My word, was The Weight of Blood (The Half-Orcs, #1) dark. Dark, dark, evil, dark, evil, makes my good side hurt, conscience screaming at me to stop reading and never open a novel again, dark. Also, it was free for Kindle as the blog "Pixel of Ink" informed me.
I'm thankful that I read this novel as it helped me clarify my position on dark fantasy: I don't like it. I'd never read any dark fantasy before hand and never really knew that it was a category that could exist. Thanks to the author's note at the end of this novel, I now have realized that he was acting within a genre and it cleared up some of the confusion that I felt while reading the novel.
That said, I felt that this was a very interesting, if inherently evil, story that needed more. Something more. More depth. More description. More emotion. Even the evil felt rather flat. Perhaps a thesaurus?
This is the tale, as the synopsis will tell you, of two half-elf/half-orc brothers with names that are palindromes of one another. They were sold into servitude in childhood by a mother who didn't seem particularly taken with the emotions of parenthood (and once you read this novel and see the dearth of emotions on all topics, it won't be terribly hard to imagine that such a scenario is possible). As a result, the one whose name starts with a Q learns a small amount of necromancy while the one whose name begins with an H learns street smarts. And that is the entire back story as we open on a scene of Orcs (or possibly undead? It is hard to tell what with the lack of description.) attacking a human city which houses our two palindromic brothers. A necromancer of greater power, who I'd like to call The Big Baddie, is leading this army's charge.
From this opening scene, we are thrust out of the city and into a different town where The Big Baddie reappears and connects with Brother Q. Meanwhile, Brother H is still trying to figure out how to not die (spoiler: it involves inhaling and exhaling) while mindlessly following orders from everyone he perceives as smarter than him and who tells him that they have his best interests at heart (spoiler: they do not).
And so: death of innocents, death of not-so-innocents, death of children, massive doom plotted, more death, some more death, giant gleaming death swords of death, more death, armies of undead, and a woman who somehow falls in love with Brother H (who at this point has exhibited even less emotional capacity than a lamprey) and betrays her entire race just to aid his death-causing while she secretly hopes, as all women do (spoiler: no, they don't), to reform him to being a good guy by loving him hard enough. Oh, and death of those who are undead.
So read on, fair readers, if what you are looking for is a cathartic tale of evil run amok told in the most simplistic language with minimal character development and world building. This will be right up your alley!
I rated it 2 stars because the alt-text for that star says "I don't like it", and, in fact, ****I**** don't like it. You, however, might.
(reviewed 3 years after purchase)