~ 2nd Novel in the Elvenbane Series by Andre Norton

(Series aka) Halfblood Chronicles

Written with Mercedes Lackey

Nominated - Science Fiction Book Club's - Book of the Year Award 1995



Synopsis ~

Write-up from the front flap of the 1995 dustjacket ~

Elvenblood… To spill it was to invite terrible vengeance, as Shana, also known as the Elvenbane, had already discovered. She had been born into a world with one simple law – obey the elven lords or be destroyed. Those elvenborn who had the strongest magic and pure elvenblood ruled all others: humans, halfbloods, and even elves of weaker magic, mere slaves who lived or died at the whim and fancy of their masters.
The dreaded elven lords ruled the land with the casual ruthlessness of those so powerful they fear only one another… until the young halfblood Shana won a victory for the downtrodden masses who suffered under the elven lords’ lash. But Shana gained nothing more than grudging recognition for herself and freedom for the dragons and other halfbloods who fought at her side against their oppressors.
Now change is in the wind, and what began with Shana’s struggle has spread to become a rebellion of all the oppressed across the land…
If they could rise as one, the elven lords would be far outnumbered. But even so, none who would fight the lords are able to withstand their might. Their common cause must find in the elven masters some weakness, an Achilles’s heel in the armor of their magical supremacy.
When Shana encounters the Iron People, a tribe of human nomads immune to the magic of elves and halfbloods alike, she believes she has finally found the weapon needed to defeat the overlords. But her jubilation is premature. The nomads enslave her, binding her with chains made of a substance impervious to both magic and brute strength, the very substance that is the key to the entire realm’s salvation – if she can but escape its chilling grasp.
With all the color and excitement of fantasy only two masters can create, Elvenblood, even greater in scope than its bestselling predecessor, is the rousing epic of an upheaval that will shake this storied realm to its roots.


Write-up from the back of the paperback edition ~

The powerful magic of ruthless Elvenlord masters has for centuries ruled the world. Even Shana, the legendary Elvenbane prophesied to deliver the oppressed into freedom, is helpless before such power. She and her ragtag band of outcasts, half-blood wizards, escaped human slaves, and free-thinking dragons have gained only a token victory against the mighty lords.

Only the long-forgotten Iron People, a band of human nomads, have escaped the tyranny of the reigning wizards. How have they survived through the centuries?

As the winds of change sweep the world, and as tensions seething beneath the surface of Elven society threaten to break into open revolt, Shana meets the ancient tribe. Could an age-old secret free Shana and her people…or will its discovery call down their doom?


Write-ups from fans ~

The second Half-Blood War has been fought to a draw; the half-bloods agree to leave their Citadel and the near proximity of the Elven Lands--the Elves agree to allow them to withdraw.  After establishing a new Citadel, Shana and her foster-brother Keman go exploring to see if they can find other allies in their war against the Elves, which all the half-bloods know is only in a state of temporary truce--the Elves are too treacherous to honor their agreement.  Meanwhile, the Elves are busily, desperately testing all the Young Lords, fearing to find another half-blood in their midst, masquerading as a full Elf and Heir to some great Lord.  Which, as it happens, is the case: the Heir to the new Council Leader is a half-blood.  When he feels discovery is imminent, he escapes to the wilderness, taking with him his full-blood Elven sister.  The two parties meet in captivity to the Bull Riders, a migrant people who had fled when the Elves first invaded the world.  Now Shana has to try to talk them into becoming allies of the Half-Bloods in another war with the Elves. ~ SL

Part two of the Halfblood chronicles. Wizard War II has ended in an uneasy truce with the wizards (Halfbloods) moving south far away from Elvenlord territory. The Elvenbane (Shana) and another wizard and a couple of dragons (in Halfblood form) go scouting looking for people to trade with. Instead, they are captured and enslaved by the "Iron People" a nomadic tribe who seem to be impervious to the wizards' magic.
Meanwhile, the Elvenlords are plotting to attack the wizards after they have located and eliminated any Halfbloods hiding in Elvenlord territory. Lord Taylor's son, Lorryn, who is a closet wizard and his daughter, Rena, who has just been engaged to an idiot, escape Tylar's estate with the help of the dragon, Myre (sister to Kemanoral). On this trip, Myre is lost, and Rena discovers that all those useless trivial "little magics" that Elvenladies learn can actually be effective and she becomes essential to their escape.
They run into the Iron People and convince them that they are old allies. The wizards discover something that just about every reader of fantasy knows--Cold Iron can block magic. They decide to take a bunch of Iron jewelry to Elven women and all the disgruntled lesser elves and set them against the powerful Elvenlords while they attack the wizards. There is an epic duel between Keman and Myre who has been stirring up trouble in the new wizard citadel. The Elvenlords go down and several romances have bloomed. ~ PG


Reviews ~

Kirkus Reviews ~ Issue: May 1st, 1995
Independent sequel to The Elvenbane (1991). After the rebellion of Shana, the Elvenbane, and her half-blood and dragon allies against the cruel and oppressive Elvenlords, nothing much has changed except that the half-bloods are left more or less alone. But now Lord Tylar has decided to marry his daughter, Rena, advantageously off to an aristocratic dolt; meanwhile, Tylar's son, Lorryn--not really his son, but a human-elven half-blood--is threatened with exposure. Assisted by Myre, a dragon disguised as a human slave, Rena and Lorryn plan to escape. Myre, however, hopes to use the pair to track down and destroy Shana's half-bloods and their dragon allies. Shana, meantime, is captured by nomadic Iron People--their iron jewelry and mental shields protect them against magic--and learns that Jamal, their War Chief, intends to pillage the half-blood settlements, while their Iron Priest, Diric, desires only cooperation and trade. Eventually, Rena and Lorryn arrive among the Iron People to help Shana and Diric overthrow Jamal, while Myre is defeated by her brother, Keman. Finally, they all arrange to break the power of the Elvenlords by providing their slaves and downtrodden relatives with magic-proof iron jewelry. A dreadfully slow start--the first 100-plus pages could have been collapsed into a few paragraphs--but thereafter modestly appealing and involving, if lacking real bite. 


Review by Publishers Weekly ~ May 29, 1995

The prolific Norton again collaborates with Lackey to create another thinly disguised romance/miscegenation parable serving as a fantasy/adventure novel. Sheyrene and her brother, Lorryn, are kept virtual prisoners to their father's wishes, since he is a high elven lord and has powerful elven magic that can be used to remold not only their bodies but also their minds, wills and souls. When circumstances allow them to escape, they are propelled into the paths of Shauna (who was featured in The Elvenbane, the first book of the series), a half-breed leader who has control over human and elven magic, and of her friends, wizards and shape-changing dragons who want equality for all. Inevitably, romance blossoms, war threatens, and heroism ensues. Though the final battle here is rushed and depressingly anticlimactic, both authors have a sweet way with characters and there is enough magic, mystery and romantic bonding of fantastic species in genetically improbable ways to keep loyal fans entertained--and anyone with an ounce of cynicism far, far away.


Various reviews ~ For more info and other listings see Articles Over the Years

1995 by Vikki Lee in Vector #184, Summer
1995 by Carolyn Cushman in Locus #415, August
1995 by John C. Bunnell in Dragon Magazine #221, September


Bibliography of English Editions ~

  • (1995) Published by TOR, HC, 0-312-85548-6, 978-0-312-85548-2, LCCN 95005797, $22.95 US $33.95 Canadian, 348pg ~ cover by Boris Vallejo {Black paper Boards}
  • (1995) Published by SFBC, HC, # 10190, $10.98, 348pg ~ cover by Boris Vallejo - Reprinted in 2003 as #52418 $11.99 299pg
  • (1995) Published by Voyager - Harper Collins, PB, 0-006-48028-4, 978-0-006-48028-0, £5.99, 412pg ~ UK printing ~ cover by Geoff Taylor
  • (1996) Published by TOR, PB, 0-812-56319-0, 978-0-812-56319-1, LCCN 95-5797, $5.99, 344pg - Reprinted in 2002 @ $6.99, 2012 @ $7.99 ~ cover by Boris Vallejo
  • (2004) Published by Demco Media, HC, 0-606-29788-X, 978-0-606-29788-2, $14.39 ~ cover by Boris Vallejo ~ "Turtleback" library binding.
  • (2011) Created by Brilliance Audio, Audible, length 12hrs & 51mins, $25.99 ~ narrated by Aasne Vigessa


Non-English Editions ~

  • (2003) Combined with "Elvenbane" and "Elvenborn" ~ Published in Sofia, Bulgaria; 9548826658, PB, ~ Bulgarian title Проклятието на елфите [Curse of the Elves]
  • (1999) Published in Prague, Czech Republic; by Deus, PB, 80-8621-527-X, 325pg ~ cover by Boris Vallejo ~ translation by Dana Burianová ~ Czech title Krev elfů [Blood of the elves]
  • (1996) Published in Poland; by Zysk i S-ka, 83-715-0129-3, 352pg ~ translation by Bożena Jóżwiak ~ Polish title Elfia Krew [Elven Blood]
  • (2000) Published in Moscow, by Eksmo, 5-040-04941-2, HC, 384pg ~ cover of A. Dubovik ~ translation by A. Khromov ~ Russian title Эльфийское отродье [Elven Spawn]
  • (2004) Published in Moscow, by Eksmo, 5-699-07990-4, PB, 384pg ~ translation by A. Khromova ~ Russian title Эльфийское отродье [Elven Spawn]


Russian Omnibus Editions ~

  • (2002) Published in Moscow, by Eksmo and St. Petersburg, by Valerie SPD, 5-699-00840-3 and 5-814-20112-6, HC, 928pg ~ cover by Boris Vallejo ~ Russian title Эльфийская дилогия [Elven Dilogy] ~ Limited to 8000 copies


    • "The Elvenbane" as "The Curse of the Elves" ~ translation by O. Stepashkina, pp. 7-570
    • "Elvenblood" as "Elven Spawn" ~ translation by A. Khromova, p. 571-926


  • (2007) Published in Moscow, by Eksmo, 5-699-20513-6, HC, 1248pg ~ cover by Boris Vallejo ~ Russian title Эльфийская трилогия [Elven Trilogy]


    • "The Elvenbane" as "The Curse of the Elves" ~ translation by O. Stepashkina, pp. 5-492
    • "Elvenblood" as "Elven Spawn" ~ translation by A. Khromova, pp. 493-796
    • "Elvenborn" as"Elven Lord" ~ translation by O. Stepashkina, pp. 797-1242


Ukrainian Omnibus Editions ~

  • (2017) Published in Kyiv, Ukraine by Globe (Fanzine) ~ cover by Boris Vallejo ~ Ukrainian title Эльфийская трилогия [Elven Trilogy] ~ Limited to 10 copies?


    • "The Elvenbane" as "The Curse of the Elves" ~ translation by O. Stepashkina
    • "Elvenblood" as "Elven Spawn" ~ translation by A. Khromova
    • "Elvenborn" as"Elven Lord" ~ translation by O. Stepashkina




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