The Elvenbane (Halfblood Chronicles, #1)
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The Elvenbane (Halfblood Chronicles #1)

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  9,677 ratings  ·  155 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 April 1st 1993 by Turtleback Books (first published 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...more
Dan
Apr 21, 2010 Dan rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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...more
Wendi
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
Sara
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
Jon
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...more
sj
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...more
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
Jean
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...more
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!
John
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.
Kerri
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
Jinny Jones
Apr 03, 2014 Jinny Jones rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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...........
SPOILER ALERT:
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 droppe...more
El
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.
Jessica
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
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.
Kyra Dune
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...more
Rachel
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Doppelganger
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...more
Kate
I recieved this book as a Goodreads First Reads book.

This ended up being a great book, and I'm really excited to go read the sequels. At the start I had trouble getting into it though. The first couple chapters, which were mostly about Sarina Daeth and consisted of her recapping how she became head concubine seemed a bit choppy to me and I struggled to follow who everyone was and to get into the story. However, once we got into the meat of the story, with Shana taking the lead, the story really...more
Susan
When I was in my teens, I read this book and thought it was one of the best books I had ever read. The first half of the book is a very good lead into the world created by Mercedes Lackey and Andre Norton. We get to ride along as Shana grows up in a dragon colony (why can’t I be that lucky!), as she explores her own magical abilities, and eventually as she learns that the dragon colony may not be for her.

However, then things drastically shift gear for the second half of the book as more and more...more
Lissibith
This book had flashes of really interesting things, a lot of world building, but enough problems with writing and character that I just couldn't love it.

Once upon a time, humans lived on a planet. This one? Perhaps, but it rather feels like a totally different world. Regardless, at some point, elves and dragons both migrated to this world, and have vastly changed the structure, both socio-politically and geographically.

The characters are pretty stock and a little bit one dimensional, especially...more
Sue CCCP
My full review: http://coffeecookiesandchilipeppers.b...

Considering that this title was published over twenty years ago, in 1991, it feels surprisingly fresh in its themes and content. I have read work by both authors before, but this was a new world for me and it had plenty of interesting features to keep me entertained.

I was particularly pleased with the authors’ decision to deviate from the usual trope of beautiful and wise elves. In this world they are actually aliens that built a wondrous c...more
Ella
When I was a pre-teen I loved the book, now I recently re-read it and was a little disappointed.
The world that the authors created is fascinating and although a lot of people complain about the intimate details about small and inconsequential things I am a glutton for description and world-building. The more about the world and it's workings the better.
The plot is interesting albeit a little stereotypical but poorly-paced and the characters I see now, are very flat and one-dimensional and ther...more
Victoria
To be honest, I read this book for the first time quite a long time ago. I recalled enjoying it, but nothing more - and when I stumbled across the third book in this Halfblood Chronicles series, Elvenborn, I decided that I would re-read the series. And it did make for a very good re-read. The characters are all engaging. I have been a fan of Lackey’s fast-paced and emotional style since I was a lot younger, so reading this - though it isn’t a Valdemar novel - just lifted my mood. I did, however,...more
Fantasy Literature
In the world of Elvenbane, elves have subjugated humanity because… well, they’re elves, frankly: magical and long-lived and perfectly capable of taking what they want. Apparently having served as the unselfish goodie-goodies one too many times, elves have instead been refreshingly cast as the fantasy version of the Roman Empire in this text, conquering and enslaving other races out of a sense of entitlement and a desire to expand their power. Humans are used for menial labor and sexual gratifica...more
Tamara


major issue with the plot ... and continued frustrations ... could be a really epic idea for a story but fell so flat

one day the council of kin meet and want to tell Shana the truth of her past, send her into the city along with a kin in disguise to keep watch on her and ensure her safety ... and the reasons they are responsible to do so

the next, they decide she must go without being allowed to say goodbyes or have goodbyes said to her, given no information or guide, and dropped in the desert to...more
Justin
I really really enjoyed reading this book, I was hesitant at first with so many reviews on the pace of the book. And although it defiantly was a slow pace, and over the course of 16 years, I felt that only added to the epicness of this read. The first couple of chapters for me where hard to get into, with so many elven names to pronounce it was laying the foundation of what I would later find out to be a beautiful world. Character description in this book is far from lacking, and although at tim...more
Bryce
A book that I absolutely adored as a young teenager and reread many, many times. Recently curiosity and a lucky find at a used book store led me to rediscover this book... and while it doesn't live up to the towering heights of my memory, it's still a fun and exciting fantasy novel.

There are elements here that will be familiar to any fantasy reader: Dragons, elves, magic, and the main character who is destined to be the Most Special-est Girl in the World.

Shana tends to be overly righteous and...more
Alice
This epic was a thorough enjoyment once I got into it, which took a decent amount of time: two to three chapters, I think.
The world development was very well done. I got a very clear image of the land the characters lived in, from politics to the flora and fauna and attitude of its inhabitants.
I believe it was well paced in the beginning but the ending felt rushed. The climax was much too short and, although Shana was well done and I love her very much, the character development of some others f...more
Sarah Mckenna
It was childish and fun, a mindless and wholesome novel with a clear and simple theme. This is generally what I love about Mercedes Lackey AND Andre Norton. They are expert candy manufacturers.
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Mercedes Lackey r...: The Elvenbane Read Along 5 18 Apr 05, 2013 06:02PM  
Dragons, dragons ...: Halfblood 6 11 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...
Elvenblood (Halfblood Chronicles, #2) Elvenborn (Halfblood Chronicles, #3) Witch World (Witch World Series 1: Estcarp Cycle, #1) The Time Traders (Time Traders/ Ross Murdock, #1) Star Man's Son, 2250 A.D

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