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200,000 Raven books in print Since the relaunch for Barclay with new packaging his backlist sales have more than doubled Barclay is the most commercial UK based fantasy author of his generation Now selling as fast as Terry Goodkind Elfsorrow and Shadowheart both BCA main selections Translation deals in France, Germany, Russia and Poland Critical acclaim from the word go Perfect for fans of David Gemmell 'Writes novels you want to read again and again' David Gemmell 'The Sergio Leone of the genre' SFX 'Truly excellent heroic fantasy' SFSite 'The best modern pulp fantasy of the last few years' Waterstones Enigma Magazine

About the Author

James Barclay is in his forties and lives in Teddington with his wife. He is a full-time writer.


The elite mercenaries of the Raven go from heroes to fugitives when one of their number is condemned to death. In the meantime, a war that pits the four magical colleges against one another leaves the lands of western Balaia vulnerable to attacks from their enemies to the east. The sequel to Elfsorrow delivers more action-packed fantasy adventure with a deeper focus on the characters' interpersonal relations. Barclay's talent for depicting the carnage and frenzy of war gives his battle scenes a realism that brings home both the horrors experienced and the courage of its participants. VERDICT Military fantasy of the highest quality informs this powerful novel, which will appeal to fans of Glen Cook's classic "Black Company" novels. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Picking up where he left off in November 2010's Elfsorrow, Barclay has no qualms about heaping more misery and catastrophe on his devastated creation. The world includes a complex and rational system of magic that requires the cooperation of mages. One of the colleges of magic uses the near-destruction of a rival as the impetus for a war that brings in all four colleges and leaves the world even more battered and chaotic than it already was thanks to a series of political wars. The Raven, a group of heroes trying to stop the destruction, is battered and damaged as well, its numbers greatly reduced. Frequent perspective shifts give a sense of urgency at the expense of allowing the reader to get fully invested in any single character. Battle scenes are well realized and varied, vital in a book consisting almost entirely of epic conflict. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Gritty, down-to-earth and delightful, invoking tears and laughter by turn--Maggie Furey
He creates novels you want to read again and again--David Gemmell
If there ever was a case of a plot acting like a man-trap this is it--Time Out
The best modern pulp fantasy of the last few years--Waterstones Enigma Magazine
The Sergio Leone of the genre--SFX

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