Ulthuan is a land at the verge of destruction. At Lothern, a fell army marches against the elven defenders of Prince Imrik and Prince Tyrion. In Averlorn, two brothers fight for forgiveness and their right to defend their people. But at Tor Elyr, the conflict will be lost and won. The druchii army, led by Morathi and Issyk Kul, battles the gathered might of the high elves in a vast, destructive conflict. But Morathi has even grander plans than this – to destroy the vortex that holds Ulthuan together, plunging the island into a nightmare domain of Chaos. The noble elves must overcome their dark cousins, or else face the end of their race.
Yes, I know, I know… It took me a long time to get back to finishing my High Elf duology. Four years, in fact. When I set out to tell this story, it was supposed to be one book, but right from the outset I knew it was going to be more. I planned to write the two books back to back, but the muscular bully-boys of Heresy and Time of Legends came and kicked Warhammer to the back of the queue.
And, in retrospect, I’m glad they did, as I think Sons of Ellyrion is a far better book for being written later. It’s a more mature, reflective book, written by a very different person to the one I was when I wrote Defenders of Ulthuan. I have a real soft spot for the previous High Elf book, but understand that parts of it read a bit like a tour guide to Ulthuan. Sons of Ellyrion paid off all the set-up of that first book, and was a full-on war novel, with the Dark Elves and High Elves going at it, tooth and nail.
It gave me a chance to see the elves at war, with all the terror and majesty that suggests. But among that sweeping, epic drama, I wanted the intimate drama of Caelir and Eldain to take centre stage. Their struggle is the larger struggle in microcosm, but while they can at least make their peace, it seems unlikely the Dark Elves and High Elves could ever be united…
Sitting next to Bill King at Games Day UK 2013, he was kind enough to say that he thought my two High Elf books were the best things of mine he’d read. And trust me, when a writer like Bill King says that to you, it’s hard not to feel incredibly proud and like you’re ten feet tall. I don’t think I’ve enjoyed writing any other novel as much as I enjoyed writing Sons of Ellyrion. The words just flew onto the page and I think the passion and relish I was taking in the telling is evident in how it reads.
There’s very few books of mine I go back to and actually read instead of just dipping into for research etc., but these books (together with The Ambassador Chronicles) are some of the very few I dip into, then end up reading from cover to cover. Like they say, always write the kinds of books you’d want to read yourself, and I guess this is proof that I’ve done that with these ones.