Have you discovered Finley Fenn’s Orc Sworn series? If not, it’s time you did.
The Midwife and the Orc is the fifth book in the Orc Sworn series. Each book in the series has featured a different human female/Orc couple and a different clan. This is Joarr and Clan Bautul’s story, and it is FABULOUS.
If you’re already a reader of this series, throw out everything you thought you knew from the previous books. I thought I knew Joarr – I didn’t. I thought I knew how the war between the men and Orcs would go – I didn’t. I thought I understood how Joarr and Gwyn got together – I didn’t. There are wonderful, unexpected twists and turns in this book, and they’re all perfectly plotted. It never felt rushed. The pace never flagged. Perfect execution.
There’s a sense of lightness and fun in this book that hasn’t been prominent in previous books. It fits perfectly with Joarr’s character – the flip side to his spy sneakiness is his sense of fun. The clan twist is absolutely brilliant and well done for somehow making me care about the Bautul clan when I never have before.
Huge kudos to the author for making the heroine a composed, competent character. There were never TSTL moments with Gwyn. She makes hard choices; she takes risks, but she always knows what she’s getting herself into and she’s never self-pitying. She’s also a woman who has been profoundly disempowered by her father and her fiancée, and all that rage and despair has turned inward, as it does. Her self-harming is understandable and delicately handled. The bonding moments in which Joarr teaches her to redirect her rage and despair wrung tears out of me.
My favorite characters from the series make appearances, and I particularly loved seeing a different side to Silfast and Stella’s relationship. I’ll admit I flinch every time Jule shows up now because she can play the heavy, but her role here isn’t too heavy and it was nice to see her being maternal.
I can’t recommend this book highly enough. It’s absolutely going on my favorites shelf to be re-read and savored when life gets a little too heavy.
The Midwife and the Orc is here and free to read in KU.