Born into hardship, Dar learns to rely on herself alone. When her family betrays her, Dar is conscripted into King Kregant’s army and its brutal campaign to conquer a neighboring country. Now she is bound as a slave to a dreaded regiment of orcs, creatures legendary for their savagery and battle prowess.
Rather than cower, Dar rises to the challenge. She learns the unique culture and language of the orcs, survives treachery from both allies and enemies, and struggles to understand a mystical gift that brings her dark, prophetic visions. As the war escalates–amid nightmarish combat and shattering loss–Dar must seize a single chance at freedom.
Dar's family abandon her to a group of soldiers where she is branded and forced into slavery. Part of the job is to serve the Orc Army who also fight for the King and his troops and who can only be served by women according to Orc Law. When a commanding officer decides to claim Dar as his, she seeks protection from Kovok-mah, an Orc with a sympathetic attitude who is willing to risk a split in the camp to keep her safe.
Dar is a good strong character who does make mistakes. She goes against all the rules to shun being a man's mistress to befriending an Orc. The women call her an Orc whore, thinking there is a sexual relationship with Kovok-mah, the shunned man is determined to get Dar at all costs and the Orc clan also disapprove of this new friendship. As the fighting grows more intense Dar has to keep her wits about her to stay alive.
This is certainly dark fantasy, and a very grim world for the female slaves. There are the women who betray their kind to tell tales to their soldier lovers, the soldiers who are evil rapists and the brutal fighting Orcs with their own rules that are greatly feared. But the author paints the picture of the Orcs as a race who are unaware that their strength is being used to save soldiers risking their own lives, and we start to see the different personalities of the Orcs coming through in their interactions with Dar. The monsters have feelings and the true monsters are the soldiers themselves.
This was different from anything I had read before and it doesn't go too heavily into the fantasy side. It is more character based than that which is why I liked it.