Rise Of The TaiGethen

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This is a phenomenally good book. Barclay always writes well, but I'm not sure I've seen stronger storytelling from him. The characters are brought to life with such skill that nobody can be seen as mere cannon-fodder. As is his wont, Barclay kills off several of the major characters during the book, and in a couple of cases, the death scenes genuinely brought a tear to my eye. Patrick Mahon, SFF Chronicles

Yes you still get the high octane action, the bloody conflict and pyrrhic victories where you mourn the death of each character passing, but when you add the lessons learned along the way with a brand new character who's also schizophrenic then it gets a whole load more complex. The writing is gripping, the characters multifaceted... Falcata Times

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How to describe the writing process for this one? Tortuous, emotional, frustrating and ultimately amazing. The irritating thing is that it followed the track of the first Elves book in that I set off at a hundred miles an hour, got 35,000 words in and realised it wasn’t bloody WORKING. It was disjointed, sluggish and terribly flawed.

You’d think I’d learned the first time round, but still. Thing is, I’d got too introspective and the energy had vanished into the forest floor as a result. I was trying to tell the story over too long a period and I was concentrating on almost all the wrong things. Bizarre. So, back to the drawing board… focus returned to Auum, Takaar and, crucially, to Ystormun and, even more crucially, to Jeral, a human soldier.

Hey presto, there was variety, pace and interesting stories and characters to populate them. Out of that came some really emotional scenes and a death that spawned a new breed…

A curious process. Let’s hope I learn the lessons for book three…

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