When Elves Die is a dark fantasy tale and the debut novel of author Richard Poche.
This is a story of gritty, gratuitous violence and traditional fantasy good versus evil, with beleaguered elves struggling to repel the malevolent onslaught of the Dark Queen and her horrifying minions. The survival of the elven race rests upon the shoulders of Princess Carella, Zanfire the Cleric, Kelroar the Barbarian, and a motley group of followers, each more flawed than the next. If they cannot overcome the evil natures lurking within, their people will be destroyed forever.
Each character has a specific, identifying trait, which seems to run almost exclusively along the line of a vice, and that is one of the more satisfying themes of the story. Poche makes it clear that everyone is flawed, and it is the determination to struggle against those flaws that matters – not the fact that they are present.
Sword-and-sorcery style action and copious bloodshed are what drive When Elves Die, thrusting the characters along a plot that is essentially survivalist in nature. Characters range from tribal elves and brutish orcs to vampire-like creatures called killtooths. Sorcery, miracles, and religious conflict bring the disparate creatures and fractal magic elements into a coherent whole.
When Elves Die is available now.