I am somewhat disappointed that it took me so long to hear about this book. The Dwarves is by award winning writer Markus Heitz, but don’t be surprised that you haven’t heard of him. He is a German writer, and has only begun to become known over the last couple of years with the release of his Dwarf series translated into English.
The Dwarves takes what might normally be a token fantasy character and thrusts him into the limelight. Dwarves take the forefront here. Humans are ignorant of other cultures and relatively ineffective warriors. Elves are beautiful, mystical and powerful, but removed from society and are spoken about more than they are seen. Magicians study and work their magic through the land, but are almost completely ineffectual in dealing with the resident bad guy.
And the bad guy is pretty bad – which I love.
This is a rollicking story, with good plot twists and a “show don’t tell” approach which means that we grow to understand the world instead of just being told what is what (an approach I often find lacking in much American fantasy).
And, probably the most telling sign, I will be reading book 2 in the very near future.