Elf Queen's Quest
Enter the darkness and lose yourself in the dark path! Best-selling author Robert Stanek delivers an epic fantasy adventure that'll open your mind and your heart! Robert Stanek's Ruin Mist Chronicles begin when the Elf Queen sends the warrior elf lord, Seth, on a journey to the lands of Man. Legend says that the races have been divided for hundreds of years and there are few survivors among the brother races. Elf Queen's Quest delves deep into the dark underside of Ruin Mist and we start to see the three primary realms of Robert's world: Under Earth, Middle Earth, and Over Earth.

As a follow on to Keeper Martin's Tale, this book is absolutely exceptional. Not only is it exceptional, it is utterly original. While the story follows a parallel line to what occurred in Keeper Martin's Tale, Elf Queen's Quest is entirely its own story. In many ways, Elf Queen's Quest is deeper, richer and darker than Keeper Martin's Tale and part of the reason for this is the veiwpoint/vantage point from which the scenes are told.

In Keeper Martin's Tale, the story is chronicled by Keeper Martin. He is head of Lore Keepers. A Lore Keeper is a recorder of knowlege and histories, and if I understand correctly, they aren't aligned with any particular kingdom, rather they serve Mankind. Keeper's have the gift of farseeing. They can communicate over long distances through dream messages which can contain mental images as well as words. They also use ancient artifacts even though magic is outlawed. Somehow in recent history, Lore Keepers have aligned themselves more closely with Great Kingdom or so it would seem to me as Keeper Martin is ever meddling with the affairs of Great Kingdom and advising King Andrew. So I think this gives the telling of Martin's tale a bent toward favoring Great Kingdom in his recording of the legends of old.

Elf Queen's Quest is very different and you can tell this immediately as you set into the pages. The story moves at a different pace and is often very dark. We also learn much more about realms beyond Great Kingdom and we travel to places in alternate planes, ie Under Earth. There's also Over Earth which is hinted at in Robert's descriptive information about Ruin Mist.

One of my favorite new characters is Midori. She's very mysterious with a definite strong personality. As a Priestess of the Mother, she is controlling and manipulative but she is being used by those she seeks to control as well, particularly by the Dark Priest, Talem.

Gaining insight into the characters of Midori and Talem filled in important pieces of Robert's puzzle and the mystery of Ruin Mist is one of the greatest strengths of these tales. Indeed, the insights gained through reading Elf Queen's Quest puts the dangers facing the world in a new light and I was left wondering often, which reality was truth and which wasn't, and this is part of the splendor and magic that is Ruin Mist.

I've read JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time, George Martin's A Storm of Swords, Rowling's Harry Potter. Pullman's Dark Materials, but none of those stories has ever touched me in the way these stories did and for that I must say to Robert, Bravo! You've created a great work that is surely a new milestone in the genre. For anyone that's read Keeper Martin's Tale and hasn't read, Elf Queen's Quest, I say read Elf Queen's Quest.
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