"The Sorceress's Orc" is a novel by Elaine Corvidae. At the beginning of the story, Vervain, Mistress of the Magical Sciences, is assigned an orc bodyguard, Riyu. She is less than happy that this is considered necessary, but soon finds out that the prejudices she had about orcs are not true, and Riyu is actually rather pleasant company. When the university where she teaches is attacked, she saves the live of her students, and is in turn saved by Riyu. When it is found that one of Vervain's colleagues has gone missing, she insists to go on a mission to find him.
Tropes in this work:
- Campfire Character Exploration: Vervain's backstory is revealed in a campfire scene.
- Dehumanization: The racism against orcs takes that form.
- Everything's Sparkly with Jewelry: Orcs wear golden earrings.
- Expressive Ears: All orcs have those, they display emotions in much the same way as dog's ears.
- Fantasy-Forbidding Father: Vervain's magic-hating parents disowned her when she left home to study the Magical Sciences.
- Fantastic Racism: Everyone, including Vervain, think orcs are little more than animals. Vervain quickly finds out that she was wrong. Others, not so much.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Vervain is ready to make one, but survives. Close to the end of the novel, there's another one.
- Interspecies Friendship: Bodyguard Kiki and student Amethyst become good friends during the dangerous mission.
- Interspecies Romance: Vervain and Riyu.
- MRS Degree: Vervain suspects her student Amethyst of being at university for one of those.
- Our Orcs Are Different: The orcs have green skin and tusks alright, but are highly civilized and their language and honor codex seem somewhat Japanese.
- You Can't Go Home Again: Both Riyu and Vervain made career choices their parents disapprove of, and think it wiser to not return to their respective home villages.