book: Banewreaker - The Sundering
On the surface, it looks like another Tolkien clone, with enough name changes to keep from being sued. When you get into it, you get sympathetic villains, and you think you are in for another disquisition of there being no good and evil, just shades of gray. Then you take a look at the “good” side, and see their moral rot. And then take a look at the “evil” side, and understand that you have believed lies.
And as the book progresses you understand that you are reading a retelling of the Passion of Christ, when humanity, misled by the Evil one joined in killing their Redeemer. You see that Tanaros, who rejects all the temptations to abjure his faith and dies with the name of his Lord in his lips is a martyr, and you see that Ushahin, who takes his pain and uses it to shelter and comfort those who were abuses as he was is a saint. You see that even the Glutton’s appetites are innocent, and honestly earned.
You go back to the “good” characters, to the shameless sucking up to Altorus to the elves, asking forgiveness for the “sins” of men against them, to his chilling genocide of the Were “no cubs, and if you have any, we’ll come hunt you down” - a bloodless Holocaust. You see how Cerelinde does not even think think that fjeltrolls are worth thinking about - when her actions cause the death of one fjeltroll soldier her comment is “no harm was done” and when she paints a picture of love and harmony if her side wins, and offers Tanaros to join her, she tells him that he can make a life for himself hunting fjeltrolls and Were, because they are not fit to live in her ideal world. We see her reaction to the madlings - she is not upset that they might be mistreated, but that malformed creatures such as they should be allowed to exist.
Add to it that the original plan of Haomane was to keep men from reproducing - the same genocide that Aracus imposes on the Were - and that the Gandalf figure’s name is Malthus - in honor of the Englishman who postulated that the way to fight poverty was to keep the poor from having children, and it takes a lot of work not to hate the beautiful, graceful, elegant, witty, sophisticated, soft-spoken, and totally ruthless and self-centered elves.