Read Elfhunter by C.S. Marks Online


This is the tale of Gorgon Elfhunter, a monstrous, mysterious creature who has sworn to destroy all the Elves of Alterra—until none remain. It is the story of Wood-elven heroine Gaelen Taldin, who has sworn to rid her world of the Elfhunter even as she is hunted by him. The conflict between them creates a tangled web that blurs the line between Light and Darkness, love andThis is the tale of Gorgon Elfhunter, a monstrous, mysterious creature who has sworn to destroy all the Elves of Alterra—until none remain. It is the story of Wood-elven heroine Gaelen Taldin, who has sworn to rid her world of the Elfhunter even as she is hunted by him. The conflict between them creates a tangled web that blurs the line between Light and Darkness, love and obsession, free will and fate. Filled with moments both tender and terrifying, thrilling yet thought-provoking, it is a timeless epic fantasy suitable for readers of all ages. Join the Company of Elves, dwarves, mortal men, and delightfully intelligent horses. Come to Alterra—the “World that Is”.Newly remastered by Parthian Press, with illustrations by the incomparable Hope Hoover, this second edition will intrigue and delight fans of the series as well as those who have yet to discover it....

Title : Elfhunter
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 16173625
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 536 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Elfhunter Reviews

  • Dave
    2019-01-24 10:49

    "This work has been inspired by the works of JRR Tolkien." Thus Marks sets out her stall from the outset, lest the reader be in any doubt as to the nature and design of her work. And much like Gaelen , wayward wood elf and protagonist of Marks' Elfhunter, it is a bold yet honest statement; a blatant battle line drawn in the literary sand - a gauntlet cast down before other fantasy authors who may have failed to suggest that they are somehow different. Elfhunter is the first book in the tales of Alterra: the World that Is, and sees two Elven cousins and hunter-scouts, Gaelen and Nelwyn, on the trail of creature that appears to be brutally torturing and slaying their kin. Their quest is simple, to catch this terrible foe and put an end to his reign of terror. But this is befogged by an un-natural affinity between Gaelen and the creature she is determined to hunt down and slay. The premise of a serial killer in such a setting is unique in itself, yet the premise is given extra, yet eerie, punch by a deft and lilting narrative that encompasses acts of barbarism and scenes of splendour with seamless ease. Whilst derivative, this is not Tolkien; it is an honest homage to his narrative as much as the genre he single-handedly created. Marks' syntax and grammar make for a mature read; yet the sword-play set-pieces and interlacing and thrilling plot will appeal to mid-teens to adults alike. The scope of this book is vast; the series: epic. Sentiment and savagery blend to create and maintain the reader throughout, making us care for the villans as much as the heroes. Breathtaking. Brutal. Brilliant.

  • Kevis Hendrickson
    2018-12-30 04:53

    One of the remarkable things about discovering new books is that you never know when a book is going to come along that knocks you completely off of your feet. Elfhunter by C.S. Marks is one of those books. I have been a long time fan of J.R.R. Tolkien and can truly say that Marks has picked up from where the late professor left off. She has created a vast and completely believable secondary world in which fantasy readers can immerse themselves. That world is Alterra and it is a place I intend to visit again and as often as I can. The very first thing I noticed about Elfhunter was how deliciously crisp the writing is. The prose sucks you right into the story making you feel more like a participant in the unfolding climatic struggle than a mere observer. The plot moves along at a brisk, but effective pace, never bogging the reader down in unnecessary detail, which unfortunately, is the norm in most fantasy books. More importantly, the characters in Elfhunter are convincingly written and realistically flawed. By the time I had finished reading the book, I realized that I had a very difficult time deciding who my favorite character is because I had fallen in love with so many of them. But without a doubt, the star of this book bears the name of its title: Gorgon Elfhunter. Gorgon is one of the all-time great villains of any genre of fiction and certainly is the force that drives this tale. Gorgon is a creature who has sworn to kill every Elf that crosses his path. He is a cold, calculating, bloodthirsty killer whose cruelty knows no boundaries. But who is Gorgon? And why does he seek the destruction of the Elves? This is what Gaelen Taldin and her cousin Nelwyn seek to find out, for the two hunter-scouts are hot on Gorgon's corpse-ridden trail, determined to stop his murderous rampage at any cost. Most worthily, Elfhunter is akin to The Lord of the Rings in its epic scope and grand storytelling. There are armies of darkness and monstrous evils lurking within its pages. Against the backdrop of this awesome threat, is the tale of a young Elf seeking to come to terms with her tortured past and the foes and friends who seek to influence her destiny. Elfhunter is the first book in an exciting new trilogy taking place in Alterra, the World That Is, Fire-heart, and Ravenshade being the sequels. I would recommend Elfhunter to any person who loves a pulse-pounding and engaging fantasy tale with a rich setting, complex characters, and a grand quest to rival any other. No bookshelf of any self-respecting fantasy fan should be without Elfhunter. In fact, I pity those who have not yet been fortunate to read this award-winning book and discover the wonders held within.

  • Brian
    2018-12-25 10:00

    I'm giving this book one more star than it deserves because I like wood elves. I'm tempted to leave the review at that, but no. Let's get something clear: I have nothing against fantasy cliches. I have nothing against amateur fiction. I say bring on the tropes and the giddy fans. And while this book is nothing but cliches, barely-veiled Tolkien analogues, and such, that is actually why I wanted to read it. I always wanted Mirkwood Adventures, basically, and this has a lot of the right ingredients. So while I've read reviews of this book that were negative because of all the cliches, I'm going to say right off the bat that I had no problem with that.Unfortunately, she's just not a very good writer. Her manner of description and narrative has very little art to it. Characters have personalities but she tends to just tell us about them rather than letting the dialogue and events reveal them. Inner thoughts are spelled out plainly rather than revealed through actions or natural dialogues. Most crucially of all, it's just kind of boring, in spite of all the action that happens.Again, I don't want to stereotype amateur authors or self-publishing, but sometimes it's just obvious why something was self-published. (Note: the crude illustrations don't help, particularly the cover.) I also don't want to malign that species of nerd who do actual archery, dress up in cloaks and ride real horses (and believe me, her horse fetish is exceedingly apparent in this book - I would call it horseporn but that means something else, so I hear). However, this is exactly the kind of book you would expect a professor who lives in the woods, shoots real arrows, adores horses, and worships Tolkien to write. I won't say it's self-indulgent, but it's got that fan fiction vibe to it. Kudos to her for having fans and writing more books, but it's just not for me. And I have some pretty low standards sometimes.I'd also add that the marketing turns me off too. The back cover has emblazoned upon it "The best villain since Darth Vader" - as said by, er, probably some guy on the internet. Note: this is not the best villain since Darth Vader. It's not even the best villain since Dark Helmet. Gorgon isn't bad (except the name) but he's not special. Honestly, putting a quote like that on the back cover when it's so ridiculously hyperbolic just makes me roll my eyes at the entire enterprise.Needless to say, I won't bother with the other books. I don't regret reading it but I'm about as satisfied as if I'd just eaten a saltine. I still want woodsy elfy adventures, dammit, preferably with a little more character.

  • Dannette
    2019-01-01 10:54

    Amazingly creative! I can't wait to read the sequels. I'd never picked up a novel like this before, but I'm now addicted. Marks does an extraordinary descriptive job and easily transports me to the world of Alterra.

  • Winter
    2019-01-14 07:03

    Lovely, charming and exiting tale, it never cease to give me joy and comfort. It is one of the few tales I will never leave completely, always re-read.I have now read further into Fire-heart which I think is the book where she really found her own voice. Not that this one isn't great or her own in that sense, but in Fire-heart everything runs very smooth. The whole trilogy should be read and need to be read. It is a long tale to come back to again and again.

  • Tricia
    2019-01-16 02:57

    Readers will be taken to another world in which a menacing, malicious creature, Gorgon, pursues the two major characters and those like them...if he is merciful which he isn't inclined to be, he will kill you quickly, if not...well...C.S.Marks takes her readers on a perilous venture through a dark forests and lands riddled with danger,making you wish you had a sword at hand. The ending had a twist, I never saw coming and am thirsting for the second in her series.

  • Shanna
    2019-01-05 07:41

    I really enjoyed this book. The characters are all well done, and the bad guy is one of the best I've read about. I really enjoyed this!

  • Sadie Forsythe
    2019-01-07 08:50

    Elfhunter will likely appeal to most Tolkien fans. It would be almost impossible to miss the similarities between the two. I read Tolkien when I was younger and I loved his writing, his stories, and the way he could just reach in and snatch the breath from my chest with the seemingly simplest of prose. I enjoyed Marks' writing, but it's not Tolkien.I have to be honest. There is a small part of me who whats to lay my head back, close my eyes, and just relish the fact that I finally finished this book. I would have gotten far more enjoyment out of it if it had ended 200 pages before it did. Now, that isn't to say that I didn't like the book. For the most part I did. There are some really fine characters here and a truly epic journey against a notable foe. I just thought that it was way too long. There are whole passages dedicated to what the horses are doing, for example. I'll grant you that they are very charismatic and anthropomorphised horses, but I just don't care what the horses are doing when their people/elves aren't on them. I just don't. Everything from clothing, to environs, to emotions is described in excruciating detail. The result is that the book moves at an agonisingly slow pace. Patience is a must for this one.On the flip side of all of that detail is the fact that Marks in able to create a very detailed world. The elves, humans (who aren't called humans BTW) and dwarfs all have fairly established societies. Granted, none of these venture far from the pre-established fantasy tropes. The elves are tall and graceful. They sing marvellously and live forever. The dwarfs are short and squat, grow beards, carry axes and tend toward mining and forging. The men are rough horsemen of noble heart. Nothing new in any of that. But Marks does a very good job of bring these societies to life.I did struggle with the writing style a little bit. There isn't anything ostensibly wrong with it, but I saw another reader refer to it as 'uncomfortable.' I know exactly what he meant. I wouldn't have used that particular adjective, but the writing is stiff, almost formal. There are a lot of 'he did this, for she had..." type of sentences. To a certain extent this fits the story. If focuses on elves,who are known to be aristocratic and, well, formal. But 500 pages later I really, really wanted to be able to relax with these characters and their language was prohibitive. Kind of like sitting down to tea with some prim English gentleman and then slurping the dregs of your soda through your straw--just not done. It grated on me eventually. I will concede that it was consistent and well edited though.Most infuriating of all, however, is that after 500+ pages it ended with a 'Meh.' I needed a sweeping, grand finale to make it worth all the time invested. Instead there is the emotional equivalent of 'oh well, better luck next time.' It is definitely not a satisfying ending. I realise, of course, that this is the first in a series, so in a way it isn't the end. But still...All in all I'm of two minds here. I did enjoy the story. I could pick it to death, sure. There are plenty of small things bothering me. Like the annoying way things kept creeping up from the elves long histories. Things like: 'Oh yea, BTW she's had her true love already. Didn't you know?' The youngest is over 1,000 years old so there is a lot of uncovered life that popped up from time to time. I never felt like I really knew them. But that's a small matter. I can over look it and other small grievances enough to say with some certainty I enjoyed the story. On the other hand, I found finishing it a chore and it would be dishonest to say otherwise. I think this is a strong case of finding the right reader for the right book.

  • Daniella Vargas
    2019-01-23 09:34

    I cringe whenevr I see someone write "like Lord of the Rings" when reviewing a fantasy novel. Tolkien may be the best known, but really people, have you ever read something besides LOtR? Does EVERYTHING have to be like LOtR? It's like going into a nice restaurant, eating a wonderful meal, and saying it tasted like chicken. Everything does not taste like chicken and every fantasy book is not just like LOtR!Anyway, rant aside, I'm not going to make LOtR comparisons because this book is nothing like it. OK, there are elves. But other than that, the world of Alterra is vastly different in its own right. The author does a wonderful job of building the world and making it rich and believable. There are a few points where the plot slows down to a crawl, as if the author was trying to figure out what to do next, but they don't really detract overall from the story.

  • S.T. Young
    2019-01-20 06:49

    When I first started with Marks’ Elfhunter, I’ll admit to not being in the best of moods, so part of my problem (if it can be called such) with getting “into” the story might be explained by that. At first glance the story appears to be set in a slow pace, and a considerable lack of dialogue fails to really grab my attention.I like literate descriptions that draw out the “world” in my mind, well enough, and Marks manages this beautifully in those first pages that are there to set the scene, so to speak. You can clearly see the surroundings, but for a while it almost seems as if the two main characters disappear into the description, if that makes any sense. To me, it is the characters that really make me connect. The way they talk, think and act, and at the start I miss this connection just a bit.Fantasy is a rather tricky thing when you’re not an avid reader of this particular genre, and I have experienced the same problem with a multitude of famous authors who are established in this difficult niche. It is by no means easy to craft a credible world that makes sense, while creating a balance between elaborate scenic descriptions and characters. Few authors manage to do it in such a way that you feel “driven” to read more about it when all the emphasis is on their world, first and foremost.Still, Marks managed the balance remarkably well as slowly, but steadily my interest into Alterra, the World that Is, begins to take shape. Being a commercial fiction reader, I found that I needed to shift gears and imagine the Elfhunter story more along the lines of a tale “being told”, rather than the proverbial action flick that I usually imagine myself involved in.It’s a different outlook for sure, but it certainly has its charm.The Protagonists:There were a few hiccups during the beginning of the story. Some confusion on my part due to too little explanation about why “the Quest” actually began, the most pronounced.It made me wish for more description (or dialogue) about the past and the emotional attachment of the two main characters Gaelen and Nelwyn felt towards the poor hapless victims of the villain in the story. To me this wasn’t at all clear until much later on in the story, and that is a pity. Loss in every shape and form can be a wonderful way to engage a reader.But, as the two hunter elves start their pursuit of the evil Gorgon–a wonderful “bad guy” any way you turn it–this confusion is pushed to the background when the pace picks up.By this time the pages get turned in rapid succession. The male heroes are introduced and the hints of romance are added to the story, in the shape of Elf Galador and human Orogond. When they make themselves part of the hunt, I’m hooked enough to want to finish the story.For those who are strict followers of Tolkien this might not be the best choice of reading, since Mark’s fascination with the tales of Middle Earth certainly shine through, and some comparisons might be drawn by those eager to do so. It is not a knock-off, however, since there are lots of elements in it that are very, very different, which is quite an achievement.For those who thought of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy was a doorstop that they couldn’t get “into”, due to drawn out descriptions, tediously belabored details that the story really could have done without–like me–this is certainly a better choice.Elfhunter comes across as a story that evolves around friendship, loyalty and persistence with a seasoning of action and mild romance, that make it a wonderful story for young adults and adults alike.The violence is suggestive, rather than graphic, making it suited reading material for practically any age group. It does not lack description, but somehow it comes across as secondary to the motivations behind it. A nice change that is bound to attract those who wish to read something that isn’t about just violent imagery.The same goes for the romance. Though the hints are there, it isn’t graphic and designed as a side dish, rather than the main course, if you will. It allows the reader to identify with the characters, root for them, and, occasionally, wish that they’d just speed things up, rather than pussyfooting around the issue (at least it was for me) instead of.Some elaborate suggestions to a turbulent past are sporadically placed throughout the story. These might have benefited from some emphasis on the fact that a lot of time passed, because to me it felt as if it was years ago, rather than decades, but on the overall little, if anything–except for that first little confusion I had–the story made sense and explained about the world Marks created in this novel.Any of the words of the language she designed for her people–and placed in the story–that didn’t make sense are added in a cohesive glossary and history section in the back of the book. This explained them well, and even added to the world of her making.The villain, Gorgon:Marks goes into considerable detail on the self-proclaimed Elfhunter, and this shows a tortured, menacing and powerful nemesis for the persistent elves going in his pursuit. It/He creates a nice balance of good vs. evil, and will certainly capture the readers’ imagination when more and more of Gorgon’s natural inclinations become clear with every page turned.The prodigy of evil itself: It has been done over and over, but Marks gives the villain enough extras to make him original. By the time the first book of Alterra draws to its conclusion, I am actually a little sorry for the Elfhunter, who, in the end was little more than a product of his creator’s evil doings.It is a tricky thing to do with the “bad” hero in a story, but in this case it was a job well done.Throughout the Quest, during which a variety of characters are introduced in a pleasant and cohesive manner, I did get a sense of a connection between the heroine and villain, which caused some suspicions that proved to be incorrect nearing the end. But that was a nice bonus, since only few authors manage to do this in a manner that still makes sense. Usually I can pick out the general plot lines after little more than a chapter, but following the twists and turns of Gaelen and Nelwyn’s story, I ended up being nicely surprised with the design of this story’s finish.Conclusion:After some mild hiccups there at the start, Elfhunter turned out to be a very pleasant and entertaining read, leaving me with a sense of curiosity for book 2 and 3 that are waiting on my wish list of books I will want to read, if for no other reason than to find out what is going to happen next in the world of Alterra.

  • George
    2019-01-15 03:54

    I originally started this back in 2012 and then 4% in I got distracted and never got back to it until just a few days ago. I'm very glad I returned to it. Once I got into it, I was hooked.Marks admits up front her great debt to JRR Tolkien. On the surface, the story thus seems highly derivative of Lord of the Rings, and it is. But more in an homage and inspirational way than a mere copy. There's a quest, a fellowship of sorts, an overarching Dark Lord, elves, dwarves, men, and orcs, etc. The characters are what set the story apart from a mere copy of Tolkien's work. They are drawn well and expand as the story goes on. Their motivations and reactions to events are also laid out and described well. The main antagonist is a well conceived and complex character. The prose might be considered a bit stiff and stilted, but I got used to it. In the end, this book gave me a feeling reminiscent of how I feel when reading Tolkien. A poignant grief filled JOY. That's really one of the highest compliments I can give the book. I'd recommend the book to those who like epic Tolkienesque high fantasy stories with fairly well defined characters and an interesting plot.

  • Kara
    2019-01-15 09:33

    Elfhunter by CS Marks (ebook version)Review by Kara Grant*need to re read this, love how long it is......Nov.2015*My ReviewGaelen and her cousin, Nelwyn, are Wood-elves dedicated to serving as guardians of their forest home. They are both skilled trackers, over 1000 years old, and determined to protect not just their land but also their people in the surrounding lands of Alterra. Gaelen has keen eyesight, listening and scenting abilities as well as fearlessness. Nelwyn has a sharp eye and deadly aim with her arrows, she never misses her target. She is also Gaelen’s best friend and such a beauty that most are stunned to learn how well she protects /defends her companions. The king has given them the task of patrolling the surrounding land when they come across two murdered elves and dear friends. This begins the journey for the she-elves to find Gorgon Elfhunter and put an end to his murderous and terrorizing ways. Gorgon Elfhunter has a strange and perverted background and he is set on making sure elves go extinct. However, he is also entertained in killing anything that crosses his path. His hatred and evil is tangible throughout. He only attacks when he is sure to win, but as the story goes on the reader learns even this foe is not all that he seems to be. One of his victims ends up haunting him and insulting him because he has such a strong spirit even after death.One of the main themes in Elfhunter is revenge. Many of the characters are driven by it and some are even obsessed with it. When their loved ones have been murdered, some more brutally than others, the survivors make it their duty to hunt Gorgon and bring him to an end. Most of the characters want to stop Gorgon, but the main purpose of the journey is to warn other elves in different parts of the land so that the murders stop.I saw this book as a combination of Lord of the Rings and Beowulf. There is a Company of elves, dwarves, humans (mortal men) and horses with feisty personalities. Their enemies include certain dwarves, one troll, Ulcas (reminded me of Orcs) and one creepy scene with Ulfar, which are poisonous water snakes. There is danger at every turn, lots of battles, a few wars, each group has a history that gets explained, dreams, visions, singing, lamenting, romance, friendship, betrayal, and violence. The violence is only slightly graphic at the beginning, there is less details of how characters get dismembered as the story progresses. Marks wanted to make sure the story was alive for the reader without being gory. The language in the book is one of my favorite parts, they communicate in such vivid ways and not always with speaking. There were parts of the story that got summarized that I wished would have been better described and there are parts to the story that were detailed which didn’t need to be. There are also several scenes in the book where all seems lost or the main characters have close calls that make the pages turn faster. The book is over 600 pages, including a map, chapter contents, a few illustrations in the story, and a name glossary at the end. The ending of Elfhunter leaves room for the story to continue in a sequel.I recommend this book for those who love fantasy or war stories. This book is filled with action, but it also has plenty of traveling and background information. I enjoyed the book, but I was not able to connect to the entire story. There is mention of prayer; there is an afterlife, but the elves have a different resting place then the mortals do and so on; there are spiritual elements within the story; characters in this book know how to hold a grudge when their ancestors have been wronged; one character gets banished from his land for falling inlove outside of his kind (this is not allowed); there is fierce loyalty between the Company; and there is healing for some of the characters whose loved ones have been killed. CS Marks is a talented author, but I believe she has the potential to become greater still. You can visit her website at: want to thank Sea Lion Books for the e-Book they provided me with. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

  • Laura
    2019-01-08 09:52

    I don't know if I'll ever finish reading this book. I'm finding it kind of painful to read. I think the writing style is just not for me, although is probably exactly right for others. It's too....descriptive, and not in a way that I find enjoyable to read. I don't need to know that one character's boots are green and another's are brown, or what they are wearing whenever they change clothes. There is also a lot of telling and not very much showing. The four main characters have personalities, that I know the author can tell apart, but as a reader, with the way they are written, I am having a hard time seeing it. I don't really *get* the motivation for their quest either. I mean...the author explains it, but it doesn't make sense to me. I don't *believe* it. I feel like the character who is driven to go after this bad guy because of what he did to her friend, at least at the point in the story that I've read to, seemed more like a casual kind of acquaintance type friend, not an extremely close friend, and certainly not someone so close to her that she couldn't rest until his death was avenged. The main villain is intriguing, but again, the way he comes across on the page, he doesn't seem that scary. I don't get any feeling of rage and menace when I read from his point-of-view, even though we're told that he is full of rage and hatred for the elves. I just got the feeling that there was a lot the author knew about this world that she wanted to share, so there's a lot of extraneous stuff that detracts from the story (the author is a talented artist, so I can see why she might choose to include tons of very visual descriptions, but the extent to which they appear in this story just REALLY does not work for me at all). On the flip side of that, there are also essential bits of the story that never quite made it to the pages for the reader. I am fairly confident that all of the bits I felt were lacking are all in there in the author's head, so the story makes perfect sense to her, and if those bits had made it onto the page, the story would probably work for me much better.

  • Jessie Potts
    2019-01-07 05:00

    3.5 StarsElfhunter is no easy sci-fi/fantasy book to sneer at and finish in a day. It’s a long and lengthy read that takes readers into the depths of Alterra where terrible beast like creatures rampage, Elves take up arms, and two small heroines can conquer greatness. Gaelen and Nelwyn are Wood-Elves and are on a quest to destroy the Elfhunter who is brutally killing and exterminating their kind. Along the way they will discover who they are and what it means to be a hero.This was a fun read. I say that because Marks really enjoys epic fantasies and the writing shows that. It kept me engaged the majority of the time. I loved the main characters and how connected I felt to them, I adored the idea of the villain being a serial killer and so brutal of a foe, I also really liked ease of reading (I for one took forever to read through Lord of the Rings due to the language). The only thing I wished for was more back-story on the two heroines and what made them who they were at the beginning of the story. I also am an avid fan of violence in books and wished it were more realistic than suggested, however this meant that younger readers could enjoy Elfhunter without their guardians worrying over the violence element.All in all if you enjoy lengthy reads, excellent sci-fi/fantasy stories, and heroes/ines who manage to distinguish themselves and discover greatness, then I would pick up Elfhunter. On a side note I suck at grammar and spelling, honestly if it weren’t for that squiggly red line in word none of my reviews would be spell checked. Having said that I don’t ever really notice the apparent ‘self pubbed’ vibes a lot of readers complain about, this was no different, once caught up in the story I didn’t get jerked out due to mis-spellings or poorly placed commas. I can’t comment for the readers who hate the bad grammar.

  • Steven Schaefer
    2019-01-09 10:58

    I was fortunate to have met the author at St. Louis Comic Con this year. We were attending for the first time and stumbled across her booth amidst the spectacle. The covers of the displayed works intrigued me, so I struck up a brief conversation with the occupants, not realizing one of the two was the author. She asked my 11 year old about his tastes in reading and recommended her books. This is of course to be expected given the venue. We later returned and purchased this and one of the later tales, Fire-heart I think. After waiting a bit for my son to give the books a try, I decided to read them myself. What I found was a solid story, in a very Tolkienesque style - detailed, with much of the historical setting gradually revealed over the course of the book. As the first book of a series, there were a few rough edges in how the characters were introduced and handled, but I find this normal in the early works of a writer. I found each of the characters, including the villains to be well put together. I really only have 2 complaints about this book, the first being the pacing of the book, I've read many books with slow beginnings and found this one to plod more than it drove. I think this is a bit more due to Marks' Tolkien-like style than anything else. I hope to see some improvement of this in later books of this series. The second complaint I have is more of a sales issue - while I found none of the content to be offensive and wouldn't object to my son's reading of this (and I intend to encourage him to) I found much of the book to be rather more complex than I would expect most 5th/6th graders, even avid readers, to be able to deal with. I "get" that when I encountered the author, she was hoping to make a sale, I'm just disappointed that my son was her sales target. That being said, I'm still looking forward to exploring more of the world of Alterra.

  • Diayll
    2018-12-28 07:49

    Originally Reviewed At: Mother/Gamer/WriterRating: 4.5 out of 5 ControllersReview Source: PublisherReviewer: BaileyElfhunter is an epic tale of a headstrong She-Elf named Gaelen and her cousin Nelwyn who discover slain elves in the woods, prompting them to track the killer. They, alongside some friends met along the way, go on a journey in hopes to exact vengeance upon an entity that calls itself ‘Elfhunter’ and whose only purpose is to exterminate the Elven race. Will the band of heroes succeed?I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I liked that it had a mildly complex vocabulary and that the action in the story started straight away. The plot moved along at a steady pace and never seemed to drag, in my opinion. It is a fantasy book, so it is a bit long, which I found to my liking.The book switched perspectives at time throughout the book, which helps give you insight into the backstories of many of the characters. I liked this aspect, as it gave the opportunity to get to know the characters on a deeper level, thus making them more relatable. I found aspects of several characters that I could relate to, making the book more enjoyable. For example, I could relate to Gaelen’s stubbornness and the fact that, although she acts tough, she does have a soft side.I would definitely recommend this book to any high school student or adult who enjoys fantasy novels, as well as middle schoolers with a higher reading level. Being a teenager myself, I feel that it is a fantastic book for teens or adults to get into, provided they don’t mind the length.

  • Taylor
    2019-01-07 07:46

    This book has so much potential. The background of each character, how they relate to one another, and the premise of the book...(to defeat what I will just call the 'darkness')...all held my attention. C. S. Marks is a great writer. The issue I have with the book is for 500 pages, the characters basically have one task. At the end of the book...this task is STILL not resolved. *Add a second story line that involves romance and love relationships that progress* I am disappointed that things were not taken a step further in this book. There is so much potential for questions and mystery. Marks instead kind of feeds the answers to you and makes most things predictable, which left me disappointed. I may try reading the companion novels because I am really interested in the world. Hopefully there is more mystery surrounding the battling characters.

  • Tanner
    2019-01-16 07:34

    "Elfhunter" is a vivid tale that draws the reader in the the world of Alterra. Strong characters and an exciting plot will drive you down the road of sleep deprivation, you won't be able to put it down. The tale is well told. So hearken to the lore-master. Buy the book and enter the world that is!Highly recommended!

  • Thomi Elmore
    2019-01-22 07:42

    Absolutely wonderful character driven fantasy. Immersion in the world of Alterra was as deep as finding myself in Middle Earth years ago. Memorable villains - honorable heroes - grand themes of loyalty and friendship. Love it!

  • Kim Hunt
    2019-01-14 02:37

    love this book. the author made me fall in love with several of the characters. i look forward to the continuation of the story.

  • Kim
    2019-01-21 06:51

    For as long as I remember, I loved stories with elves, dwarves, men and campaigns. When I was told about this series, I put it on my list of books to check out and I wasn't disappointed. It was a bit slow at first as the author began to build the foundations of both the story and the world of Alterra itself. In my opinion, it needed to be slow because everything within Alterra played a part in the story. The characters, the land, the animals - they all played a role in the events which came to pass.Right away the reader was shown why Gorgon was given his nickname. From the first strike of the sword, he set into motion a series of events that spanned the world of Alterra and came back upon him. The author did a great job in conveying how devastating the deaths were for all those affected by them. Gaelen and Nelwyn reacted realistically to the knowledge of the deaths of childhood friends. Thus, they began on their journey to find the party responsible and bring him/her to justice.Of course, they encountered several obstacles and setbacks along the way. I was relieved that the two She-elves weren't left to go through all of them alone. Along the way they began to pick up companions whose destinies became entwined with Gaelen and Nelwyn's. Each one of the characters stood out in their own way. Rogond was stalwart and loyal to a fault. Galador's past blurred his perception of the present almost to the point of turning away the very thing he wanted. There were a number of other characters which impacted the story though they weren't among the main characters.In the depths of darker times, there were moments of comic relief which provided a welcomed contrast to the battle and death scenes. Not only between the members of the Company but from the horses themselves. Rogond's horse reminded me so much of people in my own life that I couldn't help but laugh at his antics. I loved the descriptions of the horses and the insight of how their minds worked. The descriptions of the land and various realms painted vivid pictures in such a way that I could very easily envision them for myself as I continued reading.Once the foundation was set, the pacing of the story picked up and continued on a steady path until it reached a fevered pitch. I was caught up in the world of Alterra by the first third of the book. By the end, I was scrambling for the next book in the series. Overall, I enjoyed spending time in their world and look forward to the sequel. Familiar to other adventure or fantasy stories, the author did a wonderful job of including enough differences and unique quirks to create a world and exciting saga all her own. If you're a lover of adventure and fantasy or merely attracted to Elves and Dwarves, this is the series for you. Be sure to pick up a copy of this book and its sequel!

  • James Williams
    2018-12-26 04:59

    The story opens with two simple wood elves "camping" on a starry night and quickly transforms into a murder mystery!The characters are incredibly well-formed, they are complicated and intricately portrayed. Marks truly employs character development as a method of introducing you the characters in the book rather than simply describing them. She brings you along as silent participant in the quest to find and kill the hideous creature that is brutally murdering her elven brethren.As the story progresses the duo quickly turns into a foursome adding a subtle dynamic of romance. I did not feel as though this story was at all bogged down by emotional romantic sentiment, but instead the progression of how each of the characters genuinely cared about one another. It was nice not being caught up in yet another story of co-dependency where the theme was "I can't live without you". The interactions between the company were of heartfelt emotions rather than lust driven needs.The battle scenes were amazing, keeping you on the edge of your seat. Marks is not afraid to take risks in letting important characters die. Some of the losses were shocking. Usually I can tell who is "wearing the red shirt" in a book but this story kept me on edge because you never knew who was going to be next.It is always a bit of nail-biter when going up against a seemingly invincible foe. In the first real confrontation with Gorgon Efhunter the company met with utter disaster. I was left with a bit of hopelessness, wondering what it would take defeat Gorgon.Gorgon is a tortured hateful soul - his is a pretty classic "mommy didn't give him enough hugs" character. He oozes with hatred for all living things and will suffer none in his path to live. His hatred has driven him to self mutilation over his many years to the point of his origins being nearly impossible to trace.I would recommend this book for any reader that enjoys fantasy. If you have a 10 year old that is a good reader this book is appropriate for the age group. And yes if you liked the Lord of the Rings you will love this story. The story movement is superb, the character development feels natural and there are many surprises throughout the story.This is the second book I've read by Marks, it's safe to say at this point I am in fact now a fan of her work and I can't wait for the next installment in the Elfhunter trilogy.

  • Keru Faye
    2019-01-14 05:35

    I tried. I really tried to finish this. But alas, Elfhunter must go to the dnf shelf because I have many more better books to read and I ended up about halfway through the book when I felt that I should be much farther.I love elves, so I thought that this would be a win for me, but the writing suffers from tell-don't-show and over-description in the wrong places. This bogs down the pace dramatically and makes Elfhunter a chore to read.The characters aren't exactly super-compelling either, despite the blurb on the back that says the villain is the best since Darth Vader. Gaelen especially was frustrating. While she's no Mary Sue, she is a very special snowflake. She knows basically everyone important, has a strong connection to the villain, has special death powers, a beautiful singing voice, is attractive despite cutting her hair short (elves are supposed to have long hair in Alterra), and she had four love interests when I dropped the book, one of which is a king, another is a prince, and the third is an important warrior. Her final love interest is human, leading to FORBIDDEN LOVE as a subplot. Which would be awesome if it were better-written.Everyone else is rather unremarkable. They have personalities, but they fail to stand out from any other fantasy book I've ever read. It didn't help when the main baddie showed up and started talking in Ye Olde speak.Speaking of that, the dialogue is clunky due to fantasy speak.Also the tag line "Alterra: The World that Is" is possibly the dumbest thing I've heard in a while. Of course it is. I'm reading about, therefore I'm assuming it is. A lot of things are. What is it besides Middle Earth light?If you're looking for a good epic fantasy, I would skip this one and go read Tolkien, since you'll be getting about the same effect with better writing.

  • Catherine Fitzsimmons
    2019-01-17 07:45

    It took me a while to at last get around to reading this book by fellow Gen Con Author's Avenue regular C. S. Marks, but I did at last, largely in need of some escapism. Elfhunter certainly provided that. I went in not really knowing what I was getting into, aside from the somewhat unspecific back cover blurb, a short story in one of the Missing Pieces volumes, and some very scant words by a previous reader more regarding writing style than content.Put simply, I found Elfhunter very, very Tolkienesque. I mean that in both a good and bad way; the world was very deep and thoroughly developed and the cultures, races, and overall style of the world was very similar, but the writing style - while florid and pleasantly archaic - was somewhat dry and passive. There wasn't much real tension to me as a result, but enough curiosity about what would happen next for that not to be a detraction.For as similar as Alterra was to Middle-Earth, sometimes perhaps a little too much, the author actually did a very nice job creating her own original world. (I'm saying this as someone who has only read LOTR and The Hobbit and doesn't remember overly much about either, admittedly, but from my stance it was inspired/influenced by enough to not seem lifted from.) Characters were a little cliched and/or simple but interesting and generally likable. The story was interesting and the writing was engaging enough that it didn't matter that a large portion of the characters' journey was pretty much world exploration.The ending did leave me a little dissatisfied, despite the foreshadowing to it, but overall I enjoyed this book. I'd probably lean more toward a 3.5 star rating if Goodreads allowed it.

  • Douglas Cook
    2019-01-04 03:37

    Excellent first book of the Alterra series. Good characterization. A truly nasty bad guy. Female main character. Well worth reading.First paragraphsThe darkness came early in midwinter, especially in the Greatwood. Even in the height of summer the forest was not a bright place. Very little sunlight penetrated the vast canopy, hence the overall effect of a cool, dark haven shot with green and gold. In winter more light could pass through the layers of skeletal branches, but it was a cold light, thin and grey. In the ever-present mists of winter, a traveler who ventured into the depths of the forest unprepared might find himself lost, chilled to death in the long dark. Fire, in this realm, was life. Gaelen Taldin, a Wood-elf of the Greatwood Realm, was glad to have been sent out into the deep woods. As with most of her kind, Gaelen was most content among the trees, and she had dedicated herself to the guardianship of her forest home. She paused in her gathering of dead wood for the fire that she would soon need, appraising the leaden, tree-netted sky to the northwest. It looked as though it might start snowing at any minute. She struck a spark to the tinder she had collected, carefully tending the fragile flame until it was truly kindled, and wrapped her winter cloak about her. She had lived through well over a thousand such winters and was not disquieted, for she was resistant to the elements and the cold bothered her little. Still, the fire was most welcome.Marks, C.S. (2012-11-24). Elfhunter (Tales of Alterra, the World that Is.) (Kindle Locations 64-74). Parthian Press. Kindle Edition.

  • Charlene
    2019-01-09 02:51

    I was drawn into this book by the promise of a new epic fantasy, and I was very happy to immerse myself in this new world. It's very rich with detail and characters with complex backstories. The novel gradually reveals each character's hidden secrets and desires in a way that makes the whole story compelling. The Elfhunter is pretty sinister as well, and finding out more about his vendetta was very interesting.Although I enjoy the characters and the worldbuilding, there are times when I feel the story is not very fresh. There are elements of it that remind me a little too strongly of Lord of the Rings. And the writing is not as lyrical. It's good, but sometimes I just feel it is too straightforward and unremarkable. And there are times when the author goes on asides that I feel slowed down the pace of the story too much. There are many exciting scenes, but they are sometimes broken up by some bland scenes.Ultimately, although the story is very richly detailed, and sometimes exciting, with great character building, I think the writing was the most disappointing aspect. It often felt flat emotionally because the author chose to emphasize emotions by stating them, instead of letting the descriptions of characters actions tell the story. Parts of this book stood out, but the whole didn't come together very well for me.

  • Stephen
    2018-12-25 08:39

    Elfhunter is an epic tale of a headstrong She-Elf named Gaelen and her cousin Nelwyn who discover slain elves in the woods, prompting them to track the killer. They, alongside some friends met along the way, go on a journey in hopes to exact vengeance upon an entity that calls itself ‘Elfhunter’ and whose only purpose is to exterminate the Elven race. Will the band of heroes succeed?I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I liked that the action in the story started straight away. The plot moved along at a steady pace and never seemed to drag. It is a fantasy book, so it is a bit long, which I found to my liking. The book switched perspectives at times throughout the book, which helps give you insight into the backstories of many of the characters. I liked this aspect, as it gave the opportunity to get to know the characters on a deeper level, thus making them more relatable. I found aspects of several characters that I could relate to, making the book more enjoyable. For example, I could relate to Gaelen’s stubbornness and the fact that, although she acts tough, she does have a soft side. I highly recommend this book, you will not be waisting your time. On to the second book for me. Great Reading Everyone!

  • Linda
    2019-01-18 04:45

    The narrative story telling, at the beginning, was slow for me to get into at first; but the author had a world to set up and players to introduce. This is an intricate tale of an epic fantasy with a richly detailed plot, which grows into a quest.The characters are solid and well rounded with personalities that you will come to love. Gaelen is a strong driven female elf who drives the quest. Orogond is the human ranger with heart. Fima is the dwarf lore master who has the wisdom and knowledge they need. Gorgon is the elfhunter, but he does not discriminate, he kills all.Wonderful story telling, I was completely drawn into Alterra and I can't wait to see what happens next. There is not truly a cliffhanger at the end but the quest will continue. I would recommend.The editing was flawless. The only thing that I would have liked to have seen was some spacing between the chapters, and that is probably just a personal preference. :)

  • Dick Martin
    2019-01-17 10:36

    Elfhunter is a great elf tale that is just the beginning of adventures that I couldn't wait for more.I give this 5 stars because I read lots of books on elves and this is a topnotch story that you can't stop reading. C.S.Marks is a fantastic author that knows her elves.I have read all of Gaelen's adventures so far I can't pick a favorite they all are great and keep you reading,waiting for for the next one. I know I can't wait for the next book,I keep checking every couple of weeks for a new book on Gaelen's quest's as the story that C.S.Marks has started with this Elf has got me hooked.I have read her other books also and give every one of them a must read for anyone how likes Elves or anyone that loves a great fantasy.

  • Ruby Ridge
    2018-12-31 07:37

    I really did want to like this book but I found it boring. It is a Tolkien type story, which is good, but it is too long and for long periods nothing really happens. You get the feeling that even during the action sequences the author tries to get these out of the way as quickly as possible to get on with the business of describing things. I wonder if the author would be more at home writing a book of poetry lookind at the overlong descriptions.I got no real feel for any of the characters with the possible exception of the dwarf loremaster. The relationships feel forced and the story would be better without them.This book is too long and I see the next is even longer, I am not interested in the fate of any of the characters so I will not bother