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45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great series
I bought the first book in this series when it was sold for free a few weeks ago, and it wasn't very long before I bought this omnibus.
The characters are easy to like (or hate. While some fantasy keeps my attention through a complex world, the characters were to real attraction here, and the story moved at a pace that kept me reading.
The battles are also...
Published on December 6, 2010 by Matthew Blinow

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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars My D&D Game: Let Me Tell You About It
So like I do every year in advance of traveling to the familial homestead, I pick up a nice big fantasy omnibus to read in between gorging myself on food and booze. This year, I picked up the Half-Orcs Omnibus. I had read the recent prequel, Dance of Cloaks, and figured that some more Dalglish was what Santa ordered - fast moving story, interesting plot elements, and a...
Published on December 28, 2010 by R. Andrew Meger


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45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great series, December 6, 2010
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This review is from: The Half-Orcs (Omnibus, Volume One) (Kindle Edition)
I bought the first book in this series when it was sold for free a few weeks ago, and it wasn't very long before I bought this omnibus.
The characters are easy to like (or hate. While some fantasy keeps my attention through a complex world, the characters were to real attraction here, and the story moved at a pace that kept me reading.
The battles are also beautifully crafted, and can be an often be a movie-like experience. The various spells and weapons keep the battles interesting and varied.
The only reason I don't give this five stars is that I thought the second book progressed too slowly, and for a large portion of it I wasn't sure what the main conflict was, but it did perform the job of building up many of the characters.
After finishing the third book, I am eager to continue this story and can't wait to see how it ends.

It is also worth noting that each book in the series has a solid ending. I am annoyed by series where the first book will end on a cliffhanger forcing you to continue. Here, you only continue because you want to remain in the Author's world a little bit longer.
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars My D&D Game: Let Me Tell You About It, December 28, 2010
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R. Andrew Meger (Salem, MA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Half-Orcs (Omnibus, Volume One) (Kindle Edition)
So like I do every year in advance of traveling to the familial homestead, I pick up a nice big fantasy omnibus to read in between gorging myself on food and booze. This year, I picked up the Half-Orcs Omnibus. I had read the recent prequel, Dance of Cloaks, and figured that some more Dalglish was what Santa ordered - fast moving story, interesting plot elements, and a developed setting.

I was let down.

It's pretty clear that these Half-Orc books represent early times in the development of the author. I just didn't realize how far he had come to get to Dance of Cloaks.

These books read flat up like some dude's D&D campaign. And I only half mean that in a bad way. I have no problem with D&D inspired stories - I can look past the obvious descriptions of spells right out of the Player's Handbook, NPC toughguys (aka "DM's Pets") saving the day at the last minute, and garbled plots involving prophecies and ancient evils and stuff.

But I didn't play D&D for all those years without learning a little something about pacing.

I gave up in the second book. Another reviewer comments about how cheesy it is - he's right. The first book had action (humans vs elves vs zombies vs orcs) and tension (one brother struggling against what he knew what was right and wrong in order to support the other). The second book has giant wedding scenes. Seriously, the second book is like a fanfic written about the first. There is a wedding scene that takes up at full 5% of the ENTIRE OMNIBUS and it's pretty much straight out of What If Harry Married Luna Lovegood? It just chokes down the entire pace of the story and robs it of any epic feel. You go from the brothers doing dark deeds to survive in a desperate situation to page after page of Three's Company style intra-party antics. It's like listening in to the tabletalk from a D&D game when the DM is just biding his/her time until the next plot event happens - fun if you're involved, but hell on earth if you have to witness it.

Character development is more show and tell than anything. The heroes seem to switch sides and pledge undying loyalty every seven to ten minutes.

I totally support the author going the self-publishing route on Kindle. I think more authors should do it. I think that Dance of Cloaks is a great example of how good a self-published ebook can be.

The Half-Orcs Omnibus, however, is not. Given the cost of books nowadays, its pricetag is ~just~ worth it for the first book. Pretend the rest don't exist and you won't be let down.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best I've read in years!, December 20, 2010
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This review is from: The Half-Orcs (Omnibus, Volume One) (Kindle Edition)
I typically do not take the time to write reviews but I felt this series deserved it. I read a couple hundred fantasy books a year and this easily made my top ten this year and as the series is still ongoing it will remain there for years to come. The characters really are shown to you with both sides of the coin, as in seeing the good and evil and actually understanding the motivations. The story moves fast with great fighting but even in the downtime the story shines through making it enjoyable. The pricing is amazing for the series and I would have paid five times the price to read it. As a whole series and as individual books they deserve to be in a top ten fantasy list.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read!, August 30, 2010
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This review is from: The Half-Orcs (Omnibus, Volume One) (Kindle Edition)
There are a lot of reviews for the individual books but since I purchased this grouping and there is only one review for it, I thought I'd add my meager thoughts on the series.
Wow - it's refreshing to have primary characters that aren't pure sugary gumdrop and fairy goodness! Several of the main characters are pretty 'evil' and well, I kind of enjoyed it. If everyone was like that would I? No. It's just nice to have highly conflicted characters who are more than capable of doing 'bad' things. Because there are a lot of well written reviews for the individual books I won't try to go into too much detail (and since I'm a terrible reviewer), but there were definitely a number of *holy crap!* moments in the books that will not let you put the book down.
Some aspects of the books would make me want to give them only 4 stars (still a high rating for me) but given how far David has reached here and how much I think he pushed some of the characters I have to go ahead and give it the full 5. Now I'm just waiting for books 4 and 5. :(
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy for Grownups, July 28, 2010
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This review is from: The Half-Orcs (Omnibus, Volume One) (Kindle Edition)
I've been reading Robert E. Howard recently, and it occurred to me after finishing "The Weight of Blood" that David Dalglish's series about brother Half-Orcs might fit into that kind of sword and sorcery quite well. It's certainly not your dragons and castles and happy endings fantasy. The brothers would be the bad guys in almost any other story, but Dalglish makes Harruq both scary and charming, while Qurrah, brooding in his sorcerous ways, is a product of an amoral upbringing and physical abuse by a necromancer who purchased him from his mother.
If you don't want main characters who do bad things, then this isn't for you. If you can stand some psychological complexity, and can like someone while condemning his actions, read on. Fantasy is usually based in societies where might makes right, and the best killers become the kings. These books are about characters who are born into such a harsh time and place, and make hard choices in order to survive.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting elements, but relishes death and gore too much for my taste, June 22, 2014
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This review is from: The Half-Orcs (Omnibus, Volume One) (Kindle Edition)
This is the first 3 books of David Dalglish's "Half-Orcs" series. Having read the first book of the series, with mixed feelings I decided to continue the series. I got about half-way through the third book before concluding that for me, the interesting elements of the stories are not going to justify all the unpleasantly detailed battle and necromancy scenes. I did not finish.

There's plenty that's good: sufficient plot for a few books, and interesting character development with some hard wrestling with conscience. Having progressed far down a dark path, when is it too late to turn to a different way? Indeed, the key thing keeping me interested was the repeated choice between the two paths which each brother could take, and the plausible reasons and self-justifications in making their iterated choices. And I would say the quality of the writing (and the editing and proofreading, thankfully) improves through the series.

But there are things that I find hard to enjoy: most importantly the author's preference to tell me much more than I want to know about the details of the gore in every fight. For me personally most fights were a boring litany of opponents' deaths in unpleasant detail. In addition to not really caring about those details, I find it hard to believe in the variation in spells from one battle scene to the next. I guess variation is necessary to maintain any interest readers might have in the never-ending list of deaths; but if you are a necromancer with spells which you have used very effectively in the past, and you're in a tight spot, why experiment with something new and gory but less effective? I never did quite figure out whether Qurrah in particular enjoys gore for its own sake.

I guess the book is aimed at readers who enjoy the detail of the fight scenes as a highlight; but that's not me. If the author cut back on all the gratuitously detailed descriptions of gore in the fight scenes (and thereby shortened the series from 5 books to maybe 3 books) I'd love to read to the end, but as it is, well ...

I would have liked to know how the brothers finally choose, and what motivates their final decisions, but for me it's not worth reading the other half of the series to find out.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Half-Orcs (Omnibus, Volume One), June 5, 2012
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This review is from: The Half-Orcs (Omnibus, Volume One) (Kindle Edition)
Really enjoyed this read. David Dalglish introduces you to characters with real depth you hate them, love them, feel from them all written in a very easy to read manner. I have been looking for a replacement to David Gemmell and have found it in David Dalglish, I will certainly seek out his other titles.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enoyable, but not good, January 17, 2011
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This review is from: The Half-Orcs (Omnibus, Volume One) (Kindle Edition)
I've picked up this book after reading the prequel, A dance with Cloaks, which was pretty good, even if not to the best of quality...
While reading the books you get the feeling that the author describes a D&D session, by the rules... terms like "duration" to describe when a spell expires, comparing attributes like Strength, Dexterity and Intelligence, and the like.
However - I find it very high paced, involving many combat scenes, making it VERY readable, albeit it a bit on the gory side. The tale itself is a bit predictable, with very stereotypical characters following the alignment system implemented in D&D - Harruq for example is Chaotic Good, while Qurrah is Neutral Evil.

To sum it up - if you need something to pass the time until the next Song of Ice and FireA Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1) comes out, pick up the series, and you will have 2 weeks less to wait when you finish it. If you want to get attached to the characters, and really get yourself involved in the tale, I find this series lacking.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This Omnibus improves with each book...a graphically violent tale. 3 1/2 Stars, April 26, 2011
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This review is from: The Half-Orcs (Omnibus, Volume One) (Kindle Edition)
"The Half-Orcs" Omnibus is available only via Kindle e-edition. It contains the first 3 books in this 5 book series. The Omnibus is a 1493 Kb download.

CONTENT WARNING.
These books are extremely violent and some descriptions are brutally graphic. Be forewarned!

* GENERAL THEME SPOILER* ( no specific details given )

This is the tale of two half-orc brothers Harruq and Qurrah (yes the same name spelled backwards). Throughout the course of the three books they drift apart physically as well as philosophically, with Qurrah following a 'dark' path while Harruq, slowly and steadily leans to the 'light'. Both meet and align themselves with other characters that 'fit' their own individual goals and mind-sets.

*END SPOILERS*

Some thoughts:

1.) An interesting premise for a plot...unusual to say the least to have two beings that are part orc (other part elf) as the main characters. This takes some getting used to by the reader because both of these individuals are hard to like. They often react and interact with other characters they meet in ways different than you'd expect from your usual human counterparts.

2.) Graphic descriptions of encounters/battles (especially for the first book). This may be disturbing to some readers as it includes not only battles, but also the slaughter of innocent women, children and infants.

3.) The writing quality gets better with each book. In the first book the grammar was somewhat choppy at times, and some isolated conversations and events in both books one and two seemed a little inane and trite to me. However, the first 2/3 of the third book is particularly well done.

4.) *spoiler* ...unfortunately, the final battle in book three has a air of 'superhero' quality to it...battles against innumerable foe that just keep on coming. A shame because it takes some luster off the quality of the story that precedes it.

5.) No Map...a series that was geographically diverse; a map would have really helped in some spots.

Conclusions:
A violent but entertaining fantasy/adventure...very different; certainly not for every taste.

The fact that the two main characters had orc blood in them, made for two protagonists that were generally unlikeable and totally unpredictable.

All books had weak moments, but the quality of writing improved with each new book, especially early on in the third. Worth reading, in my opinion, because of an overall tendency to improvement with each subsequent installment.

3 1/2 Stars. (rounded up to 4 Stars for the amazon rating because the writing seemed to be steadily improving)

Ray Nicholson

P.S.
Many thanks to Amazon Friend, Media Man for suggesting this title to me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just awesome, February 9, 2013
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This review is from: The Half-Orcs (Omnibus, Volume One) (Kindle Edition)
I tried branching out with my fantasy genre and I picked up this series. It is by far one of my favorites already. I like how dark and gritty it is. I think I might even pay to change my warlock name on WoW to Qurrah since he's an orc.
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The Half-Orcs (Omnibus, Volume One)
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