|Willow (the_willow) wrote in 100_willow,|
@ 2009-10-02 08:20:00
|Entry tags:||:) smiley face, culture: european, genre: fantasy = general|
Queen Of The Orcs - Morgan Howell
Let me get this out of the way right from the start; this is a what these people need is a honkey book. There is no getting away from that. None.
But that said, I found myself liking what the particular honkey in this case brings to the table; which is guile and the ability to understand treachery, deceit and betrayal.
The orcs in 'Queen of the Orcs' manage to reference the broken treaties betrayal of the American First Nations politically, while being dark skinned and described almost like "Klingons With Tusks". And the white men, or washavokis (as they're called in the book) show the majority of themselves to be greedy, grasping, murderous, foul, classless, abusive and extremely primitive in their philosophies. Their King is destroying his own lands and earning the resentment of his own people with his harsh war mongering and is shown having no respect for life in general (though the examples used for this are women).
The women in the book show themselves to be strong in various ways, all while hemmed in by their circumstances. They are hardened by experience and the need to survive, but also twisted by that need which involves a rejection of reality and for some embracing a fantasy. And I actually liked that I figured out immediately what made the protagonist stand out from the other women before she did. I also liked that the protagonist wobbled back and forth between her prejudices and what she actually knew and had observed. I'm not sure if it was intentional but it made it real. Despite how well someone treats you, if they're of a minority considered lesser and savage, then any type of relationship with them will not only reflect badly n that individual, but any hint of sexual goings on will spawn incredulity, disgust and serious shaming.
That said, I don't know whether or not I'm comfortable with the introduction of a white male possible love interest. It can be read as 'Of course she's not going to end up with an 'Orc' - for pity's sake! What do you think I'm writing here!' Or it can be read as 'This is not going to be about a woman who falls for a 'savage' and their 'majestic ways' blah blahde blah'.
Truthfully I'm not sure the writer has the skill to not offend me, but at least I'm not offended yet and that should count for something.
I realize I'm saying nothing about the plot, but you can catch the summary from any bookstore site or if you're at the bookstore flipping it over to read the back. I've already described the theme. And the fact that I want to read book two should say something.