[Book Review] Rescued by the Orc Chieftain – Celeste King

Title: Rescued by the Orc Chieftain
Author: Celeste King
Published by: Protheka Publishing
Publication date: 24th March 2022
Genre: Erotica/Orc-Smut
Pages: 169
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Series: Mates of the Burning Sun Clan Book

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Blurb/Synopsis

This huge orc brings out the animal in me!

Humans have been driven underground, like rats, as we try to stay safe from the marauding orcs.
All my life, my only job has been to make sure my sick younger sister has enough to eat.
But then on a foraging mission, one of those giant beasts get his paws on me.

At first I worry that I’m going to become a plaything of the orcs.
But Yrish the Mad Dog of the Burning Sun Clan vows to keep me safe.
I believe him. There is a nobleness to this rampaging orc warrior.

He says that he will lay down his life till the end of his days to protect me.
That he will love me and try to keep me comfortable as I give him children.

Because apparently my scent is strong and tells him I’m his mate.

I guess it’s better than my scent telling him I’m what’s for dinner.

Review

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Yrish is an Orc known for going mad during battle, in the aftermath anything that gets in his way is meat for the slaughter. Camille knows next-to-nothing of the world outside the bunker where humans dwell since the arrival of the Orcs, so when she is fired from her job in the kitchens and seeks to forage food for her sickly sister she is stunned to find Yrish. Just as Yrish is stunned to realise that Camille keeps the madness at bay.

Rescued by the Orc Chieftain is the first in the Mates of the Burning Sun Clan series. It’s not a bad start to a new series, one that I will slowly pick away at over the rest of the year, I’m sure! I am a bit confused at the title though, Camille is rescued by Yrish, that makes sense. Yrish, however, is not a Chieftain of the Burning Sun Clan, he is a commander. Minor nitpick, I know.

Yrish kidnaps Camille because she keeps his curse at bay. There’s something about her that calms his mind and soothes his soul. It added a sweet touch to the genre, and I was pleased to read something refreshing about the connection between the main characters. Yrish, when not a rampaging maniac, is a sweet soul and wanted nothing more than to keep Camille and his clan safe, from the world and from himself. He finds his attraction to Camille frustrating in some respects as he’s also somewhat innocent when it comes to actual feelings – there are mentions of him romping with the girl Orcs from the clan – but when it comes to Camille he’s lost; it made the contrast between the battle-herdened madness he suffers that more apparent and made him more endearing to read about.

Camille is more concerned with getting back to her bunker and keeping her sister safe; all fair and noble. But, as the novel progresses, love blooms and complicates things!

I felt like the pacing and time-progressing in this book were off. One day, Camille is rake thin, because she’s been starved most of her life, the next, Yrish is joyous that she is filling out and getting sexy curves. It felt like time didn’t carry ay weight to it; if Camille is filling out because she’s eaten a lot of food, how long has she left her sister in the bunker to fend for herself? The two elements contradicted one another and it felt a bit on the confused side. There are other inconsistencies that I felt didn’t add up; journey times change, for example.

This is a book with a Happy Ever After ending and it’s very sickly sweet in a lot of respects. The romance arc is nothing short of adorable. I wasn’t sold on the fight scenes that occurred, as they didn’t seem to be well-considered and more of a rush of feelings than any physical action happening. I mostly glossed over them because they didn’t do anything other than try to add to the madness of Yrish, which had been better established early on in the novel.

I’d like to see the world-building developed a bit further. Other than humans living in bunkers and Orcs having invaded the world through portals – I don’t know if I know this from this novel or the other Protheka-based story I read – there’s very little to it. Maybe I am reading things out of order? Or there’s more to this world? But, considering this is the first book in a series, I felt its setting should be readable in the content I am currently engaging in.

The end of the main arc of the story was what irritated me the most. Camille has an idea that Yrish might not be cursed but suffers a mental illness. This idea was fine. What was not was the execution from this point onwards. Mental illnesses are apparently cured by mysterious herbs. Camille tells the clan shaman that she ingested unknown herbs, after being spooked by her first period, from the apothecary in her bunker. These herbs are somehow still in her system over ten years later and she remembers what they look like despite passing out. I found myself struggling with the later half of the book and how poorly researched and explained it was, but was already invested in the characters, I felt I had to continue.

There was also the promise of conflict between the humans and orcs that never came into play properly, I hope this tension is explored in further books in the series as it felt like a build-up to something that then fell on its face.

Summary

More of a fluffy romance novel than I was expecting. Yrish was an interesting character and I rather liked him. Shame Camille was a bit on the sappy side! The series needs more world-building and explanation as everything felt a little flat. A silly ending that does mental health absolutely no justice!

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