cover image Orcs


Stan Nicholls. Orbit, $14.99 (784pp) ISBN 978-0-316-03370-1

This shelf-bending omnibus comprises the first U.S. release of Nicholls's Orcs trilogy (Bodyguard of Lightning, Legion of Thunder and Warriors of the Tempest), originally published in the U.K. in 1999 and 2000. When a warband of orcs run afoul of their tyrannical mistress on a mission to retrieve an invaluable artifact, they set in motion a series of cataclysmic events that could free their race from long-standing persecution or obliterate them from the realm forever. Pursued by an irate sorceress, ruthless bounty hunters and two vengeance-obsessed armies, Captain Stryke and his misfit band of mercenary orcs embark on a desperate quest to find a set of ancient ""instrumentalities"" that could save them and their magic-filled world from destruction at the hands of human interlopers. With grand scale world building, labyrinthine plotlines, extensive backstory and pedal-to-the-metal action, Nicholls captures adventure fantasy at its very best. This edition-which also includes a short story entitled ""The Taking"" (a prequel to the three novels), and an in-depth author interview-will be a cult classic with quest fantasy fans on both sides of the Pond.