Clan Daughter is the second book in the Queen of the Orcs trilogy by Morgan Howell. It continues the story of Dargu, a young woman sent to work as a slave in the King’s army. At the end of the first book in the trilogy, Dargu had convinced five orcs–including her friend and protector Kovoh-mah–to desert the army with her, and she promised to lead them back to their homeland. The orcs follow Dargu because they believe she is mother, a leader for their people who receives visions from their deity Muth-la. The path of Dargu and the orcs is a challenging one. Dargu does not actually know where she is going, other than a general direction, and must rely on visions and intuition to guide her. Meanwhile, her relationship with Kovoh-mah deepens and becomes more intimate. She feels she might be in love with him, while Kovoh-mah worries that his muthuri will not approve of their relationship, and once he returns home he will never see Dargu again. The journey is fraught with difficulty, and the end is not in sight. Dargu does not know what she will be asked to do next, but she believe Muth-la guides her and she is destined to change the orcs’ lives forever.
We finally meet female orcs in this novel. They are powerful matriarchs who claim to accept and respect Dargu but have their own agendas. In Dargu’s experience, orcs do not know how to lie, so she takes what the orc females tell her at face value, and does not know she is being manipulated. Dargu also runs into Sevren again, and discovers she has feelings for him, but does not know what to about them.
I like the parts with Sevren. I like him, I think he is an interesting character and wish we got to be inside his head more often. I’m sure it is quite conflicting for him to be part of the King’s guard and in love with an “orc” woman. I also wish we got to be inside Kovoh-mah’s head more often. I think it’s odd that he is the most important orc in the story and we never get to see what he is thinking. I like these novels because I find Dargu to be a strong character who makes smart decisions. She is not afraid of who she is, she is willing to listen to others, and does not let her feelings get too much in the way of her choices. I’m intrigued to see how this story ends in the third novel.