King’s Property by Morgan Howell

I ended up reading this book purely by chance. It had been on my “to-read” list for quite awhile, and on one of the days that my mom was going to the library, I gave her a list of books from my “to-read” list and told her to pick whichever one she wanted and surprise me. Turns out this was a good choice.

King’s Property follows the story of Dar, a young woman who lives in the mountains. She is betrayed by her family and essentially sold to the king’s army, where she is branded on her forehead and forced to work as a slave in an orc regiment. Rather than cower or jump into a soldier’s bed like the rest of the women, Dar befriends an orc, and it is this friendship that helps her survive the trials she faces, as well as learn more about herself.

I admit I did not have high hopes for this book when I first got it. The premise looked rather cheesy and boring. Happily, I was proven wrong. Dar is a strong-willed woman who overcomes her fears in order to survive without having to sell her body in a society where women are nothing more than slaves treated as property and used however the males see fit. She strikes an unusual friendship with an orc leader, a difficult truce for Dar, who has heard stories about how orcs eat people, and for Kovok-mah, the orc whose people think all humans are cruel and evil. Both human and orc are changed for the better as a result of this friendship, and I am intrigued to see where the story is going to go in the next two books. I will also mention that I am a HUGE Tolkien fan, and it was very difficult to read this book without picturing Sauroman’s vicious, evil, and extremely ugly orcs every time they were mentioned, especially Howell does not spend much time describing the orcs. I got over it though, and enjoyed the story anyway. I definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in high fantasy in a completely new world, and I am looking forward to the next two books.

Happy reading,

-Branwen

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