cover image Once Walked with Gods

Once Walked with Gods

James Barclay. Gollancz (Trafalgar Sq., dist.), $15.95 trade paper (408p) ISBN 978-0-575-08503-9

Barclay (Legends of the Raven) opens his Elves fantasy series with a sensational fable of political upheaval, treachery, and redemption in the world of Calaius. Takaar , hero of the Elves, teeters between suicide and redemption after fleeing Garonin and abandoning his people. Human priest Sildann leads assassins armed with terrible magic to the revered Elven temple Aryn­deneth, determined to preserve human authority at any cost. As brothers fight and centuries-old alliances crumble, Auum, a TaiGethan Warrior, seeks to return Takaar to his former glory before Sildann and her co-conspirators destroy the Elven nation forever. Barclay’s visionary, detail-drenched imaginings combine ancient myths with vividly realistic outbursts of betrayal, greed, and culpability. Elven culture, politics, and religion mirror our own, and Takaar and Sildann manifest very human flaws. Social dictates clash against individual desires as deafeningly as swords against shields in this riveting drama of mages, magic, and mystical races. (Dec.)