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Death & Dishonour (Warhammer) Mass Market Paperback – January 26, 2010
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Learn more
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About the Author
? Nick Kyme works at the Black Library as an editor. He has had several short stories published, two novels, and was a co-writer on The Inquisition and Grudgelore. ? Lindsey Priestley is one of Games Workshop's longest serving employees. A lifelong science fiction and fantasy fan, she currently works as the senior editor on the Black Library fiction line. ? Alex Davis has been Desk Editor at the Black Library for just over a year, and has worked 'behind the scenes' on many of BL's publications in that time.
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Surprise #2: this book is full of good stories! Since I am largely in agreement with the assessments already posted here, I won't go into further detail, except to say that the stand-out stories for me were 'Rest Eternal', 'Judgment of Crows', and 'Noblesse Oblige'. I would gladly read more of the adventures of any of the leads in these stories, and in fact ordered the 'Florin & Lorenzo' omnibus immediately after reading 'Noblesse Oblige'. I was less enthused about a couple of the other tales included here, but I can fairly say that I enjoyed them all.
Overall, 'Death & Dishonour' is a very worthwhile read. There are not a lot of happy endings here, but I think there will be a lot of happy readers.
The caravan master tells Slayer Gotrek Gurnisson that there is always a fight whenever they travel to market. Seeking a glorious death in battle, Gotrek and his human companion, Felix Jaeger, agree to guard the caravaners. The trek is interrupted by an avalanche. In the aftermath, a priest from a nearby village offers them shelter and tells them of a terrible monster that walks the hills.
**** FOUR STARS! This short adventure will help tide over the legion of Gotrek and Felix fans until the next full-length novel is released. Gotrek's battle against the yeti is told with Nathan Long's unique flair and will entice new readers to look up past titles. A well executed story. ****
The Assassin's Dilemma by David Earle
Clan Famin's Warlord, Glut, hires the services of Clan Eshin to pave the way for an assault on a human encampment. Sneeq Foulblade, a skaven assassin, and his gutter runners agree to infiltrate the camp and assassinate the human engineer. Shortly afterward, Grey Seer Qik demands Sneeq NOT to kill the engineer. To abandon Glut's contract would mean Sneeq's death, but Qik vows the same should it be completed. Can the skaven assassin find a way to survive his decision?
**** FOUR STARS! It is always interesting to view events from the view point of the skaven race. David Earle did very good work on this short story. ****
Rest Eternal by Anthony Reynolds
Calard is a Questing Knight of the Lady (of the Lake). It has been five years since the Bretonnian Knight had taken up his Questing Vows for the Grail. His journey now takes him to a small village located high in the peaks of the Grey Mountains. Calard agrees to slay a wyvern that has been tormenting the villagers. Yet the day after he killed the beast, an identical one appears.
**** FOUR STARS! Many readers will figure out exactly what is happening early in the story. Still, the adventure has an unforeseen twist or two that keeps this tale very intriguing. ****
The Miracle at Berlau by Darius Hinks
Brother Jakob Wolff fails to kill the monster, though it is burned beyond recognition. His acolyte, Ratboy, then listens as Brother Wolff confesses his guilty secrets. However, Ratboy would soon stumble upon the truth of Wolff's past.
*** THREE STARS! I found this to be a simple tale of Wolff's life coming full circle. Pretty interesting. ***
Noblesse Oblige (A Florin & Lorenzo story) by Robert Earl
Florin d'Artaud and Lorenzo le Comte are two merchants from Bordeleaux. For a bit of entertainment they visit the fighting pits; however, they are surprised to see a gladiator fight three of the skaven race. Florin and Lorenzo keep the rat-like vermin from escaping. In doing so, they wind up in the prison. Then Lady Adora arrives and offers them their freedom in exchange for their services in murdering a nobleman.
**** FOUR STARS! Fans of the Florin & Lorenzo series will be utterly delighted with this adventure. Sometimes I believe the duo to be just plain lucky! The Lady Adora makes for a wonderful villainess. I hope to see more of her in the future. A very impressive story. ****
The Last Ride of Heiner Rothstein by Ross O'Brien
Heiner Rothstein of the Rothstein's Pistoliers has died fighting marauders. His son, Wolfram, and the rest of the honour guard were taking Heiner's body for its last ride into Middenheim. They have been hunting down marauders for several months. Now they make camp, excited that they were to enter Middenheim with the captured enemy banner the next day. But things are not always as they seem.
*** THREE STARS! An unexpected twist brings an end to this story. Not much action, but definitely worth your time to read and enjoy. ***
Broken Blood by Paul Kearney
Two years ago General Michael Morgan had been leading his horsemen against Chaos hordes. A daemon prince had been summoned. It captured Michael alive and flew off, deep into Troll Country. His brother, Gabriel, lead the men as they search for their former general. At last the search has ended. But now Gabriel and the men must kill Michael ... if they can.
**** FOUR STARS! An epic battle against a large Chaos host makes up this thrilling short tale. Well written and sound strategies. ****
The Judgement of Crows by Chris Wraight
Long ago Radamus Arforl, one of the mightiest wizards of the Amethyst order fell in battle as he defeated the necromancer of legend named the Master of Crows. Somewhere in the marshes, near the Herrendorf village of which he saved from a plague of walking dead, his mausoleum watches after the source of evil. Yet after centuries, the unquiet dead are rising again. Every night they exit the marshes, attempting to breach the walls of the village. Imperial Master Wizard Katerina Lautermann, answers the village's call for help.
***** FIVE STARS! Death, decay, magic, betrayal, wizard duels and more await readers in this intense tale. During the climatic battle, I simply could not look away from the wrongness of it all. Stunning! *****
Wolfshead (A Brunner the Bounty Hunter story) by C.L. Werner
Brunner of Drakenberg is one of the best bounty hunters in the lands. While bringing in his live captive, he briefly meets Mamma Miranda, a powerful old woman, who gives Brunner the means to save himself from the beast he is soon to meet. Though his captive falls victim to the huge wolf-like creature, Brunner does not. Baron Friederick Hartog has placed a large bounty upon the wolf's head, but Brunner knows it was not a simple wolf he had encountered. Upon hearing of Mamma Miranda, the baron changes the bounty. A fortune would go to the one that captures the old hag and forces her to lift her curse.
***** FIVE STARS! There are times I believe that the character of Brunner the Bounty Hunter is actually the oxymoron known as an honorable sociopath. But I must admit that those deserving Brunner's attention need just such a person to deal with them. An excellent story and the perfect way to end this fabulous anthology. *****
Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.
Red Snow by Nathan Long is a Gotrek & Felix tale set in the Mountains of Mourn. They're guarding a caravan of merchants because Gotrek is hoping to find his doom along the way, but they're delayed by an avalanche. A Sigmar priest, Father Gessler, invites them to stay in a nearby village while they dig out the mountain pass. He tells them about a monster roaming the mountains, so - of course - Gotrek wants to fight the monster.
Long did an excellent job of writing a new story without disturbing the timeline of the Gotrek & Felix saga. If you haven't already, I recommend reading Shamanslayer.
The Assassin's Dilemma by David Earle was a sweet surprise - I wasn't expecting a Skaven story. This tale takes place years after Skavenslayer, but includes several references to the Battle of Nuln. Sneeq Foulblade of Clan Eshin has been contracted by Warlord Glut to steal human weapons, and kidnap the engineer, Werner Grunhelm. Grey Seer Qik wants to kill Grunhelm himself, so Sneeq is forced to make alternate plans...yet another example of Clan politics undermining the Skaven race.
If you enjoy this Skaven tale, then you should read Grey Seer (Thanquol & Boneripper novel).
Rest Eternal by Anthony Reynolds begins with the last moments of a battle between the knight Calard and a wyvern, in the Grey Mountains - although, those few moments are described over several pages. For the life of me, I didn't see a reason for stretching out the battle, until I read the twist halfway through the story. This was one of the most unpredictable stories I have ever read, and the best fantasy-fiction that I've read in a long time. Reynolds has an amazing imagination. If you like this tale, consider reading Knight Errant.
The Miracle At Berlau by Darius Hinks is a tale concerning a young man nicknamed Ratboy, and his friendship with a Sigmar priest, Brother Wolff. As the two struggle to defeat a creature called The Reaver, details are revealed bit by bit about how the two met, and how they came to be in a blown-up temple. I love that the priest teaching the boy to read, in the past, played a part in the discovery of "The Miracle." It was a nice enough story, but not nearly as much action as I would have expected from a Warhammer tale...although his Warrior Priest was a good read.
Noblesse Oblige by Robert Earl gives us a taste of the Florin & Lorenzo saga. The story unfolds with a watchman happening upon some Skaven (yaay!) in a grain store, presumably up to no good, and quickly moves onto Florin & Lorenzo selling corn to an Empire merchant named Gristwald. Afterwards, Florin & Lorenzo decide to visit a fighting pit that has Skaven as entertainment. After a bad decision on Florin's part (several bad decisions in a row, actually), the two find themselves in the middle of complicated murder plot, which leads to a unique mêlée. One of the best tales in the collection!
In The Last Ride of Heiner Rothstein by Ross O'Brien, Heiner is apparently already dead. The tale is told from the POV of his son, Wolfram. Over half the story is spent describing the unrest among the pistoliers, who have been drinking and telling stories in their campsite. They all seem to be having trouble remembering the details of their previous battle. Eventually, they find themselves fighting again, and that is when Wolfram begins to see people he thought were dead. While the plot twist was slightly predictable, the very end was not at all what I expected.
Broken Blood by Paul Kearney is about two brothers, Gabriel and Michael, separated in battle by Chaos sorcery. Two years later, Gabriel is near the end of a campaign to find out what has become of his brother, and the details of the separation are revealed in Gabriel's flashbacks. Most of the story is pages upon pages of his final battle with the Chaos horde, in which I began to lose interest. By the time he learned what had happened to Michael, I didn't care anymore. Broken Blood failed to impress me as much as the first six stories did. However, the ending wasn't too bad.
The Judgment of Crows by Chris Wraight centers around the Amethyst wizard, Katerina Lautermann, sent to save Herrendorf from the unquiet dead. Unfortunately, she does not have the support or confidence of the villagers. A Sigmar priest, Boris, tells her the mausoleum of another Amethyst wizard may hold the key to saving the village, but when she summons the spirit of the wizard Arfol, she discovers a horrible secret...a decent zombie-fantasy tale. Wraight also wrote Masters of Magic.
Wolfshead by C.L. Werner is a Brunner the Bounty Hunter adventure. I am not a fan of the trilogy, but I still thought the story was well-written. Brunner is not happy about having to keep Victor Schwartz alive to collect his bounty; to make matters worse, while trekking through a dense forest, a witch appears to warn them that they are being hunted. I could see where the story was going right away, but it was still fun to read.
One of the things that I liked best about this collection was the length of the stories. I also enjoyed having so many characters and settings from the world of Warhammer brought into one book. If you're already a fan, you'll recognize a lot of the names, places and time frames...but, if you've never read Warhammer before, this is an excellent book to begin with - you'll have an idea whether or not Warhammer has any fantasy sagas you would enjoy.