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Bodyguard Of Lightning (Orcs: First Blood #1)

3.40  ·  Rating Details  ·  603 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
When humans arrived on Maras Mantia, home of dwarves, elves, and all the other old races, they raped the land of its soul and magic. And, now the Orcs, whom Earthlings hunted down and slaughtered like beasts of the field, may be the chosen creatures destined to win peace for all..."Wall to wall action, undercurrents of dark humor...gritty, fast paced..."--David Gemmell, au ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published December 31st 2001 by Gollancz (first published October 10th 2001)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,145)
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Will Collins
Jun 22, 2016 Will Collins rated it it was amazing
I read this many years ago, but it was the first book I read where Orcs weren't mindless monsters and could even be the good guys.

I also love how many other races Nicholls incorporated into the Orcs series. The way he writes battles are superb too.
~ Giulia ~
Jun 25, 2016 ~ Giulia ~ rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, dragons

A lot of mindless action and very little else.
The premise is great, but the execution is quite lackluster. It was good seeing the humans as the bad guys for once, but we don't get to know much about orcs. I would have liked the main characters to have a bit more personality.

Nothing is clearly explained ("you should reunite all the relics that will, probably, do... something... that possibly could be, somehow, perhaps, the salvation of your race...") or resolved (the book just ends on a big cliff
Sep 26, 2009 Dave rated it liked it
I'm generally not a fan of your epic style fantasy books. Often times it's the same story over and over again, and usually that story is "Lord of the Rings". So I was happy to discover that "Bodyguard of Lightning", the first book in Stan Nicholl's "Orcs" series, was not your typical fantasy story.

The whole idea of this book is that you follow things from ther perpspective of a war band of orcs, the powerfully built warrior race that generally serve as villainous grunts in most fantasy novels. H
Bill Wimsatt
Jul 26, 2012 Bill Wimsatt rated it did not like it
AWFUL! DO NOT READ! Interesting premise and I looked forward to reading it, but this was just crappy adventures of generic warriors. Shamed to even review this. Can I give a 0 rating?!
Clare Neilson
Jan 19, 2014 Clare Neilson rated it liked it
I'd give this 3.5 if I could. Sick of human heroes? Fancy some blood, guts and gore close combat fighting? Give this a try! it is, really, really hard to remember you're reading about Orcs in this book, so keep checking the front cover to remind yourself. There's also a dwarf on their side but less hairy and more just a short human that usual.

Humans have been invading the home land of the elder races for many years, and are destroying the magic of the land. This is weakening the elder races. Som
Mar 23, 2016 GiuliaS rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hiatus
Ho provato a leggere questo libro sotto consiglio di mio fratello, in quanto volevo una lettura veloce e diversa dal solito...
L'idea di base -gli orchi visti come buoni e gli umano come cattivi- mi attraeva, ma non esiste in realtá. Gli orchi non hanno praticamente nessuna differenza dagli umani, non hanno personalità, ne valori, nulla! Non esiste una trama, mi è sembrato di essere in un vecchio (e maldestro) GdR. Il libro in generale mi ha irritata cosi tanto che non sono riuscita ad appassion
I found this book interesting although not amazing. It is nice having a book that is told from the orcs perspective for a change. In most books the Orcs are seen as a race without a culture, structure or even basic manners, this book tells a different story.
The main gist of the book is that a small war band of orcs are sent off after an item their queen wants and once they have it they have to decide to start a quest to try and free their people from under her rule or to return the item and fac
Andrea Lorenzini
Jul 10, 2008 Andrea Lorenzini rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The worst book I have never read. I don't suggest this to nobody
Guillermo Moreno
Aug 04, 2015 Guillermo Moreno rated it it was amazing
Esta novela es toda una gozada, especialmente porque revienta todos los clichés y preconcepciones que tenemos, producto de trabajos previos. Nos plantea una situación interesante, porque aborda a la raza orca desde otro ángulo, nos da sus razones de ser y nos muestra los valores que tienen.
En este mundo los orcos son altamente militaristas, creen en la camaradería, la solidaridad para con los suyos, la palabra empeñada. Además que desdeñan la idea de matar a los de su propia especie, cosa que lo
Nov 28, 2011 Hyann rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Normally I didn't read review of a book I already bought before reading it, but I did for this one and seeing the hate or love comments, I wasn't sure about starting it.

Well the book suppose to give you and inside view of the Orcs lives... and it fail completly. Instead seeing the world with the eyes of an Orc, the author create a new world for the them so they don't look like stupid brute. It's more like you're following a barbarian tribe more than Orcs.

You got the classic evil master that cont
Sep 29, 2010 Phoenixfalls rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Not a soul.
The title of this novel is easily the most interesting thing about it. Tom Holt claims the book features "a core of skillfully drawn, fully realized characters who engage your sympathy from the start and never let go," but I found exactly the opposite: the characters range from the tolerable to evil personified and not a single one behaves (a), with any foresight, or (b), with any consistency from scene to scene. The leader of the band of orcs, Stryke, never has any clear motivation for his acti ...more
Sep 11, 2008 Nicolas rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: les lecteurs de fantasy verdâtre
Pour que personne ne perde de temps, je vais le dire tout de suite : ça fait longtemps que je n'avais pas lu un livre aussi m...édiocre, voire en fait, minable.
La promesse est sympathique : nous montrer, pour une fois, l'envers de la fantasy en prenant des orcs comme héros. Moi, en voyant ça, je m'attendais à de la méchanceté, de la bêtise crasse, voire de la brutalité gratuite.
Hélas, à tous mes espoirs, l'auteur répond rapidement en faisant épargner par ses héros verdâtres un bébé à la chair dé
Jan 02, 2014 Finrod rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Questo romanzo fantasy imho è una grande occasione sprecata. L'idea di base non sarebbe male... peccato che poi l'autore l'abbia sviluppata come se stesse scrivendo il manuale di un gioco di ruolo o la trama di un videogioco. Nicholls affronta ogni tematica in maniera estremamente blanda o scontata... ci sono gli orchi, e una storia raccontata dal loro punto di vista aprirebbe un sacco di possibilità, peccato che si comportino in tutto e per tutto come degli esseri umani, e in pochissimi casi si ...more
Feb 25, 2013 charlotte rated it did not like it
This is one of those first books in a trilogy that ends with a cliff hanger, in hopes (I guess) that you will rush right out and buy the second book. My best friend gave me the complete, compendium edition of the whole First Blood trilogy, so that wasn't such a problem for me. What was a problem? Sloppy writing, poor world building, boring characters, boring plot... I just did not care enough about the story, characters, or the themes to go on. Hugely disappointing.

After seeing The Hobbit: An Un
Oct 14, 2014 Narz rated it liked it
Anyone thinking of picking up this book might as well get the Omnibus edition, which contains books 1 through 3.

Judging Bodyguard of Lightning on its own, I honestly found it a bit lacking in plot development. Nothing much actually happens. Its strength lies more on the characters, and the interactions between those characters.

The protagonist, Stryke, is interesting and likeable enough. The leader of an Orc Warband, the focus is basically on him and the highest ranking officers in his warband.
William Merfalen
Apr 03, 2014 William Merfalen rated it really liked it
This is a casual read. If you are looking for brutish behaviour of the Orcs, you may not like this book. The dialogue of the Orcs isn't anything special. If you took out all references to Orcs, you would have a typical human dialogue. There are some obscure names for the Orcs, but the leader has a very human name "Styker". If you like casual sci fi books, this is for you.
Aug 29, 2012 Annemieke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
- I agree with other readers about the end of the book. The end was too abruptly finished. Hopefully the second part will the story continue. So 4 stars for that reason.
+ The book itself is worth 5 stars because it's full of action. It's never boring.
- The storyline 4 stars. It's not clear where the story is leading to.
+ Great book, a lot of dangerous situations and unexpected creatures are woven in the story.
- I expected to learn more about orc culture and habits, but there was not many info
Apr 25, 2016 Monk rated it liked it
Would be four stars, but some inappropriate stuff that wasn't needed. Skipped those pages.
Leslie Williamson
Aug 04, 2015 Leslie Williamson rated it it was ok
meh. not exactly the reinterpretation of orcs I was hoping for. The characters are as one dimensional and predictable as is too often the case in this genre.
Nigel Bachmann
Aug 07, 2011 Nigel Bachmann rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
I think the idea for this book came from a video game. Travel to new area, fight monsters, defeat boss, gain item, go up a level, travel to new area etc..

The plot is weak, the characters unconvincing and the ending dissapointing. The fact that I read it till the end must say something I suppose, if you want a light read wit lots of fights, or own a software company and looking for some new games idea then this book might be for you. Otherwise avoid, there's much better material out there.
Oct 05, 2014 Karolina rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Not the best fantasy book. It had a 'will write for money' feel to it, meaning yes, it was packed with action but that was the only thing the reviews were right about. The characters were flat and two-dimensional at most. The plot consisted mainly of humans and nonhumas gaining experience points by killing off one another. Not to mention the abrupt ending, just screaming at the reader 'go and buy the next poorly written book if you want to know how it all ends'.
Steven Ackerley
Well this was 5 stars until it got to the WORST ENDING EVER.

It was one-step up from "... and it was all a dream ..."

The characters remained cyphers throughout, the promised 'Orcs - as you never seen them before!' didn't work out at all. My preconceptions remained ... uhm ... concepted.

Still, it was a present and not something I would ever have picked for myself and it was o-kay.
Aug 04, 2015 Cindy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, read-in-2009
I really enjoyed this book although it was confusing at times due to nothing being explained up front.

The book however does just abruptly end forcing you to read the next book in the series. Which I'm not a HUGE fan of but it was a great book. You don't read many books about Orcs being the main characters and actually having feelings and thoughts so it's original in that aspect.

Typical quest/fighting fantasy.
Aug 11, 2011 Rodney rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
This was a decent fantasy book. It had a D&D aventure feel to it. It was relatively quick read and had some great action. What it did not give the reader was any insight into an Orcs mind or culture. The Orcs in the story were just your regular fantasy heroes, they just happened to not be human. But they acted human enough. Overall the series was a fun fanstasy adventure.
May 17, 2010 Jessica rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, fantasy
Not a bad story. I don't usually read fantasy/sci fi books and read this one because my boyfriend read it. It was definitely a change in pace for me. It was interesting to hear a story from the orcs point of view, to see what their motives are. The ending left a major cliffhanger and had I not had the second book on hand, I may have been upset by the abrupt ending.
Dec 30, 2013 Jo rated it really liked it
Gripping, entertaining, fast-paced. This is a look into the world of the orcs like you've never seen them. Nicholls has given them a fantastic heritage, story and ambition and I couldn't put this down once I'd started reading.
Aug 28, 2012 Metello rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cartaceo, fantasy
Lettura leggera fantasy, nulla di più, niente di profondo, né complicato, si lascia leggere volentieri.

L'idea di rendere i cattivi buoni e soprattutto noi umani i cattivi non è male, ma da sola non basta

L'autore deve avere un qualche rancore con la chiesa, perché gli "Uni", cioè gli umani avversari, hanno una religione molto simile...
Jul 27, 2011 Lindsay rated it really liked it
This was a gift from my boyfriend, who'd taken note of my desire to read some more fantasy.. He chose it because he thought the idea was unique, which it undeniably is, but the style frustrated me. Fantasy writing often leaves me wanting to strangle the author, and this, sadly, was no exception.
Max Lybbert
Jan 08, 2013 Max Lybbert rated it liked it
Funny, in as much as it provides a point of view of how terrible life is on the orcs side of the battle. Nicholls's work on developing a coherent warrior society is evident and greatly appreciated. However, the non-orc portions of the story don't feel (to me) to have that same level of care.
Jul 25, 2011 Jackie rated it it was amazing
I've just finished reading this book and I must say the ending was a disappointment. I was really expecting more! I enjoyed most of it so not altogether bad. It just had so much potential to be better, more time on some of the character's would have really helped.
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Stan Nicholls (born 1949) is a British author and journalist, working full-time since 1981. He is the author of many novels and short stories but is best known for the internationally acclaimed Orcs: First Blood series.
More about Stan Nicholls...

Other Books in the Series

Orcs: First Blood (4 books)
  • Legion of Thunder (Orcs: First Blood, #2)
  • Warriors of the Tempest (Orcs: First Blood, #3)
  • Orcs (Orcs: First Blood, #1-3)

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