The great war is over. The Dark Queen has fallen, slain by a dwarven champion as the prophecies foretold.
Still struggling with her transition from farmer's daughter to Hero of the Free Races, Irma barters her newfound fame for the power to change things for the betterment of all - including her former enemies.
With the Dark Queen's death, her subjugated orcs either succumbed to madness or were slain in battle. Only few orcs remain, and Irma has sworn to protect them, to help them find their place among the Free Races. One of them is Vash, a breeding mother from the pits, searching for a new home among the ruins of her old world with a tiny horde of orc children in tow.
When they meet, they discover that despite their differences in size, upbringing and race, they share the same hopes for the future. And while the odds they face seem overwhelming, the feelings growing between them may be strong enough to overcome them all.
From Rainbow-Award-winning authors Beryll and Osiris Brackhaus comes a sweet, happy f/f romantasy that begins where other epic fantasy novels end, a stand-alone novel about courage, hope, and the importance of family.
A seriously cool and unique fantasy adventure. It was only 2.99 on amazon, and only has a few reviews - so I decided to give it a go, and I'm so glad I did!!
The story starts after a long arduous war has ended in this world, and a dark evil queen killed. Female Orc named Vash, which isn't really a name because Vash is simply what Female Breeding Orc are called in this world - is fleeing from the breeding pits she was born and raised in, with 8 'maggots' aka Orc children. She is strong and tough, but also tender and caring toward the brood. She dares to want more for them than they had ever been taught to want. You really feel the responsibility on her shoulders, and both wanting change, but being fearful of it. Of the years of brainwashing and lack of education taking its toll, trying to influence her psyche on what to do next. She's a great protector to her little orcs, and although she isn't supposed to name them, she does anyway. She notices the little maggots already in their few weeks of freedom starting to be more than they were taught, by not experiencing constant fear and violence. They are to be more than just mindless drones, breeders, or warriors. No longer are they to be contained in a world of selfish survival and self preservation. They are able to work together, learn, talk, play and live above ground finding allure in simple things like sunshine, sky and fresh water.
You really feel all this emotion and I was never bored with it, finding this Orc absolutely fascinating. After hearing her story, the empathy you have for her is strong, but at the same time you don't feel sorry for her, because she just keeps on keeping on, yknow? She just does what she has to do to survive with the younglings. I don't believe I have ever read a story about an orc before, and I was surprised at my own level of emotion for her, and truly rooting for her and the 'maggots' along the way, and seeing all their little personalities shine through.
We meet Irma, a dwarven champion who killed the Dark Queen, ending the wars, and the evil magic that permeated across the lands. But she is struggling with her accidental hero title. There had been a prophecy, which everyone had thought was her brothers, but in his untimely death, she of little skill was to be the new prophet. She is struggling to come to terms with being the leader of this new world, and being a head of state for a new town of free people, dwarves, elves and Orc's to live in, happily and peaceful together. Some doubt it's possibility. Vash and her brood are quickly brought to the town, and welcomed with awe and wonder, everyone amazed that there are female and child Orc's still left.
Irma and Vash quickly become fast friends, and more, finding companionship with one another. The story mostly deals with the building of the town, and the incorporation of Vash and the little Orcs into the community, and the whole community of Orc's, Elves, Dwarves and Humans all working together to build something great, but some members are not necessarily believing in the cause and are trying to undermine things.
At its core it's about what happens to those left, after the main story would have usually ended. Plus seeing two incredibly strong women bond over a world that would tell them what they should be and do, and instead forge their way anew, making paths for others in their wake. Their romance is sweet, respectful, and loving. Nothing explicit, just hugs and kisses, but lovely nonetheless.
Loved this one -- taking place after the defeat of the Dark Queen, this is a delightful f/f between the dwarven Chosen One fighting imposter syndrome while trying to establish a new settlement and an orc mother trying to provide for her horde. Having orcs as main characters and their character depth and growth was refreshing. It picks up where most epic fantasies end, and I enjoyed how it explored the question of how does one rebuild a life after you save the world/after everything you've known has been turned upside down. Loved it, would love to read more like this
This was quite a fun read, though it felt incomplete, and not just due to the fact the two leads get together toward the end, and there's not very much of their relationship shown after they get together. It feels incomplete also because this was just a snippet of time in that setting, and it took place just after a major world-changing event. There were definitely tensions and a few conflicts as well, but it was overall a rather brief peek into a world and characters that were really interesting.
I also feel the need to mention that there were a lot of typos and general SPAG issues, at least in the Kindle edition. To be quite honest, it looks like a professional editor never got near it. However, it says something that the story hooked me despite how distracting the errors were.
Vash is a female orc trying to survive the aftermath of Queen Nakuru's death with her horde of children in tow. As the orcs gain freedom from the Queen's control they find themselves thrust into an eventuality they wouldn't have ever even dreamt of had the thought of being free from the Queen's control ever entered their mind.
Imra is the Champion of the Free Races, the one who ends the life of Queen Nakuru and the one who pledges to create a new world where all species can live and prosper - the elves, the dwarves, the humans and... the orcs.
As Vash and Imra's paths intersect they forge between themselves a companionship that threatens to be so much more.
This story starts where most fantasy stories end to tell a tale more fantastical than you could ever have imagined.
I truly enjoyed this story, it has a slow beginning but once the story really gets going, I had no way to apply brakes. This was just such a delightful tale and so unique.
Building a village, fostering relationships between species who were at war with each other until most recently seems like tedious work, mind-numbing work with victories few and far between. But the way this tale is told makes you realise that all this mind-numbing toil of working together of uplifting a species that got the short end of the stick is amazing because when there is so much good will and perseverance at play, things are stunning and immersive, almost magical.
I loved how we spend a lot of time in the beginning with Vash to truly experience her journey as she finds herself and begins to truly express herself and as she realizes there is room for a lot of good things in this brave new world. She comes to see her maggots as more and comes to love them in a way she has never let herself before. But what was truly magical was coming to the same realisations as Vash does about just how truly magical freedom is.
"Maybe being free to be whatever they wanted to be was much, much bigger than she had imagined."
Imra is a champion who never believed she would be one. She truly finds it hard to believe that she attempted the feats she did let alone was actually successful at them. But even though she finds it hard to believe you realize it from the very beginning that Imra is strongest where it matters, in her heart and mind.
"And when he had been killed, if they had offered to take her home, would she have accepted? The answer she had come up with every single time was no. Even had she known all the horrors that awaited her the answer would have been no. If there was work to be done, she did it, whether it was fixing a fence, or killing a Dark Queen or saving orcs from extinction. She might be shitting her pants the entire way but she would still do it."
Imra and Vash’s romance is a slow burn magical thing which blossoms in this story as a celebration but I feel it is very well balanced with all the other elements of the story which is very much like a fantasy novel about one unlikely hero on the journey to do the impossible. And as history would tell you I am a sucker for those.
This story was amazing, I found myself constantly teary eyed seeing all these people attempt such marvellous feats to leave a world much better than the one they were born in. There is a whole horde of characters in this book and they are all amazing.
This is an absolutely stunning story.
Cover Art by Anna Tiferet Sikorska. I loved the artwork on the cover and especially loved the font of the main title and how that light just hits you right in the eye. It is pretty amazing.
I went into this with a high hope that I would enjoy it (it pinged a lot of things I like). But I love this book so much. I love that it was set after the battle with the Big Bad. I love that everything wasn't so clear cut with the orcs. I loved that the Chosen One turned out to be a dwarven woman that still doubted herself. Although, I admit was a little disappointed when the pov switched to Irma the first time, but only because I was enjoying travelling with Vash and her little maggots. This book could've consisted of nothing but their journey across the wastelands and I would've been happy. But things got so much better. And I loved the romance. It was slow. It was sweet. It was perfect. Yes, I wanted more, I'm a greedy reader when a world takes me, but that would've ruined the story. This was beautiful.
Ohhh! Another heart warming story of two of my most beloved writers. Vash is a character that takes some getting used to since you usually don’t read about orcs being the heroes of a story. But her interactions with the little maggots - children - endeared her to me rather quick. It takes some time until you meet the in the blurb mentioned Champion, the dwarven heroine Irma. But as soon as she appears, her and Vash’s budding friendship turning to love is wonderful to watch. I cheered for the new village that the little group was building and wouldn’t mind to stay over at Haven, as well. I even cried a bit with happiness at the end. But that’s just me being a big mess of emotions. ;)
This was so cute! I read a lot of dark fantasy, and it was refreshing to find a story that focused more on hope and rebuilding in the aftermath of the Dark One’s defeat. This was a charming tale featuring farming, reconciliation, parenting, figuring out how to be your own kind of leader, and an adorable queer romance. I noticed a few editing lapses, but nothing serious enough to significantly impact my enjoyment.