Orcs by

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ISBN: 0575074876On the back of this book one the quotes says it:

“Subverts traditional fantasy tropes by centring on the much-maligned orcs. It is quick, fast, dirty, very funny and often surreal”

Well I for one disagree with most of that statement.
Yes the book takes the point of view of the Orcs, but the orc characters here are not those of other fantasy novels, the only subversion is to make them just as rational and sympathetic as any other fantasy race.

Instead of the murderous beast we have a group of orcs who enjoy battle and war, but are honourable and caring. More like Star Trek: The Next Generation’s version of klingons than blood-thirty killing machines. Not only that but it isn’t funny. Never even cracked a smile. It is fact, and action-packed though, although not all that interesting.

I didn’t buy the characters as anything but puppets driven by the author. There was no sense of them as individuals, instead they were pretty much 2-D.
However, those of you who enjoy descriptions of battles and fighting, this may be just what you are looking for. Personally I don’t need to read about every sword stroke or punch in every single battle. Sure it is often needed, but once, not again and again and again. Novels with fighting generally work much better is they try to describe some of the confusion, or random violence rather than laying out a fight-scene as though it were to be filmed.

So I guess I wasn’t all that impressed with this novel. Still it wasn’t all bad, and maybe if the central characters hadn’t been orcs it would have been better. And there was also the fact that the reader was made to think of the Native American tribes and the creation of the USA when reading about the plight of the orc horder.

Fairly average fantasy tale.

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1 Response

  1. 29 July 2007

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