Book Review 196 // City of Lifestone by Tom Huddleston


As regular readers will know, I have enjoyed the Warhammer Adventure series. They are aimed at a younger audience, but if you are looking for a light, quick-to-finish read, I would say try it and see if you like it. While searching the local library, I discovered this one tucked away on the shelf and due I had to try it. Could this be the first book to get me to like AOS?

Title: City of Lifestone (Realm Quest #1)

Author: Tom Huddleston

Buy for Kindle off Amazon

Fluff: Far from home and free from slavery, Kiri embarks on an epic adventure across the Mortal Realms, accompanied by a group of special friends. But dark forces gather to stop them…

READ IT BECAUSE

It's a brand-new and exciting way to experience the Age of Sigmar – and it's designed to be the perfect starting point for younger readers. Read it with your children to introduce them to your favourite universe!

THE STORY

Raised as a slave in the Darkoath camps of Aqshy, Kiri dreams of a better life. Of a city of wonders, the place of her birth… Lifestone! She despairs of ever reaching it until a fateful day arrives when her barbarian captors are attacked by Sigmar's noblest warriors, the Stormcast Eternals. Seizing her chance, Kiri flees through a mysterious realmgate that takes her far from the fiery lands of Aqshy. She arrives in the realm of Ghyran and finds the city of Lifestone. But a curse lies on this place, withering its noble spirit. Her path leads her to a special group of children who, like her, are realm-marked – the prophecised saviours of Lifestone. There's Thanis, the fighter; Alish, the inventor; Kaspar; the sneak and Elio, the healer. But dark forces are allying against the children and will do anything to stop them achieving their destiny.

Format: Paperback, 208 pages

Review

The opening story follows Kiri, whose story beings with her being liberated by the Stormcast Eternals as they wage war against the Darkoath Chaos Warbands. Remembering a tale her mother had told her, she seeks out the City of Lifestone in hopes of a peaceful life. However, like many locations in the realms, the city has seen better days, and soon Kiri is swept up in a new adventure.

Kiri herself is a significant lead, a strong-willed, natural leader with a real stubborn streak. I can see how this persona will work well with young readers. We then get slowly introduced to more kids like Alish, the inventor; Thanis, the fighter; Kaspar, a sneaky thief and Elio, the healer (which feels like a D&D group). This rage tag grouping is, of course, led by a mysterious older character seeking out children with special marks; the reason is unknown and, if not a little creepy. Is he a good guy?

If this wasn't enough plot hook for you, we get everyone's favourite villain, the Skaven, popping up. They, too, seem to be interested in the city, and soon the children are neck-deep in trouble. This is a children's book, so many darker topics are avoided or quickly skimmed over. Similar to the 40k version of the book. The ending comes rather promptly, ending on a cliffhanger with the kids heading into the Lair of the Skaven.

Overall an enjoyable afternoon read; the illustrations were excellent, the encyclopedia section is always fun to read, and I can see this being popular with a younger audience. Definitely now seeking out book two.

Have you read it? Let me know in the comments. It is making me want to paint a Skaven or two, ha.

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