Gentle, Mary

About the Author:

Mary Gentle lives in Hertfordshire, England.



1 out of 5

(1 book)


As the Last Battle between Light and Dark approaches, a group of orc warriors find themselves subjected to the curse of a dead dragon which begins to transform them into something new; marines.

I hated this book.  HATED IT!  To begin with I just found it to be stupid and poorly written, then it became obnoxiously tedious, until finally, around halfway through, I found myself loathing every page of it.  I pretty much never fail to finish reading a book but I was sorely tempted with this one many times, until forcing myself through the latter half started to feel like some perverse self-flagellation.

Everything about this book is poorly executed including, but not limited to, a nonsensical rambling plot, lazy and derivative world-building, appalling unrelateable characters, jarring tonal shifts, terrible prose and, perhaps worst of all given its pretensions of being comic fantasy, a total lack of anything approaching humour.  To give some examples of the above, we'll start with the main characters.  Here we're supposed be onboard with the 'funny' hijinks of either Ashnak the orc leader or perhaps the rogueish Brandiman brothers; except that at one point Ashnak rapes a woman to death and the Brandimans murder a family and then roast and eat the children.  In regard to the terrible prose, be prepared to read the sentence 'Dakka-dakka-dakka-FOOM!' on almost every page; which would be annoying enough in and of itself, but that's not even what guns sound like.  Seriously, has Gentle never heard a gun?

Had this been 150 to 200 pages long, it would've just been a bad trashy fantasy book, but at over 460 pages it is, in fact, an ordeal.  If you want well-written, funny, clever and engaging fantasy, just go and read some Terry Pratchett.  Avoid this like the plague.

1 out of 5


Fantasy (here)