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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2014
Age of Legend is an anthology of tales devoted to one of the most interesting fantasy lands around – Warhammer! While I haven’t read many of the stories from this brainchild of Games Workshop, I have enjoyed a few, and that sword and sorcery fun led me to dig up this book of ten, pulse-pounding, gore-coated, sorcery-singed short stories. So let me tell you about them.

A SMALL VICTORY by PAUL S. KEMP (3 STARS)

I realize that it is hard to find very interesting zombie stories these days. There are just so many of them it seems they all recycle the same tired, old ideas. But, even though this one started out as a pretty standard zombie apocalypse (fantasy-style, of course), its twisted ending made it stand out from the zombie hordes.

BLOODRAVEN by SARAH CAWKWELL (3 STARS)

I’m a sucker for dwarves. Just love the bearded dudes. The warhammer dwarves are some of my favorites, because they are just so stubborn, vicious, and brilliant. So this tale about a dwarven stronghold being overrun by a vile horde of Chaos followers from the icy north was right up my alley. The only reason I only gave it three stars is because I didn’t like the ending. Dwarves are too damn vindictive not to take everyone down with them.

CITY OF DEAD JEWELS by NICK KYME (3 STARS)

A monster has overrun a dwarven keep. A group of warriors sent in by a dying king to destroy the monster within. Lots of fighting and dying. Plus, there are dwarves. I mentioned that I dig dwarves, right? But anyway, this story was a really entertaining monster hunt.

THE LAST CHARGE by ANDY HOARE (2 STARS)

An aged knight of Bretonnia who wants to die in glorious battle rather than succumb to the decrepit state of old age. His prayer to a goddess does not go unanswered. The arrival of an enemy well-worthy of the famous knights final battle. I couldn’t have written a better setup for a story, but the ending left me flat. It was too abrupt and not epic enough.

THE NINTH BOOK by GAV THORPE (3 STARS)

A group of mercenaries ends up in a crumbling hunting lodge in the middle of a dark forest. Little do they know they are being followed by Chaos followers – and by another entity who is far more dangerous. The nightmarish tale that follows is sword and sorcery fun – even if you, sort of, know how it will all end.

THE GODS DEMAND by JOSH REYNOLDS (3 STARS)

A city in the Empire is being attacked by a vicious horde of beastmen, led there by Gorthor the Beastlord upon the orders of the Chaos gods themselves. The valiant defenders are led by their elector duke, who is almost as bloodthirsty and mad as his enemies. Soon, both the duke and the beastlord discover what the gods really demand of them. What follows is a very nice, twisted ending. Exactly what I love in short stories.

PLAGUE DOCTOR by C.L. WERNER (3 STARS)

Plague has struck the Empire, spreading its misery across the land as it devastates whole villages and towns. But desperate times are also the best time to make gold for some people, and so it is that our main characters find themselves traveling the land, pretending to be plague doctors, who – for a considerable sum – will help any township ward off or cure themselves of the deadly disease. But naturally, fate has a terrible sense of humor.

THE CITY IS THEIRS by PHILIP ATHANS (3 STARS)

An orc and goblin horde is about to overrun a major city of the Empire. There doesn’t seem to be anyway for its duke to save his people – until an alchemist comes to him with a possible secret weapon. Now, the only problem is how to use its devastating power to best affect with killing anyone in the city as well. This one was a decent story, just a bit too sappy in some parts for me.

THE SECOND SUN by BEN COUNTER (4 STARS)

A human wizard braves the icy north to uncover a mysterious entity. He hopes to awaken it and gain untold knowledge and power. In the future, a mysterious book is discovered. It winds up in the hands of an Associate Comprehender at the Bright College of the Empire. This studious flame wizard braves the most secret knowledge of his order to piece together a forgotten secret. But neither man knows the twisted fate that awaits them. Great story with a really intriguing ending.

AENARION by GAV THORPE (5 STARS)

The First Phoenix King of the Elves has spent years attempting to hold back the Chaotic hordes. His unbreakable will and mighty prowess in battle are the foundation upon which his race’s hopes of salvation have been built. But what happens when a grief so great occurs that Aenarion himself begins to lose faith? And how can this indomitable king be turned aside when he has chosen to journey down a path so terrible that it will lead to the downfall of his entire race? Read this one and find out. As for me, I love anything Aenarion related, so this story was going to be a 5 star no matter what.

Overall, this was a really enjoyable collection of warhammer stories. Sure, they tended to be heavy on the gore-coated combat and vile twists of fate, but still, every one of them was very enjoyable to read and a few were outstanding. So if you love warhammer, dwarves, elves, fierce combat, vile villains, and twisted endings, I’d recommend you picking this one up.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 7, 2012
I am not that familiar with the Warhammer universe. So I am not sure if the books have been simple previews of other material to come or if there are books already out that relate to the short stories. Maybe someone that read the book and is more familiar with the other various books can enlighten us if there are books related to the stories.

Overall the stories were fantastic, in particular 'The Last Charge' because you should be careful what you wish for. Little moral lesson.
The Ninth Book was the most interesting since it gives you a great vampire perspective and I really want to read more about that story arc.
The City is Theirs was a bloody and heart wrenching short story. Great characters and the sacrifices they have to endure, willingly and not.
The Second Sun was the other most tempting, after The Ninth Book, in regard to the mystery it discusses but keeps hinting at an even bigger mystery.
Last but not least Aenarion was the single best prelude that should be read before the Elven Sundering trilogy. The suffering and madness that sprung up around him drove him into the choice he made.
Other than that, a great Black Library book that is a great read.

The current Time of Legends series:
- The Sundering Trilogy (Elf)
- The War of Vengeance Trilogy (Dwarf)
- The Rise of Nagash Trilogy (ancient humans)
- Blood of Nagash Trilogy (early human empire)
- The Legend of Sigmar Trilogy (human Empire)
- The Black Plague (human empire)
- Age of Legend book
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2012
toss the newspapers and mags..get these warhammers for throne use and nighttime sleepy..the wife says, what the hell are you reading? i say stuff from the 5th dimension...my god she says read something useful to you .. i say, sigmar bless you..it gets me ready for the office to put denied on the welfare app
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on January 17, 2015
I loved it, I couldn't stop reading this book. Huge fan of this series. I am very happy with this purchase, thank you Thee Amazing RandO.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 1, 2012
I'm an avid Warhammer reader, probably have picked up just about 95% of what the Black Library puts out, and this is NOT one of their better products. There are other much more entertaining short story books, like Tales of the Old World, Thunder and Steel, and Death and Dishonor. I think think maybe there was one short in Age of Legend that I found enjoyable and to be honest, I can't really remember the which one it was. I just found either the characters were not that interesting or compelling and or the story lines as well. They lacked a certain substance, intrigue, or action sequences. I'd pass on this one...if there are other titles available to you I'd pick one of those.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 29, 2012
Shadowhawk reviews the first anthology for the popular Time of Legends meta-series for Warhammer Fantasy, a collection of short stories by new and old authors alike.

"A superb collection that collects together some of Black Library's finest with an added dose of two new authors to the setting, Age of Legend is a great read." ~The Founding Fields

As I mentioned in my review of Josh Reynolds' Knight of the Blazing Sun back in February, I've been working on getting back into the fantasy fiction side of Black Library. Warhammer Fantasy is one of the best fantasy universes I've come across and the moralistic duality of its heroes and villains and everybody else is one of its biggest draws. Anthologies are a great place to start off reading in such big universes, and is especially true for Black Library fiction in particular, so combined with the fact that I had been waiting for Age of Legend for quite a while now, it was only natural that I was going to pick it up at Black Library Live last month. Mostly I was driven to read the stories by Josh Reynolds, Sarah Cawkwell, C. L. Werner, Gav Thorpe and Nick Kyme, authors I've enjoyed reading in the past and look forward to with great anticipation pretty much always.

The first story in the anthology is Paul S. Kemp's A Small Victory, a tale that is set in the lands near Nehekhara in the time of Nagash's rise to power. A short, good-paced, and punchy story, this was a good story from Paul, this being his first for Black Library. It gives a nice little teaser into the lives of people beyond just the lands of Nehekhara and is a very personal, moving story of a man trying to protect the woman he lives and his dutiful brother's attempts to keep him safe in turn.

I enjoyed this quite a bit and would like Paul to write more Warhammer fiction. I've interviewed him previously and he has expressed an interest in the setting so that's great news. Having just recently read his Star Wars novel Deceived, a tie-in novel of sorts to the game Star Wars: The Old Republic, I do like his work. I also have the Erevis Cale Omnibus on my to-read pile, a collection of the first three Erevis Cale novels set in Forgotten Realms setting from Wizards of the Coast. Looking forward to that one and will post my thoughts when I'm done with it.

Rating: 8.5/10

Second is Sarah's Bloodraven, a story featuring Khorne's prime consort and champion Valkia the Bloody. Publication-wise, this is her first Valkia story, as she has a novel coming out in less than two months and did another short story featuring her for the Black Library Live Chapbook and did one of the special occasion eShorts for the 15 years of Black Library celebration, also last month. I have to say that Bloodraven definitely proves why Sarah is such an upcoming star in the ranks of BL's authors. She makes writing looks so natural and easy that it is impossible not to get lost in the narrative. This is a story that pretty much says Time of Legends on the tin: it is about a dwarf hold near/in the Chaos Wastes. We know how that is gonna end!

A seriously enjoyable story because it is chock full of some serious close combat action scenes, some really callous actions by the Chaos soldiery and in particular the Bloodraven itself. Nothing speaks mind-frakkery better than some Bloodraven, umm, action. I was expecting something quite different with regards to what or who Bloodraven is, but I was still surprised to see the reveal of it. Valkia is certainly solidified as a strong, no-nonsense character because of it and I have to admit that she creeps me the hell out. The only downside to the novel is that there just isn't enough Valkia in it and the early scenes with her Chaos warriors were a little odd but all good, all good.

Rating: 9.5/10

The third story is Nick's City of Dead Jewels, another Dwarf tale for the mix. This is somewhat of a traditional kill-the-monster quest story but frankly speaking, the short story is enjoyable for that very reason. Dwarfs hunting a monster in the depths of their hold? More please! My only previous exposure to Nick and his Dwarfs is the novel Oathbreaker. It was a decent enough story although certainly not something I enjoyed particularly. But this short story is ample motivation to go back and give it a re-read.

A good pace, with a good monster, some nice slayer action, lots of oath and honour talk between the characters, some great heroism, sacrifice and typical Dwarf stubbornness, City of Dead Jewels is a great addition to the anthology. Contrasted with Sarah's Dwarfs, Nick's Dwarfs are more traditional in the way they are portrayed but both are equally well-defined and presented. That we get two such different portrayals of the same race back-to-back with each other is a fantastic idea. Loved it. The only place I'd fault the story at is that it didn't give us enough tension between the characters. There was a good amount of it sure, but for the type of story this is, more would have been great.

Rating 8.5/10

You can find the full review over at The Founding Fields:

[...]
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 7, 2012
The latest anthology series entitled "Age of Legend" takes us to the ancient days of Kemri where a man goes in search of his love making her way in the desert and besiged by Nagash's undead army. We watch as a dwarven kingdom faces against the blood god bride is a fight for death and something called the "Blood Eagle". We witness the dark secerts of the Flames wizards of the empire and one's desire to gain lost knowledge on something called "The Second Sun" and the last wizard ever to perform it before his order came to be.
We watch as Averland is besiged by Gorbad and his endless tide of WAHHHH and the Count who must defend the it to the last. Going to the winter lands of Kislev we see a mercenary band taking refugee within an old castle only to be surronded by chaos warriors and thier only way out is a deal with a vampire who desires something within the castle itself.
All this plus many more short stories from the "Age of Legends". So check out this novel today!
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