The Elder Staves

The Elder Staves

by Steven Oliverez


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781593302801
Publisher: Aventine Press
Publication date: 05/28/2005
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 5.56(w) x 8.52(h) x 0.56(d)

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The Elder Staves 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Having some serious Fantasy withdrawals and are desperate for a fix that will last, giving you some gratification? If the answer is a resounding 'yes' you owe it to yourself (and addiction) to read this book! The world below the city of Tyr is dead inhabitable due to the harsh elements of freezing cold temperatures. Any being sustained in that environment is expected to die within hours. So, where do the people live? Why, in a big floating city above the planet! The city is kept afloat with magic and three staves, the city ruled by a council of three elders. Two of the elders are Orthodox and considered harsh in their sentencing. The third elder is young, cool, and hip and believes in salvation always outnumbered he therefore gives into the harshness of the two senior elders. Garrett is what the townsfolk would consider a crazy mad inventor. He has wealth and runs factories that many don't understand, nor approve of. He is not comfortable with the fact that the entire city is 100% dependant on the magic of the Elders and their staves to keep the city safely afloat in order to sustain life. He has tried to bring this to the attention of the Elders and found himself talking to deaf ears. He's a bit of an outcast. He's like Gandalf, but no magic, just crazy inventions to make up for his lack of magic. Carn is a young impressionable young adult male. He holds the magic that some of the population holds, but doesn't like to take it for granted, never relying on it. He stresses the importance on learning the mechanisms of they work. Garrett has taken Carn under is wing and has treated him like the son he's never had. This makes Carn's own father a bit uneasy since Garrett is considered a crazy madman. I would say Carn is like a swift fighter like Luke Skywalker, but has the brute masculinity and leadership qualities of Aragorn. Isaac is a guard of incredible strength. He works for Garrett. He's also loyal friends with Carn. He's like Samwise and Gimli all rolled up in one. Elysa is Garrett's only child, beautiful with her long black hair and emerald green eyes. Unlike her father, she possesses great magic abilities that even far surpass Garrett's. Oh, she's definitely the Arwen in the story, except she has green eyes and no pointy ears. And then there are other important characters in the book, but I don't want to give it all away, I want you to read the book for yourself. The book is action packed from the get go. There is never a lull in the story. The characters are in for one very long night of hell when the trouble starts with arson of the crops, and things just keep going downhill and getting worse from there. The elders are murdered and the staves are stolen. The city is falling, its atmosphere changing. It's all up to the main characters to save the city and all who dwell within it. As the night moves on, the opponents get stronger and more difficult to take on. The only criticism I have of this story is that Oliverez finalized it without leaving an open end for a sequel or possible trilogy. The characters and delicate environment were interesting enough to want to know more about these people and what happens next. What will happen to their next generation? Who will take over the council? Sequel please!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Oliverez presents us with a world where magic was once the norm, where the old power structure of near-invincible magic users is crumbling in the face of commoners armed with simple yet revolutionary weapons. Magic, it would seem, cannot stand against the natural forces of the world ¿ chief among them being ingenuity and gunpowder. ............................................ The Elder Staves is thought-provoking, but to say that takes away from the exciting action that dominates the story. Above all else it is a highly enjoyable and entertaining read, with more excitement and quick page turns than I¿ve seen in long time. It also stands in stark contrast to the thick, wordy, drawn-out tomes that dominate the fantasy genre. This work is concise and makes fantasy available to those of us who don¿t wish to plod through 600 pages of boring repetition. .......................................... Carn is the son of a noble and is poised to become the next Elder, one of a Romanesque triumvirate that rules the sky-city of Tyr. The main character of the story, however, seems to be Tyr herself. As we meet several of her finest (and not so fine) citizens, we see the underlying class struggles and distinctions that existed in a time when magic was unchallenged, and the changes brought about since the rise of technology. This may sound like a stuffy piece of literature until you actually pick it up and start reading ¿ this is all just intelligent background to a city where buildings are being firebombed and magical guardians are being gunned-down by incomprehensible new inventions. .......................................... Will magic survive? Should it? .......................................... The Elder Staves also prompts this question for the avid daydreamer: If magic really did exist in our world, would we need it? ....................................... What I enjoyed most about this novel is the voice. At times it takes on a Hemmingway simplicity with poetic undertones. The description is not read so much as transferred directly to the reader¿s imagination. The action is expertly timed, starting out as a slow simmer while Oliverez sets up the events of the troubled city, then the dominoes begin to fall from all directions and you feel the tempo increase as tensions reach the breaking point and conflicts multiply. In the escalating battles between the forces of magic and technology it is often hard to distinguish between the two, and we see this in the characters as well. Carn is torn between two extremely powerful forces, both of which far exceed his understanding. .......................................... So many similarities can be drawn to today¿s culture, and yet one can never be sure if this was intentional or if it simply reflects how real and immediate the world that Oliverez has created is. The similarities are not allegory, because they are not meant to prove a position or make a statement. All sides are presented and, as in real life, the reader is on his own to decide who is right and who is wrong ¿ and no matter who you chose, you will probably argue up and down that the author agrees with you. .......................................... This is an incredible debut and it seems that both Tyr and Oliverez have many more stories to give us.
harstan More than 1 year ago
The majestic sky city of Tyr runs on the magic of the aristocratic elders, who use staves to keep the deadly tundra below at bay by controlling the environs. Still even in this seemingly utopian realm, the rebels revolt against the status quo especially the death sentence used to quell dissension. As the rebellion mounts, rumors abound that the staves are losing their power this growing belief is fostered by the daily occurrence of a cold wind blowing across Tyr when until recently this had never happened before................. His family, especially his father has manipulated the political landscape so that Carn will be named elder. Carn has problems with becoming an elder because of some of their tyrannical practices like the execution of peaceful dissenters. ................... Meanwhile in the frozen wasteland below Tyr, the Fallen Exile wants vengeance against those who kicked him out of paradise. He may just succeed if he can remove his only worthy opponent Garret the inventor, which he cleverly does. However, the Exile failed to consider Carn.................... The comparative analysis between the two societies and within Tyr makes for a deep fantasy in which readers observe a battle of ideas as much as a war mindful of the late 1960s and the deep split in America today. The story line is action-packed with the key cast members symbolic of a segment of society. Whereas Carn represents the rebellion of youth, his father connotes tradition. Both believe their city is falling part, but who will prevail or will the intrusion from below cause the end of days. This is a terrific saga that readers of all ages will cherish as much for its concepts as for the action-adventure............... Harriet Klausner
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although the beginning lacks small niceties such as character description, the detailed politics and economy made me easily fall into this book. Some sentence structure seems a bit clumsy, but in the end the raw emotion and feeling gets to the core of the reader. Through out the book, great metaphors show clearly point of view and facts of this new world created, creates a rich tapestry in which the reader can simply invest. Other weaves of words, such as ¿the blood was like cataracts on the stairs¿ was haunting and evocative. ................................ This novel describes a world filled with opposites, surrounded by suspicion. On the sky city of Tyr, magic is mighty. The magic of the elders kept the beautiful climate-controlled city far above the dead ice world below it. The elders are chosen from the ruling class of nobles. The elders possess magical staves, which legend tells us are from the same magical tree and were once one thus imbued with powers stronger than others could imagine. But all is not tranquil in this seemingly perfect world. Rebels fight against the old ways, and lash out with bombs planted at important buildings. Their anger is sparked by rumors only some people dare speak: the staves have lost their power and with their power goes the elders, this is why the city is falling towards the icy death below. As proof of this, a cool wind blows daily across the city, when before it did not. ................................. For any society, determining its worth can be determined through visiting how their criminals are treated. It seems on Tyr that the elders, at least most of them, don¿t want to listen to dissenting opinions and call death sentences on those who oppose them. Unknown to Carn at the time is that his father has politically maneuvered his son into position to be the next elder. ............................. This book uses opposition to the fullest to show the disparity barely visible under the perfect surface of their society. Noble verses peasant, magic verses science, old ways verses new ways; the book surprised me with the depth given each side until the reader begins to pick sides in each fight. Who will win is not immediately known, but what is fact is that the city is falling and with it its society. ............................... The main young character, Carn, really pulls me in because he is a rebel, more of someone who thinks on his own and doesn¿t follow traditions, but his father wants him to follow traditions. This character will really appeal to the readers as there will be many young readers who will empathize with him, see themselves in this character¿s place and their parent(s) as the father in the novel. This classic plot will feed the readers¿ innate rebellion and will make them want to read more and see what happens to me¿ I mean Carn. ......................... Meanwhile, down on the ice world below, not all is as dead as the landscape. There was one banished long ago who now rules there, and wishes revenge on those in the sky city who wronged him. With steady sure plotting and patience this banished one strives to mete out the punishment for the crimes against himself and others. The eventual fight scenes between the rebels and other citizens was amazing. The black clothed rebels unknowingly fight for the banished one. The multiple uses of Garret¿s gadgets in fight scenes are truly amazing, more so in such a technology bereft society. The magic of the city is mostly through other staves, which send out waves of air to the intended target. The elder staves differ in power, but seem to feed the user magic in some mysterious manner. Although not the most powerful of weapons, I found this to be quite a change from the fire and bullets usually used as weapons in similar novels. There is also the hint of romance in the book, which increased its appeal to me, for whenever you add heart to characters it makes them more defined. ............................ Th
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed my time reading this novel. This is the only book I've seen by this author and I hope he continues to put more out. The way Oliverez interwove technology and magic is something I've never seen before. He added yet another element of suspense by creating an environment that is being affected by the elements and falling toward an icy world below. I will definetly recommend this book to my friends.