There Shouldn't Be Elves In Hammertown

Rated 4.67/5 based on 3 reviews
In the small dwarven city of Hammertown, far from the front lines of the war between elves and the rest of the civilized world, Private Investigator Sebastion Locke has discovered a dirty little elven secret. A secret that could turn the tide of the war. If it doesn't destroy him and his beloved city first! More
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About Stephen Dorning

In the declining months of 2010 there was a cataclysmic event in the Blount and surrounding counties area of Alabama. A competition of wordsmiths as Fifth Estate Publishing, a publishing house that prints by invitation only, was seeking new talent. Stephen Dorning won that competition with his first book, Stars of the Kanri. Since that time, Stephen has written a sequel, Spheres of the Ryk-tar and is currently working on a third book set in that same world. Stephen was also featured in a steampunk and a pirate anthology, both printed by Kerlak Publishing. He was born and raised in the rural area of Blountsville, Alabama where he lives with his wife, Vicki and their four children. You can find more info on his work at

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Reviews of There Shouldn't Be Elves In Hammertown by Stephen Dorning

Sarah Zama reviewed on Dec. 13, 2015

If you’re a fantasy fan, you’ll know that the private detective in a fantasy world is kind of cliché, still occasionally someone succeeds in pulling it off. There Shouldn’t Be Elves in Hamemrtown is one of these rare cases.

Sebastian Locke is a human living in the underground dwarven city of Hammertown. He’s a PI, and in the best hard boiled tradition, he tells the story in the first person and with a wry, pungent sarcasm. This is a classic fantasy world mixed with a lot of 1940s hard boiled storytelling and setting. Hammertown is peopled by dwarves and gnomes and the occasional human and as all the dwarven kingdoms is at war with the Elves, though the war is happening far away on the border. But the setting is clearly noir. Sebastian wears a trench and a pistol, while his gnome friend Yon is an inventor and carries all manners of strange gadgets, some of which even sound scientific.
In the classic vain of noir, this is supposed to be a mystery. There is even a murder and a body, but the story soon veers away from the murder mystery to become more clearly a political plot.

I didn’t mind the change of tone, because what really intrigued me wasn’t the story itself, but the setting and above all the characters.
All the characters a fantastic and highly engaging. Getting involved with Sebastian and his and his wry personality is very easy, sympathising with Yon and his skills in nice and natural, but it’s the Chief of police, Captain VanDarn , that stole my heart: a phenomenal character, with a larger than life personality and a past that clearly hides something very important.
Besides, when the story gets into the war between Dwarves and Elves it becomes clear that this short story, thought complete in itself, is only a first glimpse in a far more complex world and story.

I really enjoy it. I plan to read a lot more about these place and characters.
(review of free book)
David H. Keith reviewed on Nov. 11, 2012

An engaging story, this. I must admit I was a bit taken aback at elves being the antagonists - I've read too much Tolkien, I suppose. Nonetheless, I was pleasantly surprised at Dorning's narrative. He weaves an easy-to-read yet intriguing story. I heartily recommend this tale and look forward to more.

David H. Keith
(review of free book)
Kathryn C. Lang reviewed on Nov. 3, 2012

I enjoyed this story and hope that there are many more on their way. I found the characters fun, intriguing and the story line easy to fall into.

My only regret was that there was not more!
(review of free book)
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