The first volume of this new epic from A.P. Stephens and Strike Four Studios is out now. Spotlighted here. Some of my thoughts on Of Thieves and Elves: Volume 1: The Steel Snare.
Tragedy befalls the Clan of Ionor, an ancient brotherhood of elven warriors, when their leader goes missing with an ancient and powerful relic. What’s worse – both he and the relic have been taken by the Steel Claw, leaving only a dagger and a prayer to guide those looking for him.
ist volume gets an excellent mix of the world building you would want in this, as well as some standalone story.
First of all, is the map – which you don’t see very often now in stories, but took me back to reading The Hobbit and Lord of The Rings. I guess that may be the intention, judging by the theme, but I liked it, and it may be something we can refer back to in later volumes.
We get a good setup too – of course there are question to ask. the foe seems reasonably well defined at this point, and I’m sure we will learn more about the enemy in later volumes, but at this point it is good to just have the ‘big bad’ referred to, but still have the underlings.
This is well shown in the dark of the forest, and I like the way it is all built up to. The gang of cut-throats are well rounded and they are twisted by the mysterious weapon.
Ah yes, the weapon – now that is something I wish to learn more about. It seems to be sentiant and not have the best of intentions in mind. Does this have something to do with why this elf is on the road? What is its power? All questions to be answered on another day.
This was a well built story, with a lot to take in, but some excellent pacing – I’m already looking forward to seeing what comes next and where from.
The artwork was well done, especially the dark and nastiness of the forest – more LoTR vibes there. The crows were a nice touch and their use throughout works well. I like the colours and style of the story too.
And then there is that epilogue to throw in something else – that is very interesting and adds something extra to the story – it makes you reevaluate what may be to come.
An excellent, extra-large read and worth checking out for fantasy fans.
You can see where to get Of Thieves and Elves: Volume One here.