Orcs: Forged For War

Stan Nicholls and Joe Flood. Roaring Brook/First Second, $17.99 trade paper (204 p) ISBN 978-1-59643-455-4
Spawned from author Nicholls's series of novels featuring the titular creatures, this comes as a real surprise. Coupled with Flood's deceptively simple and clear visual storytelling, the story centers on a troop of Orcs bound in service—or, more accurately, slavery—to a vicious, magic-wielding queen and tasked with protecting a secret weapon under the control of a goblin sorcerer and his underlings. The Orc commander, Stryke, must lead his soldiers and maintain order in their occasionally fractious ranks while also putting up with abuse from both the queen and the goblins, whose race has long been bitter enemies with Stryke's people. Not to be confused with the variety made famous by Tolkien, the Orcs of this narrative are noble warriors from whose point of view the reader witnesses events and immediately comes to sympathize with their situation. A cracking good tale from start to finish, this is strongly recommended for those who seek a realistically violent and profane heroic fantasy. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 07/25/2011
Release date: 10/01/2011
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