About the resemblance between Haken and Rayek that you find so irritating - it is not the only one! Sefra/Skywise - Kaslen/Redlance - Kalil/Strongbow ... I can even see Leetah in Aerth and Tyleet in Deir. They are archetypes, most probably for story's sake - not the story told to Rayek, but simply the story told to the reader.
I think that's why I dislike this story and hope it's more a fable than history. It's too convienent, even though the small group in a way made sense. I'm spoiled by Wendy's "Cast of Thousands" art AND writing with every elf having a distinct body, personality and story. That's why I'm reluctant to see the shadows as seperate elves. It's "cheating" me in both story and art.