out that there was FINALLY A THIRD B
First off, I would like to say that I have been a fan of fantasy/fiction novels for quite some time. This was actually my first Norton outing (Lackey contributed as well), and unfortunately I was somewhat disappointed. I read overwhelmingly good reviews on this book and heard nothing but positive things about this writing duo. Therefore I decided to give the book a shot. To my dismay, I was let down and this novel did not keep me turning the pages. Allow me to explain why...

The premise of the st
Erin Hoffman
A very interesting book that fills a kind of gap in my reading of fantasy books from its time (early 90s). I remember hearing a lot about this book around the time of its release, and seeing it on bookshelves -- I think I even owned it at one point but later got rid of it unread. I'm not sure why I never opened it -- I think I may have been put off by its cover, which, being a Boris, is gorgeous, but repelling at the same time, with its rather grotesque dragon and token torn-clothed maiden. But ...more
May 29, 2012 Jean rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm a sucker for a book with a dragon on the cover, and bane is one of my favorite words, so I picked this up at the library the other day. And it was solidly OK. I did enjoy it. The characters were engaging and certainly had their own style, voice, and distinct personalities. It certainly passed the "can you tell who's speaking without attribution" test - everyone was unique in their own way.

Plot-wise, I thought this book had a huge amount of potential. It was a great premise, and I felt like
Mar 06, 2008 Steph rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: warrior-steph
convincingly created a whole new world for the reader with a complicated hierarchy and fascinating gender dynamics. sexy, traumatic, enchanting, and most definitely Epic!
Nessie Smith
I liked the 1st half, didn't even mind that she was growing in leaps and bounds. Even with her naive moronic moments (she is use to bullies and liars, but cant spot em though she is a quick leaner at every thing else that isn't threatening seems to be a stretch) but fine. After words though her character stops growing and acts whiny and has spontaneous love of an elfen lord who she didnt trust two sentences ago. thats to much. even worse is that her character seems to loose her intelligence and ...more
Niki Hawkes
The first half of this book is a perfect case study in how “telling” versus “showing” can be wildly entertaining. The authors took a lot of time to build this world and explain the dynamics between the races within it, and I found myself devouring the pages, eager to learn as much as I could. It was such a cool concept for a story – all-powerful elves who came to the world from another realm and basically took over, forcing the humans to cater to their every whim. Enter the shape-shifting dragon ...more
Ана Хелс
Mar 29, 2015 Ана Хелс rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Да разчупиш жанра и все пак да си останеш обективно в него е почти неизпълнима задача за твърде много автори в който и да е жанр. За да се получи допълнителната гледна точка, която често прибавя положителен ефект, а не съсипва добрите идеи, се създават и онези митични животни, наречени авторови колаборации, в които се чудиш докъде свършва единия, и почва другия автор, и дали ако нещо не ти харесва – е виновен X, а за всичко, което обожаваш – си заслужава аплодисментите Y. Особено ако си имаш раб ...more
I'm pretty sure I read this when I was in middle school, or thereabouts, but I certainly didn't remember it. Meh. This had some very good point, and I wasn't tempted to stop before it was done, but it didn't really grab my interest either. Also, the ending was fairly anti-climactic. I see there are two more books in this series. If I come across them at the library, I might give them a try, but I won't be going out of my way to find them.
Nov 22, 2009 Kerri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book includes some of my favorite fantasy elements: dragons, telepathy, shapeshifting, a little romance (though not as much as in Book 2) and an awesome ass-kicking heroine with some really cool friends. It also introduced me to Mercedes Lackey (well technically The Ship Who Searched did that but I didn't remember she'd helped write that till later), who has become one of my all-time favorite authors. I think I like Andre Norton better when she's co-writing with someone, so far I've enjoyed ...more
Eric Mccann
Jul 22, 2016 Eric Mccann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Interesting book.

Like many, you step into an already pre-formed world with quite a bit of history behind it - history you don't know. It starts off with a freshly exiled, pregnant concubine of one of the Elven lords - human concubines that get pregnant are basically not good news. We get snatches of court life and "harem" intriegue that lead to what will be the end of one life, maybe two...

We have a mischevious dragon shaman, and get our first look at another culture, one that's stayed mostly
Leslie Pringle wrrldgrrl
I like to have an engrossing "read" as I drive the highway, conditions permitting of course. There has to be the right combination of storyline and descriptive text to keep me following along. And as with any book, I have to feel something for the characters.

This story, by one of my favourite authours, Andre Norton, (co-authoured by Mercedes Lackey whose work I don't know other than this) hit the mark for me. For starters it had most of my favourite types of creatures; dragons, wizards, elves,
Jinny Jones
Apr 03, 2014 Jinny Jones rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fantasy Lovers
Recommended to Jinny by: Taggy G.
The Elvenbane is the first novel of the Halfblood Chronicles, and...........
The Elves are aliens! I was a little wary at first on it, but it turned out better than I imagined at first. Shana's adventure is amazing both internally and externally. The down side, which is likely my being picky, is that some parts were drawn out while others were grazed over when I expected detail. It seemed, within the first few chapters, that Alara and Keman should have more presence and they dropp
May 22, 2014 El rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The premise was certainly interesting, but the books was riddled with moments where I went "wait, what?" (spend pages and pages emphasizing hiding dragon existence & then mention in two sentences that the main character told that information to someone she'd met a week ago). Moments also came across as contrived sometimes, and the main character made leaps of logic and held her temper when I would not expect it from a dragon-raised 14-yr old.
Aug 07, 2016 Ryan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written in the 90's, this was, at the time, a clever and fresh take on High Fantasy. As fashions have moved on it now feels a lot more conventional than it did at press time. Nevertheless, it remains a fun and well-written story that turns the too-familiar post-Tolkien tropes regarding Elves and Dragons and Humans on their ear in interesting and still-unexpected ways. The early chapters rely on a series of flashbacks to get through a lot of dense exposition, which is a definite flaw, but, world- ...more
Kari Chapman
I tried reading this book once way back in high school. I decided to give it another shot recently. There seemed to be a good story in there, but it was buried under unlikable characters and annoying writing. I can understand the human character being unlikable given her history, but I found the dragon character to be just as unlikable with how judgemental she was being - at least when she wasn't boring me out of my mind with philosophical musings.

I also didn't like the fact that at 100 pages i
Jack Graham
Jan 30, 2016 Jack Graham rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Great book.

My biggest joy in this book is the world building. Well thought out and believable. The magic system is straightforward if not detailed. But its implementation by the elves is both unique and it is about time. I always wondered why, in a world with magic, those with magic did not rule. Now I see how it can and the flaws that can come with it.

The three major races (Elf, Dragon, Human) with their own history, magics, desires, and fears.

Major characters are believable, though I did get t
May 04, 2008 Jessica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
An interesting world, where humans are slaves and elves run things. A prophecy has dictated that a half-elf, half-human will destroy the elves' rule one day, so it is illegal to crossbreed. . . .
Tim Wolfe
Feb 14, 2011 Tim Wolfe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My only real complaint is that after Andre Norton passed away, Mercedes Lackey opted not to finish the fourth and final book. The three released were quite good and worth the read though.
Stacia Ahlfeld
Sep 25, 2015 Stacia Ahlfeld rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've really been enjoying this whole series. Granted, I've always liked Merecedes Lackey and Andre Norton writing together, but this has such a great story-line. The characters continue to grow, and that's something a lot of writers take for granted. Once they know where they want their character to be, they never change again. The characters in this set aren't that way.
Anyway, check it out. It's a good read and a good take in a fantasy world. It's familiar enough to feel like home if you read
Dec 14, 2015 Chad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When a human concubine pregnant by her Elven lord, little does she realize her decision may impact the entire world.

This is a story of dragons, Elven lords, and human wizards. It is grand in scale but still character driven. The first book takes place in a smaller area, but has far reaching consequences that sets the stage for the rest of the series. I enjoyed this book, especially the author's take on dragons, but felt it had a more feminine tone. Though I enjoyed the book, I think the fantasy
Kyra Dune
Feb 02, 2014 Kyra Dune rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Elevenbane is a sweeping tale of power, oppression, and rebellion. The characters are well rounded and thoroughly enjoyable to follow. The fantasy world is interesting and complex, but doesn't overshadow the story.

Shana's journey from the Lair of the dragons to the Citadel of the wizards is fraught with peril. As the young woman struggles to fit into a world she doesn't understand, she slowly learns not only who she is, but who she can become.

Filled with excitement, danger, and dragons. Th
Dec 02, 2015 Kelsha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The beginning of this book utterly failed to grab my attention. The characters and world were flat and uninteresting and there was enough talk of 'loins' and 'muscles' that I thought it might turn to romance worthy descriptions. But it never did. Once the protagonist came into the story the authors finally started showing a round world with real people in it.

The story takes when the protagonist is thrown out of her home in her teenage years. She makes a lot of mistakes and is quite gullible. Sh
Cathrine Bonham
The best advice I can give to anyone interested in reading this book is to skip the first three chapters and start at chapter four. Everything before that is just sixty-one pages of uninteresting telling. Best reason to read this book is that it's the perfect example of telling versus showing.

I struggled through the beginning of this novel mostly out of guilt over how long I left it on my to-read shelf.

There were really great characters, wonderful world building, and an interesting premis. But
Sep 18, 2010 Rachel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Fantasy Book Club: A favor - excerpt from The Elvenbane 6 14 Oct 31, 2015 09:09PM  
Mercedes Lackey r...: The Elvenbane Read Along 5 20 Apr 05, 2013 06:02PM  
Dragons, dragons ...: Halfblood 6 13 Oct 08, 2012 12:45PM  
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Alice Mary Norton always had an affinity to the humanities. She started writing in her teens, inspired by a charismatic high school teacher. First contacts with the publishing world led her, as many other contemporary female writers targeting a male-dominated market, to choose a literary pseudonym. In 1934 she legally changed her name to Andre Alice. The androgynous Andre doesn't really say "male" ...more
More about Andre Norton...

Other Books in the Series

Halfblood Chronicles (3 books)
  • Elvenblood (Halfblood Chronicles, #2)
  • Elvenborn (Halfblood Chronicles, #3)

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