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Nagash the Sorcerer

(Time of Legends: Rise of Nagash #1)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  663 ratings  ·  49 reviews
Two millennia before the time of Sigmar, the Nehekharan empire flourished in the hot desert lands far to the south of the Old World. Unbeknown to its people, this mighty kingdom is about to be shaken to its very foundations, when a quest for ultimate power will damn the land and its people forever.

Next in the ground breaking Time of Legends series, Mike Lee tells the bitte
Paperback, 528 pages
Published August 26th 2008 by Games Workshop
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Average rating 3.78  · 
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 ·  663 ratings  ·  49 reviews

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Dec 31, 2016 rated it liked it
Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths.

My rating is 3.5 stars.

A calculating priest, a cunning sorcerer, a ruthless king, and a mass murdering necromancer. Nagash has been each and every one of them. This legendary figure in the Warhammer Universe as black-hearted as any being in a world populated by a pantheon of badass characters.

But Nagash is a bit different from other villains like Malekith and Archaon. From the Egyptian-inspired culture he sprang from to the complete disdain he has for all livin
Dec 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Its back to the Warhammer fantasy universe which is considerably overdue. After reading the Tyrion and Teclis books, I looked online and the next logical stage was The Rise of Nagash trilogy. I was both excited and anxious about this series since I really wanted to explore the origins of The Tomb Kings of Khemri, since it was an army I knew very little about. I was also nervous as to how I would find the writing of this series because I had seen mixed views before I started book 1, and unfortuna ...more
This felt like a jumbled mess. Very confusing at times. It uses skipping between two timelines. The problem is, that is sometimes hard to tell between them.

I really liked Nagash and his original timeline. So, we get to know how he was fighting the lizard men and how his father died and...Then you get a sudden time switch and no more interesting Nagash, instead 200 years later, we witness grueling battle... And so it skips all the time.

The other timeline felt forced and I didn't want to read abo
Aug 08, 2011 rated it it was ok
Very disappointing, and I blame BL who seem to be fostering this jumping back and forth between the past (the really interesting part but only 1/3 of the book) and the "present" which has very little to do with the main plot. Yes, there are battles and thanks for letting us know about Khemri culture, but that's not why I bought the book! Give more on Nagash (since you skipped his childhood and teen years), and give him a bit more depth of character!
Aug 01, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: warhammer
"Sweeping, grand and epic. Vile, horrific and sorcerific. I hope you enjoy those analogies, as they all fit in well with the narrative."

Two millennia before Sigmar, the Nehekaran empire stood emblazoned in the south of the Old World. The core of the story is really two-fold. Firstly you have present is how Nagash actually became a necromancer and his subjugation conquering of the various Nehekara cities (set around -1900 by Imperial reckoning). The early sections revolve around Nagash and his r
Aug 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The barrier to entry on this book was high. Very high.

I originally bought it because the copy at the local Gaming Store was printed improperly. The cover was inside out. I knew that no one would buy such a sorry book.

I bought the book in a fit of altruism and loyalty to a hobby store that had helped me out for 3 years at Fort Bragg, NC.

I also asked for 10% off due to the poor condition of the print. When they refused, I bought the book, fearing their gazes if I were to put it back.



Apr 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Nagash the sorcerer follows the exploits of one of the Warhammer worlds most horrific monsters(And in the setting of warhammer thats saying alot) and power sorcerers, who even thousands of years after his reign could contend with the likes of Teclis and Malekith, indeed contrary to most forms of thought in the warhammer world at the time(and thousands after) Nagash's very existence dispels the thought that humans could not wield the powers of magic as the elder races, however this comes at a pri ...more
Dylan Murphy
Mar 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Hot damn Mr. Lee! This tale of dark knowledge, war, and treachery was amazing.
Throughout the whole book, as both the Undying King and Nagash the grand heirophant, Nagash had an amazing "stage presence. Every time he was in the page he filled the book with his menace and will. From his first appearance you could tell he was one terrifying bastard!
The war scenes were riveting and visceral in all their (mostly) undead glory. The rise and fall of Nagash's would-be empire was phenomenal to read abou
Jun 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
A superb tale of the rise and fall of the vile Priest King Nagash. Full of riveting action-sequences, the novel sets a fast, yet steady pace, following the ill-fated campaigns of the loyal Kings of Nehekhara, in defiance to the Usurpur`s Undead Hosts. Punctuated by interesting chapters, before the storm of the Undead is unleashed upon the land of men, detailing the origins of the Necromancer`s Art and his claim upon the Throne of Khemri; Nagash the Sorcerer is a classic Fantasy tale, enjoyable ...more
Jan 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: warhammer
How the greatest necromancer in the Warhammer fantasy world rose to power. I've loved ancient Egypt and seeing it reproduced in a warhammer fantasy setting was satisfying.

Finished this a second time and I've found things that I didn't notice before. The story becomes a bit more in to focus on later readings. Still love this one, I hope my wife will enjoy it too.
Jul 25, 2012 rated it liked it
It wasn't bad, mebbe a bit long-winded on occasion. Didn't really empathise with any characters. Wish I could 've for Nagash but he just seemed too elusive.
Jan 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Nagash the Sorcerer is a dark fantasy novel, the first book in the Rise of Nagash Trilogy from the Black Library. Written by Mike Lee, the book takes place within the Warhammer Fantasy universe created by Games Workshop. The setting is the land of Nehekhara, which is heavily inspired by Ancient Egyptian lore, mythology and history, with some unique flavour of it's own. The events of the book follow the actions (as well as impact and consequences thereof) of the titular character and primary ant ...more
Eric Smith
Feb 17, 2018 rated it liked it
The biggest problem I had with this book was that there just not enough time with Nagash. I was hoping for more of his motivations and more time watching him learn his mastery of the power of necromancy but a lot of time was spent on the battles after he has already harnessed a good amount of control and power. Now don't get me wrong I know its Warhammer and that very often means massive battles and descriptions of tactics and troops but there is a balance that's necessary between characters and ...more
Niccolò Ceresa
Nov 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: wh-fantasy
It was painful read this book.

Everyone knows the story of Nagash and the end of the land of Khemri and discover the beautiful background of these cities, the covenant with gods, the characterization of the city created by Mike Lee, is quite displeasing.

In just one book, Lee created a deeply and very well described and coherent setting for a civilization, quite a waste that it was created just to be destroied.

I really appreciate how Nagash was considered by other khemrian nobles and priest: not a
Heinz Reinhardt
Oct 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Warhammer Fantasy never got the recognition it deserved for having some really outstanding dark fantasy stories with excellent characters, inventive and intricate plotting, and superbly well done story arcs.
This one, no hyperbole here, is one of the best of the line.
A very good dark fantasy tale, filled with arcane magic and lore, evil, twisted villains (but one's who are driven that way logically), outstanding set piece battles, and plenty of twists and turns.
This has to stand as Mike Lee's
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dungeons-dragons
Best Fantasy book I've ever read. It's not poetic like Rothfuss can sometimes be, but it's this dreary story of a world hollowed out by the endless ambition of a necromancer pharaoh. This is the best Airport Novel series I've ever read.
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Love me some Nagash
Apr 15, 2020 rated it liked it
Was all over pretty good, but i had this weird feeling not much was going despite the fact two stories happen in this book.oh yeah, it alternates each chapter, and can be a bit hard to follow
Aug 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed, fantasy
With this novel you get two stories for the price of one. First there is the story of Nagash's descent into entanglement with dark sorcery and his rise to rulership of the kingdom of Khemri. Then there is the story of a war between Nagash as king of Khemri and several of his rival kings. Unfortunately these two stories are intertwined in such a way that it can be confusing, especially since many characters are involved in both storylines, you have to keep careful track of which storyline is bein ...more
Aug 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-star, read-2013
I think the way Mike Lee wrote this book was the best way it could have been done. Having this book be entirely from the point of view of Nagash would not have as effective at making us feel the atrocities that he committed, because this book was just as much about the fall of Khemri as it was the rise of Nagash. I know some people bemoan the description of Khemri culture, but in order for the reader to truly realize the horror of what he did you have see all the decadence and wealth and watch i ...more
Dec 19, 2014 rated it did not like it
How ironic that a book about the dreaded necromancer Nagash feels so... lifeless.

Each chapter is wash-rinse-repeat. Wash-rinse-repeat.

As the story itself focuses on the rebel kings and their war against the usurper of Khemri, the book is overladen with battles. Really dull, boring battles. Mike Lee makes absolutely no attempt to differentiate any one skirmish from another, and the reader is left to wade through solid walls of dull action and info-dumps like a zombie in the desert.

I expected mor
Nov 16, 2010 rated it liked it
Took me over half the book to really get into this one. The battle scenes were very repetitive as were the flashbacks. If I stopped reading in the middle of the chapter and went to find my place later, it was difficult to distinguish between which page I had read and which I hadn't because it was all so similar in tone and content. I did enjoy it more as the book went on though.
Nagash was a good character. In one conversation he refers to the other kings as 'rebel kings' and after that it was im
Craig Little
Jan 12, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: gaming-books
As gaming tie-in fiction, I didn't have especially high expectations for this. The book exceeded them.

The book interleaved two stories, one on the rise of a dark power, and the other being the rebellion and military campaign against that power.

I think Lee would have been better off presenting the story in chronological order rather then going for the interleaved approach. I realize that Black Library house style is to start in an action sequence, but story should have prioritised over style.

Feb 10, 2010 rated it liked it
Overall it was a pretty good read.Lots of action, magic and fighting. There were several big army fights (which I enjoy when I read fantasy).

There were a lot of interesting monsters and ideas. I liked the sphinxes guarding the city Mahrak. I also liked the whole concept of the Ushabti (holy warriors that take on the likeness of their gods animal).

I found some parts a little disheartening, I mean nothing the 'good' guys did ever worked. They were continually beaten and it honestly made me a littl
Apr 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Nagash is a priest who is angered by his station in life. Nehekharans are ruled in city states led by priest kings. The priest kings offer up their first born to serve the gods to honor a pact made long ago with the people of the desert. Nagash serves as high preist in the mortuary cult, and he hungers for more power.After the death of his father Nagash begins planning his betrayal. Dark Elf sorcerers fall into his hands and he holds them prisoner. Learning the dark arts from them in return for ...more
Mar 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I've read some other reviews of this that mention it's a bit confusing to follow the time lines and such, which to a point is true, but I really don't think that takes anything away from to enjoyment of the story at all. Once you get to grips with what's happening when and where, and by whom (And you will, it's really not that difficult) it's a great fantasy novel that really drags you into the world of Warhammer. I would only fault this on one thing and that's the repetative descriptions of bat ...more
Simon Mcaleney
Sep 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 9th-grade
I heart the undead.

Let their cries chill the living...

I am personlly a huge fan of the great necromancer's works, though I would prefer the liber mortis or one of the books of nagash, I can settle for a warhammer novel.
I highly recommend this book, it has everything a fantasy fan wants, zombies, wizards, desert gods, evil high priests, even a black pyramid (mummy , but really, I greatly enjoyed this book, and I highly recommend it.
Afton Gray
Jul 02, 2014 rated it it was ok
Not a terrible book but not worth reading again in my opinion, not a whole lot of character building or detail, the timeline going back and forth is a little confusing, and NOT ENOUGH NAGASH. The story needed more Nagash chapters, those chapter are actually pretty good but it seemed as though most of the story was about the rebelling cities fighting against Nagash's undead army. I'd put two and a half stars but that's not an option, anyway overall an annoying but entertaining book.
Sep 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Mike Lee has it. He has the epic vision that brings together powerful personalities in conflict, the Ancient Egyptian feel and the epic battle scenes in a rich, fast paced story. Nagash, THE Necromancer in the Old World rises to power by treachery fuelled ambition and dares pit himself against the gods. Neighbouring Priest Kings muster great armies to cast the Usurper down. What follows is simply Biblical.
Devin Cary
Feb 08, 2015 rated it liked it
This one took me a while ro get through. The writing was good and the setting was well done. It was just so bleak I really felt bad for a lot of the characters. The repeated dramatic last stand scenarios had me pumped but the final reckoning v didn't live up to it. The end caught me more than a little off guard and does leave me feeling curious about the fate of Nagash and Nehekara but I don't know if it's enough to make me get the second book.
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Mike Lee is an author, scriptwriter and game designer whose most recent credits include Fallen Angels, the latest installment in Black Library Publishing’s best-selling Horus Heresy series, and the dark fantasy epic Nagash the Sorcerer. Along with UK author Dan Abnett, Mike also wrote the five-volume Chronicles of Malus Darkblade, whose signature character has become a cult favorite among fans of ...more

Other books in the series

Time of Legends: Rise of Nagash (5 books)
  • Nagash The Unbroken
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  • The Rise of Nagash
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