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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
Perilous Paths by Tomas Liedman centers on Demordin, a dark elven noble from the House of Baen Drûl, who returns to his family mansion after 20 years at the warrior academy. His atrocious relationship with his family members stays the same upon his return, but he also notices the rising hostility towards him as his siblings become more powerful in terms of skills and status. Demordin must hurry if he wants to assert his noble birthright and take power of the House, while unraveling the web of intrigue and betrayals around him.
This is an interesting spin on one of the classic fantasy beings. Instead of the usual Tolkien-esque elves, the more gritty and brutal dark elves become the protagonists. The politics and ethos of the dark elves' society are different, somewhat barbarous and canonical. Yet, they also retain the intelligence and gracefulness of the elves in epic fantasy stories that I’m familiar with. Family squabbles and conspiracies outline the plot of Perilous Paths. These aspects contribute to the depth and complexity of the storyline. On the other hand, I’m ambivalent about the antagonism between Demordin and his twin sister, as well as her ways of provoking him.
The world building and the names of characters and places are intricate, so I appreciate the glossaries included at the beginning and the end of the book. The magic system is interesting and the fight scenes are well-described. All in all, it’s a different but otherwise intriguing spin on fantasy elves.