Orcs: Forged for War

Orcs: Forged for War

3.7 117
by Stan Nicholls, Joe Flood
     
 

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Orcs: Forged for War is the first graphic novel in Stan Nicholls' beloved Orcs universe. The fantasy landscape in this world is brutal and unforgiving, and populated by a race of unlikely protagonists: the powerful and violent warriors, orcs.

Orcs: Forged for War is an original story—a new entry in this series, not an adaptation of old

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Overview

Orcs: Forged for War is the first graphic novel in Stan Nicholls' beloved Orcs universe. The fantasy landscape in this world is brutal and unforgiving, and populated by a race of unlikely protagonists: the powerful and violent warriors, orcs.

Orcs: Forged for War is an original story—a new entry in this series, not an adaptation of old material. It follows a ruthless and deadly cohort of warrior orcs as they fight their way free of the dominion of an evil human enchantress. Sitting on an exhilarating peak with high fantasy on one side and the thrilling, gruesome battlefields of graphic novel classics like Frank Miller's 300 on the other, Orcs presents the world of its ogre-like protagonists with technicolor violence and moments of unexpected sympathy.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Spawned from author Nicholls's series of novels featuring the titular creatures, this comes as a real surprise. Coupled with Flood's deceptively simple and clear visual storytelling, the story centers on a troop of Orcs bound in service—or, more accurately, slavery—to a vicious, magic-wielding queen and tasked with protecting a secret weapon under the control of a goblin sorcerer and his underlings. The Orc commander, Stryke, must lead his soldiers and maintain order in their occasionally fractious ranks while also putting up with abuse from both the queen and the goblins, whose race has long been bitter enemies with Stryke's people. Not to be confused with the variety made famous by Tolkien, the Orcs of this narrative are noble warriors from whose point of view the reader witnesses events and immediately comes to sympathize with their situation. A cracking good tale from start to finish, this is strongly recommended for those who seek a realistically violent and profane heroic fantasy. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Maggie Chase
In this, the first graphic novel representation of Nicholl's Orc series, we are visually and quite graphically taken into the combative, blood-thirsty realm of fantasy creatures, all struggling to rule over others at whatever cost. The book begins with an historical overview of Orcs' origins as fantasy creatures and goes on to explain how they have been unfairly maligned. "What if," the author wondered, "they were savage warriors, but not really evil?" The introduction then includes a rundown on who is out to get whom and where tentative alliances lie in the land of Maris-Dantia. Even with the introduction, it's sometimes difficult to determine who is allied with whom, as the double-crossing runs rampant throughout the story and fantasy creatures pop up out of nowhere to do battle with the Orcs. Fantasy world graphic novels for mature readers are generally full of violence, nudity, and four-letter words. This title is no exception, but staunch fans of this format and genre will be drawn in. Especially interesting are the artist's sketches of the twenty-five-member team of Orcs called the Wolverines. Who knew these stony-faced, pointy-eared creatures could have such uniquely distinctive countenances? Reviewer: Maggie Chase
VOYA - Nicola McDonald
In a world where Orcs are the good guys, there is still much bloody action. With humans divided into two teams, the Orcs side with Jennesta, a true evil ruler who never misses a chance to show her vileness. Jennesta treats the Orcs worse than scum, yet they are enslaved by her wrath and dominant powers of witchcraft, and, being outnumbered by the Unis, the Orcs feel they have no choice but to fight at Jennesta's will. Still, when Jennesta teams the Orcs with some Goblins on a mission, it is more than they can take. Besides having to work with filthy Goblins, the Orcs are not too happy about what is expected of them. They will have to make decisions to save their own lives, and Jennesta soon finds out that there are still some people willing to defy her regardless of her evil ways. Keeping to the true nature of Orcs, the book displays bloody action in numerous battles, complemented with a straightforward story line. The illustrations are very graphic, and the language is foul. Each action is displayed with great emotion. Characters show visible differences among each other, which helps with identifying the main characters from the rest. Nicholls and Flood balance each other well in this graphic novel that is recommended for older teens. Reviewer: Nicola McDonald

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781466804760
Publisher:
First Second
Publication date:
10/11/2011
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
927,336
File size:
88 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Stan Nicholls is a celebrated bookstore proprietor, journalist, and novelist best known for his fantasy-adventure series, Orcs. Orcs: Forged for War will be Nicholls's first graphic novel, and the latest entry in this extended series. Nicholls lives in the West Midlands, UK.
Joe Flood is a Brooklyn-based cartoonist and a graduate of the prestigious cartooning program at the School for Visual Arts in New York City. Orcs: Forged for War is his first graphic novel.


Stan Nicholls is a celebrated bookstore proprietor, journalist, and novelist best known for his fantasy-adventure series, Orcs. Orcs: Forged for War is Nicholls’s first graphic novel, and the latest entry in this extended series. Nicholls lives in the West Midlands, UK.
Joe Flood is a Brooklyn-based cartoonist and a graduate of the prestigious cartooning program at the School for Visual Arts in New York City. He illustrated Stan Nicholls' graphic novel Orcs and has worked on many other titles as well.

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Orcs 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 117 reviews.
vkl More than 1 year ago
Despite all the critical praise that's adorned the cover (inside and out) of the book, this concept of portraying orcs in a more understandable and amenable light is nothing new if you're an avid reader of fantasy novels, such as Grunts by Mary Gentle (albeit a humorous and anachronistic take). The language is quite basic and unsophisticated, and the plot is predictable and cliched. There's nothing wrong with being able to see how the plot will turn miles off, after all what fantasy story can truly claim its entirely original. The greatest failing of this book, however, has to do with the very element its using to claim to fame, in other words the portrayal of the Orcs. In an attempt to make the Orcs more understandable, and trying to connect to the readers, the author ended up portraying them as basically humans with the weird names and 'ugly' faces. In fact if the word orc was replaced with man, the reader would be none the wiser as to whether the book is talking about a group of brutal orcs or a band of human soldiers. I understand that the author was trying to paint them in a bit more sympathetic light than the usual oft maligned battle fodder in fantasy settings, but in the attempt, there's almost no characteristic left to distinguish these orc characters to be orcs. I hardly think portraying orcs as just brutish looking humans do them justice, nor are any of the critical praises this book received deserved.
Mulch-Diggums More than 1 year ago
I thought this book would be something of a copy to The Lord of the Rings. And... well, I wasn't completely wrong. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, because it's not a copy as much as it is an influence, per say. The orcs are the heroes, oddly enough,though this book didn't change my perspective on orcs like I thought it would. Maybe it's because Maras Dantia and Middle Earth are two different worlds. The concept isn't new, but in this book's defense, it is pretty hard to find original ideas after tons of things have already been thought of. After reading some of the other reviews on here, I am a bit disheartened that so many people didn't like it. But I tend to see the positive side of things, not the negatives like so many others.
elf_fu More than 1 year ago
In a deceptively simplistic writing style, Stan Nicholls brings us a viewpoint from what we'd expect to be the villain. Don't let the way I worded his writing style fool you. The way he presents the story, plot and characters? Is a perfect fit. Blunt, harsh and unforgiving can be just a few words that describe the world Stan has placed his Orcs in. And yet there is a magnificent wealth of humor, wisdom, honor and cunning not often seen with the typical "baddie" race in usual fantasy. I started the book a touch doubtful--but the longer I read the better it became. I definitely recommend this book!
SaintRuin More than 1 year ago
*50 pages is usually as long as it takes me to determine if I've made a mistake or not. I saw the title on the bookshelf and was immediately enthralled. I was drawn to the notion of a story from the viewpoint of a traditional and notorious antagonist; like the fantasy version of "Interview with a Vampire". I envisioned a story of a lone orc separated from his warband after the destruction of Mordor, or maybe a coming-of-age drama about a young orc that is raised by humans (ala "A Light in the Forest"). What is apparent in the first 50 pages is that I was sorely mistaken. Stan Nicholl's orcs are not the slavering simple-minded grunts of Tolkien or the mercurial, functionally crude, and vaguely Scottish Warhammer green-skins. These orcs are organized, motivated, articulate, and literate. They are "orcs" in name only, and that is something of a cheat. They are indentured warrior serfs that existentially contemplate their oppression between trite clashes with other fantasy races. Nicholls' prose are simple and formulaic with frequent single-sentence impact paragraphs. You know the kind I mean. The ones with an incredibly morbid metaphor interjected every few pages to let you know just how dark and macabre the story is. Speaking of metaphors, the author often compares things to fictional things. Telling me that someone grinned with the warmth of a tralfamadorian spider has no impact if I don't know what a tralfamadorian spider is. Since the creatures are never discussed in the book outside of this metaphor the comparison has no point of reference. For all I know tralfamadorian spiders are quite congenial. Hence the reader is left alienated and somewhat confused. Aside from the disappointment of the story's protagonist and juvenile writing style, the antagonist is even worse. A two-dimensional amalgamation of every evil witch you've ever heard of, her entire time in the book is either spent A) killing/torturing someone or B) casting Harry Potter-ish magical spells. Often dispatching her victims during the course of a sex/rape act, Nicholl's reveals his own fear of carnality (sex equals death). Seriously, this guy was obviously rejected by a cheerleader at some point and now I have to read his cathartic fantasy epic where he vents his sexual frustrations. Google his image some time. I'm probably not wrong. Tad Williams is wrong. Pass on this book now or beg for a refund later.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am currently reading the print version and enjoying it very much. Since I am traveling soon and need to optimize space, I bought the ebook in addition. When trying to continue where I left off, I realized that the text I had just been reading in the paper version (last paragraph of "Legion of Thunder") was missing. It might not be obvious when you only read the ebook, but imho, this omission totally changes the relationship between Stryke and Serapheim. What else is left out? Was the omission accidental or by design? Either way, stay away from the electronic version and stick to paper for this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The marketing of this book is amazing, the first pages are filled with kudos from various authors. I immediatly wanted to read this book after picking it up off the shelf at B&N. The bad news is that this story is fairly predictable, chapter after chapter. This book is a compilation of 3 books, with the first book really grabbing your attention. The 2 subsequent books become more difficult to get through and tend to drag on. The good news about this book is the unconventional persona of the orc. The author really went to great lengths to create a completly different view of what us "Sci-Fi/Fantasy" guru's think of an Orc. To that the author gets an A+.
Jepha More than 1 year ago
Orcs is one of the best books that I have ever read. I just started getting into readind these past few months, and I started with the book Orcs. I went to Barnes and Noble and found this book, and was instantly interested. Mostly because of my love for Orcs. I decided to buy this book, and within the first night I read over 300 pages. Which really surprised me, because I've never really been into the whole reading thing. This book is absolutely amazing. I couldn't help but to finish the whole thing within the next few days after I bought it. I highly recommend everyone to give this book a chance. The way Stan Nicholls describes the characters is just amazing. I quickly found myself bonding with almost every character in the book. I couldn't believe how pissed I was at Jannesta (Evil which chick). I couldn't wait to read the whole book to see what happened to her. This book will pull you in, and won't let you escape until you finished the whole thing. Orcs is a must read
Doberman More than 1 year ago
I began this book not expecting much. I was drawn in by the cover art. As I began to read I could not put it down. I love this book. The characters jump off the page. I found myself in love with the orcs and wanting them to succeed in their mission.
Chickchoc More than 1 year ago
It's a truism that "winners write history", so if you enjoyed Tolkien's Ring Trilogy and thought Orcs would be a continuation, forget it! Orcs takes its cues from David Drake with vivid battle descriptions and military dialogue. Imagine Halo's Chief as an Orc -- intelligent, humane, noble, but above all a professional soldier -- and you've summed up the main character, Stryke. Sword and sorcery spice the storyline, too. Overall, a book that will grab your attention, shake your assumptions, and drag your imagination into new directions.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Stan Nicholls takes an unblemished and unbiased view of the Orc race making it live and make sense. Makes Tolkien's take on them look simplistic and unfinished. The story is intriguing and the insights are fun, interesting and original. This is a good warband story taken up a few notches. With magic overtones and elder races origins seem more realistic and probable. The characters are great fun and believable. Shows Orc's as being more human than the humans. Throw in an ecological/magical apocalypse to make it current and giving it a message and you have a great book; although if you think the world is flat the sub-plot may have you clicking your FOXy Slippers together and wishing you were iny sepia toned Kansas moving backward in time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Being a World of Warcraft addict, I started reading this book with several preconceived notice and discovered that, although the orcs in this work share certain similarities with those of WoW they are unique. This truly is a beautiful book and I believe even fellow WoW players of my enemies', the Alliance's, faction will enjoy. I'd recommend it to anyone and can't wait to read the sequels!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The consept is great and the story is intriging but the plot from one chapter the next or struggles all mirror eachother and the book gets repeditive. All together it was still a good book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Probably the "realest" fantasy book I've ever read. Memorable characters in a very unique setting.
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teloiv More than 1 year ago
Orcs Inferno( third book in the second trilogy) not too bad of an ending for the second trilogy considering all the world hopping the war band did . This trilogy did however lose some of the wander that made the first trilogy so great, but all in all a good ride from start to finish and a must read if you loved the first trilogy. I will definitely read the third trilogy (if there is one) considering how the second one ended.
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Not being a huge fan of fantasy i tendbto stay clear of it. The only authors in this genrre i had any interest in were those who were a little darker such as tolkien and terry brooks. But i stumbled upon the omnibus volume of the first three orcs books one day and i decided to give it a chance. And im glad i did. And now that nicholls has continued the saga of stryfe and his band of orcs i will continue to read them. Entertaining and exciting this is not something you should miss out on.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really awsome book. Lots of adventure ,yes alot of profanity, but still every bit as interesting.
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