Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Orconomics (The Dark Profit Saga, #1)” as Want to Read:
Orconomics (The Dark Profit Saga, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


(The Dark Profit Saga #1)

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  4,015 ratings  ·  611 reviews
Brimming with swords, sorcery, and wit, Orconomics: A Satire introduces Arth, a world much like our own but with more magic and fewer vowels. For the licensed wizards and warriors of Arth, slaying and looting the forces of evil is just a job. The Heroes' Guild has turned adventuring into a career, selling the rights to monsters’ hoards of treasure as investment opportuniti ...more
Paperback, 340 pages
Published November 22nd 2014 by Gnomish Press LLC (first published September 30th 2014)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Orconomics, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
J. Pike **One Final Edit**
Son of a Liche will be available on May 22nd, 2018 in print, ebook, and audio formats. Thanks for reading!

I've reexamined my…more
**One Final Edit**
Son of a Liche will be available on May 22nd, 2018 in print, ebook, and audio formats. Thanks for reading!

I've reexamined my estimates, and now plan to launch Son of a Liche in mid-2018. You can read more about my progress, and the decision to push the date, here:

Original Response: I'm shooting for late 2017, but I'm committed to meeting my standard of quality rather than any particular date. You can always see the latest progress at Thanks for asking!(less)
J. Pike There will be 3 books in the Dark Profit Saga. After that, I have some rough ideas for more adventures in Arth, including a prequel series. But given …moreThere will be 3 books in the Dark Profit Saga. After that, I have some rough ideas for more adventures in Arth, including a prequel series. But given my pace of writing, I'm currently focused on just getting the trilogy done.

I'm glad you enjoyed Orconomics so much. Thanks for reading!(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.33  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,015 ratings  ·  611 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Orconomics (The Dark Profit Saga, #1)
Mark Lawrence
Orconomics won the 4th Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off with the highest score of any of the 1,200 books entered over 4 years!

So that's the strongest of recommendations from ten excellent blogs.

Check out the top ten finalists:

& now I've read it myself.

I'm going to have to open with an admission: I am not a great fan of comedic fantasy. There, I've said it. My wife has 50 or so of the Disc World books, and even though I can see that Terry Pratchett was a gen
Dyrk Ashton
Oct 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My second SPFBO review! As a guest judge this year, and one of six, my task is to read and review five of Booknest's batch of thirty books (no ratings), and forward my pick of the lot as a semifinalist. This week I've read and am reviewing J. Zachary Pike's Orconomics: A Satire. I'm just going to come out and say it, without reservation, shame, or regret - I loved this book.

Orconomics is, for me, one of those rare reads that doesn't come along very often. Genuine, consistent, extremely well writ
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Some reviewers compare Orconomics to Pratchett novels. A bold statement if you ask me. As a fan of satires, I needed to experience and verify it myself. And I liked it. 

It’s funny and uplifting but also serious and sad in some places, as every good satire should be.

On the world of Arth, adventuring is the industry that drives the economy. Groups of battle-hardened warriors hunt and kill Monsters and Shadowkin (Orcs, Goblins, Kobolds) and claim their hoards. These loots are bought and sold by cor
Dec 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
On the surface, Zachary Pike’s Orconomics follows a group of unlikely heroes, pulled together by a questionable prophet, to fulfill some such destiny to eventually save the land. Sound familiar? Well, it’s not that important, because this is not an on-the-surface book. It is a scathing satire that attacks the tenets of capitalism and a profit-based society at large, as seen through the lens of a classic fantasy story. It is self-aware, tongue-in-cheek, hilarious, and poignant. It is also depress ...more
Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
A very brief/rough review that I'll flesh out later since this is a finalist in SPFBO. The spellings for these names could be very wrong since I audiobooked this.

I really liked this book, and I also enjoyed the narration of this a lot - the narrator has a very good comedic tone and I think he made me love the goblin more so than if I had just read the book.

At first, I wasn't all that attached to the characters, but as the book went on they started to get more depth to them, especially the elf
Jan 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: spfbo-2018
* This is a finalist for the 2018 #SPFBO so I read it as a judge of the competition *

This story is definitely a bit of a shocker for me as it got a perfect score from the blog who submitted it to be a finalist. That means I had high expectations going into this one, and I don't think I was disappointed. It's not my usual cup of tea as it's fantasy satire/comedy all in one. It plays a lot with fantasy motifs and pokes fun at traditional fantasy stories. There's a lot to enjoy in this read and I d
Absolutely loved it!! Took me completely by surprise! Highest recommendation.

RTC as soon as I have a free minute
C.T. Phipps
Jun 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The Nerd Book Review
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Link to the author interview
The Nerd Book Review

Alright this one was a 4* book for me for about 85% of the book. It was entertaining as hell and funny as any satire should be but that last 15% was what took it to a 5* for me. The earnestness and heart that the book showed at the end really made this book stand out from a typical satire. I will write a much more thorough review tomorrow once I’ve had some more time to think about it but I can see why this book has had so much success already for
Alec Hutson
Feb 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a terrific book, an indie gem. I found myself thinking of Kings of the Wyld as I read Orconomics , and after finishing I'm not sure which I enjoyed more, which is extremely high praise as Kings was one of my favorite reads of recent years. I immediately bought the next book, and I suspect that Mr. Pike is going to become one of my new favorite authors. Seriously, if you liked Kings of the Wyld you should really read this book. ...more
David Zampa
[EDIT: Winner of the SPFBO4!]

I enjoyed the heck out of this book. It checks all the boxes for a good satire, in that it maintains its smart comedy throughout the book, yet does eventually manage to dig a little deeper and be meaningful beyond its numerous double entendres. It particularly shines with its characters. I fell in love the the MC, Gorm Ingerson, immediately. He's the perfect level of gruff, pragmatic dwarf with a heart of gold. The rest of the party are each varying degrees of lovabl
Dec 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the year that has brought many miseries, this absolute gem has brought me many smiles and made the world more bearable.
Mar 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this one, good interesting characters, nicely written humour with a fantastic storyline and great plot line which adds another version of the classic RPGs quests and the jokes which happen when in a session of a RPG.

Great fun to read.
Jon Adams
Oct 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Humorous, emotional, and action-packed. I immediately bought the next book.
Benedict Patrick
Jun 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing

That was bloody brilliant.
Dec 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-read
Orconomics is the first book I have read by J. Zachary Pike, and it has been highly anticipated since I got a copy in August. Then, once it was elevated to a finalist in this year’s SPFBO (Self-Published Fantasy Blog Off) contest, I decided it was time to read it. Other than comments from other readers about how good this book is (only the second perfect 10 in the four years of the SPFBO contest), I knew it was a fantasy satire. Some of my more enjoyable reads of this year have been in the broad ...more
Merrill Chapman
Feb 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Economics typically gets short shrift in Sci-Fi and fantasy. It doesn't really matter the genre. The fact is that when spaceships go out a' faring, or knights out a' questing, no one ever brings anyone with a degree in accounting to keep track of expenditures. The exceptions are few and far between (to enjoy one of the best in manga, I recommend Spice and Wolf). I first wrote about the problem years ago in In Search of Stupidity: Over 20 Years of High-Tech Marketing Disasters: Captain Kirk,
Nicole (TheBookWormDrinketh)
A story of the Economics of Heroes. A Fantastical take on Modern Society showing a side of Fantasy that you probably haven’t thought of! Sure, those of us who have played D&D (Dungeons & Dragons) know that we adventure to acquire loot to sell and buy better gear, etc… But, how many people really have their hands in that pie?? What take of that loot is actually ours to spend? In a Fantasy World where Heroes are sponsored by Corporations, and the Heroes Guild has made being a Hero into a career, t ...more
Dixie Conley
Oct 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
I thought I'd like this book when I saw the cover and read the title. Now that I've read it, I know I was wrong -- I LOVE this book.

This is a saga about professional heroing. That's right. The hero business has gone pro. You can even buy and sell hoard futures -- the chance that a given hoard will produce great loot. There's heroing contracts. And guilds. And accountants. And so many other fun little details. But the most important of those are the NPCs -- the former enemies of light who have go
Elizabeth Tabler
Aug 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
J. Zachary Pikes Orconomics on the surface, looks like your typical fantasy story. Not bad, but nothing to write home about. The thing is five pages into the book; you know that you are entirely wrong. There is nothing standard about this exciting, hilarious story told from the multiple points of view of the "heroes." But at its heart, Orconomics is a scathing and effective satire. It is capitalism and the dangers of, set in a magical world.

I did not see that coming.

The Plot
The plot of the sto
Nov 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think that one of the most rewarding parts of sifting through self published books is that despite the number of wretched books, and the even greater number of simply mediocre books, you'll occasionally find a gem sparkling through. It's for these moments that I write this blog. These are the books that need someone to stand up and shout, nay demand, they receive wider attention. I only wonder how many more books there are out there that I'm missing. If only there was more time to read. Then ...more
Michelle F
“ 'I prefer to quit when I'm ahead,' Heraldin explained.
'You've a funny definition of ahead,' said Gorm.
'I prefer to define words in ways that suit me,' said Heraldin.”

Having recently run (for the first time) a short-lived campaign for curious friends who had never played a table-top RPG before, I spent a lot of time thinking about crafting a world and an adventure from scratch, though I ultimately opted for Starter Kit. At some point in my imaginings, though, my mind turned to thoughts of
Travis Riddle
Jun 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: spfbo4
An entertaining story that was not at all what I expected.

Being billed as a satire/comedy (plus with its punny title), I was expecting the book to be a lot more goofy and joke-y than it actually was--which was a positive for me. I found the book to be more "clever" than "humorous," if that distinction makes any sense. I enjoyed the gaming references throughout, like Shadowkin either being referred to as FOEs or NPCs, but with reasonable in-world justifications for why that is. The explanations
Vamshi aruru
Sep 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book should be way more popular.

It is, super hilarious, is very very well written, has a set of characters with amazing chemistry between them, has a whole lot of heart to it, and a suprisingly good plot. It also has a very serious message despite being hilarious and I loved it all the more for the same reason.

It is kings of the wyld like world building ( D&D style) with Pratchett like writing (especially the Citywatch arc books). Highly recommend it to anyone who wants a fun read~
Dec 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to win a copy of Orconomics through a Goodreads giveaway.

If you look at my book shelves, you'll see that I don't give out 5 star reviews very frequently. A work of fiction needs to have the combination of excellent writing, three dimensional characters, and a plot that is both well-crafted and interesting. Orconomics has all of these qualities in spades.

In a work of fantasy, it can be difficult to introduce a new world with magic and monsters while not losing the reader in too
kartik narayanan
Jan 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
I picked up Orconomics due to the rarest of reasons - its cover and its name. Plus, the fact that it is a SPFBO finalist.

Now that I have read it, I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, it is somewhat similar to an early Terry Pratchett with enduring characters, good story-line and an underlying message. One the other hand, it is not as funny or as satirical. I mean, it is almost there but because of the small gap, it feels a bit of a let down (sort of like the uncanny valley as far styles are
Jan 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Reviewed as part of SPFBO #4, originally posted at Thoughts Stained With Ink:

Get ready and buckle in, fam. It’s time to review the second SPFBO Finalist I’ve read, Orconomics by J. Zachary Pike, and I got some notes I need to try to form coherently into a review, so let’s see how well I can manage it.

Orconomics is a beyond clever story that romps on the classic fantasy tropes and thrives with humor and is influenced by DnD heavily (in my opinion; obviously, I can’t speak for the author or his in
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
Life is better with bravado.
Petros Triantafyllou
Semi-Finalist for the SPFBO, so I can't review/rate this yet. ...more
Jul 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
I read this book because the Austin Science Fiction and Fantasy book club selected it for this month. There were only a few words that I had to look up: sconces, piscine, ululating, and cantrip. It is a very easy book to read, there is no profanity or explicit sex and I could recommend it to young readers. This was a very funny laugh out loud satire. The dialog is snappy but not sarcastic and reminded me some of the best wit of Heinlein characters. There is also dark humor simply stated that bro ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Dungeoneers (The Dungeoneers, #1)
  • Mid-Lich Crisis
  • Aching God (Iconoclasts, #1)
  • Sin Eater (Iconoclasts, #2)
  • The Dragon's Banker
  • The Sword of Kaigen
  • Wintersteel (Cradle, #8)
  • The Lost Temple of Ssis'sythyss (The Dungeoneers #3)
  • Blackfog Island (The Dungeoneers, #2)
  • Jewel of the Endless Erg (Mage Errant #2)
  • Into the Labyrinth (Mage Errant #1)
  • Sixteen Ways to Defend a Walled City (The Siege, #1)
  • A Traitor in Skyhold (Mage Errant #3)
  • Never Die
  • The Torch that Ignites the Stars (Arcane Ascension, #3)
  • Dungeoneers: Mazerynth (The Dungeoneers Book 4)
  • Soulsmith (Cradle, #2)
  • The Combat Codes (The Combat Codes Saga #1)
See similar books…
J. Zachary Pike was once a basement-dwelling fantasy gamer, but over time he metamorphosed into a basement-dwelling fantasy writer. By day Zack is a web professional and creative-for-hire, but at night he returns to his lair to create books, films, and illustrations that meld fantasy elements with offbeat humor. A New Englander by birth and by temperament, Zack writes strangely funny fiction on th ...more

Other books in the series

The Dark Profit Saga (3 books)
  • Son of a Liche (The Dark Profit Saga, #2)
  • Dragonfired (The Dark Profit Saga, #3)

News & Interviews

Happy Women's History Month! One of the undisputedly good things about modern scholarship is that women’s history is finally getting its due....
58 likes · 9 comments
“Not all who wander are lost; some are on quests.” 2 likes
“Ye must be Angusss,” said Gorm, stamping up to the bar. “Anguss,” corrected the serpentine barkeep, polishing a glass. “The middle ‘s’ is silent.” 1 likes
More quotes…