Orcs vs. Dwarves

A few years ago, I read and definitely enjoyed Orcs by Stan Nicholls. The fundamental idea of the book was to write a story from the viewpoint of a band of marauding orcs. If you ever read a fantasy book, like the Lord of the Rings, you will understand how unusual this perspective can be! Orcs are usually dull and stupid, The dialogues were quite witty and, despite a rather weak plot, the book was definitely a success. My son loved it and read the next volume as well… (The main criticism I could make of the book is that the orcs are too human to make the experiment a complete success.)

Thus, when I saw Markus Heitz’s The Dwarves last month in Bristol, I assumed the author had used the same trick to write an interesting and innovative story… This is not the case! The book may be one of the worst fantasy books I ever read, in that it could have been written by an average Warhammer player with no loss to style nor plot. There are indeed many features borrowed from this fantasy universe (my kids used to like!, as shown by the picture above), including dwarf bersekers and dark elves, and the story is not more inspired than a standard Warhammer game that would involve most of the different races. It is also very poorly written, with characters going from a resting dinner in an inn to theatre play in a city besieged by countless orcs, ogres and magicians, with a subterranean railway system no one has used for centuries but still in perfect shape, with a novice  dwarf fighter able to defeat the most powerful mage within a few weeks of training, with inconsistent logistics, etc. This is so bad I could only recommend the book to readers who dislike fantasy, as it would comfort them into their opinion, and thus make them the only group getting a positive outcome from reading the book!

One Response to “Orcs vs. Dwarves”

  1. you didn’t read it proply the reason he could go from being a novice to a trained fighter is because he was a born fighter and the reason the tunnles were in good shape was dwaves were living in them

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