The Weight of Blood (The Half-Orcs, vol. 1), by David Dalglish
Available free at smashwords.com
Published on February 16, 2010
Summary: “Harruq and Qurrah Tun, half-blood exiles of elves and orcs, have sworn their lives to the prophet of a death god, gaining power in return for igniting war between the race of elves and man. Harruq’s love of an elf may save him from his dark path, but to protect her means he must turn against his brother and fight the killing nature with which he was born. No matter his decision, someone will die.”
Story score: 3/5. Overall, this is a good story idea. Two brothers are outcasts because of their race; the one tempted by evil convinces the other to follow him. Love and politics add complications, and chaos ensues.
Editing score: Sorry to say, 1.5/5. There are many errors in this book that are obvious even to a lowly English undergrad like yours truly. There are word choice issuses, too. Example: “sowed” for “sewed.” Also, it might be only me, but I didn’t care to see “yeah” and “gonna” in a fantasy novel. Passages with clunky wording and sentence structure abound, and it does get distracting. A good once-over by an experienced editor would do a world of good. I can tell the writing skill is there, since some parts of the book are excellent.
Style score: 3/5. I think the author is a great storyteller who needs a little more practice. Suspense keeps the reader interested during those times that the dialog and storyline seem forced. The book is fast-paced with lots of gory battles and well-written scenes with the villain. I would have liked to see more background info about the world, since only bare-bones information that directly relates to the main characters is given. I had to really suspend disbelief a time or two in the name of finishing the book (she just.. forgives him? REALLY??) which isn’t a deal-breaker, but the characters could have been more rounded and developed to avoid this.
The Big Picture: David Dalglish is definitely a storyteller; however, this book really needs to be more streamlined and concise. I wouldn’t recommend it only because of the poor editing, but I wouldn’t automatically write off any books in this series that follow because I think they will only get better.