Book Review 46 // Warpsword by Dan Abnett and Mike Lee

I'm really hitting my stride at the moment with my reading, averaging 50 pages a night. What this does mean is that my book collection is finally starting to shrink and I am greedy looking at what I should get into next! But before that can happen it is time to head back into the world that was and join Malus once more as he searches for the fourth artifact. Have you read the earlier reviews.....no. Well follow this link.

Book Details

Title: Warpsword
Author: Dan Abnett & Mike Lee
Publisher: Black Library
Type: Paperback
Page Count: 407
Commercial Fluff: In the world of Warhammer, no race is as cruel and treacherous as the dark elves, and no member of this race is more infamous than Malus Darkblade. His soul taken forfeit by a daemon, Darkblade must now seek the legendary Warpsword of Khaine or be forever damned.

Review

Here we are, the fourth tale in the Malus Darkblade series. It also means we are at the second to last adventure. First up I have to say there was a real twist in the story telling, it felt darker, meaner and scarier. Malus is slowly succumbing to the Daemon and you can feel that time is running out. To make things hard the next artifact the Warpsword of Khaine is located in designed for murder and bloodshed, that also happens to be suffering a Holy Civil War!

This was an exciting tale as we got to visit the City of Executioners, the capital city of Khaine's Worship! Add to this the fact that we finally get the Malus and Urial showdown we have been waiting for and you can't help but feel giddy.

This was a bloody tale. I'm pretty sure not a single chapter passed without bloodshed. Like the other tales in series, we are treated to twists and turns through out, we discover the cult of Khaine is built on lies, we have political intrigue, sibling rivalry and a daemon that I just find comical with his perfectly timed wit. I found the Chaos Waste section slightly rushed and I do wish some more time was spent on the temple and it's inhabitants. But overall another great read.

Now onto the final novel - Lord of Ruin. As always I love to get feedback so drop me comment.

Book Review 45 // Jain Zar The Storm of Silence by Gav Thorpe


Welcome back for another book review of 2019, seven titles down so far this year! The following book was such a good I read, that I managed to finish it in four days. The fastest I have read a book ever. Why did I manage it so quickly? Well two reasons:
  1. Gav Thorpe: Great author and so enjoyable to read.
  2. Eldar: I love Elven material and this book is brimmed full of them. Craftworlders, Drukari, Harlequins, Pre-Fall and early post fall.
Let's jump in and get this post going.

Book Details

Title: Jain Zar The Storm of Silence
Author: Gav Thorpe
Publisher: Black Library
Type: Paperback
Page Count: 352
Commercial Fluff: The second book in the Phoenix Lords series, focusing on the fast and deadly female warrior, Jain Zar, first exarch of the Howling Banshees.

The enigmatic eldar are one of the many intelligent races that battle humankind for control of the stars. Though few in number, they are an ancient race, and their mode of war blends spirituality with a unique mastery of technology. In times of need, the entire eldar race will rouse to war led by terrifying, almost mythological figures – the phoenix lords. Each different in his or her own way, these immortal beings embody the warrior nature of the eldar. Jain Zar – the Storm of Silence – was the first phoenix lord to be recruited by Asurmen, and would prove a swift and deadly fighter, able to harness the rage of her scream to slaughter any who dare oppose her.

Review

First up Jain Zar is the second novel in the Phoenix Lord Series, the First being Asurmen. It follows a similar story arc to the first book jumping back and forth in the timelines to show how Jain Zar rose to her status and how future of 40k is now being shaped by her actions. The true highlight of this story is the descriptive history sections set during the fall that have never been truly reviled, that I enjoy the most. 

Just like the Asurmen novel the book is basically a read of two halfs. The first is set in the 40k timeline following the shared mission of the Phoenix Lords, what that mission is we don't truely know. But for Jain Zar's part it involves two Craftworlds and the rage filled Orks. In this section of the tale we visit the webway, Harlequins, Commorragh and the the Ulthwe Craftworld before heading to an Ork claimed world. In this timeline we meet Vect and a younger Eldard (pre-leader of the Seer Council of Ulthwe). Whilst the second half in the 30k timeline, deals with the rise of Jain Zar from a post Fall Gladiatrix to the hero of the Aeldari. Asurmen also has a role to play in this tale as we see him attempting to teach the Path to those who wish to listen. This section I loved the most, we learn about early Fall aeldari, some of the Crone worlds, we meet Maugan Ra (Pre-Phoenix Lord), planets of learning and how the society relied on AI to survive.

As with Gav's works I found it a joy to read. For me he is the true lore master for the Aeldari. He is great at designing and bringing life to their culture and I can't help but be absorbed by it. I found myself reading and reading late into the night. I have so much now to add to the Eldar Encyclopedia and so many ideas for new models and characters.

Book Review 44 // Reaper of Souls by Dan Abnett and Mike Lee

Coming in fast from last weeks Bloodstorm review comes Book three of the Malus Series. I can't believe how quickly I am devouring these books. They are so different and fun, maybe I should try reading more anti-hero books. Here is the review for Reaper of Souls.

Book Details

Title: Reaper of Souls
Author: Dan Abnett & Mike Lee
Publisher: Black Library
Type: Paperback
Page Count: 416
Commercial Fluff: A member of the dark elf race, Darkblade's reputation as a warrior is beyond compare and his cruelty is legendary - even by the standards of the dark elves. Having been possessed by the foul daemon Tz'arkan, Malus undertakes a perilous quest to regain five magical artefacts that will free his soul or damn him forever!

Review

We join Malus as he is heading home to the port of Kar Karond, here in the flesh houses Malus uncovers the location in the third relic. The Dagger of Torxus is located in the city's necropolis, this long black dagger is meant to have been forged from the Outer Darkness itself and seems to absorb a victims souls! The crypt of bearer is known as Eleuril the Damned - kin killer (sounds a bit like Malus).

Upon reaching the resting place Malus is shocked to discover another group of Elves plundering the tomb. Here everything starts going wrong and an evil spirit is awoken almost killing Malus! When Malus regains his wits he discovers the guardian dead and the dagger gone. Here the novel becomes a chase as Malus must discover who has taken the dagger and get it back before it enters the city of Hag Graef. Finally catching up Malus sneaks into the camp and confronts the enemies warlord. As plan commences Malus realises it is Lurhan his father!

Having slain his father and recovered the dagger Malus is now on the run for committing patricide. Being chased by Lurhan retainers Malus has to race to the Black Ark of Naggor and hope his Uncle Balneth Bale will protect him. As always nothing really goes to plan. Heavily wounded and weaken Malus is almost sold into slavery, before it is finally revealed who he is. Seemingly accepted into the Naggor court Malus is given a military title and joins an army headed to claim Hag Graef. Here we see more sibling rivalry and the return of Nigaira.

The rest of the book is one big military action, that sees Malus ultimately leading the army in a failed action to take the city. Malus also disrupts Nigaira's plans along with pissing off two cities (Hag Graef and Naggor) and has started blood fued with the Witch King. Surrounded by enemies and dangers Malus has to sneak off into the wildness in order to survive. This is a complete flip on how the last book ended. 

This is by far my favorite book of the series so far. I'm excited to see how Malus can regain his status from such a low standard. I'm also amazed how much Malus sucks at killing his siblings, so far only one has died and every time they reappear they seem stronger every time whilst Malus seems weaker. I am excited for the next book.

I am going to take a small break from the series and read Gav Thorpes Jain Zar story. Then I will go back to the series.

Book Review 43 // Bloodstorm by Dan Abnett and Mike Lee

Technically as I write this it is now March, but in truth this book falls under the February reading bracket. I've fallen slightly behind on blogging but not too far luckily. As mentioned in the last review (Daemon's Curse) I am working through Volume one of the Malus Darkblade the opening three books

I have to say I am loving the series. Malus is such a badass character and it is making me want to build a Druchii force; like I really need another army ha. With this in mind let's jump into the review.

Book Details

Title: Bloodstorm
Author: Dan Abnett & Mike Lee
Publisher: Black Library
Type: Paperback
Page Count: 413
Commercial Fluff: Possessed by the foul daemon Tz'arkan, the ruthless dark elf anti-hero Malus Darkblade is forced to seek a number of magic artefacts or his soul will be forfeit. He will have to call on all his cunning and dark wits to survive a magic labyrinth and defeat its fearsome guardian.

Review

The story unsurprisingly picks up straight from book one. With Malus returning to Hag Graef. For crimes against his own household, Malus is captured, beaten and tortured by his father. Taken almost to the brink death Malus with the help of the daemon manages to hold out, adding extra shame on his father. Released into his step sisters Nagaira care, Malus undergoes weeks off healing to recover from his ordeal. During this time Nagaira also manipulates Malus into joining her secret coven, though enjoyable at first Malus soon comes to realise all is not what it seems.

Soon Malus is doing what Malus does best and starts betraying his siblings in twisting plots worthy of a master villain. Malus uses his siblings hatred of each other to slowly bring about all their downfalls, starting with step sister Nagaira.

Fearing the Slaanesh cult and not wanting to be a puppet to a cult, Malus turns to his crippled brother Urial and his temple allies to destroy the cult (which is a hard task considering Malus stole from him in book one). During this action Malus discovers the location of the next artifact the Idol of Kolkuth. Teaming up with Urial once more; Malus somehow manages to blackmail the Drachau of Hag Graef in order to gain the power and forces needed to search for the idol. With the writ of Iron and an ability to raise an army, Malus heads off back to sea once more.

Now trapped aboard a boat and stuck with three of his siblings, the backstabbing and political power plays increase to a murderous level. Throughout this part of the book it is hard to tell who will kill whom, sibling versus sibling versus Skinriders (Nurgle Pirates). This was also my favourite part of the book, I loved the plague ridden pirates and their secret base full of treasure and death. I can't help but imagine the Plague Lords GW has been creating of late. Full of maggots and loose skin hanging off bloated organs. Gross but so awe inspiring. Here on this island Malus discovers the relic, kills off one sibling and angers two other (who I can only assume will be back). With a ship full of treasure and an ego just as big, Malus is sitting pretty as we head into book three.

I was glad to see the introduction of the character Hauclir. An ex-city guard captain, Hauclir has seen an opportunity and is taking it. Rising from the military into Highborn society, now he just has to survive it. He enjoys mocking Malus and added some comically relief throughout the story. I just like him and hope we see more of him. I also enjoyed the Slaanesh Cult and how the the elven society reacts to it being hidden among so many of the highborn.

I am very excited to start Reaper of Souls. As it promises to add even more drama.

Book Review 108 // Redemption by Darius Hinks

I'm still riding that Necromunda short story wave, and this time we reach Redemption by Darius Hinks. Now from the title alone, it is ea...