ELF REALM by Daniel Kirk

ELF REALM

The Low Road
by , illustrated by
Age Range: 12 - 14

KIRKUS REVIEW

A grim fantasy doorstopper uncomfortably juxtaposes gory adventure with New Age sermonettes. Matt—14, although appearing barely ten in his portrait—is unaware that the woods his father is bulldozing for development impinge upon Faerie and that his family has a tragic history with its denizens. His chance discovery of a doll-size shoe embroils the humans in the troubles of the elves, in which romantic plotting and political intrigue intertwine with impending environmental disaster. Kirk’s Smurf-sized elves are an unchancy lot; while the villains are uniformly steeped in deceit, selfishness and violence, even the “enlightened” and “gentle” clans resort to theft, destruction and torture without compunction, despite their interminable ruminations on a vague eco-spirituality. The complicated hierarchy of the Elf Realm adds more confusion than depth or wonder, while the slightly creepy illustrations (mostly static headshots) illuminate little. After meandering for 400 pages, the narrative literally explodes into a barrage of grisly poisonings, suicide bombings, corrosive gas attacks and an apocalyptic inferno, resolving exactly zero of the plot lines and concluding with the most clichéd of cliffhangers. Unpleasant. (Fantasy. 12-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-8109-7069-4
Page count: 528pp
Publisher: Amulet/Abrams
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2008




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