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Hello, my name is Valorie. I have a Master's Degree in History and a license to teach-- I have been both university professor and public school teacher. Currently, I am a middle school social studies teacher. I love horror movies and spooky things. Every day is Halloween. I am also a passionate book blogger.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Blog Tour & Book Review: The Light of Burning Shadows (Iron Elves, #2) by Chris Evans

Today we welcome Chris Evans to Morbid Romantic. I just had the pleasure to read book 1 and 2 of the Iron Elves series, so it's an honor to welcome Book 2: The Light of Burning Shadows here for a blog tour. If you would like to know more about the author, you can read more about Chris Evans at his blog, or visit the Iron Elves Homepage.

About The Light of Burning Shadows

Musket and cannon, bow and arrow, and magic and diplomacy vie for supremacy once again in this second epic fantasy adventure from acclaimed author Chris Evans. As the human-dominated Calahrian Empire struggles to maintain its hold on power in the face of armed rebellion from within, the Iron Elves' perilous quest to defeat the power-hungry elf witch, the Shadow Monarch, takes on greater urgency. The Iron Elves, shunned by their own people for bearing the mark of the Shadow Monarch, and desperately wanting to forever erase this shame, became legendary for their prowess on the battlefield as the Calahrian Imperial Army's elite shock troops. But when their commanding officer, Konowa Swift Dragon, murdered the Viceroy of Elfkyna, he was exiled, and these brave elves were banished to a remote desert outpost, doomed and leaderless, their honor in tatters. Recalled to duty to reform his regiment from the dregs of the Imperial Army, Konowa thwarted the plans of the Shadow Monarch at the Battle of Luuguth Jor -- ensuring that the fabled Red Star, a source of great natural energy, did not fall into Her hands. Now Konowa must cross storm-tossed seas to seek out the lost elves and the prophesied return of another Star somewhere in a desert wasteland roiling with mysterious power, infernos of swirling magic, and legends brought back to life in new and terrible ways. And the fate of every living creature will come to depend on a small band of ragged and desperate soldiers, whose very loyalty to the Empire they have sworn to serve is no longer certain. When death is but a temporary condition, a terrifying question arises: who is the true ally -- and fearsome enemy -- in a growing conflict that threatens all?

My Review of The Light of Burning Shadows

Genre: Fiction - Fantasy 
Finished: July 28, 2009 
The Red Star will stay with the Elfkynan people, but more stars will certainly fall. Konowa Swift Dragon and his Iron Elves now realize the full weight of the curse they are bound under and fear their immortality of service. Konowa and his men want the curse to end, but they don’t know how to end it. To strengthen and reinforce their numbers, Konowa sends the Iron Elves south to look for the former elven members of the group. With the Shadow Monarch still alive, the new Viceroy of Elfkyna under her spell, and his men upset that Konowa chose to let the Elfkynan keep the star instead of use it to free them of the curse, Konowa is ever more determined to use the power in the acorn given him to defeat the evil forces and free his men. He just doesn’t know how. Still suffering the Prince who wants to use the stars as collections of knowledge while expanding the oppressive Calahran Empire, Konowa is at the breaking point. Private Renwar is also battling his own ghosts. Almost killed during the last big battle, he lost a leg and neared death. Getting so close to the other realm has put him in a state of living limbo. Along with the constant pain of his wooden leg being rejected by the magic of the frost fire curse, he is connected to the shades of the dead Iron Elves. The Viceroy of Elfkyna, now a dark servant to the Shadow Monarch, is set out on a mission to spread her dark forest, which he does dutifully as Her Emissary. The frost fire curse gives the Iron Elves the ability to destroy the dark forests, but the more they use the powers, the deeper they fall into the curse. Now there is also a new flame, a white flame that consumes the shadow until the body is dead. Most interesting is that those who die of the white flame are cured of the curse and do not return as shades. Unfortunately, though, they still die. Can the Iron Elves harness this power to free them of the curse? Will they find the former Iron Elves and defeat the Shadow Monarch, keeping the stars out of the hands of darkness? If you think this book is going to resolve anything, you are wrong. But isn’t that great? It means there are more books to come. At the end of the book, you are literally left at the edge of your seat because you cannot believe that what has happened indeed really happened. Evans very effectively wraps up his story with a proper cliffhanger to leave you wanting more. I absolutely loved the foreboding way The Light of Burning Shadows ended and am going to watch the web for information about book three, which I have to read. Even more masterfully, Chris Evans weaves in elements of our world into the one he has created. I like connecting the parallels such as the Dwarf slave trade, the one omnipotent creator one soldier raves about, and the imperialist spirit of the Calahrian Empire that seems very familiar when one understands the history of our world. If not for the magic and mystical creatures involved, one could easily see this series as an historical and Napoleonic epic. Fans of military fiction, battles, and fantasy are going to love this book. I also think there’s something about the dark nature of the book that will appeal to people who enjoy supernatural and paranormal fiction. The Shadow Monarch and the Viceroy are certainly evil enough to sate anyone’s need for dark forces! For those of you who love romance, there is some of that included, too. Konowa and Visyna like each other, but they can’t seem to see eye to eye and Visyna is worried for Konowa as he wields the dark power. She feels that he won’t be able to properly control or resist it. He, of course, sees differently. I cannot wait for book three because I need to know how the book will end. I hope for the best for Private Renwar and I hope that the darkness is defeated, that the men are severed from the power of the curse, and that Konowa becomes the elf he has never been. Oh, and that he and Visyna stop fighting long enough to love each other properly.

Participating Sites:

The Epic Rat: http://epicrat.blogspot.com/ 
Drey’s Library: http://dreyslibrary.blogspot.com/ 
Must Read Faster: http://mustreadfaster.blogspot.com/ 
Carol’s Notebook: http://carolsnotebook.wordpress.com/ 
The Crotchety Old Fan: http://crotchetyoldfan.wordpress.com/ 
A Journey of Books: http://ajourneyofbooks.blogspot.com/ Book Soulmates: http://booksoulmates.blogspot.com/ 
A Book Bloggers Diary: http://abookbloggersdiary.blogspot.com/ 
Horror and Fantasy Book Review: http://horrorandfantasybookreview.blogspot.com/ 
Booksie’s Blog: http://booksiesblog.blogspot.com/ 
Temple Library Reviews: http://templelibraryreviews.blogspot.com/ 
Fantasy Freak: http://fantastyfreak.blogspot.com/ 
Starting Fresh: http://startingfresh-gaby317.blogspot.com/ 
The Mad Hatter’s Bookshelf and Review: http://booktionary.blogspot.com/ 
Pick of the Literate: http://bookrevues.blogspot.com/ 
Books Joseph Reads: http://booksjosephreads.blogspot.com/ 
Poisoned Rationality: http://lastexilewords.blogspot.com/

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