The Eighth God by Paul S Lavender (The Orcslayers #1)

7/10 There’s plenty of action scenes and orcs being bastards, as well as some creepy half-dead orc-hating beings and mysterious shapeshifters.

This grimdark fantasy audiobook was a good listen. It tells the story of a world full of elves, humans, and orcs that has enjoyed an uneasy peace for thousands of years, after a mighty battle where seven elves were granted the power of seven Gods to decimate an orc army. Since that time the orcs have kept to their lands and the humans and elves to theirs. But the orcs are twitchy, and spurred on by mysterious allies, they decide to invade. 

There are only two of the original seven elves left. Known as Orcslayers, we follow the narrative of Saethryth as he returns to the city of Ashen Falls after many years away to discover deaths in his family and new, unknown family members. He uncovers a half-orc spy in the city posing as an elf and realises that the peace is about to be shattered. 
We also hear from other character point of views including that of the half-orc spy Bazak-Kul, his father the Orc Chieftain, as well as a female elf battlemage Ashalone who becomes Tierra. There is also Melress a half-elf, half-human battle mage, a farmer’s daughter Lucy, who is unknowingly very important to the orcs, and other POV characters.
The story has a good pace as we move from the orc’s dwelling, to the elven / human city of Ashen Falls to a journey on the road, to a battle at one of the border fortresses. There’s plenty of action scenes and orcs being bastards, as well as some creepy half-dead orc-hating beings and mysterious shapeshifters. There’s also some dark humour. 
As the title suggests, there’s an eighth god, one which no one knows about and one which, I assume, is sparking all this trouble. I think that will be revealed in the next book…
I didn’t quite get on with the writing style, or rather the writing style read aloud. The narrator did a fine job, although some of the accents were slightly odd. It was because there was a lot of word repetition (which is one of my pet peeves, see other reviews) and also, I felt quite far removed from the action. There was plenty of ‘it begun to…’, ‘she started to…’, ‘he seemed to…’ instead of it rained, she flew, he ran etc, so the immediacy of the action was, for me, dragged down. I found myself unconsciously listening for these and it broke the flow of the story for me when I heard one! 
Otherwise I would’ve liked more depth to the characters, a bit more description about the locations and more detailed worldbuilding. This was an enjoyable listen, especially if you are into orcs, elves and humans and the strained relationships between these classic fantasy races. And definitely if you like your fantasy on the darker side. 

 * I received a free audiobook copy from the author in return for an honest review 

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Paul S Lavender's The Orcslayers series

The Eighth God

The Orcslayers #1

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