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Harvest of War

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  18 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Victory rewards the most brutal. But in a war fought between Orcs, Humans, and the monsters known as the Reapers, who best deserves that title? And will any of them fight for the weak? Or are the weak doomed always to be prey?
Kindle Edition
Published March 2012 by Razored Zen Press
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S.E. Lindberg
“Victory rewards the most brutal. But in a war fought between Orcs, Humans, and the monsters known as the Reapers, who best deserves that title? And will any of them fight for the weak? Or are the weak just prey?"Back cover Summary

Context: This is a short story, originally scheduled for an anthology in ~2011 that never made it to market, and has thankfully been made available as a stand-alone tale. An underlying motivation of the anthology was to show Orcs as more complex characters than present
Ashe Armstrong
This is a singleminded review: I want more. I need more. The story unfolded in a way that piqued my interest so hard. Read it.
I very much liked this short story of compassion in a time of brutal war and the all-too-brief emergence of understanding between two individuals of widely disparate races - a kind of beauty and the beast retold.

I also liked the flow of the writing and the level of description in the text but I felt that the story ended rather abruptly after the final and dramatic scene.

I'll be keeping an eye out for other works by Charles Gramlich in the future!
Rosalind M
Vivid and brutal, yet effectively builds sympathy for a character usually seen as a villain.
HARVEST OF WAR tells the tale of two enemies, humans and Orcs, learn that maybe they shouldn't be enemies. All through the efforts of a young red-haired little girl.

It's a story of the upset of the natural order of things when humans set out to destroy the Orcs.

Kales is the only survivor of an Orc army, wounded and stuck in a cage to be tormented by children, the men, poked with sticks, hammered with rocks, fed dirty water and rotten food.

Ehma, the red-haired child, is the only one that treats
Gramlich writes with a rawness and immediacy that sucks the reader right in. Irrelevancies such as the cause of this conflict and the back history of any character are all stripped away and left to the reader's imagination. Are the humans the good guys? Are the Orcs the bad guys? Does it matter, when "victory rewards the most brutal"?

In other hands, the connection between Khales the Orc and Ehma the human girl would render the story trite or maudlin. Thankfully, this avoids that fate.
Great short story about Orc prisoner of war. The story portrays Orcs in a different light. Even thought this is a short story, the author does an excellent job of pacing the transformation of the character. It doesn't feel rushed or contrived. This story was the first I've read of Mr. Gramlich, but it will not be the last.
This short story of a singular Orc named Khales - imprisoned by humans, befriended by a young girl - is an epic tale with a touching center. The opening is classic exposition, but the storytelling moves to a more immediate and emotional perspective and draws the reader into the heart of this feared enemy who has a choice to make and a destiny to fulfill. If you like heroic fantasy in bite-sized pieces, this will not disappoint.
Bernard DeLeo
Gripping and gritty battle scenes, mixed with horrendous captivity, and an empathetic friendship between the captive Orc and the child of his hated enemy: humans. The ending deepens this odd understanding to a heroic finish. Great story!
A wonderful short story told from an Orcs perspective.
Here is the opening line:

Across a snowfield that lies red with dawn, the Orc charge comes."

And is met.

It doesn't get any better. But ... if you are at all tempted, do the author the justice of downloading the sample. Just because I found the writing boring and banal doesn't mean you will.
Michael marked it as to-read
Jul 25, 2015
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Tony Petry marked it as to-read
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Sherri Thompson marked it as to-read
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Gerald Black
Gerald Black marked it as to-read
Jan 11, 2013
Sep 08, 2012 Charles added it  ·  (Review from the author)
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I grew up on a farm in Arkansas, and I fully intend to retire right back to that same farm. But not yet. I came to Louisiana in 1986 to teach Biological Psychology at Xavier University in New Orleans. I've been there ever since, although I now live in a semi-rural area outside Abita Springs, Louisiana.

My primary writing interests are in Fantasy and Horror, which are the genres where my books and
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