The adventuring industry drives the economy of Arth, a world much like our own but with more magic and fewer vowels. Monsters' hoards are claimed, bought by corporate interests, and sold off to plunder funds long before the Heroes' Guild actually kills the beasts. Of course, that's a terrible arrangement for the Shadowkin; orcs, goblins, kobolds, and their ilk must apply for to become Noncombatant Paper Carriers (or NPCs) to avoid being killed and looted by heroes.
When Gorm Ingerson, a Dwarven ex-hero with a checkered past, stands up for an undocumented goblin, he inadvertently singles himself out for recruitment by a prophet of the mad goddess to undertake a suicidal quest. But there's more to Gorm's new job than an insane prophecy: powerful corporations and governments have shown an unusual interest in the quest. If his party of eccentric misfits can stop fighting each other long enough to recover the Elven Marbles, Gorm might be able to turn a bad deal into a golden opportunity.
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Von BikerJoe Am hilfreichsten 18.05.2017
Orcs, Goblins and a Dwarf practice Class Struggle
Is it a good book? I can't answer that, but it definitely is funny and entertaining and on top of that, it is completely differently from your usual fantasy fare. Zachary Pike distorts the usual setting and characters. In Pike’s world Arth, heroes are murderous villains, constantly on the lookout for loot and plunder, while the Shadowkin, your usual monsters, are the proletariat and exploited slaves of mankind. It does not come as a surprise that the adventure industry in Arth puts out contracts on the killing of monsters and the loot provides huge profits to the investors. There are some hilarious parallels to our economy and stock market, but overall the approach is a little infantile and simplistic, but funny none-the-less. At least the effort to once sympathize with the little folks, has some merit.
Doug Tisdale gives voice and character to all the different Shadowkin, Orcs, Goblins, Dwarfs, Fairies, Trolls, you name it. He really did an outstanding job and listening to him is pure fun.
The storyline is not overly complex. Gorm Ingerson, a dwarf and former hero and sometimes berserker, who fell into disgrace by some mysterious past misfortunes, gets a chance to reestablish himself. He has to take on the suicidal quest of recapturing the stolen Elven marbles. In his company are a priest, a goblin, a bard, an elf, a solomancer, a necromancer, a weapons master and a troll. Most of them are pressed into the job, by a similar misconduct or misfortune in their past. Gorm, the protagonist of the narrative has not only to fight with the obsessions and egos of this bizarre team, powerful organizations took a huge interest into the outcome of the quest and some of them would rather see Gorm dead than alive.
It is decent entertainment to listen to the adventures of these eccentric heroes, if you do not expect too much. There is no nail biting tension or elegiac prose, everything is simple and straight forward. It is not the story, but rather the characters, you might grow fond of. If you have enough of soapy fantasy, this might be the right book.
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Von Jemand Am hilfreichsten 11.07.2018
The references to the Economics of the Hero-Business gave this book a fresh point oft view that I've not came across so far. It was witty and humorous but never too much.
Charakter Progression and story development were well done, too. I'll buy the second book for sure!
Only the audio / speech quality was not as good as audiobooks are usually nowadays. Or the speaker was not compatible with me :-) I had to listen at 90% speed.