Book Review: Legion of Thunder by Stan Nicholls

Legion of Thunder is the second book in the Orcs: First Blood Trilogy by Stan Nicholls.

Quick Review (read on for full review)

Addictive, compelling, unpredictable.  A refreshing fantasy read set in an interesting world and peopled with engaging characters. 4 / 5

Summary (from Goodreads)

A blistering sequel to the acclaimed Bodyguard of Lightning takes you into a world full of wonder, magic, and encroaching dark. In the land of Maras Dantias, peace once reigned. Then the humans came, wreaking destruction, killing the enchantment, and bringing war. Even the climate changed, with once-warm summers now autumnal. Of all the races in Maras Dantias, the Orcs, led by Stryke, were the most ferocious. Now, he and his troops have become renegades, chased by his own people as well as the humans. Only a long-lost relic can save them now–and the rest of Maras Dantias, too. But, time is running out and a new foe endangers them all.

Favourite Quote

Alfray remembered that gnomes were notorious for knowing the price of everything but the value of nothing.  Good road courtesy, for instance.

(Legion of Thunder by Stan Nicholls, pg 314)


I’m reading the omnibus edition of the Orcs: First Blood trilogy, (Bodyguard of Lightning (see my review here), Legion of Thunder and Warriors of the Tempest) which also includes a short story, The Taking, and I will be reviewing the books separately.

As the second book in the trilogy, Legion of Thunder was just as good as the first book, Bodyguard of Lightning.  Sometimes middle books in a series fall flat or are simply there to fill out the space between books one and two, but not so in this case.  The plot moved with purpose and direction and did a great job of continuing to hold my interest after the first book whilst setting up the story for the final book in the trilogy.

Once again there is a lot of fast paced action, and plenty of well-written fight scenes and battles.  If you’re a writer and what to learn how to write battle scenes, I recommend you give any of the Orcs: First Blood trilogy a read.

The world-building continued to fascinate me. Whilst the story unfolded, we got to explore more of Maras-Dantia, as well as meet more of the wide-ranging folk who live there.  My favourite were probably the centaurs but the gnomes were quite fun too (see favourite quote above).

Once again, I was surprised at how easily I found myself willing on the orcs that make up the warband the Wolverines.  This fantasy story is so refreshing and unique.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy traditional fantasy with the usual tropes, but once in a while it is nice to be taken by surprise.  I didn’t know what to expect because the story isn’t predictable.

Whilst I’m writing this review, I have already finished reading the final book of the trilogy, Warriors of the Tempest.  What I have read has been addictive and compelling, and I’m pleased that I had all three books of the trilogy to hand in the omnibus edition; I would have hated waiting to get my hands on the next one (these days, I tend to only read paperback books rather than ebooks).



6 thoughts on “Book Review: Legion of Thunder by Stan Nicholls

  1. Pingback: Short Story Review: The Taking by Stan Nicholls | Sammi Loves Books

  2. Middle books really are more likely to disappoint, I agree. Speaking of orcs, I just finished a story in the latest issue of F&SF titled “The Free Orcs of Cascadia” (by Margaret Kiljoy). Great story, although a completely different concept — set in near-future quasi-apocalypse where some people have formed a heavy metal/folk subculture where they live off by themselves and call themselves orcs. Makes me wonder if orcs are having their moment now. I’m all for it, especially if it means fewer YA romances with vampires and werewolves… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.