Ogres are bigger than you. Ogres are stronger than you. Ogres rule the world.
It’s always idyllic in the village until the landlord comes to call.
Because the landlord is an Ogre. And Ogres rule the world, with their size and strength and appetites. It’s always been that way. It’s the natural order of the world. And they only eat people sometimes.
But when the headman’s son, Torquell, dares lift his hand against the landlord’s son, he sets himself on a path to learn the terrible truth about the Ogres, and about the dark sciences that ensured their rule.
I found Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Ogres took me a surprising amount of time to read, despite the length of the book. It’s a pretty unpleasant place to be, in a very believably human way — one which I don’t always care to spend my leisure time dwelling on.
I did enjoy the sting in the tail of the story. I hadn’t worked out who the narrator was (if indeed it was anyone important), so that was interesting. I like second-person POV when it’s done well, though I know others hate it, and I think it was… okay, here. Sometimes it didn’t feel right, when it dug too much into the interior life of Torquell, but mostly I thought it worked. If it’s a pet peeve of yours, though, this won’t be for you.
It all feels a little simplified and fable-like — a political fable, told with serious bias (and intentionally so; I don’t mean that I’m accusing Tchaikovsky of anything here, I’m talking about it as an in-world object).
Altogether, enjoyably put together, but not something I entirely enjoyed the experience of reading.