I'm reading the Chronicles of Malus Darkblade. It's about a Dark Elf who gets possesed by a daemon and must retrieve 5 items of legend or his soul is lost. Now I know that I have heard a lot of fuss about villains being evil for no reason or being evil for the sake of being evil. I was even surprised that lots of people didn't like the Orcs in LOTR for that reason.
But I think it all depends on how you look at things. In this book, the Dark Elves are some really nasty people. They are extremly violent and literaly worship a God of Murder. It's funny though that when I read the story, the only reason for their violent cuture is by their creed that the strong survive and that they find power through pain. But these guys take it to extreme levels. They go around wearing flayed human skin as clothes, they have torture houses to bring slaves, and there are just so many assasinations tied into their bizarre politics.
Maybe it's just that I like the authors (yes two authors) that wrote this but for some reason when I read this I don't really question them. It's like, yeah it's very unlikely that a society like this would ever exist (to this degree) but sometimes I think it's best to just go along with it. I think sometimes cliche isn't always a bad thing, you know? I mean a restaurant opens by your house and you find out they sell burgers. Are you going to think it's cliche to sell burgers? No, you're probably going to order one!
I think sometimes authors are afraid that being cliche means being bad at writting. While some of this may be true in the sense of originality, it doesn't mean it will be bad. When I first heard that the Dark Elves in this story were going to be an evil, violent culture, I said, "Oh great, another one." But it was really well written. There were so many politics and customs involved that really brought their culture to life. One thing I really enjoyed was that the protagonist (Malus) wasn't portrayed as a bad-ass. If you look at him, you might think ooh hes really cool! He is, but he doesn't jsut strode around the battlefield killing everything without effort. The book clearly shows that he is a flawed character. He is despised by his entire family to boot!
I'm not sure if I had a "point" in making this thread. Maybe I wanted to hear your thoughts about "clicheness" or maybe I just wanted to go on about a really good book. Who knows? But with that being said, I do highly recomend this book!!