The Sorceress's Orc
By: Elaine Corvidae
Publish Date: April 10, 2011
Format: Paperback 246pgs, trade size
Recommendation: Yes! A fantasy adventure with Orcs, magic, and a little bit of clockworks mixed together with a blooming love.
Giavolo: proudest of the city-states and home to the great university, where the Magical Sciences are taught alongside more mundane studies. The city has been at war for longer than any of its inhabitants have been alive.
Vervain: Mistress of the Magical Sciences, she is dismayed to find herself assigned a bodyguard after divination reveals an ill-defined threat to the university's teachers. Even worse, the bodyguard is an orc.
Riyu: Vervain's orc bodyguard is determined to save her life - if she'll let him.
Brighthand: When this sinister figure attacks the university and kidnaps Vervain's partner, it's up to Vervain and Riyu to get him back...or die in the attempt.
The day the orcs came, the College of Dance and the Social Arts attacked Vervain on her way to class.
My Thoughts and Summary:
Vervain stops dancing Golems from attacking students with her magic on her way to her class, to then be summoned to the Chancellor's study. Vervain sees Orcs there, and learns the Divination Department has foreseen there's a threat to the University's Masters. Bodyguards have been assigned since magic safeguards are already in place with the war between their country and Benevalia. Vervain is picked as on of the Masters to be protected for her work with magic and her projects, she is very important. Vervain is not happy with an Orc bodyguard, or any bodyguard at that, but an Orc... A week later Riyu, her Orc bodyguard, is called away for a commotion at the wall, when golems of clockwork, wires, and human eyes sent by Brighthand attack the classrooms, killing students and coming for her. Vervain fights back, then saved by Riyu. When she wakes from her injuries, Vervain learns of the deaths and that her partner in the project of a calculating golem, Malachite is missing and his Orc dead. When the Princes chief Military Advisor thinks he shouldn't go after Malachite; not knowing where he is, if alive, and with limited resources with protecting the school, Vervain decides to strike out and search on her own.
Vervain ends up with quite a mixed group to venture with; a fellow teacher who absentminded of consequent and willingly created the dangerous dancing golems for the Dance and Social Arts department - Tourmaline, a noble-woman student who could be so much more if she applies herself - Amethyst, Vervain's journeyman and talented with magic - Hawthorn, a cadet - Cardamom, and of course her Orc bodyguard sworn to protect her - Riyu, and one other Orc - Kiki. All under the pretense of a noblewoman going to meet her bridegroom.
OH MY! I never thought I'd say I'd fallen in love with an Orc. AN ORC, of all creatures! It's happened! And all on an adventure full of magic and clockwork creations with danger on their tails. Just you wait until you meet Riyu. I just kept picturing an Orc, and thinking hard, but the way he's written I kept pushing the Orc image aside.
Vervain is a strong women who stands alone and on her own. Her students have some choice phrases about her, and consider her mean, but she doesn't put up with lazy students and dumb actions. She wants them all to be better and smarter. Even though many may not think it with her bluntness, she is a kind woman wanting better for all. Even for her Orc bodyguard, whom she learns much of what she "knows" of Orcs is really rumors and not true. Vervain finds she grows fond of the Orc who's completely opposite the human beliefs of dumb, brutish and clumsy. Vervain is a brilliant teacher and character, one I do hope to read of again.
I'll mention this as the first sentence is listed above... I have to say, I thought I wasn't understanding the first sentence clearly, but a page in and I learned I read it exactly right. She was attacked by the Dancing and Social Arts, unintentionally but it happened.
I enjoyed the writing of this story, along with the creation of the world. We have a fantasy feel with magic and ruins used with spoken words to create magic spells, and Orcs. But we also had mechanical and clockwork creatures; evil golems, runners made of pistons and metal in various animal shapes to relay messages, firefly golems, boats of clockwork oars and powered by hear, and an airship!
This was one adventure I enjoyed the whole way through. I was surprised with how much I enjoyed this world and adventure. The University has many departments, even though we hear of others we focus only one, the magic department, yet giving a bigger feel to the world around us. When Vervain and crew leave for their rescue mission, we find we are attacked a few times by the "clickers" (evil golems named so for the noise they make). On this mission we have many discoveries, and learn of each character more, and the countries around the world here. I was impressed with the tale of each character coming to light as the story moved on with ease. And possibly a grow of a relationship somewhere in here as well.
Not everything is all peaches and cream with the adventure, and I like that. I want the characters to fight for it, and these ones more than do. Wonderful adventure!
This is one world and set of characters I hope the author shares with use in the future again. I was drawn into the world and want to see more of them.
Elaine Corvidae has several different books and an online Graphic Novel too! If you are curious and would like to learn more about Elaine's books and graphic novel, please visit her site.
I read this book for my own enjoyment.
Please remember this review is of my personal thoughts and opinions.