Gorm Ingerson is not the hero he used to be. Striped of all ranks and points and titles, Gorm will do anything to get back to the status he once held. That includes being willing (more or less) to go on a quest in service of a mad goddess with a band of other less than stellar heros. This questing group, made up a thief turned bard, a healing potion addicted ranger elf, a goblin squire, two warring mages, a silent weapons master, and a scribe with zero field experience. Together the unearth a conspiracy with far-reaching implication for the kingdom and for all the dark creatures just trying to make it.
Some of the more enjoyable parts of the book are the ones centered around the economics of heroics, something that is not usually discussed frequently in high fantasy. In the land of Arth, in which the story unfolds, professional heroics runs the economy. Corporations, subsidiaries, shell companies, subsidiaries of shell companies, shell subsidiaries, and everything in between are in the business of purchasing the loot that heros gather on quests. Author Pike does any excellent job of skewering the ways in which our real economies work by writings farcical dealings in Orconomics.
I’m not sure if I will read the next installments in the series. I enjoyed the humor of Orconomics immensely; Pike’s writing very much reminds me of Pratchett. The satire was fun. However some of the characters were lacking. Many characters were one-dimensional until it served the plot to reveal a sort of deus-ex-machina of backstory. The one character that was the most sympathetic met his untimely end in this first book. I’m not sure if the humor outweighs the character issues.
BINGO – MONEY!