The Cost of Betrayal by David Dalglish is the second book in the Half-Orcs series. I thoroughly enjoyed the first book but this one just really sealed the deal for me as I am now 100% positive that I will be seeing this entire series through. Reading The Cost of Betrayal really reminds me of the good old days of fantasy books. It’s really hard to describe this feeling if you’re not a fan of the genre. The only thing that saddens me is that not many readers know of the author. On many top fantasy books lists, I really don’t remember seeing the author in them. Well, they don’t know what they are missing out on because this guy can write fantasy books. It’s in his blood. The only thing I can do to help out is doing what the author actually hopes his reader can do for him and that is to write reviews, negative or positive, to help spread the word. If you are into the fantasy genre, you really need to give this series a try.
In the first book, we were introduced to the conflicted half-orc brothers of Qurruh and Hurruq. In The Cost of Betrayals, we finally get to read about the inevitable. You just knew sooner or later that the brothers would one day separate and go on their own path. One of them heads into darkness while the other heads for the road of redemption. I’m sure the book title dropped a big hint on that one! While you read through the book, you slowly begin to see the relationship between the two once inseparable brothers begin to take a turn for the worst. I love the half-orc brothers because each one is so different from one another in a way. Hurruq is trying his hardest to erase his past by beginning a relationship with Aurelia. Qurruh on the other hand, remains true to his orcish heritage. The only thing that keeps him on a leash is the love for his brother. His struggle continues throughout this book. The author does a great job in keeping you guessing of whether Qurruh’s soul can be redeemed or not till the very end. It makes for some great reading.
What surprised me the most about The Cost of Betrayal is the amount of comedy in the book. Usually, I don’t laugh out loud while reading a book but I broke tradition here! Because I’ve read the Shadowdance trilogy prior to this, I knew the back story between Haern and his group of mercenaries. This really makes things more interesting for me because I personally know about the story of the famed Watcher and how he came to be. Other readers not familiar with his character might not put much thought into him because they don’t know of his upbringing and the trials and tribulations he had to go through prior to meeting the half-orcs. Suffice it to say, you’ll have a blast reading Hurruq’s time spent with this interesting group of individuals.
Once again, the author writes beautifully. He has a good pace, knows when to advance the story and doesn’t bore you with a whole bunch of details. This however doesn’t mean the book is shallow because it’s far from that. He just knows how to balance things out. One thing I do wish the author would do in future books is expanding the world and location settings a bit more. I feel the author can really push the story even more if the characters weren’t just stuck in the same location or two. Other than that, expect the same magic heavy and gory battle scenes. It’s not as brutal as the first book but if you’re reading the second book here, then you should already know what to expect.
Throughout the book, I found myself from laughing really hard at times, getting sad at others, excited when it was time for action to being disgusted as eyeballs and intestines came flying out of people. It really is a roller coaster ride and I loved every moment of it.