Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson (Book Review)

You can find the original review over at The Founding Fields, here.

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Sylvaneth by Various (Book Review)

The collections of the Legends of the Age of Sigmar tell many a different story and feature many a different warrior chamber of the Stormcast Eternals as they are pitted against different enemies and allied with many a different race. In Skaven Pestilens it was the Beast-Bane warrior chamber fighting alongside the Seraphons against the Skaven. In Fyreslayers it is various armies of duardin (dwarves) against all manner of Chaos Daemons. In Black Rift it was the Adamantine warrior chamber against the Bloodbound, and so on. Each a unique story as it explores some different facet of the new Age of Sigmar reality of Warhammer.

In the Sylvaneth anthology we get a sequel of sorts to Josh Reynolds’ novella War In The Hidden Vale from the Ghal Maraz anthology. Then, we saw how the Stormcasts under the orders of Sigmar fight through hordes of Nurgle daemons to find and awaken the Radiant Queen Alarielle from her centuries-long slumber and fight back against the blight affecting Ghyran, the Realm of Life. With various stories from some of Black Library’s best, we get a really good sense of scale of the battle on Ghyran, and get to see a lot of different perspectives of the Sylvaneth as they rouse to defend their homes against invaders.

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Ghost Warrior by Gav Thorpe (Book Review)

There have been so many changes to the Warhammer 40,000 with the release of the Eighth Edition of the tabletop rules that sometimes it can be hard to keep track of them all. One of the more major changes has been the fact that the Eldar have been renamed to be the Aeldari, in order to give Games Workshop a better copyright on their space-faring Elves. And their evil counterparts, the Dark Eldar, are now the Drukhari. And with the coming of the Cicatrix Maledictum, the two broken halves of their society, those of the space-faring craftworlds and those of the Hidden City of Commoragh, have in many ways come together to safeguard the future of their species as followers of the God of Death, Ynnead.

in Gav Thorpe’s first novel for the new “Dark Imperium” era, we find that the Ynnari have learned of a long-lost craftworld that has returned to the galaxy. Spiritseer Iyanna and Yvraine set out with their army of fanatical Ynnari to bring back Zaisuthra in the larger fold of the Aeldari, and their journey is certainly fraught with dangers of all kinds. In Ghost Warrior, Gav does what he did with his previous Eldar novels, show off in detail the bickering and politicking of the Aeldari. It makes for one hell of a read and it left me wanting more for the Ynnari are a fascinating faction, steeped deep in the old lore of Warhammer 40,000.

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Sands of Blood by Josh Reynolds (Audio Review)

The first audio drama in Josh Reynolds’ The Hunt For Nagash series, The Prisoner of The Black Sun, was a tantalizing introduction to the Realm of Death, ruled over by none other than the greatest necromancer of the Warhammer Old World, Nagash. We met our intrepid Stormcast Eternal heroes as they traversed across the realm to find a gateway into Nagash’s Underworld and went on a bloody jaunt against Chaos forces and met a friendly neighborhood vampire with a certain… pedigree. It was certainly a fun audio romp and going by the description, the second in the series promised to be even better.

From the Vale of Sorrow, Lord-Celestant Tarsus Bull-Heart’s warrior chamber has moved on to the vast deserts of the Sands of Blood, their newfound guide leading them onwards to the fulfillment of their quest. New challenges abound however, and we get to see more of Shyish, the Realm of Death. This is important in the larger scheme of things and the travelogue written by Josh feels very rewarding as a reader. The larger cast also does its job really well in bringing more characters to life and the overall story progresses well enough for my tastes while preserving the various mysteries that abound here.

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The Prisoner of The Black Sun by Josh Reynolds (Audio Review)

Black Library has a very good track record of putting out excellent audio dramas, particularly anything that stars the likes of Toby Longworth, Gareth Armstrong and John Banks. These three have done much to provide me with some great times with various audio-based stories over the years, and it is certainly expected that once Black Library and Games Workshop phased out Warhammer Fantasy for Age of Sigmar that they would look to capitalize on these talents and more besides. Age of Sigmar is such an unexplored territory and the new avenues opened up are intriguing for sure. Combine it with these talents and you have something great.

Josh Reynolds’ The Prisoner of The Black Sun is the first of four audios (collectively called The Hunt For Nagash) that together tell the story of how Sigmar sends his warriors to the Realm of Death to seek out Nagash and treat with him. We meet a new warrior chamber of the Hallowed Knights Stormhost in this audio and get to experience their first battle in the Realm of Death against the Bloodbound who have invaded it in Khorne’s name. Even as Josh writes a down-right brutal but fun story, Toby, Gareth, John, Ramon Tikaram and Luis Soto take things to the next level and deliver a powerful opening performance.

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Black Legion by Aaron Dembski-Bowden (Book Review)

Aaron’s first Black Legion novel, The Talon of Horus was a rather sublime novel. It beat and challenged many of my expectations that I had going in, and proved to be one of the best Warhammer 40,000 books I’ve read to date. Which is no small feat, truly. It explored the psyche of the Sons of Horus as they transform into the Black Legion, led by the returned Ezekyle Abaddon and a coalition of champions from other Legions. It was full of some very memorable characters and had a stunning climax that went to the roots of some of the oldest lore of Warhammer 40,000.

Black Legion, the second novel in the series of the same name, is a worthy successor to The Talon of Horus, although it is not the equal of its predecessor. We are back to the recounting of events by Iskandar Khayon and see how Aaron writes a story that departs a little from what we saw in the first novel. There are some confusing mysteries here that don’t quite resolve themselves satisfactorily, but it has some of the best action scenes I’ve read in Warhammer 40,000 fiction, and has a battle of champions at the end that is iconic and impactful in equal measure.

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Black Rift by Josh Reynolds (Book Review)

One of the more endearing aspects of the Age of Sigmar setting is that the lore isn’t told in a linear manner. Rather we have a main story, The Realmgate Wars, and then various authors tell spin-off tales in and around these battles that follow some key characters. I’ve read most of these so far, and they have all been interesting to say the least, not the least of which is Skaven Pestilens which resurrects one of the best races from Warhammer Fantasy Battles for the reimagined successor setting, Age of Sigmar. And the Stormcast Eternals make for some interesting characters in their own right too.

With Josh Reynolds’ Black Rift, we are introduced to Lord-Celestant Orius Adamantine of the Hammers of Sigmar as he leads his warrior-chamber against the forces of the Khornate champion Anhur the Scarlet Lord. Originally released as eight short-stories, Black Rift is a terrific stand-alone read that I would recommend very highly. It is full of some excellent characters on both sides of the conflict, and the central mystery also keeps you glued to the pages, which is all you can ask of a massive war story like this one. Another hit from Josh Reynolds, so let’s see what makes it tick.

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