- File Size: 2498 KB
- Print Length: 228 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Eschaton Press (January 31, 2010)
- Publication Date: January 31, 2010
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0036R4JU6
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,750 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
|Digital List Price:||$0.99|
|Print List Price:||$9.99|
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The Weight of Blood (The Half-Orcs Book 1) Kindle Edition
|Length: 228 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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And I’ll be honest that the only reason I stuck through this novel is that I know his writing gets better and that I will eventually see a character from that series.
I look at this book as a building block into the future of this world and while it is dark and I find little (read nothing) to love about the Tun brothers I also know that Dalglish possesses an extraordinary ability to make you if not root for the anti hero, at least understand where they come from.
While I don’t think this novel compares to his paladin series I am excited to move forward and see where it goes.
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.
But first, a word of caution. I wrote this review to fit the recommended ages of the suggested readers this book is marketed to, as well as to allow my own kids to read its without being trautimized. Pinky and the Brain are their tags, used without challenge at all.
Personally, I also liked the writing and story development, only to have my mind yanked out of the story when Pinky and the Brain come onstage. You cannot doubt that the Brain is wholly evil as the author will gleefully setup scenes where innocent townsfolk - virginal, read to the blind, pockets full of puppies/kitties/big eyed orphans, supporting all blue haired ladies in the town- get marked for death to satisfy the "Nebulous Background Evil tm". The Brain will airily wave over his shoulder "Pinky, continue your inner torment and brutally murder them all". "But Brain, could you just not use your hellish powers and spare me just this once, that I may finish my admittedly drag-ass turning over of a new leaf?". But Pinky goes unheard, as his evil brother has boogied on to browner pastures. "Please sir, you may spare us and he will never know! Sir, for the kittahs!! Pinky becomes lost in thought, mumbling to himself..... "Over and over I have seen my brothers soul grow darker. First verbal abuse, then mangling small animals, then torturing virginal young women with mangled small animals, then bathing in the blood of eviscerated corpses.... I see where this is heading and I bet it is actually going to get bad if left unchecked. I should stop him and save my own soul in the process.... But hey, when he was young you people laughed at him for his sneaky ways, lopsided head, smell of dead fish, and spouting of his own poetry in public!
Never did you offer a makeover or fake liking his prose! So you DO deserve to be chunkified by my sword of evil, puppahz and kittahs be damned, so I might as well just take out you, your whole family and anyone that looks like you since I will mercifully lose my mind during this and remember only a normal blood soaked afternoon later while I wonder why my arm is tired. Death to all to avenge the minor lack of acceptance we had to put up with as scaly, fanged, deformed monsters being rased in your human world!!
For you, my Brother, this 479th gift of possible rude in the past villagers......arg! I know better but see no way out of repeatedly lifting and putting down this evil sword while there are people under it. I would be lost, left only with the gratitude and love of hundreds of not-killed villagers and their puppahz and kittahs but missing my twisted, corrupted, despises me Brother. I cannot break the Bro-code!! Squishy death ensues, until the very next similar situation where Pinky goes through it all again so he doesn't lose Brains mocking hate, errrr, brotherly love.
Ok, I have admittedly paraphrased a bit here, but the substance is remarkably similar. Despite knowing his brother is evil, him not wanting to participate or be evil, spending days away from his evil brother where he could disappear easily, liking normal humans and not wanting to kill them..... Well, he just keeps with it, trusting to Stalins iron code: in for a penny, in for a pound. The weight of blood was similar to the mass behind Hoover Dam a third of the way in to the book, but Pinky can never make up his mind.
I finished this book, but that is it with this world. I plan to read some of his much later works if my trusted reviewers pick his flag back up. I really hope so as I applaud his ability to write and his indie success.