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The Weight of Blood Paperback – February 1, 2010
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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I'm thankful that I read this novel as it helped me clarify my position on dark fantasy: I don't like it. I'd never read any dark fantasy before hand and never really knew that it was a category that could exist. Thanks to the author's note at the end of this novel, I now have realized that he was acting within a genre and it cleared up some of the confusion that I felt while reading the novel.
That said, I felt that this was a very interesting, if inherently evil, story that needed more. Something more. More depth. More description. More emotion. Even the evil felt rather flat. Perhaps a thesaurus?
This is the tale, as the synopsis will tell you, of two half-elf/half-orc brothers with names that are palindromes of one another. They were sold into servitude in childhood by a mother who didn't seem particularly taken with the emotions of parenthood (and once you read this novel and see the dearth of emotions on all topics, it won't be terribly hard to imagine that such a scenario is possible). As a result, the one whose name starts with a Q learns a small amount of necromancy while the one whose name begins with an H learns street smarts. And that is the entire back story as we open on a scene of Orcs (or possibly undead? It is hard to tell what with the lack of description.) attacking a human city which houses our two palindromic brothers. A necromancer of greater power, who I'd like to call The Big Baddie, is leading this army's charge.
From this opening scene, we are thrust out of the city and into a different town where The Big Baddie reappears and connects with Brother Q. Meanwhile, Brother H is still trying to figure out how to not die (spoiler: it involves inhaling and exhaling) while mindlessly following orders from everyone he perceives as smarter than him and who tells him that they have his best interests at heart (spoiler: they do not).
And so: death of innocents, death of not-so-innocents, death of children, massive doom plotted, more death, some more death, giant gleaming death swords of death, more death, armies of undead, and a woman who somehow falls in love with Brother H (who at this point has exhibited even less emotional capacity than a lamprey) and betrays her entire race just to aid his death-causing while she secretly hopes, as all women do (spoiler: no, they don't), to reform him to being a good guy by loving him hard enough. Oh, and death of those who are undead.
So read on, fair readers, if what you are looking for is a cathartic tale of evil run amok told in the most simplistic language with minimal character development and world building. This will be right up your alley!
I rated it 2 stars because the alt-text for that star says "I don't like it", and, in fact, ****I**** don't like it. You, however, might.
The Weight of Blood is a high energy tale with a bit of intrigue, a lot of action and an emotional undertone that will at times gladen the readers heart and at others disturb the sane mind to the point of not being able to continue the tale.
It isn't often that a story is told where the protagonist(s) is/are a hero yet at the same time an anti-hero but the Weight of Blood is such a story. Love 'em or hate 'em! This 1st in the trilogy of The Orc Brothers is page turner that is well worth the time of any fan of the sword and sorcery genre. Great literature it isn't. A great and high energy story it is. I look forward to reading the entire series.
Warning: There are parts of this book that describe acts of pure unadulterated evil that some may find to be too intense or disturbing to read. Some will be offended by the nature of the conflicts described and the evil done during them. The author has pulled no punches. Forewarned is forearmed.
Most recent customer reviews
It's dark and dreary but killing children...eck!
This is a dark book about orphaned, sold half-orc brothers. One is darkness, not wanting the light side of his elven heritage.Read more