[Book Review] Orc’s Toy – Celeste King

Title: Orc’s Toy
Author: Celeste King
Published by: Independently Published
Publication date: 7th Dec 2021
Genre: Orc Smut
Pages: 156
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Series: Orc Warriors of Protheka

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Blurb/Synopsis

A huge, scary, monster Orc Chieftain has his hands on me.
He could break me with one hand, I’m so tiny compared to him.
But he won’t.
Because I’m his female and I love him.


Korthar rules his clan with an iron fist.
He’s merciless to his enemies. But he’s got a soft spot for me.

Before him, I didn’t have much going in my life.
Earth is pretty much a desolate wasteland since the Orcs came over from Protheka.
And being a woman? The best you can hope is to be someone’s property.

Now, after my curvy body catches Korthar’s eye I’m worth something in this world at least.
My giant warrior will protect me.
He’ll claim me. And I’ll serve him. In any way he pleases.

But I’ll also give him a gift that he’ll never have to ask me for.
Something better than any fantasy, no matter how twisted.

What is this gift?

My heart.

And why do I give it so freely?

Because he’s already given me his.

Review

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

I just binged three Historical Fiction novels, I deserve an Orc Smut novel as a break! It’s been a while since I visited Protheka and Celeste King, so why not give her Orc Warriors of Protheka series a go?


Orc’s Toy is the first in Celeste King’s Orc Warriors of Protheka series. At this point, I am a bit confused by the many series that Celeste King has for Orc-related smut. I’m going to have to do a bit of research and see what’s going on!

Regardless, Orc’s Toy, put the reader back into the world of Protheka where Orcs have invaded and forced the human population to live underground in Fallout style bunkers. Anna, along with several other woman, are part of a bride-tithe to the Orcs of the Broken Bones clan, in return, her bunker is rewarded with food and supplies that will see them over the winter. Korthar is chieftain of the Battle Scar clan. His clan is struggling with the winter; leading them to delve deeper into the wilderness for hunting. Betrayal see’s him captured by the Broken Bones and, as such the two characters meet.

One of my issues with Celeste King’s other books is the lack of in depth world building; the loose threads are always there, but it never goes any deeper than surface level. I think Orc’s Toy is very similar. We’re given the low-down that the Orcs came through a portal and dominated the world, pushing the humans to live in bunkers to keep safe. They’re forced to live alongside Orc tribes that would dominate and destroy them, such as the Broken Bones clan. And yet, there seems to be an abundance of Orcs that want humans to live alongside them and help them to thrive. I find the disjointed aspects of the World-Building frustrating in many respects; why are Orc Tribes so vastly different to one another, did they all come from the same place at the same time? I’d like it to all go a little bit deeper than it does.

The main protagonist of this book, Anna, flirts on the edges of being a Mary Sue, the is described as beautiful, curvy and has the special favour of her bunkers leaders. Then she is given to the Orcs, leads the woman that she has been donated with, fights for them all because they’re all weaker than she is – mentally and physically – and gets the eye of the big-bad leader Orc. That she dupes into believing he has had sex with her and goes off to free the captured Korthar. She is always complimented on how beautiful she is and nothing ever goes wrong for her. So, I struggled a lot to relate to her as a protagonist. On the flip side, Korthar, the Orc Chieftain struggles to be anything over than a card-board-cut-out and is just pretty bland. He comes across as weak-willed and weak-minded, especially for the leader of an orc clan and has to rely on Anna for pretty much everything. It’s a bit of a sad state of affairs.

There are events that happen in this book that don’t make much sense, either. Anna comes down with a fever at one point, very quickly. Then, after a night of body-heat, it goes. Everything felt a little bit rushed and disjointed. Like there wasn’t enough care about the plot, other than the inevitable romance/smut scene. The smut scene itself was the best written part of the book, so it feels like everything else was just written to prop up the blooming romance – which also happened far, far too quickly. There was little in the ways of character development, what Anna experiences doesn’t change her in the slightest and, Korthar just… goes back to being clan Chieftain. Despite being betrayed – which was the biggest let-down in writing/plot ever – and having been tortured by his enemies. I just… ugh, my stars are dropping for this book as I’m writing the review!

The blurb/synopsis doesn’t really match up with what’s on offer in the book either. I’ve had this issue with some of Celeste King’s other books too. Rescued by the Orc Chieftain, wasn’t about an Orc Chieftain, for example! I’ll have to be wary going into other books in her series as I feel a bit like I am being lied to in terms of what the books are about.

The more I think about the book, the less I enjoyed the experience. At the time of reading, I was pretty into it and I enjoyed the ride, but in hindsight, there was so much wrong going on with it.

Summary

Lacklustre characters, disappointingly over-powered Mary Sue protagonist and a plot that’s disjointed and rushed. Decent romance with a Happy-Ever-After between the main characters, but it just fell a bit… flat.


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