But never let it be said that I won't give somebody a second chance. I may have abandoned Mary Gentle's Rats and Gargoyles but I spotted Grunts in a used book store and it looked worth my $2 and it was.
Grunts is starts out with your standard Tolkien-esque Final Battle between Good and Evil, but from the perspective of the presumed expendable orc ground troupes. Add in some magical army weapons from our own world, and proceed through 460 pages of parody of both fantasy cliches and war movies.
There's a potential here for a real re-examining of the role of the "cannon fodder" ground troops in fantasy novels, ala the way Terry Pratchett dove into the life of the disposable city guard in Guards! Guards!, that's never really realized. But maybe that's not the point here and it's much more about cooked-halfling and "I love the smell of Grecian fire in the morning" jokes. At which it succeeds just fine.