A Faustian bargain with an element of Fantasy…

Kingdom of NothingKingdom of Nothing by Casey Hollingshead
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Once again Hollingshead takes the traditional Orc out the of the genre fantasy and shares a closer look at this creature with his readers. In contrast to his first novel A Tale of Two Dragons/Dragonslayer where the Orc reacts in both inhumane and then suddenly completely compassionate ways whilst remaining the violent caricature the reader expects him to be, in this book we get a different side.
I think what interests me the most about Hollingshead approach is his attempt to shed a light on the various layers and undiscovered elements the genre character Orc has. Usually they are described as mindless troll-like monsters without the capacity for thought or emotion.
The author is almost searching for the key to their core.
Saying that Khalerick the Orc plays an important yet secondary figure in this book. He takes a backstage position to the bounty hunter Goethe. Yes, you read that right. In an ode to German literature the main character is named after one of their greats. The storyline then looks like an almost Freudian faustian exchange.
I think the fantasy that Hollingshead writes is an almost noir-like sub-genre. It doesn’t adhere to the usual genre typical script and the reader will either enjoy that darker more complex quality or not like it all.
I received a free copy of this book for my review.

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