There is fear and hatred in your eyes. To you I am a monster, a skulker in the shadows, a fiend to scare your children with. A creature to be hunted down and slaughtered like a beast in the fields. It is time you paid heed to the beast. And see the beast in yourself.
- From Orcs by Stan Nicholls
We all know the classic "monster" stories, the ones where evil creatures with souls as black as night lurch from dark shadows to tear you limb from limb. But what if these creatures aren't the villains we suppose them to be? What if they could be good? Heroes even?
Here's a few of our favourites that feature these typical antiheroes as main characters:
Orcs by Stan Nicholls: In Maras Dantia, the human scourge are killing the land, magic is draining out of the ground and the glaciers are advancing further north. Orcs dislike humans, who have brought farming and industry to Maras Dantia, as well as the Uni and Mani religions. And, of course, humans dislike any 'thing' that isn't human.
Born into this world is Stryke and his loyal warband of orcs. Enslaved to the evil (and psycho) Queen Jennesta, they have been sent on a mission to "collect" an ancient artifact from the humans.
Unfortunately for Stryke not everything goes as planned, and now he and his orcs are on the run for their lives...
Full of action, nail-biting adventure and black humour, Stryke and his band of rogue orcs try to muddle their way through without getting killed by anyone.
The Dwarves by Markus Heitz: Abandoned as a child, Tungdil the blacksmith is the only dwarf in a kingdom Ionandar, a land of of men. But when he is sent out into the world on an errand by his foster father, a magi, he must reacquaint himself with his people.
The young foundling finds himself thrust into a battle for which he has not been trained. Not only his own safety, but the life of every man, woman and child in the world of Girdlegard depends upon his ability to embrace his heritage.
Although he has many unanswered questions, Tungdil is certain of one thing: no matter where he was raised, he is a true dwarf. And no one has ever questioned the courage of the Dwarves.
Troll Mountain by Matthew Reilly: In a remote valley surrounded by mountains, a tribe of humans is being killed off by a terrible disease. However a rumour has started to spread, the trolls of Troll Mountain have a cure for the illness: a miraculous elixir that healed whoever drank it.
When Raf's sister gets sick and his tribal leaders refuse to help him, he makes a courageous decision. He sets out on his own for Troll Mountain ... to steal the elixir.
Düm is an outcast. A troll shunned by his society for daring to meddle in his friend's wedding. The only way he can regain his standing in troll society is to bring back a human and beg the Troll King for forgiveness. That's when he meets Raf.
Together they might just save the world...