Skaven Pestilens

A book review of SKAVEN PESTILENS by Josh Reynolds

This is a special book for me as it was not only my first foray into the blighted world of the Skaven, not just my  first look at the proper lore and world of Age of Sigmar, but my  first ever full Black Library book that I read. Having spent many years as a Tyranid fan and a fringe fan of many other armies (ergo not fully invested), I’d never really delved deep into the lore of 40K nor the Old World of Fantasy Warhammer.

So from the get go I should say that I really recommend this title!

Within you discover the filth infested, back stabbing world of the Skaven of two Pestliens Clans as they fight over their conquest of a city that crumbles as their rotting blighted powers and war engines tear it to bits. The very ground beneath this vast city being burrowed into by the skaven as they feast on the flesh of the vast living wyrm that forms the foundations. Yes this is a war on the move and the mental images and descriptions that Josh creates are as epic as Age of Sigmar can aspire to be. Vast cities built atop even greater wyrms that wander a vast open plain, the various cities warring with each other and the twisted blights of Chaos that have crept into the world during the Age of Chaos.

Into this we have the Skaven as they seek something a relic from the Old World that was, but they are not alone. For into this destroyed city march the shining beacons of the Stormcast, come to cleanse the great beast and free the peoples of the city and awaken the great Realm Gate nestled in a temple built atop its head. However even their might is not enough to overcome the thick smoke and plagues of the Skaven, allies have to be found not just from the released captives of the city, but also from other races. From an old and ancient race that comes not just to fight the blight of Skaven and Chaos, but with their own motivations and ideals as well.

This is a book filled with magic and battles and Josh expertly balances the forces involved and the heroes that arise within each army. We see and get a fantastic flavour for the races involved and see the personal aspirations of characters as they seek to achieve their various objectives.

The only real criticism I have after reading is that I wish it were longer. I would have loved to have read the beginning of the war when the city was first under siege and the Skaven arose to fight the peoples of the wyrm; and I would love to read more of the story after the events in the book. I really hope that Josh gets to return to the world of the Skaven as he’s got a good talent for writing about these dark, twisted, slightly (if not totally) mad rats.

As I said at the start this is one book that I’d strongly recommend reading, though as noted just below in the links, I’d also recommend that you grab a copy of the Legends of the Age of Sigmar since you can then also tip into the worlds of two other major races as they awaken and throw off the shackles of Chaos invasion; leaving behind the Age of Chaos and bathing in the blood and light of the Age of Sigmar.

I recommend getting this book as part of the Legends of the Age of Sigmar: Omnibus 1 as for the same price as the book on its own, you get a selection of other great novels focusing on the Fyreslayers and the Sylvaneth.

Also available on Amazon and other good book stores.

Tales from the Underhive

A book review of the TALES FROM THE UNDERHIVE by various.

Books in the series:
Death’s Head by Josh Reynolds
Burned by Darius Hinks
Emp-Rah’s Eye by Guy Haley
Scar Crossed by Nick Kyme
Once a Stimm Queen by Robbie MacNiven
Dirty Dealings by Rachel Harrison

As this is a series of short stories I’ve decided to review them as an overall block instead of one by one. With the range of authors and styles presented there’s a little bit for everyone and each author puts their own twist on the grim gloomy world of the Underhive of Necromunda. The toxic, radioactive industrial wasteland that exists beneath the great industrial machines and megacity of the Hive above. These stories focus on short adventures by gangers as they attempt to survive within this hostile environment. Showing how some prevail and some fail against betrayal, cunning traps, the twists of fate and of love, the lust for greed and to escape and more.

As each one is short they take only around 10-20mins or so (on average) to read and thus present a neat bit of flavour to the Underhive. You don’t need much background to get into them, just a general awareness of the dark gritty world; yet if you know more you can see some of the links to the greater Warhammer 40K world. Each of these stories also follows a different gang, giving you a taste of the difference between the primitive Ratskins, the light and agile Eschers and the heavy, stim heavy Goliaths and others.

I found these enjoyable and a nice quick read and more than worth their price. That they are easy to get into without much background awareness makes them an ideal item for those new to the setting and for long time fans.

Buy now on Black Library as a set of 6 with one free
Also on sale as individual stories and on Amazon Kindle store.

Survival Instinct by Andy Chambers

A book review of the novel SURVIVAL INSTINCT by Andy Chambers.

Welcome to the Underhive! My first foray into the world of muck, steel, slag and sump and I feel like I’ve made a very good choice with this book. The story follows the adventure of Mad Donna, a ganger with ties to House Escher who is trying to go it alone in the Underhive, whilst also trying to lose herself from ties to one of the Great Houses of the Spire – the vaulted top of the Hive City where all is clean, bright, airy and a tiny bit safer. The story focuses on one key adventure in her life and brings the Underhive to life with sight, sound and smell. You get a strong sense not only of how variable and rich with lore the Underhive is, but also how utterly vast it is when on the hunt and yet, at the same time, how small it can feel when your character is being hunted.

Each chapter begins with a short background snippet, which early on focus on records of events and places. General snippets that add flavour and a wider view on the world which helps remind the reader that this is but one story in a vast place. As the story progresses those snippets get more focused on the back story of our lead character, a neat way to fill in the growing desire from the reader to know more of her history that neatly slots answers into place. It’s a powerful story telling method that is very well put to use in this book.

The book runs at a good fast pace and is heavy on action, but not at a cost of losing sight of building a story. There are slow sneaky periods; restful moments of calm and then mad moments of action.

All in all a very enjoyable read and a book that works totally as a stand alone read even if you’ve never read a single bit of Necromunda lore or background before.

Buy now on Black Library
Also for sale on Amazon and second hand in paperback on secondhand book sites.

Black Library – Specialist Stories

Below is a collection of the short stories, collected editions and novels published by the Black Library in relation to a host of GW’s specialist games such as Bloodbowel, Necromunda, Shadspire and others.

Notes:

  • Most short stories sold on their own are digital only, whilst many anthologies and collected editions are also sold in paperback/hardback
  • As quite a few of these books are much older (from the first era of many of these specialist games) they are often sold as ebooks only from BL at this stage. However there are often copies around second hand so check out ebay, Amazon and AbeBooks for a chance to get hold of physical copies.

Necromunda

Collected Editions

  • Tales from the Underhive (Outlander, Salvation, Survival Instinct, Junktion, Fleshworks, Back from the Dead, Kal Jerico: The Omnibus, Status Deadzone)
  • Necromunda Week: The Bundle (Death’s Head, Burned, Emp-Rah’s Eye, Scar Crossed , Once a Stimm Queen, Dirty Dealings)
  • Kal Jerico: The Omnibus (Blood Royal, Cardinal Crimson, Lasgun Wedding)
  • Status Deadzone (Badland Skelter’s Downhive Monster Show, Bad Spirits, A World Above, The Daemon Bottle & Rat in the Walls, Descent, Rites of Passage, Sisters, The Day of Thirst, The Lake by Tully, Mark of a Warrior)

Novels

Short stories

  • Death’s Head
  • Burned
  • Emp-Rah’s Eye
  • Scar Crossed
  • Once a Stimm Queen
  • Dirty Dealings

 

Bloodbowl

Collected Editions

  • The Blood Bowl eBook Collection (Blood Bowl, Dead Ball, Death Match, Rumble in the Jungle)
  • Death on the Pitch Omnibus (The Hack Attack, Pride and Penitence, Mazlocke’s Cantrip of Superior Substitution, Foul Play, Scrape to Victory, The Skeleton Key, A Last Sniff of Glory, Hoppo’s Pies, Da Bank Job, Doc Morgrim’s Vow, Fixed, Manglers Never Lose)

Novels

  • Blood Bowl
  • Dead Ball
  • Death Match
  • Rumble in the Jungle

Short Stories

  • The Hack Attack
  • Pride and Penitence
  • Mazlocke’s Cantrip of Superior Substitution
  • Foul Play
  • Scrape to Victory
  • The Skeleton Key
  • A Last Sniff of Glory
  • Hoppo’s Pies
  • Da Bank Job
  • Doc Morgrim’s Vow
  • Fixed
  • Manglers Never Lose

Shadspire

Novels

  • Shadespire: The Mirrored City

Warhammer HORROR

Collected Editions

  • Invocations (He Feasts Forever, The Healer, Growing Seasons, Supplication, A Sending from the Grave, Flesh and Blood)
  • Anathemas (Suffer the Vision, These hands, These wings, A Deep and Steady Tread, The Shadow Crown, Voices in the Glass)
  • Maledictions (Nepenthe, The Widow Tide, No Good Deed, Crimson Snow, Last of the Blood, Predation of the Eagle, The Last Ascension of Dominic Seroff, Triggers, A Darksome Place, The Marauder Lives, The Nothings)
  • The Harrowed Paths (A Threnody for Kolchev, Vox Daemonicus, The Thing in the Woods, Hab Fever Lockdown, Voices in the Glass, Skin Man, These Hands, These Wings, A Deep and Steady Tread, Mud and Mist, Suffer the Vision, The Funeral, The Shadow Crown, Runner, Miracles)
  • The Vampire Genevieve (Drachenfels, Genevieve Undead, Beasts in Velvet, Silver Nails)

Novels

  • Dark Harvest
  • The Oubliette
  • Sepulturum
  • The Deacon of Wounds

Audio Stories

Darkly Dreaming

Short stories

  • The Hunt
  • He Feasts Forever
  • The Child Foretold
  • Skull Throne
  • Five Candles
  • Nightbleed
  • A Moment of Cruelty
  • Pentimento
  • The Cache

Warhammer Fantasy (classic) Black Library listings

What follows is as comprehensive a list of the publication by Black Library as they are currently listed on their website. The intention being to make it easier for people to see what series follow what and to get a foot in the door in reading some of the great classic literature made for the world of Warhammer.

Be aware that the entire BL listings are also on Amazon Kindle as well so if you use a Kindle e-reader it would be best to search and get them from Amazon rather than direct from BL – if you are purchasing ebooks.

List accurate to 13/11/2020

Warhammer Chronicles (Classic)

Note:

1) GW appears to be republishing some of these stories (in print and ebook format) in collected editions of series (and short stories). As a result some series presented here as individual listings might, at some point in the future, be released in a collected edition. Bare this in mind when purchasing; however there is no guarantee that any series will get collected together.

2) I have no idea as to time-lines with these. I have broadly kept the listings as they are shown on the Black Library website which roughly has the newest at the top and the oldest at the bottom.

3) I have split the listings into three groups for Novels; Collected editions (both collected books and short stories), multi-book series and stand alone books.  Unlike the AoS page, if an individual book is part of a collected edition I only list the collected edition (which does show all books/short stories contained within on its listing). This is purely to make the listings easier to read for new people without having to keep cross referencing different lists.

I’ve also done it on the expectation that most consulting this will be newer to the lore and setting and thus are likely making fresh purchases; where most collected editions prove to be the significantly cheaper choice.

Collected Editions

  • Mathias Thulmann: Witch Hunter (Witch Hunter, Witch, Finder, Witch Killer)
  • The War of Vengeance (The Great Betrayal, Master of Dragons, The Curse of the Pheoenix Crown)
  • Champions Of Chaos (Sigvald by Darius Hinks,Valkia the Bloody, Bloodraven, Blood Blessing, Reaper, Harbinger, Van Horstmann)
  • Ulrika the Vampire: The Omnibus (Bloodborn, Bloodforged, Bloodsworn)
  • The Sundering (Malekith, Shadow King, Caledor)
  • Vampire Wars: The von Carstein Trilogy (Inheritance, Dominion, Retribution)
  • The Rise of Nagash (Nagash the Sorcerer, Nagash the Unbroken, Nagash Immortal)
  • The Legend of Sigmar (Heldenhammer, Empire, God-King, Let the Great Axe Fall, Gods of Flesh and Blood, Sword Guardian)
  • The Black Plague (Now in a collected book lower down this list with others – Skaven Wars) (Dead Winter, Blighted Empire, Wolf of Sigmar)
  • Warhammer: The End Times Collection (The Return of Nagash, The Fall of Altdorf, The Curse of Khaine, The Rise of the Horned Rat, The Lord of the End Times)
  • Death of the Old World (The Rise of the Horned Rat, The Lord of the End Times) – Content Mirrored in End Times collection
  • The Empire (Grimblades,Iron Company, Warrior Priest, The Miracle at Berlau, As Dead as Flesh, Dead Man’s Hand, Sanctity, The Judgement of Crows, The March of Doom)
  • Swords of the Empire (short story collection – Duty and Honour; and others)
  • Way of the Dead(What Price Vengeance, Three Knights, The Small Ones, The Road to Damnation, Mark of the Beast, Jahama’s Lesson, Head Hunting, Glow, A Good Thief)
  • Age of Legend (A Small Victory, Bloodraven, City of Dead Jewels, The Last Charge, The Ninth Book, The Gods Demand, Plague Doktor*, The City is Theirs, The Second Sun, Aenarion)
  • Death & Dishonour (Red Snow, The Assassin’s Dilemma, Rest Eternal, The Miracle at Berlau, Noblesse Oblige, The Last Ride of Heiner Rothstein, Broken Blood, The Judgement of Crows, Wolfshead)
  • Masters of Steel and Stone (Grudge Bearer, Oathbreaker, Honourkeeper, The Doom of Dragonback, Ancestral Grudge, City of Dead Jewels)
  • Tyrion and Teclis Omnibus (Blood of Aenarion, Sword of Caledor, Bane of Malekith)
  • Warriors of the Chaos Wastes Omnibus (Wulfrik, Blood for the Blood God, Palace of the Plague Lord)
  • Knights of the Empire (Hammers of Ulric, Reiksguard, Knight of the Blazing Sun, Dead Calm, Stromfel’s Teeth, Lords of the Marsh, Dead Man’s Party, Bernheimer’s Gun)
  • Warlords of Karak Eight Peaks (Skarsnik, Headtaker, Thorgrim, The Karag, Durak Grudge, The King of Black Crag)
  • Skaven Wars: The Black Plague (Dead Winter, Blighted Empire, Wolf of Sigmar, Plague Priest, Plague Doktor, A Question of Faith, The Last Man)
  • The Orion Trilogy (The Vaults of Winter, Tears of Isha, The Council of Beasts)
  • Brunner The Bounty Hunter (Blood Money, Blood and Steel, Blood of the Dragon)
  • Thanquol & Boneripper (Grey Seer, Temple of the Serpent, Thanquol’s Doom, Mind-Stealer, Thanquol Triumphant)
  • Heroes of the Empire (Sword of Justice, Sword of Vengeance, Luthor Huss, Feast of Horrors, Duty and Honour, The March of Doom)
  • The Elves: Omnibus (Kinstrife, Defenders of Ulthuan, Sons of Ellyrion, Deathmasque, Guardians of the Forest, Freedom’s Home or Glory’s Grave)
  • Undeath Ascendant: A Vampire Counts Omnibus (The Red Duke, Ancient Blood, Curse of the Necrarch, Portrait of My Undying Lady, The Vampire Hunters, Three Knights)
  • Knights of Bretonnia (Knight Errant, Knight of the Realm, Rest Eternal, Questing Knight, Grail Knight)

Individual Series

  • Gilead Lothain:
    1 Gilead’s Blood (unlisted short story collection)
    2 Gilead’s Curse
  • Archaon duology:
    1 Archaon: Everchosen
    2 Archaon: Lord of Chaos
  • The Blood of Nagash:
    1 Neferata
    2 Master of Death
  • Slaves to Darkness:
    1 The Claws of Chaos
    2 The Blades of Chaos
    3 The Heart of Chaos
  • Ambassador Chronicles:
    1 The Ambassador
    2 Ursun’s Teeth
  • Storm of Magic:
    The Hour of Shadows
    Dragonmage
    Razumov’s Tomb
  • The Adventures of Florin and Lorenzo:
    1 The Burning Shore
    1.5 Haute Cuisine
    2 Wild Kingdoms
    3 Savage City

Stand Alone books

Graphic Novels; (comics)

  • Condemned by Fire
  • Crown of Destruction
  • Forge of War

Novels:

  • Sigmar’s Blood (Prequel story to the End Times series)
  • The Bloody-Handed (includes illustrations!)
  • Forged in Battle
  • Magestorm
  • Fell Cargo
  • Dreadfleet
  • The Dead and the Damned
  • Forged by Chaos
  • Call To Arms
  • The Hour of Shadows
  • Dark Storm Gathering
  • Broken Honour
  • Riders of the Dead

Gotrek and Felix series

  • Gotrek and Felix The First Omnibus (Trollslayer, Skavenslayer, Daemonslayer, Death and Glory, A Place of Quiet Assembly, Blood Sport, Kineater, Mind-Stealer)
  • Gotrek and Felix The Second Omnibus (Dragonslayer, Beastslayer, Vampireslayer, The Tilean’s Talisman, Lord of Undeath, The Two Crowns of Ras Karim, Prophecy, A Cask of Wynters)
  • Gotrek and Felix The Third Omnibus (Giantslayer, Redhand’s Daughter, Orcslayer, Manslayer, The Oberwald Ripper, Red Snow, Last Orders)
  • Gotrek and Felix The Fourth Omnibus (Elfslayer, Shamanslayer, Zombieslayer, Slayer of the Storm God, Slayer’s Honour, The Funeral of Gotrek Gurnisson)
  • Gotrek and Felix The Fifth Omnibus (Road of Skulls, The Serpent Queen, Charnel Congress, Marriage of Moment, Berthold’s Beard, The Reckoning, The Contest, Into the Valley of Death, Curse of the Everliving)
  • Gotrek & Felix: The Sixth Omnibus (City of the Damned, Kinslayer, Slayer, Rememberers)
  • Gotrek and Felix: The Anthology – note all stories part of the Omnibus editions above (1-4)
    (Slayer’s Honour, A Cask of Wynters, A Place of Quiet Assembly, Kineater, Prophecy, The Tilean’s Talismn, Last Orders, Mind-stealer, The Two Crowns of Ras Karim, The Funeral of Gotrek Gurnisson)
  • Gotrek & Felix: Lost Tales – note all stories part of the Omnibus edition 5 (Charnel Congress, The Reckoning, Into the Valley of Death, Curse of the Everliving)
  • Gotrek & Felix: Myths and Legends – Death and Glory and Lord of Undeath in Omnibus editions above (1-2) (Death and Glory!, Lord of Undeath, The Lost Kinsmen)

Core Series:

  1. Troll Slayer (Gotrek and Felix Omnibus 1)
  2. Skaven Slayer (Gotrek and Felix Omnibus 1)
  3. Daemonslayer (Gotrek and Felix Omnibus 1)
  4. Dragonslayer (Gotrek and Felix Omnibus 2)
  5. Beastslayer (Gotrek and Felix Omnibus 2)
  6. Vampireslayer (Gotrek and Felix Omnibus 2)
  7. Giantslayer (Gotrek and Felix Omnibus 3)
  8. Orcslayer (Gotrek and Felix Omnibus 3)
  9. Manslayer (Gotrek and Felix Omnibus 3)
  10. Elfslayer (Gotrek and Felix Omnibus 4)
  11. Shamanslayer (Gotrek and Felix Omnibus 4)
  12. Zombieslayer (Gotrek and Felix Omnibus 4)

End of Series:

  1. 1 Kinslayer (Gotrek and Felix Omnibus 6)
  2. Rememberers (short story) (Gotrek and Felix Omnibus 6)
  3. 2 Slayer (Gotrek and Felix Omnibus 6)

Stand Alone Adventures:

  • City of the Damned (Gotrek and Felix Omnibus 6)
  • Berthold’s Beard (Gotrek and Felix Omnibus 5)
  • The Serpent Queen (Gotrek and Felix Omnibus 5)
  • Road of Skulls (Gotrek and Felix Omnibus 5)
  • Marriage of Moment (Gotrek and Felix Omnibus 5)
  • The Contest (Gotrek and Felix Omnibus 5)
  • Into the Valley of Death (Gotrek & Felix: Lost Tales, Gotrek and Felix Omnibus 5)
  • Charnel Congress (Gotrek & Felix: Lost Tales, Gotrek and Felix Omnibus 5)
  • The Reckoning (Gotrek & Felix: Lost Tales, Gotrek and Felix Omnibus 5)

Warhammer Horror
Genevieve series

Collected Editions:

  • The Vampire Genevieve (Drachenfels, Genevieve Undead, Beasts in Velvet, Silver Nails)

Individual Novels:

  • Drachenfels
  • Genevieve Undead (Stage Blood, The Cold Stark House, Unicorn Ivory)
  • Beasts in Velvet
  • Silver Nails (Red Thirst, The Ibby the Fish Factor)

Darkblade Collected series

Darkblade: eBook Bundle (all bar Bloodwalker)

The Chronicles of Malus Darkblade: Volume One (The Blood Price, The Daemon’s Curse, Bloodstorm, Reaper of Souls)

Series:

  1. The Daemon’s Curse (The Chronicles of Malus Darkblade: Volume One)
  2. Bloodstorm (The Chronicles of Malus Darkblade: Volume One)
  3. Reaper of Souls (The Chronicles of Malus Darkblade: Volume One)
  4. Warpsword
  5. Lord of Ruin
  6. Deathblade

Standalone adventure:

  • Bloodwalker

Short stories

Remember these are the ones that are NOT expressly mentioned as being included in collected editions earlier mentioned. The Black Library website will show many more.

  • The End Times:
  1. The Siege of Naggarond (Prequel to “The Curse of Khaine”)
  2. Bride of Khaine (Prequel to “Curse of Khaine and Deathblade”)
  3. Marienburg’s Stand (Prequel to “The Fall of Altdorf”)
  4. With Ice and Sword
  5. The Bone Cage (Set between “Sigmar’s Blood” and “The Return of Nagash”)
  • Golgfag Maneater stories:
  1. Golgfag’s Revenge
  2. The Battle Of Whitestone
  • Ghoul King:
  1. Conqueror of Worms
  2. Empire of Maggots
  • The Golden Idol:
  1. Tomb of The Golden Idol: Part 1
  2. Tomb of The Golden Idol: Part 2
  • The Great Maw
  • Bernheimer’s Gun
  • Sticks and Stones
  • Wind of Change
  • Cold Light of Day
  • Unseen
  • Picking the Bones
  • The Master of Mourkain (Ties into “Blood of Nagash” series)
  • Like Father, Like Son
  • The Last Little Bit
  • Voyage of the Sunspear
  • Never Forgive
  • The Riddle of Scorpions
  • Sword Guardian
  • Gilead’s Craft
  • Voices (features Queek!)
  • Cankerworm