The complete Book of elves was a second edition rules supplement for players and dm’s. this book is often criticized for making elves just so much better then everyone, that it is often joked around my circles that they forgot to include that elves pooped gold solely due to space reasons.
in some ways theses criticism are correct some of the options in this book are almost broken in their awesomeness *cough bladesinger cough*. one section of the book describes elven funeral music to be so heartbreaking that humans have been known to die from it..really? that is not to say that there are not some great things here like the various elven subraces. I do like me some sylvan or grey elves and the “balancing mechanic in this book is to have the more powerful subraces like drow need more XP to level. there are also new rules on archery which can again be very powerful such as the ability to shoot multiple arrows with on attack, fire a bow with you feet and the ever popular attack move then attack action.
the book as expected details the lifestyles and habits of elves which really helps with Rping such an alien mindset. I like the section on lifespan as it helps to explain that elves physically mature at different rates then they mentally mature at. there is also a nice section that details how the elven race evolved differently on the various 2e campaign settings.
the book I have is a nice soft cover with a real strong binding. the page references for the PHB are for the pre black covers I believe. the text is readable and the pages feel nice and soft on the skin. overall if you are playing an elf in 2e get this book, if you are a DM read the book and only allow what you want.