First Watch (The Fifth Ward #1)
Humans, orcs, mages, elves, and dwarves all jostle for success and survival in the cramped quarters of Yenara, while understaffed Watch Wardens struggle to keep its citizens in line. Enter Rem: new to Yenara and hungover in the city dungeons with no money for bail. When offered a position with the Watch to compensate for his crimes, Rem jumps at the chance. His new partner is less eager. Torval, a dwarf who's handy with a maul and known for hitting first and asking questions later, is highly unimpressed with the untrained and weaponless Rem. But when Torval's former partner goes missing, the two must consort with the usual suspects -- drug dealing orcs, mind-controlling elves, uncooperative mages, and humans being typical humans -- to uncover the truth and catch a murderer loose in their fair city.

First Watch (The Fifth Ward #1) Details

TitleFirst Watch (The Fifth Ward #1)
Author
FormatPaperback
ReleaseJul 11th, 2017
PublisherOrbit
ISBN0316469076
ISBN-139780316469074
Number of pages416 pages
Rating
GenreFantasy

First Watch (The Fifth Ward #1) Review

  • ☘Tara Sheehan☘
    May 17, 2017
    First Watch is one of those Sci Fi / Fantasy novels that really knows how to hit all the sweet spots in creating an adventure that will keep you entertained. Lucas has managed to figure out how to write a decent novel that keeps you curious as to what is going to happen next without getting bogged down in the details.The political turmoil of survival, who has power over who, and the balance of keeping it all together provided the perfect recipe for conflict that pushes the story forward at a dec First Watch is one of those Sci Fi / Fantasy novels that really knows how to hit all the sweet spots in creating an adventure that will keep you entertained. Lucas has managed to figure out how to write a decent novel that keeps you curious as to what is going to happen next without getting bogged down in the details.The political turmoil of survival, who has power over who, and the balance of keeping it all together provided the perfect recipe for conflict that pushes the story forward at a decent pace.The characters are actually interesting even the fantasy elements of orcs and dwarves. Though the author developed this story quite well within these pages there is definitely room to add more books by exploring other characters and areas of this fantastical realm.
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  • Janelle
    May 9, 2017
    This was a good time. First Watch is a well-written adventure that moves along easily without getting overly intense. The characters are likable, and it's clearly a fantasy novel (the orcs and dwarfs give it away), the fantasy elements are the background. Basically, you're not going to get bogged down in trying to figure out whether the world makes any kind of sense. Rem wakes up in a jail cell, barely able to recall the drunken antics of the previous night. Given that he's down to his last few This was a good time. First Watch is a well-written adventure that moves along easily without getting overly intense. The characters are likable, and it's clearly a fantasy novel (the orcs and dwarfs give it away), the fantasy elements are the background. Basically, you're not going to get bogged down in trying to figure out whether the world makes any kind of sense. Rem wakes up in a jail cell, barely able to recall the drunken antics of the previous night. Given that he's down to his last few coins, he impulsively volunteers to join the city watch and finds himself on his first patrol a few short hours after waking up. Rem is clever and good with a sword, and he has no trouble learning on the job. Good thing, too, because he's thrown into a fairly big case that first day: his new partner's old partner is discovered dead. Rem being new to the job, and new to the city of Yenara, provides the perfect frame for Lucas to broadly sketch out the world of The Fifth Ward. Rem's dwarf partner Torval introduces him, and us, to the various species co-existing in the city, as well as the "rules" of the world. The city has five wards, each policed by its own watch. While the city has its own laws, non-human species are subject to discipline from a leader in their own group: orcs are disciplined by the orc leader, elves by the elf leader, etc. Everyone is territorial: ward captains jealously guard their territories, ethnic leaders insist on their rights as arbiters for their people. It's a delicate balance, and rife with opportunities for conflict.Lucas does a lovely job of setting up the world for an ongoing series. Not only is the political situation of the city complex enough to accommodate a number of stories, Rem and Torval themselves have layers which will be interesting to explore. Torval's hatred of orcs gets him in trouble a couple of times, and will continue to do so. The life Rem left behind will continue to influence his way forward. I look forward to seeing where Lucas takes the series.I requested this book on NetGalley because the words "orc", "dwarf", and "watch" conjured images of Terry Pratchett's Discworld books. I get that that's irrational and perhaps a bit unfair to Lucas's work here. However, I can easily say that I enjoyed the book quite a bit and it didn't suffer for the comparison in any way.I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Koeur
    June 5, 2017
    https://koeur.wordpress.com/2017/06/0...Publisher: OrbitPublishing Date: July 2017ISBN: 9780316469074Genre: FantasyRating: 3.0/5Publishers Description: Humans, orcs, mages, elves, and dwarves all jostle for success and survival in the cramped quarters of Yenara, while understaffed Watch Wardens struggle to keep its citizens in line. Enter Rem: new to Yenara and hungover in the city dungeons with no money for bail. When offered a position with the Watch to compensate for his crimes, Rem jumps at https://koeur.wordpress.com/2017/06/0...Publisher: OrbitPublishing Date: July 2017ISBN: 9780316469074Genre: FantasyRating: 3.0/5Publishers Description: Humans, orcs, mages, elves, and dwarves all jostle for success and survival in the cramped quarters of Yenara, while understaffed Watch Wardens struggle to keep its citizens in line. Enter Rem: new to Yenara and hungover in the city dungeons with no money for bail. When offered a position with the Watch to compensate for his crimes, Rem jumps at the chance. His new partner is less eager. Torval, a dwarf who’s handy with a maul and known for hitting first and asking questions later, is highly unimpressed with the untrained and weaponless Rem. Review: I could have read this story for eternity, the characters and world building are that good.This fantasy detective novel is set in a world of dwarves, humans, orcs and elves all interacting in strange and compelling ways. Every scene is brought to life with blazing imagery that is tied to constant movement. The characterization is superb and continues to surprise as events unfold. Rem and Torval are a great duo whom have opposed personalities that strangely compliment each other. As they wend their way through the night watch in the Fifth Ward, seemingly disparate murderous events transpire that prompts an investigation into the death of Torval’s old partner and several missing and/or dead young women. This novel has it all. It is at once deathly serious and riddled with funny moments. The denizens of Yenara are equally as compelling as the story line and add the meat to the world building bones. “So why you no give 5 stars!!!”. At about the 80% mark, everything goes downhill. Rem goes from an interesting noob who is fallibly funny and human to Mr. Hero-Guy/sword expert whom can do no wrong and saves everybody. Wha da fug? Really? It all begins with this patterned and clichéd fight scene where Rem showcases his skills and the dwarf is conveniently shunted to the side. This slide into patterned oblivion continues on through to the end, so you feel cheated that the novel discontinued it’s interesting twists and unexpected turns. The rendering between Rem and his love interest will just about sicken you with it’s cloyingly sweet smugness. Still a solid read for 2/3.
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  • Rosie Rizk
    May 15, 2017
    The book was well-written, capturing my attention with the first sentence, and managing to hold it until the end.I kept mentally comparing it to Tamora Pierce's Mastiff series - because of the similar plot - young person joining a police force in medieval fantasy setting, and uncovering a major criminal gang. But Pierce's books are amazingly female character driven, while the female characters in this book were lucky if they weren't sexualized or turned into damsels in distress. It wasn't the wo The book was well-written, capturing my attention with the first sentence, and managing to hold it until the end.I kept mentally comparing it to Tamora Pierce's Mastiff series - because of the similar plot - young person joining a police force in medieval fantasy setting, and uncovering a major criminal gang. But Pierce's books are amazingly female character driven, while the female characters in this book were lucky if they weren't sexualized or turned into damsels in distress. It wasn't the worst I've seen, and supposedly there were some women on the police force too, so I didn't majorly downgrade my review. Mostly, this was a male writer giving word to his inner fantasies when went into stuff like the elven woman's seductiveness in great detail (eyeroll). But after too many YA books written by women who fantasize their men as perfect and beautiful (hurl), I have to give some leeway to the other gender as well. Like I said, it wasn't terrible, and since romance isn't a major plot, I let it pass.Beyond that, this is a book about guys fighting for good reasons. Magic and various other non-human races add spice to the story, but aren't developed beyond the general stereotypes. I would also compare this to the Ranger's Apprentice series - if you like a plot with lots of fighting, brawls, etc., this is definitely for you.It's not just about fighting, though. The characters were nicely developed. They each have their own interesting backgrounds, found common ground, and I'm looking forward to seeing how, and if, they'll continue to develop.It was a fun and enjoyable read. Despite its flaws, I really enjoyed it, and am looking forward to the next. I rate it at about 4.6 stars.Disclaimer: I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Susana Zemlyakova
    June 30, 2017
    First Watch was a pleasure to read! The story was well written and the pacing kept my attention through the end. The story follows Rem, a noble in disguise, as he tries to make it on his own in the world. His travels lead him to seek a job in the city of Yenara. By chance, Rem joins the city guard as penance for starting a brawl at a local bar. He is paired with the surly dwarf, Torval, who wants nothing to do with the gentle lad (Rem is not that great of an actor). The book launches right into First Watch was a pleasure to read! The story was well written and the pacing kept my attention through the end. The story follows Rem, a noble in disguise, as he tries to make it on his own in the world. His travels lead him to seek a job in the city of Yenara. By chance, Rem joins the city guard as penance for starting a brawl at a local bar. He is paired with the surly dwarf, Torval, who wants nothing to do with the gentle lad (Rem is not that great of an actor). The book launches right into the action as Rem and Torval partner to find a murderer and avenge Torval's partner. In the midst of this murder, the watch is tasked to investigate the disappearance of noble girls - Rem's love amongst them.Lucas keeps you on your toes with mystery, action, humor and the camaraderie that forms between Torval and Rem. The setting is thought out and even though the novel features common fantasy tropes - orc, elves, dwarves, and noble youth turned romanticized hero - the storyline had enough twists to be enjoyable. I also appreciated that even though the plot focused on the bravado the the guard men, there were strong women peppered throughout such as Aarna and Queydon.Over 4 stars for a great start to a new series. I recieved a ARC courtesy of NetGalley and the publishers for an honest review. Thank you!
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  • David Andrews
    June 30, 2017
    First Watch is the debut novel by Dale Lucas and the first in a series entitled ‘The Fifth Ward’. The novel is best described as a bog-standard crime procedural set in a bog-standard fantasy universe - but honestly, it sort of synthesizes those two things into something not standard at all. Lucas’ ability to build a living, breathing world with a minimum of exposition or monologues is exceptional, and while his characters don’t have the instant vividness of, say, Joe Abercrombie’s, they definite First Watch is the debut novel by Dale Lucas and the first in a series entitled ‘The Fifth Ward’. The novel is best described as a bog-standard crime procedural set in a bog-standard fantasy universe - but honestly, it sort of synthesizes those two things into something not standard at all. Lucas’ ability to build a living, breathing world with a minimum of exposition or monologues is exceptional, and while his characters don’t have the instant vividness of, say, Joe Abercrombie’s, they definitely remind me of those: dark, gritty, complicated, but ultimately memorable. I don't often laugh out loud at books, and obviously First Watch isn’t a comedy, but there was one scene in particular involving the protagonist Rem, his partner Torval, and the chief of the Fifth Ward that they work in, Ondego, that had me busting up - it reminded me a bit of Bad Boys (the movie) and was a great example of having fun without losing grit and grime. First Watch is definitely going to go into my ‘best debut’ bucket for the year. Debuts are always hard to judge going in, but with this one I was pleasantly surprised by a fast-paced fantasy procedural. I’ll definitely be looking forward to the next entry in the Fifth Ward series.
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  • Anya
    June 2, 2017
    The characters annoyed me quickly so this isn't for me. Feels very much like all the typical male dominated fantasy tropes.
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