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A Darkness Forged in Fire (Iron Elves #1)

3.49  ·  Rating Details ·  2,057 Ratings  ·  190 Reviews
In an unforgiving world of musket and canon, wizardry, empire and blood oaths, Konowa Swift Dragon, former commander of the elite Iron Elves, is destined for greatness or disgrace. Marked by the Shadow Monarch, he's murdered a Viceroy, seen his beloved regiment dishonoured and disbanded and been exiled to the deep forest, the place he despises most.

But for Konowa - part he
Paperback, 562 pages
Published June 1st 2009 by Pocket Books (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
Jan 10, 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
Dirk Grobbelaar
May 27, 2010 Dirk Grobbelaar rated it really liked it
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
Jul 02, 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
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 05, 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
Aug 26, 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
Jul 13, 2009 Erika rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ranting Dragon
Feb 15, 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
Blodeuedd Finland
Sep 20, 2009 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
Lyle Kimo Valdez
Nov 20, 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
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
Forgotten Realms Queen
Jan 16, 2012 Forgotten Realms Queen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: borrowed
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
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
Sadie Forsythe
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 09, 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
Haralambi Markov
Aug 30, 2009 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
Quantum Thief - Dark Puppet Angel 01
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 17, 2011 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 17, 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.
Jan 29, 2013 Klug rated it liked it
Sharpe becomes an elf, has a magic musket.
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.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 26, 2011 Moira rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, čj, válečná
Kniha mě zaujala anotací, jelikož elfy a podobnou havěť neuvěřitelně miluji, a krásnou obálkou. Samotná kniha má perfektní stylistické řešení a já jí po této stránce dávám pět z pěti hvězdiček.
Kdybych byla uštěpačná, napsala bych, že si malý kluk splnil svůj sen. Zpočátku mi totiž kniha připomínala hraní kluka, který si stavěl vojáčky a bojoval své bitvy. Ne, nenechte se zmást mými slovy, kniha není špatně napsaná. Naopak, je to strhující dílko. Podobnou knihu jsem už dlouho nečetla. Nedá se ří
Gamma Mouse
“It’s not the heat, it’s the stupidity.” –Private Yimt Arkhorn, “A Darkness Forged in Fire”

Private Arkhorn’s statement perfectly encapsulates the spirit of Chris Evans’s new novel “A Darkness Forged in Fire”. The book is essentially the fantasy novel equivalent of talking about the weather, functional discourse, but not very entertaining in the end. (I apologize if you are one of the rare folk who find talking about the weather deeply fulfilling. By the way, do you know if it’s going to rain tom
Jul 22, 2009 Cinnamon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-review
It has been quite a while since I have read a true Fantasy, one set in a land that is not familiar to the one we currently reside in. I think that the last Fantasy I read was the Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind. I love that series and am quite pleased to discover that The Iron Elves series by Chris Evans is just as good. Fully of action, adventure, romance, and magic, A DARKNESS FORGED IN FIRE is a perfect escape to another world.

Konowa Swift Dragon was at one time the leader of the grea
Jul 23, 2009 Valorie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Konowa Swift Dragon was exiled to the woods and his elite band of Iron Elves, all elves cursed with the black ear tip as sign that they are children of the Shadow Monarch, were disbanded and sent away for his killing of the former Viceroy who had fallen into darkness by serving the will of the Shadow Monarch. The Shadow Monarch, an elf, is possessed by a magic that she wishes to consume the world with, spreading her dark forest. After a few years in isolation, wandering with his only companion J ...more
Ian Hall
3.5 * I enjoyed this book. Interesting concept for the storyline. Not far off being 4* with a few improvements. Full review to come
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