I was only reminded that it was the end of the month and I was due to write a wrap-up via a comment by Dave. Thanks for the prompt!
Things this month have been full of highs and lows – highs because I’ve read a fair few goods, some decent, some not. Lows because the past week or so I feel like I have done absolutely nothing! I’ve been trying to write my own words more and more which has seriously pushed reading time back. I can feel myself slowly falling out with Black Library/Games Workshop and my interest in their publications is doing through a bit of a dip. It has taken me the longest time to even get through the first short story in Mark of Calth and honestly, the ‘meh’ feelings are settling in.
Let’s have a look back at what I’ve read this month, shall we?
His Orc is Worse than his Bite – Milly Taiden & Celeste King
Other than that being a really odd name for a book… it wasn’t too bad! The characters were interesting and I enjoyed the overall story. I was pretty irritated by some of the plot hooks being unresolved though. I don’t like to be left hanging and I know that they’ll never be resolved either, as these series don’t tend to pick up characters after their story-arc has been written. Still, I have a great admiration growing for Celeste King and the amount of written work she pumps out! I’m always willing to read her orc books.
The Orc from the Office – Kate Prior
Okay, looking back on it it’s been an Orc Smut month. I don’t foresee that changing any time in the near future and I’m not even sorry about it. The Orc from the Office was some pretty good Orc Smut! It’s set in a modern-day office setting, which made for a nice change and detailed the fated-mate romance between Khent and Janice. I rated it so highly because it offered a refreshing breath of air in terms of relationship handling. Honestly, it’s a book that doesn’t take itself too seriously and is good humoured, funny and pretty smutty! Khent was a great character and I’d have love to see more of the events unfolding from his point of view. I’ll be on the look out for more Orc related books from this author in the future.
Betrayer – Aaron Dembski-Bowden
The best Warhammer book in a while! There’s something very appealing about Aaron Dembski-Bowdens writing style. His ability to blend character-driven drama and action is second to none. The events in this book are awesome in their content, seeing the fate of Angron and Lorgar’s hand in it is just so pleasing. I cannot praise this book enough. Argel Tal and Kharn work wonderfully together and their personalities shine. Erebus is still a jerk and… yeah, hopefully the rest of the Horus Heresy will have taken a few notes from this book! I read this through with Dave as a part of our Horus Heresy buddy read. Currently, I am trying to persuade myself that Mark of Calth isn’t all that bad?
Mortarion: The Pale King – David Annandale
Can’t believe that this book was rated lower than some Orc Smut… What I enjoy about the Horus Heresy Primarch/Character books is that they offer insight into the inner workings of the different Chapters/Legions. Mortarion: The Pale King, did that… sort of. I certainly know a bit more about the Death Guard and how they approach warfare. Mortarion himself, not so much. He’s still very dry and elusive and, honestly, I am struggling to understand his character even after reading this book. Sadly, there’s just a lot of combat and warfare in this book that leaves little impression on the reader. A cameo of Nathaniel Garro came to little, to late to save the day.
The Princess and the Orc – John Edgell
This is not Orc Smut! This is a fairly-tale, Christian story that just so happens to feature an Orc. I enjoyed this one for the challenges it presents to the reader. Getting them to think about their prejudices and overcome their judgements of other people. Its not really my usual sort of read, but I enjoyed it for what it was. The characters were interesting enough to keep me turning the pages and while Princess Kamala became a bit preachy, Drawf, the Orc, remained a favourite. I don’t have that much to say about it really, because its a short read mostly aimed at younger audiences. It was nice to pick up something that made me think, but not too deeply!
Courting Dragons – Jeri Westerson
My second five-star review of the month! I feel like I got lucky! Courting Dragons is the debut novel by Jeri Westerson featuring Will Somers, court jester to Henry 8th. It’s a murder/mystery historical novel that scratched a lot of my itches! It’s humorous and endearing in equal measure, with wonderfully written characters, political intrigue and so much more. I highly recommend it to all those that enjoy historical fiction and a good who-dun-it. Will is an unlikely, but captivating lead character whose ability to move around the royal court offers insight into situations like no other; and he has a dirty-little-secret!