The Weight of Blood, (The Half-Orcs, Book 1)

Rated 3.92/5 based on 13 reviews
Harruq and Qurrah Tun, half-blood exiles of elves and orcs, have sworn their lives to the prophet of a death god, gaining power in return for igniting war between the race of elves and man. Harruq's love of an elf may save him from his dark path, but to protect her means he must turn against his brother and fight the killing nature with which he was born.

No matter his decision, someone will die. More
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  • Category: Fiction » Fantasy » General
  • Words: 63,110
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 9781452318035
About David Dalglish

David Dalglish currently lives in rural Missouri with his wife Samantha, daughter Morgan, and dog Asimov. He graduated from Missouri Southern State University in 2006 and currently devotes himself to perfecting his craft. He spends his free time playing racquetball and watching PBS with his daughter.

Learn more about David Dalglish

Also by This Author


Charlotte Cecily reviewed on on Nov. 23, 2014

The pace was fast, it was interesting, but I didn't like the characters or character development. Too dark, but I liked the end.
(review of free book)
Sadie S. Forsythe reviewed on on May 2, 2013

The Weight of Blood is some serious Dark Fantasy. I mean dark with a capital 'D', maybe even dark with a capital D.A.R.K.. It isn't a comfortable read. There isn't a lot of joy in it and bad things happen to a lot of good people. I generally like dark fiction, but this one was almost too much for me.

The two main characters, Harruq and Qurrah, can hardly even be called anti-heros. There wasn't enough hero in them, Qurrah especially. The only humanity [for lack of a more appropriate term] left in him seemed to be his affection for his brother and even that was contaminated by manipulating Harruq for his own nefarious ends. But still, I could at least relate to Harruq. I could see that in other circumstances he would have been a kind soul, might even have still had one despite his HORRIBLE, CRUEL, VILE actions. He killed children for goodness sake!

Relate to him as I might, I had a really hard time reconciling his personality with his actions. Don't get me wrong. I understand that this dichotomy between his natural inclinations and the reality of his circumstances was in large part one of the themes of the book. But his willingness to simply do as told by Qurrah was hard to accept.

The book was well written, though I was left with some very basic questions unanswered. I had a lot of trouble deciding what age H & Q were supposed to be, for example. In the beginning I thought they might be children. Their brotherly attachment was so strong that they felt young, since as people age their social circle tends to broaden and those familiar bonds dilute. Their actions and thoughts quickly made it clear that they weren't children however, but an age was never given. Somewhere between 15-25 maybe. They may even have been twins since their father was only said to have slept with their mother once, but again, this was never clarified.

This isn't a book I enjoyed, but this isn't the type of book one reads to enjoy. Enduring the tragedy of it all is part of the experience, part of removing yourself from your comfortable life to remind yourself what another's life might be like. Having done that, I think I need to go read something light and fluffy, with an unquestionable HEA.
(review of free book)
humanitysdarkerside reviewed on on May 2, 2013

There is a timeline for Dalglish' books. You can find it on his website. However, that does not mean you have to read the books in that order. I haven't.

David Dalglish has created a world called Drezel. Once upon a time the brothers Ashhur and Karak came to Drezel and ended up representing dark/chaos/death and light/order/life. They are godlike-creatures who have been cast from the planet and acquired followers. Like many brothers out there Ashhur and Karak fight. Unfortunately that usually involves getting their followers to fight each other.

"The Weight of Blood" is a dark story, one of death and destruction. The Half-Orc brothers Harruq and Qurrah Tun are responsible for quite a bit of that destruction. These two brothers seem very different yet Harruq would do just about anything for Qurrah, even if it means killing children or friends. What Qurrah will discover in "The Weight of Blood" is just how far he can drive his brother. Because one thing is for sure, Qurrah manipulates his brother. In spite of this, the brothers have great love for each other.

Dalglish writes dark fantasy well. His characters are complex and loveable (in spite of their deeds). Life isn't a matter of black and white in Dalglish's litterary world. Instead we get shades of grey that mirror real life.

I loved his writing and the world he has created.
(review of free book)
John Davis reviewed on on Feb. 18, 2013

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)
Marisa Brown reviewed on on July 12, 2012

I can honestly say that I can't imagine not having found this series. This book starts out a bit shaky, but as the series progressed, it ended up being incredible. I'm still eagerly awaiting more from David, and can't wait for the newest additions to the other series' that take place in the world of Dezrel!!
(review of free book)
R. M. Fraser reviewed on on Dec. 17, 2011
(no rating)
I couldn't put the book down once I started! Finished in a day! Wonderful stuff, and it's unique to read a story from the perspective of the black sheep (by that I mean orcs and half-orcs). A great read, can't wait to check out the others!
(review of free book)
Smokescreen Publishing reviewed on on March 27, 2011

Great book. I downloaded it off B&N for my Nook. I was truly impressed. I can honestly say that this is one of the best books by an indie writer that I have come across. Keep writing, I'll keep reading!
(review of free book)
Breeze Estes reviewed on on Feb. 10, 2011

Wonderful and exciting dark fantasy..
(review of free book)
Tom Andry reviewed on on Feb. 2, 2011

I read this on the iPad (not sure if I left a review there) but I didn't think it was all that dark. Sure, the protagonists start off on the wrong side but that's nothing new. If anything, it is refreshing to see just how evil they were. Too often the "bad guy gone good" never really reveals all the torturing and maiming they did when they didn't know any better.

The problem I had was that I didn't quite feel that the characters felt like (especially the necromancer brother) they wanted to change. It was more that they were forced by the situation. Maybe in later books they will become truly good (which would be a nice way to go with the arc) but for now, I wouldn't be surprised if they turned evil if the opportunity presented itself.

Yes, it could do with a once over from a grammar nazi but compared to much of the free fare, it was very nice. I wouldn't recommend it to my mom but I have no problems saying that, for those that don't mind a little blood, it's a very entertaining read. Well done.
(review of free book)
Michael Crane reviewed on on Aug. 31, 2010

David Dalglish's THE WEIGHT OF BLOOD (the first book in the HALF-ORCS series) is a gripping and dark fantasy about two half-orc brothers, Qurrah and Harruq. The two are despised by humans and elves alike, making them buy into the belief that they deserve to be violent in nature, even though Harruq, as much as he loves to battle and kill, questions his true nature. The two meet an evil figure who serves a god of death, and he has horrible plans for the world that involve the two brothers. Will the two end up being pawns, or will one or both of them figure out that there may be another way to go through life? It's all here in this exciting beginning to a promising series.

Be warned, this is a very dark tale. The brothers do terrible things, but again this is to reveal to you their beginnings. Not all beginnings are pleasant, and theirs is proof of that. What Dalglish gives us are complex characters where there are no clear-cut good guys. And as evil as Velixar is, he too believes that he is doing right, and for that reason he never comes off as being cartoonish or flat. The brothers, as violent as they can be, come from a world where almost everybody who has crossed paths with them have shown them nothing but hatred. This does not excuse their actions, but it does make you believe they are capable of the things they do a lot more.

A great read and a great beginning.
(review of free book)
Aaron T Lange reviewed on on Aug. 30, 2010

Very fun book.. it is a bit dark but hey its fantasy fiction... I have completed all 3 books and eagerly await the 4th+. Lots of characters to connect with and a very easy read; especially for a complete novice like myself.

I really enjoyed the different aspects and inter relationships of the characters and how they worked together and against each other.

Pick it up, you won’t put it down.
(review of free book)
Tony Coffman reviewed on on June 20, 2010

This book was a difficult read, it is very dark. I almost quit it three times, but decided that there was some hope of redemption and hung in there. I am glad that I did, I am in the second book and enjoying it. The book is well written and the characters are well developed. I gave this a 2 Star rating simply because it was just too dark.
(review of free book)
Elizabeth McCoy reviewed on on April 19, 2010

A bloodily-fluffy read, and I bought the second book already. I found the grim-to-goofy shifts a little jarring, but still cared about what was happening to the characters.

My sole complaint is that the editing -- mainly in punctuation -- started breaking down noticeably after the first few chapters. It's not horribly garbled (indeed, many people less editing-obsessed than I might not notice!) but it could use a pedantic punctuator's editing pass. (And horses are guided by reins. Reigns are what kings do.)
(review of free book)
Rachel D. Thompson reviewed on on April 3, 2010

I really enjoyed this book and will probably pick up the second one. Although the characters were at times goofy and at other times deadly serious, I cared about what happened to them--even when their actions led them down a dark path.
(review of free book)

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