The Weight of Blood by David Dalglish
Review by Michael Evan
I loved this book. I suspect I will love the other books in the series even more.
David Dalglish knows how to write brilliant cinematic battle scenes. He knows how to keep his books well paced and always interesting, but more than anything else he excels in creating characters worth caring about.
Half Orc brothers Harruq and Qurrah are not your typical fantasy protagonists. At the very beginning we learn that they have committed absolutely horrific and unforgiveable crimes. It could be argued that they are downright evil, yet it is hard to hate them and in fact despite what we know about them they are at times quite loveable.
Dalglish touches on some major philosophical issues in the novel and asks some pretty daring questions of the reader. When the true evil is revealed , we are forced to think about the brothers in terms of their horrible upbringing, and their pure desire to be accepted. It becomes possible to accept their role as pawns in a much larger plan, and while it’s impossible not to condemn their actions, there is a feeling that redemption is possible.
Dalglish incorporates many classic Fantasy creatures in to the book including Orcs, Elves, Necromancers and even a Pegasus, yet unlike many fantasies of this nature he uses modern dialogue to keep the characters relatable.
While I enjoyed all aspects of the novel, what made me quickly order the entire series was the way the author handled the relationship between the two brothers, and especially the rather beautiful organic friendship that blooms between the well intentioned Harruq and Aurelia, an Elven woman he encounters early on who helps bring about a major change in his nature. Rarely in genre fiction of this type have i read a novel in which relationships feel so real and true, and while the brutally violent battle sequences are immensely fun to read ,it’s these quiet intimate moments that make this novel something special.