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A Darkness Forged in Fire (Iron Elves #1)

3.48  ·  Rating Details ·  1,949 Ratings  ·  185 Reviews
Konowa Swift Dragon, former commander of the Empire's elite Iron Elves, is looked upon as anything but ordinary. He has murdered a Viceroy, been court-martialed, seen his beloved regiment disbanded, and been banished in disgrace to the one place he despises the most—the forest.

Now all Konowa wants is to be left alone with his misery. But for him, nothing is ever that simp
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Published September 1st 2008 by Tantor Media (first published July 8th 2008)
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Feb 03, 2009 Cynth rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There are so many things wrong with this book that frankly I'm surprised I was able to finish it. I'll tell you from now, there was a lot of eye rolling on my part.

1. Some fantasy authors do a great job introducing the readers to a different world filled with magic and mythical beings. Evans does a poor job. His fantastical world is barely believable. This is probably due to the way he introduces readers to the story and of course his poor analogies (eye roll and "oh please"). You eventually bu
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
In the far west of the Hyntaland, the land of Elves, lies a dark mountain covered in flesh-eating trees whose roots have burrowed deep into the rock. At the pinnacle rests a single sickly Wolf Oak, a corrupted tree that bonded with an Elf who has become as twisted as the tree: the Shadow Monarch.

To the far east, in the land called Elfkyna by the Calahrian Empire that rules it, the leader of the Iron Elves lives in the forest, exiled for killing the Viceroy who was an emissary of the Shadow Monar
Jul 12, 2010 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: war, fantasy
I wanted to read this book because the premise of an elf who hated the woods was interesting. I thought that perhaps Evans would break through the typical fantasy elf/dwarf/etc barriers and create something completely new and absolutely different and refreshing.

This book was superbly average. The romance was cliche, the dialog was stilted, the characters were not as unique as I had hoped. The plot was predictable. All of the standard dimensions of three-star fantasy were in place from the roman
Mar 07, 2012 Lucinda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Chris Evans 'The Iron Elves' trilogy completely overwhelmed me entirely and i cannot commend the books highly enough. It was only by a very slim chance that i picked up 'A darkness forged in fire' off the bookshelf because it really did not stand out at all with such a pale cover, but little did i know at the time that it was the best descision that i had ever made in terms of choosing a book to read. At first when i read the blurb i looked in disbelief at the words Elves next to muskets and i t ...more
Sep 03, 2015 Joseph rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The elf Konowa Swift Dragon used to lead Her Majesty's regiment The Iron Elves, but has spent the past year living in the forest after being banished in disgrace and getting his regiment disbanded for killing someone who, admittedly, did need a certain amount of killing.

Now he's called back into service and his regiment is reactivated, filled not with veteran elves but with the dregs & cast-offs of the rest of the army, and sent on a mission through a hostile wilderness to retrieve an artifa
Oct 26, 2011 Sarah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
For my 250th review (on Shelfari, where I copied this from), I was honestly hoping to write cunningly written, insightful rave about my latest book. Instead, I'm going to write a review about "A Darkness Forged in Fire".

*Possible* spoilers throughout this review.

To be fair, it wasn't a TERRIBLE book. Not really. The book opens with glowing promise. Our intrepid hero, banished for a dishonorable deed done for all the right reasons, has been recalled to possibly restore his tarnished honor. He mee
May 10, 2008 Abigail rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, read-2008
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mike (the Paladin)
This book started out well and caught my interest. The story seemed promising and the elves without a "nature sense" were a good idea. The conflict much like discrimination toward the Iron Elves and then the betrayal scenario faced by the Iron Elves added even more interest.

Unfortunately it all sort of fell apart for me. I didn't care for the way the story went and the ending was weak (at least for me). I don't plan to continue the series.

This is one of those "sad for me" books in that I had hig
Blodeuedd Finland
Jul 18, 2010 Blodeuedd Finland rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I do like good old fantasy, rich worlds with complex histories, that is what world building is about. This was good fantasy.

The book begins and we learn that the former Governoner of Elfkyna was murdered, but a decorated officer named Konowa. But the governor was working for the dreaded Shadow Monarch, still there was a price to be paid. The Iron Elves were sent away and he was sent to the forest. He is not a normal elf, he was born with the dark mark and he does not care for trees. That is what
The creatures were unique and interesting but I didn't feel most the characters were all that engaging. There was a lot of action but little character development throughout it. There was really only two characters that stood out to me, Alwyn & Yimt, neither of which are really the main characters of the book. Alwyn is a young man who really isn't suited for the life of a soldier and had many doubts throughout the story. Yimt is a seasoned warrior and a dwarf. His humor provides a much neede ...more
Lyle Kimo Valdez
Dec 30, 2010 Lyle Kimo Valdez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I found this story quite hard to get into but once I got past the first about 100 pages or so I was sucked in and couldn't leave it down.

There are some different concepts at work here, not radically different, but just different enough. Elves in particular take on traditional and non-traditional roles, but done very well. The evil Shadow Monarch, who is really a master of the powers of cold, opposes all life. The Long Watch elves who guard the trees oppose her, as well as the Empire, and the Ir
Ranting Dragon
Feb 19, 2011 Ranting Dragon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: guests
Chris Evans’ debut novel A Darkness Forged in Fire, the first installment in the Iron Elves Trilogy, shows off Evans’s passion for military history and fantasy as he joins the two in a gritty, imaginative marriage where army life and Napoleonic era tactics coexist with fantasy staples. The trilogy continues with The Light of Burning Shadows and will be completed by Ashes of a Black Frost, due for release in summer 2011.

As the story begins in A Darkness Forged in Fire, Konowa Swift Dragon has led
Forgotten Realms Queen
I was finally able to obtain a complete copy (thanks Mr. Evans!) and it is still very much worth picking up.

As i said before, good concept of an evil elf witch on top of a mountain that needs destroying, well paced, and had very believable characters that you could both love and hate. Yimt was my favorite, as I'm sure he will be with everyone else who reads the story. C'mon, who wouldn't love a crotchety old dwarf soldier with a silver tongue? (Sweet knobby kneed nuns!!!)

They didn't reach the wi
Dirk Grobbelaar
Jun 07, 2010 Dirk Grobbelaar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, books-i-own
I liked this book. Perhaps against my expectations. No, really, it is rather good. The protagonist has a really catchy name too. Konowa Swift Dragon is an elf and former leader of the Iron Elves. He is also in exile and out of favour with just about everybody. The Elves don't like him because he doesn't adhere to the same beliefs about nature (The Iron Elves are so called because they use metal weapons such as Sabers and Muskets as opposed to the other Elves who shun metal, opting instead for wo ...more
First read in 2009. Re-read in August 2011: Much better the second time around. Bumping the rating up from 3 stars to 4. I'm really intrigued by the book now and can't wait to read part 2!

First in the "Iron Elves" series. And quite good, actually. Once you get used to muskets and cannons in a fantasy book. I liked Konowa and his inability to connect with nature despite being an elf. I loved the dwarf Yimt and the bespectacled Alwyn. I liked Rallie the reporter and her drunk pelican Wobbly. What
Jul 24, 2009 Erika rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Haralambi Markov
Feb 03, 2013 Haralambi Markov rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I can state with a great deal of personal conviction that “A Darkness Forged in Fire” is a strong and stable debut, which is a seldom find. Bordering between traditional fantasy, which is centered on a quest and the greater balance between good and evil, and military fiction as a hybrid it can easily secure a mixed audience.

I loved it. Despite all the kinks, which I perceived as unimportant enough to ruin my experience, the story and its charged took over my critical approach as a reviewer and I
Oct 02, 2015 Zarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a middle of the road read for me. Some aspects of it I quite enjoyed, like the dwarf and the spectacled kid, as well as a few of the other low ranking soldiers. And I thought it had a quite dramatic ending.

But there were other aspects that didn't work for me. There is NO chemistry in the romance, none. I thought no one reacted realistically to the odd things happening around them and I thought the battles went on and on and on.

I think I'll probably read the next one in the series, sin
Aug 10, 2010 Chris rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I may not finish this-some parts are adequately written but the style is mixed and the writer is obviously trying to write the usual trilogy or more. I doubt I will bother with the sequel. It was a gift so feel obliged to at least start.
And I did end up finishing this. This is a strange mixture of several different styles of fantasy and the author has not decided whether this is a Tolkein style with elves and magic or a faux Napoleonic wars musket fantasy. As it is neither fish nor fowl, it is a
Quantum Thief - Dogs Of War
Action? Check. Fantasy? Check. Military Fantasy? Double check. By far this is the best series I have ever read! So let me explain on how I got my hands on this book. I was at my public library looking for books in the adult fiction section. Anyway I found the books i wanted to get when my eyes saw A Darkness Forged by Fire and I knew I wanted to read it when I saw whaat it was about. Now I'm reading the second book,which is just as good as the 1st. Plus I cant wait to read the third book....So c ...more
Dec 25, 2014 Amber-Leigh rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm starting to worry this is becoming a regular thing for me... Starting a book and then not finishing it. This has to be... what, the third time in as many months? To be fair, I got further this time than with the last two. I'm over half way through at this point. Unfortunately, my patience has run out. I keep waiting for the story to get better, or at least for the characters to develop personalities... But it's not happening, and after 300 pages I'm starting to doubt it ever will.

The charact
Feb 24, 2012 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
When I first picked this book up at the bookstore, I was intrigued. Elves with muskets? That was new! So I decided to give it a shot. I'm glad I did.

Without giving anything away, the plot was good without getting bogged down. The characters were well thought out, and I loved their interaction.

Keep in mind this is the first in a series, so it leaves more questions than it answers. Still, I think if you're looking for something light and different to read, this is a good book to try.
Jul 30, 2014 Adam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adam, fiction
An interesting start to a fantasy trilogy/saga about a regiment of elves outcast by their kind, who fight with muskets as part of a human army.

The characterisation is strong, with an interesting mix of different types of evil. Many of the characters have intriguing backstories that will make good material for prequels. The main character can become repetitive and tiring, but the supporting cast more than make up for this. And there are a couple of characters that are really random and inventive
Aug 07, 2012 Alley rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Bleh! It had potential and just never seemed to find its footing. I can't honestly recall the last time I read a book that left me so disinterested in the plot & characters. It was a relief to finish but not in any sense of caring about the story. This read was a total chore. sorry Mr. Evans better luck to your future endeavors.
May 29, 2014 Renae rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I struggled alot with this book. Im not sure if it was the writting, but feel it was alot more to do with trying to follow all the weird words, as there are elf, elfkynan, and human words for everything. Though I struggled with it, I struggled on because I wanted to know what was going on.
The Empire invaded the lands but they arent the only evil around. The elves abandon all babies born with a black tip on their ear, as it marks them as Her children. The children of evil. Those those elves refus
Feb 10, 2015 Nathan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book managed to find some redemption towards the end, but overall I was unimpressed. It took me a long, long time to finish it - several months. I normally finish books in a day or two. The characters all seemed pretty rote. The magic system was never really explained. Pitting a bunch of amateur soldiers against overwhelming dark magical creatures and having them survive because of some unknown dark ritual half-knowingly performed by a sullen hermitic Captain? Sigh. I'm sure it sounded great ...more
S.A. Bolich
May 10, 2011 S.A. Bolich rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I seldom don't make through a book, but this one was so deadly I couldn't finish. A lot of uninteresting characters wandering to nowhere, interminably.
Jun 17, 2016 Ruth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spec-fic
c2008: FWFTB: Viceroy, forest, elfkynan, Rebellion, suicide-mission. If I had a list of those books that I believe are underrated and/or overlooked, this would probably top the list. I really enjoyed this one. The characters, the humour (I don't think that I will forget the drunken pelican for a while), the plot, the world, action sequences - I could go on and on. Definitely and highly recommended to the normal crew. "We create monsters of a sort, but we need them, and we need them to be vile an ...more
Apr 14, 2014 Vitta rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
На мой взгляд у сюжета два явных недостатка. Первый - мир совершенно не прописан. Представление о нем получаешь, и то обрывочное, только прочитав добрых 2\3 книги. Второй - любовная линия. Хромее этой я еще не встречала. ГГ что-то делают, что-то говорят, но постоянно как-то невпопад. Словно автор описывает развитие отношений только тогда, когда отрывается от детальных описаний боев и вспоминает, что кроме них в книге должно быть что-то еще. На мой взгляд, без романтики в конкретно этом произведе ...more
Feb 15, 2013 Klug rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sharpe becomes an elf, has a magic musket.
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