enhanced] DD-B

Book Note: Mary Gentle, Grunts

I read this book about 19-Oct-2001. This is the first time I've read this book. The book is copyright 1992. This note was last modified Thursday, 19-Dec-2002 16:22:32 PST.

This note contains spoilers for the book.


Here's a cool little bit of a romp, after Lord of the Rings. I do still plan to get to Bored of the Rings soon, but I guess not instantly.

It's about Orcs. They work for the Nameless Necromancer. They raid a dragon hoard and discover a huge cache of modern weapons, and crates of books. They turn themselves into the Orc Marines. And actually learn some discipline and tactics, and become actually dangerous.

Nevertheless they don't manage to win the Last Battle.

And after that it starts to come apart some. The truly Orcish qualities of the Orcs don't mesh well with the veneer of Marine virtues. When she's playing with the conflict, it works, but sometimes it just jars. The scenes of the training of the Dwarf squad, for example, when the Orcish Command Philosophy is repeated as the Orc Marine Command Philosophy, didn't work for me. "I'm bigger than you, so I'm in charge" works better for Orcs. I did like "Something has gone wrong, so he's in charge," though.

And I stopped before the end. Each scenario (the last bit seems to be a bunch of even shorter scenarios) has some interest, but they're inconsistent with each other and have holes in them and I just wasn't having enough fun. Stopped at about page 320, though I skimmed bits ahead to see if I needed to continue.

I'm afraid I cheated a little bit in another way, too; I re-read Have Trenchcoat, Will Travel (just the novel) last night.

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David Dyer-Bennet