Spring of the Stag God – J.C. Herneson (Bear Bones Books/Lethe Press)

Orc cock.

I never thought much about it before. I assumed orcs had cocks, but I figured the evil minions of Sauron had too much to do chasing hobbits and looking for that darned One Ring to be too preoccupied with genitalia. And I doubt that Tolkien would have touched those nether regions with a ten foot pole (I can’t believe I just wrote that). Luckily, J.C. Herneson has that territory covered in Spring of the Stag God.

This first installment of the Stag God Chronicles consists of three parts: “A Stag God is Born,” detailing the awakening of the human Ashlan to his Stag God status through his uncle Artemi’s captive orc-stud, Imbru, “The Stag and the Bear,” which follows Ashlan to the Bear God of the Thunderous Paws for additonal godhead training and—my favorite—“The Stag God’s Apostle,” which sees Habra, a follower of Ashlan, running up against the well-established religious conventions prevalent in the land.

All three segments are steeped in rough, filthy, cum-filled orc sex, which doesn’t fall far from the Nifty Erotic Stories tree these branched out of. And that’s not a bad thing. Nifty has some marvelous stuff, and Herneson has a way with these hot and nasty scenes, making me wish I had my own hung Stag God with tats and antlers. But Herneson also serves up some pertinent mythos along with his eros, including some Stag God religious philosophy—particularly in the last piece. And Ashlan is a well-rounded character who remembers his mortal roots and can apply the lessons he learned as a man to godly situations.

Herneson also has a way with battles, especially the confrontation between Ashlan and the Lord Keeper in “The Stag God’s Apostle.” It’s as taut and suspenseful a fight as can be found in the best of fantasy lit, and you don’t know who’s going to win until the final blow—if the winner of such a bout truly has much left to claim. Herneson is at his best here, making his combatants simultaneously heroic and vulnerable and Ashlan’s revelation during the battle gives the whole story an interesting twist.

Spring of the Stag God is very interesting erotic fantasy that keeps your attention even when the erections flag, which is seldom. I’d even follow the rest of the series through to what I’m sure will be Summer, Autumn and Winter of the Stag God, but I’ve been a sucker for this kind of stuff since I was an impressionable pre-teen. Of course, orcs didn’t have cocks back then.

If they did, Sam and Frodo would have been in real trouble.

© 2010, Jerry L. Wheeler


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