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Warrior of the Altaii

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Epic fantasy legend, and author of #1 New York Times bestselling series The Wheel of Time(R), Robert Jordan's never-before published novel, Warrior of the Altaii

Draw near and listen, or else time is at an end.

The watering holes of the Plain are drying up, the fearsome fanghorn grow more numerous, and bad omens abound. Wulfgar, a leader of the Altaii people, must contend with twin queens, warlords, prophets and magic in hopes of protecting his people and securing their future. Elspeth, a visitor from another world, holds the answers, but first Wulfgar must learn to ask the right questions.

But what if the knowledge that saves the Altaii will also destroy them?

"Jordan has come to dominate the world Tolkien began to reveal." --The New York Times

Explore Robert Jordan's epic fantasy masterpiece, and enter the realm of The Wheel of Time(R)

Prequel: New Spring
#1 The Eye of the World
#2 The Great Hunt
#3 The Dragon Reborn
#4 The Shadow Rising
#5 The Fires of Heaven
#6 Lord of Chaos
#7 A Crown of Swords
#8 The Path of Daggers
#9 Winter's Heart
#10 Crossroads of Twilight
#11 Knife of Dreams

By Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson
#12 The Gathering Storm
#13 Towers of Midnight
#14 A Memory of Light

By Robert Jordan and Teresa Patterson
The World of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time

By Robert Jordan, Harriet McDougal, Alan Romanczuk, and Maria Simons
The Wheel of Time Companion

By Robert Jordan and Amy Romanczuk
Patterns of the Wheel: Coloring Art Based on Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time

352 pages, Hardcover

First published October 8, 2019

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About the author

Robert Jordan

439 books14.4k followers
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Robert Jordan was the pen name of James Oliver Rigney, Jr., under which he was best known as the author of the bestselling The Wheel of Time fantasy series. He also wrote under the names Reagan O'Neal and Jackson O'Reilly.

Jordan was born in Charleston, South Carolina. He served two tours in Vietnam (from 1968 to 1970) with the United States Army as a helicopter gunner. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with bronze oak leaf cluster, the Bronze Star with "V" and bronze oak leaf cluster, and two Vietnamese Gallantry Crosses with palm. After returning from Vietnam he attended The Citadel where he received an undergraduate degree in physics. After graduating he was employed by the United States Navy as a nuclear engineer. He began writing in 1977. He was a history buff and enjoyed hunting, fishing, sailing, poker, chess, pool, and pipe collecting.

He described himself as a "High Church" Episcopalian and received communion more than once a week. He lived with his wife Harriet McDougal, who works as a book editor (currently with Tor Books; she was also Jordan's editor) in a house built in 1797.

Responding to queries on the similarity of some of the concepts in his Wheel of Time books with Freemasonry concepts, Jordan admitted that he was a Freemason. However, "like his father and grandfather," he preferred not to advertise, possibly because of the negative propaganda against Freemasonry. In his own words, "no man in this country should feel in danger because of his beliefs."

On March 23, 2006, Jordan disclosed in a statement that he had been diagnosed with cardiac amyloidosis, and that with treatment, his median life expectancy was four years, though he said he intended to beat the statistics. He later posted on his Dragonmount blog to encourage his fans not to worry about him and that he intended to have a long and fully creative life.

He began chemotherapy treatment at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, in early April 2006. Jordan was enrolled in a study using the drug Revlimid just approved for multiple myeloma but not yet tested on primary amyloidosis.

Jordan died at approximately 2:45 p.m. EDT on September 16, 2007, and a funeral service was held for him on Wednesday, September 19, 2007. Jordan was cremated and his ashes buried in the churchyard of St. James Church in Goose Creek, outside Charleston.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 383 reviews
Profile Image for Nils | nilsreviewsit.
309 reviews458 followers
November 11, 2019
‘Our drums began to play again, a battle beat, and the war flutes joined in. The masses of horsemen began to move, rolling forward in a tide that gained speed with every step. Their war cries drifted ahead of them, shrill in the cold air.
I nocked an arrow and drew it back to rest on my cheekbone, the bow held high. Salvation rests on the bow.’
I’m a huge fan of The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan; it was a series I read some years ago that left such an impact on me, that I consider it to be one of my all time favourites. When I heard that his publisher Tor were releasing Warrior of the Altaii, Jordan’s first ever fantasy novel, well as you can imagine I was desperate to get my hands on it. Was I expecting it to be a masterpiece? Of course not, this novel was written in the 70s and after a few failed attempts was never officially published, therefore I had my doubts as to how good it would actually be. However, what I did expect was something that was nostalgic, that felt distinctly as though I was back in Jordan’s world; something that was an old school fantasy.

Did this book meet my expectations? Damn right it did, and truth be told, I got more than I was expecting. Warrior of the Altaii is wonderfully dark, action packed, and brimming with memorable characters and a fascinating magic system. This wasn’t just an incredibly nostalgic read for me; this book had me captivated from beginning to end. I’m not saying you’re going to read something innovative here; this is a 352 page standalone, written in a first person perspective, so if you’re expecting anything as elaborate and epic as Wheel of Time, then you’ll be disappointed. What I am saying is that this book, being an early 70’s fantasy, and a debut at that, is still an awesome read which stands on it’s own merits, and simultaneously showcases some similar ideas for what is to come in Jordan’s future works.

I’ll now delve briefly into what the Warrior of the Altaii is all about. The Altaii people are on the brink of ruin. Not only does the barren dry wasteland of the Plain threaten them with drought and starvation, but now a new threat emerges. In Lanta, residing in the Palace of the Twin Thrones, sit two twin Queens. They wish to grow their domain and strength by annihilating the savage barbarians they perceive the Altaii to be. Our main protagonist, Wulfgar, leader of the Altaii warriors, is bound by a prophecy foretelling that he shall either ensure his people’s survival, or his failure will cause his people to fall.

What a premise, right? I’ve always had a soft spot for fantasies that involve prophecies, I really enjoy seeing it all unfold, and of course I love infamous warriors, so my attention was immediately hooked! Throughout the book I was surprised by how well Jordan paced the narrative; he balanced out politics and action scenes, with a good healthy dose of magic, which delivered many exciting moments that simply entertained me. My favourite part was the ending, because there was one mother of a battle which in my opinion is how every fantasy book should end! I’m kidding, but seriously I just want to convey that there were many aspects of this book that just hit the right spot for me.
‘“The Altaii way of life is hard. To live it, to survive the Plain, takes a hard man. So, from the time a boy is big enough to walk, he begins to train. He learns to fight, with nothing but his hands and feet, first, then later with sword, dagger, lance, bow, with every weapon the Altaii have ever encountered. He learns to ride, until a horse is near a part of his body, until guiding his mount is as much instinct as breathing.”’
Something which I have always admired in Jordan’s work is that he continuously manages to create impressive enriched characters. Warrior of the Altaii was no exception. I found Wulfgar to be a highly flawed character who was ever rash in making decisions. He was quick to antagonise others when he felt his honour threatened, and sometimes this cost him more than he anticipated. Yet at his heart he truly loved his people, and all he wanted for them was to survive and thrive. There are also some fantastic female characters depicted here; whether they were a villain, or an ally of the Altaii people, they were always full of power and fierceness. I couldn’t help but compare the Sisters of Wisdom in the book (females who could use magic and runes) as being extremely reminiscent of the Wise Ones in Wheel of Time. A few standout female characters included Mayra, a Sister of Wisdom, and Elspeth, a Wanderer from another world.

I won’t go into too much detail about the many other comparisons I encountered to the Wheel of Time series, as part of the magic of this book, for fans of Jordan, is discovering these for yourself. I should point out here it is not necessary for you to have read The Wheel of Time series or any other books by Jordan, in order for you to read this, but there are many seeds planted here that grew to be developed, and I think you’ll mostly discover this in the world building and cultural representation. A large part of this novel involves scenes of torture and punishments; this is a dark book, and I would even go as far as to say it’s a brilliant example of an early grimdark. The Altaii, and the Latan’s alike have a strict cultural hierarchy, and those that deviate from that face lashings, or torture either by use of magic or mentally. It’s all about control here; if you’ve read Wheel of Time, you’ll instantly know which race this reminded me of!

Lastly, I thank Harriett McDougal, Jordan’s widow and editor at Tor, for allowing this tale to see the light of day, I for one am glad to have read it. I also loved how this hardback edition included a fully coloured map on the end pages, an engraved Robert Jordan signature under the dust jacket, and a printed signature on the title page; it’s truly a special book indeed, one I’ll always treasure.

ARC provided by Tor UK in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for the copy!
Profile Image for Claudia.
947 reviews524 followers
November 16, 2019
Good thing this wasn’t published and I didn’t read it before Wheel of Time , because I don’t think I'd have tried another one by RJ and I would have missed my favorite fantasy series of all times.

What can I can say about it? It's an action-packed story, with too much dialogue and almost non-existent worldbuilding or character growth. It feels rushed from start to end, with no details to enrich the world.

Still, one familiar with WoT universe can see where the inspiration of the Aiel and Aed Sedai came from. In a way, I’m glad this story wasn’t more polished and pursued further, for we might have never seen WoT come to life. As it is, it’s clear to me that RJ had another story in his head, and this was just an attempt in bringing it to light.

Reading it felt like a foray into the author’s mind, seeing how he juggled with ideas, storylines and plots, a grand universe forming in there, just waiting to be discovered. And this was another realization that a great story isn’t born over night; it takes time and trials to make it happen.

Anyway, I’m glad I read it; it’s like I have been reading an ancient history of the Aiel people and a missing part was added to the grand universe of WoT.
January 6, 2020
2.75 stars

I was definitely drawn into this book by the foreword. I listened to this novel on audio and the narrator had full command of my listening using his amazing voice to read this story equally captivating and lingering in the right measure of speed.

Wulfgar is a respected warrior and the story of his people starts off slow in a drought-ridden land where others aren't as respectful about the current resources. Via authorized travel routes, Wolfgar rides his army into the city to have word with the council, only to be trapped and enslaved. And that for quite a long time. His army is held captive or killed, and Wolfgar is brought down to his knees via physical punishments, torture, and dominance over a long period of time. The main female leader expects Wolfgar to break down and obey her command. When this fails, she punishes him through starvation and arousal at her will. As an attraction between them can no longer be denied, she believes her methods of cruelty and seduction have the lingering effects to break Wolfgar to her will....or so she thinks. What she doesn't plan for is his cunning tenacity and training that will ultimately allow him to escape. A move that will turn the cogs of all factions involved, but first he has to solve the mystery of the strange woman that has shown up at his camp.

A story that's full of traitors, magic and bloody battles.
Unfortunately, this did not hold my love for it throughout as the beginnings so promisingly foretold. I liked the premise of the water drought and Wolfgar's persistence to get back at the factions. What did not work for me was the drawn-out tension of sexual dominance that made those parts entirely too long and repetitive. At first, I thought...oh, sexy...but then it became so much of the main focus, it brought everything else out of perspective.

This is the first book I read by the author. I know he has written other well-loved and successful fantasy books. I am not to dismiss such knowledge and will give another of his works a try, but this was a mixed bag for me. Unfortunately, I have read nothing else by him to compare it too, so I will keep my fingers crossed for another try of his novels.

Happy reading, you all :)

More of my reviews here:
Through Novel Time & Distance
Profile Image for Sotiris Karaiskos.
1,133 reviews79 followers
October 22, 2019
A book that the author wrote more than 40 years ago, was never released, but in a strange way with this he was able to get into the field of fantasy and the rest are well known. A few days ago it was released after so many years and expectingly attracted the attention of his fans who are naturally interested in his first steps. On the other hand, of course, it also poses problems for us, since the objective approach is obviously impossible.

Reading it I found it to be quite good as it contains some clear evidence of his great talent but, as expected on a first try, it has several weaknesses. Its style is no different from the typical sword and sorcery stories that were particularly popular at the time, with clear influences from the best-known authors of the genre. It is the story of a warlord of the Altaii nomadic tribe - a name derived from the mountain range of Central Asian - struggling through the war to secure its survival and the continuation of its "barbaric" way of life, facing large armies and a mysterious group of people who possess high technology and act like gods. A story of war, bravery, and masculinity, starring powerful warriors and women who play the role of the witch, the noblewoman or simply of the sexual object.

These are all the classic cliches of the time, but there are some differences, more attention to detail, and many of the ideas we come across in Wheel of Time, such as elements of geography, of how magic works, of gender relations and much more, something that makes the book stand out, at least in the eyes of the fans of the series. It's definitely not great, it's not original and I can understand the hesitation that prevented it from being released. But it is entertaining and exciting enough to keep the reader's interest, while its ... historical significance greatly enhances its value and makes it a must-read for the fans of the great writer.

Ένα βιβλίο που ο συγγραφέας έγραψε πριν από πάνω από 40 χρόνια, τελικά δεν κυκλοφόρησε αλλά κατά έναν περίεργο τρόπο με αυτό μπόρεσε να μπει στο χώρο της φαντασίας και η συνέχεια είναι γνωστή. Πριν από λίγες μέρες κυκλοφόρησε μετά από τόσα χρόνια και αναμενόμενα τράβηξε την προσοχή των θαυμαστών του που φυσικά ενδιαφέρονται για τα πρώτα βήματα του. Από την άλλη, βέβαια, μας βάζει και προβλήματά καθώς προφανώς είναι εντελώς αδύνατη η αντικειμενική προσέγγιση.

Διαβάζοντας το διαπίστωσα ότι είναι αρκετά καλό καθώς περιέχει μερικές σαφείς αποδείξεις του μεγάλου ταλέντου του αλλά, όπως είναι αναμενόμενο σε μία πρώτη προσπάθεια, έχει και αρκετές αδυναμίες. Το στυλ του δεν διαφέρει από τις τυπικές sword and sorcery ιστορίες που ήταν ιδιαίτερα δημοφιλείς εκείνη την εποχή, με σαφείς επιρροές από τους γνωστότερους συγγραφείς του είδους. Πρόκειται για την ιστορία ενός πολέμαρχου της νομαδικής φυλής των Altaii - όνομα που φυσικά προέρχεται από την οροσειρά της Κεντρικής Ασίας - που προσπαθεί μέσα από τον πόλεμο να εξασφαλίσει την επιβίωσή της και τη συνέχιση του "βαρβαρικού" τρόπου ζωής, αντιμετωπίζοντας μεγάλους στρατούς αλλά και μία μυστηριώδη ομάδα ανθρώπων που κατέχουν υψηλή τεχνολογία και φέρονται σαν θεοί. Μία ιστορία πολέμου, γενναιότητας και αρρενωπότητας, με πρωταγωνιστές ισχυρούς πολεμιστές και γυναίκες που έχουν το ρόλο της μάγισσας, της αρχόντισσας ή απλά του σεξουαλικού αντικειμένου.

Όλα αυτά είναι τα κλασικά κλισέ της εποχής, υπάρχουν, όμως, μερικές διαφοροποιήσεις, μεγαλύτερη προσοχή στη λεπτομέρεια και πολλές από τις ιδέες που συναντάμε στ�� Wheel of Time, όπως στοιχεία της γεωγραφίας, του τρόπου λειτουργίας της μαγείας, των σχέσεων των δύο φύλων και πολλά άλλα, κάτι που κάνει το βιβλίο να ξεχωρίζει, τουλάχιστον στα μάτια των φανατικών της σε��ράς. Σίγουρα δεν πρόκειται για κάτι σπουδαίο, δεν είναι κάτι πρωτότυπο και μπορώ να κατανοήσω το δισταγμό που απέτρεψε την κυκλοφορία του. Είναι, όμως, αρκετά διασκεδαστικό και συναρπαστικό για να κρατήσει το ενδιαφέρον του αναγνώστη, την ώρα που η... ιστορική του σημασία του ανεβάζει πολύ την αξία του και το κάνει να είναι ένα απαραίτητο ανάγνωσμα για τους θαυμαστές του μεγάλου συγγραφέα.
Profile Image for Marc *Dark Reader of the Woods*.
774 reviews126 followers
October 28, 2019
Wow, can you believe what Panthro did to Snarf?

(please forgive the unfunny riff on the cover art)

Warrior of the Altaii was written over 40 years ago, and over a dozen years before Robert Jordan's magnum opus The Wheel of Time series saw the light of day. It is published now because...??? Possibly the resurgence of popularity due to the Wheel of Time's upcoming TV series played a role. Regardless, Jordan's books have never really fallen out of the limelight, so why not grant fans a look at his never-but-almost published first novel. Interestingly, Jordan has stated in the past (around the time that book 10 of Wheel of Time was coming out; prior to that the book was sold for publication twice) that he never wanted this book to see the light of day, in a 2002 interview here, even stating that his will specified that the manuscript be destroyed upon his death. This interview took place four years before Jordan received a terminal diagnosis, so I expect that he changed his mind when faced with mortality and his legacy. Either that, or it was a little bit of hyperbole in the first place.

The introduction, penned by Jordan's widow and editor Harriet McDougal, is clumsily written but it sweetly places the story of this manuscript in the start of her relationship with Jordan. The account matches with that given by Jordan himself in the afore-linked interview, which provides more detail about why Warrior of the Altaii didn't quite make it to print despite being purchased twice before.

Much ado is made of the "early origins" of ideas from Wheel of Time, but any connections are no big whoop. The most obvious and only expressly elicited one is 'Backbone of the World' = 'Spine of the World', except that in Warror of the Altaii, the distant mountain range is only mentioned in passing once or twice and has no bearing on the story. One could try to talk up the Altaii as an early prototype of the Aiel, but there are only the vaguest of similarities between the two. Women-only magic is the one other idea that links the two books. Really, they have very little in common. Warrior of the Altaii is more akin to Jordan's Conan books than to The Wheel of Time.

So how is the book? It's not bad. The faint praise that his widow manages to give it in the introduction is "It had a beginning, a middle, and an end" so you don't have to have great expectations. (Fine, she also said "...and it was good."). There is nothing overtly amateur in his prose. It is definitely a late-70's fantasy novel; there are a heck of a lot of fantasy ideas just kind of piled on top of each other. The book is a little bit all over the place, it's never entirely clear just what the main thrust is supposed to be, but for all that it has a linear story. Some sections feel rushed, but no sections drag. Is it enjoyable? Yes. Is it worth reading without already being invested in Robert Jordan? Meh, probably not.

Profile Image for Raffaello.
166 reviews45 followers
April 19, 2021
Prima metà del libro: in cui ogni sacerdotessa in ogni incantesimo finisce per spogliarsi. Dove ad ogni prigioniera strappano i vestiti e ogni rito prevede cerchi attorno ai seni della malcapitata. Ogni guerriero finisce, per un motivo o per l'altro, nudo e legato mani e piedi.

...ma ha anche dei difetti :D

Seconda metà: un pastrocchio affrettato di battaglie senza soluzione di continuità, che va a concludere la storia nella maniera più semplice e ovvia, ma proprio per quello disattende completamente le aspettative create con la discreta prima parte (nudi a parte, non era stata malvagia e sembrava promettere qualcosa di più articolato). Peccato.
Profile Image for Eric Allen.
Author 3 books730 followers
October 10, 2019
This book is pretty amazingly written for an author’s first attempt at a novel. The characters are a bit bland, but the world building is pretty good, and the story is entertaining. The beginning is a bit confused, with a lot of things happening, and not much explanation of them, but it pretty soon finds its stride. You can see a lot of ideas in this that eventually blossomed in the Wheel of Time. All in all, it wasn’t great, but it was still an entertaining book. It’s also probably the shortest piece of writing ever to have Robert Jordan’s name on it.
Profile Image for Dylan.
434 reviews86 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
September 27, 2021
DNF @ 13%

Four chapters in and I have no real understanding of the plot, characters or world it is set in. I'm already running low on reading motivation and I've got plenty of other fantasy I'd prefer to read instead of wasting time on this.
Profile Image for Goran.
73 reviews2 followers
September 28, 2020
Možda sam prestrog ali ovo je baš za dve zvezde - ok. Radnja, likovi, dijalozi - sve je ok, ništa za pamćenje.
Profile Image for Matías Racedo.
290 reviews49 followers
December 9, 2019
Rating: 4.5/5 🌟
(Reseña en español cuando se traduzca la novela ja)
The watering holes of the Plain are drying up, the fearsome fanghorn grow more numerous, and bad omens abound. Wulfgar, a leader of the Altaii people, must contend with twin queens, warlords, prophets and magic in hopes of protecting his people and securing their future. Elspeth, a visitor from another world, holds the answers, but first Wulfgar must learn to ask the right questions.
But what if the knowledge that saves the Altaii will also destroy them?
Awesome! So much better than what I expected. This was nothing like the first Wheel of Time books (my mistake, I thought it would be similar), those seems to have been written for a younger audience, to catch the eye of a teenage fantasy reader, even though the series matured with every new installment, along with its characters. This was an adult epic fantasy, almost grimdark in its content, there are impalements, rape, torture, although most of it is not graphically described, so it’s not gruesome or gory, as a true grimdark fantasy would be.

A lot happens in very few pages, plenty of battles too, both duels and full scale battles, the Altaii people are not strangers to war, they are nomadic warriors. The magic system wasn't explained as much as I would have wanted, and there's a lot of the world to explore, something that sadly won't ever happen. But the little there is, it’s really fantastic. There are some similarities to The Wheel of Time, for example, the Sisters of Wisdom could be compared to the Aes Sedai, or maybe more accurately, to the Aiel Wise Ones, but it’s truly a completely new and original story, with more than a few great characters, and a great plot.

All of the characters in this book are mature men and women. Wulfgar, the main character, is an experienced Altaii warrior. All portents seem to indicate that he will be at the center of some of the most important events in the history of his people, and his world. At this point, Elspeth, a woman from another world (dimension?) that sounds pretty much like ours, will appear, and she will play an important role in the survival of the Altaii people, even if it changes them in unpredictable ways. I wish she had a bigger role, and maybe her own POV (it’s all narrated from Wolfgar’s point of view), for all of her importance, she barely appeared in a couple chapters.

The writing was also so much better than what I expected for a debut novel. Jordan definitely knew how to write, I need to read his Conan novels someday! I enjoyed the story, and that bittersweet ending was quite fitting, though I would have preferred at least 100 more pages added to it! This wasn’t nearly enough for a thirsty fan 😭
Profile Image for Christine.
130 reviews14 followers
February 2, 2020
If you read and loved the Wheel of Time series this one might appeal as it has hints of what was to come. Having said that this book was definitely a debut novel. There wasn’t much world building and overall I found the dialogue a bit simple. Overall it was a fast read and for die hard WoT fans it’s got some merit but please don’t read this one first if you’ve never read anything by Jordan. Ratings wise I would say 3 stars and if I’m honest a lot of that is bc of my love of his WoT books lol
Profile Image for RG.
3,092 reviews
November 10, 2019
Much more Conan than WoT. Simple barbarain story with an element of magic ( only females probably the only thing that roughly follows Wot). Short read about 340-50 pages which is much shorter than his future efforts. Just didnt have the scope. Much better fantasy out there. Will probably only appeal to Jordan fans.
Profile Image for Georgia.
957 reviews51 followers
April 4, 2021
Δείτε επίσης και στο Chill and read

«Ο πολεμιστής των Αλτάι» είναι ένα από τα πρώιμα έργα του Robert Jordan, πολύ πριν αρχίσει να γράφει την πολύ γνωστή σειρά βιβλίων επικής φαντασίας «Ο Τροχός του Χρόνου», όμως δεν εκδόθηκε για πολλά χρόνια παρά τις προσπάθειές τους να το εκδώσει ήδη από το 1977. Είναι ένα από τα πρώτα βιβλία των κλασσικών της επικής φαντασίας που ανοίγει το δρόμο για όσα πρόκειται να έρθουν αργότερα.

Οι Αλτάι είναι μια φυλή βαρβάρων πολεμιστών. Ζουν και περιπλανιούνται στη Στέπα και έχουν μάθει να τα βγάζουν πέρα κάτω από αντίξοες συνθήκες, με βασική προϋπόθεση την ύπαρξη νερού, ένα αγαθό που χρειάζονται τόσο οι άνθρωποι όσο και τα ζώα. Όταν λοιπόν οι νερόλακκοι ξεραίνονται, οι κυνόκεροι αυξάνονται και οι κακοί οιωνοί έρχονται ο ένας μετά τον άλλον, τότε ο Άρχοντας Βούλφγκαρ, ένας από τους αρχηγούς της φυλής των Αλτάι πρέπει να πάρει την κατάσταση στα χέρια του και να αντιμετωπίσει πολέμαρχους, βασίλισσες, προφήτες και μάγους ώστε να φροντίσει για την επιβίωση της φυλής του. Στα χέρια του έχει ένα γερό χαρτί, την Έλσπεθ, μια γυναίκα που έχει έρθει από έναν άλλο κόσμο, αλλά που κρατάει τις απαντήσεις για τις σωστές ερωτήσει.

Μια ιστορία σε ένα αρχαίο και βάρβαρο κόσμο, πολύ μακρινό από τον δικό μας με τη γραφή του Jordan που κυλάει γρήγορα και αβίαστα. Ακολουθεί τη γραμμή της εποχής που ήθελε να συνδυάζονται η μαγεία και το σπαθί, δημιουργώντας μια ιστορία που μπορεί να μην έχει χαρακτήρες με τρομερό βάθος, έχει όμως εξαιρετική κοσμοπλασία, στο στυλ που μας έχει συνηθίσει ο Jordan και που θα φανεί στα μετέπειτα βιβλία του. Αν διαβαστεί με την τωρινή εποχή και κατάσταση στο νου, πιθανόν να υπάρχουν αντιδράσεις για τη σχέση μεταξύ των δύο φύλλων. Αν όμως διαβαστεί υπό το πρίσμα της εποχής που γράφτηκε και δεδομένου του κόσμου που δημιουργεί, τότε όλα είναι απλώς ένα κομμάτι της ιστορίας.

Μπορεί να μην είναι το αριστούργημα του Jordan, είναι άλλωστε το πρώτο του βιβλίο το οποίο εξέδωσε η χήρα του μετά το θάνατό του, είναι όμως μια πολύ καλή ένδειξη του τι θα ακολουθήσει, τι ακολούθησε ουσιαστικά, με τον «Τροχό του Χρόνου» που δείχνει να κινείται πάνω στον ίδιο κόσμο.
Profile Image for Χριστίνα Ψύλλα.
Author 2 books355 followers
February 26, 2021
Να αρχίσω με το γεγονός ότι το βιβλίο γράφτηκε το 1977, που σημαίνει ότι εκείνη την εποχή ήταν πολύ διαφορετικά σε σχέση με τώρα.
Δηλαδή είναι σαν ένα κλασικό βιβλίο. Πράγματα που έχουμε ξαναδεί εμείς του 21ου αιώνα που εκείνη όμως την χρονική περίοδο θεωρούνταν κατά ένα τρόπο προοδευτικά.

Λίγα πράγματα γιατί θα έχω επεξηγηματική κριτική στο blog!

1. Απίστευτο γρήγορο ανάγνωσμα. Μην κοιτάτε τις ημερομηνίες. Λόγω εξεταστικής το άρχισα σήμερα από το κεφάλαιο 5 και το τελείωσα πριν μια ώρα.

2. Είχε πολύ ωραία στοιχεία, αλλά προσωπικά δεν πιστεύω ότι όλα τα γεγονότα προωθούσαν την πλοκή. Κάποια μάλιστα (σκηνές για ενηλίκους) δεν ήταν καθόλ��υ απαραίτητα.

3. All in all ήταν καλό, αλλά δεν ξετρελάθηκα. Ίσως επειδή είναι stand-alone, ίσως επειδή είναι μια πρώιμη δουλειά. Ένα είναι σίγουρο, θα διαβάσω οπωσδήποτε βιβλία του συγγραφέα (όπως ο τροχός του χρόνου) γιατί πραγματικά είδα κομμάτια που ξέρω ότι μπορεί αν φτιάξει υπέροχα πράγματα !

Profile Image for Andreas.
482 reviews129 followers
March 26, 2020
Die Altaii sind ein nomadisches Kriegervolk, die sich gegen die harsche Steppe behaupten und von Überfällen auf Karawanen leben. Sie scheinen übermächtig und lachen über die kläglichen Konkurrenten und verweichlichten Städter. Doch die Verhältnisse wandeln sich: Wasserlöcher trocknen aus, die Gegner verbünden sich. Einer der Anführer der Altaii – Wulfgar – versucht, die Ursachen dieser Widernisse herauszufinden. Anfangs stolpert er noch zufällig auf die Verschwörung, um später mit odysseischer Schläue die Gegner auszutricksen.

Fans lieben Robert Jordans regalbreite Serie vom “Rad der Zeit”, die aktuell von Amazon verfilmt wird. Der hier besprochene, posthum veröffentlichte Roman gehört nicht zu dieser Serie, obwohl einige Ideen wie die Magie auf weiblicher Seite oder die Kultur der der Aiel sich deutlich abzeichnen. Tatsächlich schrieb Jordan den Roman vor der Serie, konnte ihn aber nie zur Veröffentlichung bringen. Der Roman gefällt als typisches Produkt seiner Entstehungszeit Ende der Siebziger, als Wanderer zwischen den Welten technische Innovationen in die Fantasy-Welten brachten. Stramme Action, exotische Kulturen, freie Magiesysteme muten dem heutigen Leser wie ein Tie-in-Roman eines Fantasy-Spiels an: Keine Sekunde langweilig, eingestreute und stets jugendschutzfreie Sex-Szenen, sowie eine konsequente Charakterisierung des Hauptprotagonisten vor seinem kulturellen Hintergrund führen zu einem lässigen Durchlesen am Stück. Bestes Konsumgut, das allerdings keinen sonderlichen Eindruck hinterlässt, kein Nachdenken erfordert.

Der Roman ist geeignet für Fantasyleser, die zwischendurch abschalten wollen und keine literarischen Ansprüche anmelden. Vorkenntnisse des Hauptwerks von Jordan sind nicht erforderlich. Vor allem aber für Fans der Serie ist dieser alleinstehende Roman eine willkommene Ergänzung. Ich genoss die relative Kürze des Romans und dafür gibt es drei Sterne.
Profile Image for Isabella.
418 reviews35 followers
February 26, 2021
Rating: 3 stars

I actually read Warrior of the Altaii two years ago in 2019 before I got my hands on The Wheel of Time (ah, the good old days... except they weren't good days because I didn't have WoT yet). So after reading Jordan's masterpiece too many times (and partially to stop me from doing so again), I decided to go back to this earlier work. But it's before Jordan honed his craft, and I never would have picked this up had it not been written by RJ. Because, well, the basic premise is that there's this lady who really wants to bone this particular race of people, and our MC who belongs to this race happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and, ah, etc. etc. Yeah. Not really my thing. So I am therefore not sure how many stars to give Warrior of the Altaii. I think I'll just go down the centre and give it three.
Profile Image for H. P..
607 reviews30 followers
October 16, 2019
Decades ago James Oliver Rigney Jr. wrote a book. That book allowed him to break into the publishing industry. He sold it several times. It established his working relationship with Harriet McDougal, who would become his wife. It led to his first published book, The Fallon’s Blood (as Reagan O’Neal). It led to a gig writing (eventually seven) Conan pastiches for Tor, this time as Robert Jordan, the pseudonym he would make famous. It also heavily foreshadows themes and elements from The Wheel of Time, his landmark work of epic fantasy. It was not, however, published before his death.

Having read both The Wheel of Time and Jordan’s Conan pastiches, I thought I knew what to expect. Warrior of the Altaii surprised me a little bit. It bears less in common with the pastiches put out by Tor than with earlier sword and sorcery books. The Tor pastiches had somewhat of a disadvantage. Writing his sword and sorcery yarns in part because they were quicker to write than historical fiction, Robert E. Howard could be light with his fantastical worldbuilding. When the Tor writers depart from that—including Jordan in his first pastiche—it usually showed a little too much Dungeons & Dragons influence and detracted from the work both because it jarred with Howard’s work and because of the paleness of the derivative worldbuilding. There was another tradition of sword and sorcery, though, later than Howard and before the Tor Conan pastiches.

The 70s produced some very fine sword and sorcery overflowing with the best kind of craziness. Warrior of the Altaii very much fits within that tradition, to an extent that surprised me. Jordan, though, was open that Howard was not a major influence on him as a writer. Writing as the 70s closed, it should probably come as no surprise that 70s sword and sorcery influenced Jordan. There is a lot of worldbuilding stuffed into what is (for Jordan) a short novel, much of it weird in the best way. And while Jordan used his physics background to do some incredibly cool stuff with fantasy in The Wheel of Time, here he introduces openly science fictional elements. One group uses technology sufficiently advanced as to seem magic. A character crosses over from what appears our dimension. This is the sort of thing that was once common in speculative fiction but largely disappeared after the 70s.

Most people, though, will be more interested in comparisons to The Wheel of Time than to Conan. Harriet mentions two things that surprised her when she reread Warrior of the Altaii: that it was GOOD and that it actually foreshadows The Wheel of Time heavily. I was even more surprised by the latter given my familiarity with the Conan books. Many things Jordan set aside to write those are heavily present here. The proud warrior race Altaii of course have a lot in common with the Aiel. Although they are horselords of the plains, not desert warriors, and differ in many other ways. Nor are they nearly as developed and distinct. Of particular interest is how the events of the novel will change and maybe destroy the Altaii. Jordan would return to that idea with the Aiel, albeit in a different way. But the kernel is plain, I think, for the The Wheel of Time fan to see.

Gender roles play an important part. Magic is here, too, a thing of women, although by norm instead of by the Dark One’s counterstroke. The effect is more muted, sometimes to its benefit.

Wulfgar, like Lan (or many other characters from The Wheel of Time), is a supremely skilled and respected warrior. The role of Vietnam in shaping Jordan’s views shows: battle offers no glory but much potential honor (older and from a proud warrior race, Wulfgar is considerably more at ease with killing than the kids from the Two Rivers). Jordan loves a big battle, and he squeezes in a few (and, yes, the longbow makes an appearance).

So, then, is Warrior of the Altaii worth picking up? For The Wheel of Time fan, certainly. If you didn’t make it through The Wheel of Time, that remains his opus. Lest you be suspected of some defect in your fandom, you should pick it back up. But for the fan who has only read the main series and the prequel New Spring, this is the next book I would recommend. It isn’t nearly as dry as the Big Book of Bad Art or the Compendium. And it ties into The Wheel of Time much more so than the Conan pastiches (which I recommend, but start with Howard’s original stories first). Jordan has not yet reached his stride here. The worldbuilding can be clumsy at times, with Jordan committing the rookie storyteller mistake of throwing out too much too early and with too little reason. There is a psychological torture-filled captivity sequence that stretches on far too long. His characters are the equal of your average fantasy book, meaning they lack the vibrancy of his own, later characters. Jordan’s work benefited tremendously from the massive canvas The Wheel of Time came to offer; it is pinched a bit here.

But, in the end, Harriet’s verdict after rereading is more accurate than her earlier, somewhat embarrassed recollections: this book is good. It isn’t The Wheel of Time good, but it made for a more than enjoyable read, enriched by my knowledge of The Wheel of Time, and I am glad Harriet chose to publish it after all these years.
Profile Image for Joshua Thompson.
796 reviews92 followers
June 7, 2022
Jordan's first novel that actually never got published until after his death. A really great fast-paced fantasy tale in the sword and sorcery tradition. Despite it's brevity, I was impressed with the world-building as well as seeing hints of things to come with Jordan in terms of magic and gender roles. A surprisingly quick read and a great stand-alone, although it did leave me wanting more!
Profile Image for Ces.
59 reviews9 followers
October 26, 2020
Por muy fan que sea de Jordan y La Rueda del Tiempo, el Guerrero de los Altaii no pasa de ser una historia entretenida.
Es cierto que hay algunos detalles que pueden haber influido en la posterior creación de su obra magna pero en estilo y ambientación El Guerrero de los Altaii tiene más en común con el Jordan que escribía en la franquicia de Conan el Bárbaro que con el Jordan de la Rueda.
En resumen, para mí se trata más de un libro curioso para el fandom de Jordan que otra cosa.
Profile Image for Kevin Potter.
Author 18 books150 followers
December 5, 2019
The first thing to understand is this is the first book Robert Jordan ever sold. As such, it is much more raw and less refined than the writing in The Wheel of Time.

For me, this is a positive rather than a negative. Although I very much enjoy the Wheel of Time, for me the writing is overly flowery. I prefer a simpler prose style.

Although there are clearly some elements of this story and world that harken to WoT, this has much more in common with Jordan's Conan novels.

About the audiobook narrator:
Anyone who has experienced Micheal Kramer's narration knows the quality to expect from his work. Kramer is VERY near the absolute top of my list of favorite narrators.

Male and female voices both are brilliantly crafted, distinct, and accurate to their descriptions. His control of vocal inflections is impeccable and his shifts in tempo throughout the text are nothing short of perfection.

The first thing that struck me (and I was completely unprepared for) is that this book is written in the first person from the perspective of Wulfgar, the leader of a warband of plains barbarians.

Though I'm not typically fond of first person narratives, this one caught my interest almost right away. Wulfgar has a compelling voice and an interesting perspective on the world.

Now, while it is true that a novel written the way this one was would not earn a 5-star rating from me if it was written in the last five years (though still a solid 4 stars, easily), the fact that this book was written 40 years ago and is still this good is damned impressive.

Wulfgar is a fascinating character from an interesting culture that reminds me strongly of the Aiele from The Wheel of Time.

The world itself is interesting. Although in many ways it feels like a cross between the Aiele people from The Wheel of Time and the Cimmerian barbarians from the Conan novels, it also has some unique aspects that I found absolutely fascinating.

I won't spoil any of what those elements are, but it becomes clear what it means quite early on but only later do we get an explanation. In some ways, I enjoyed the explanation even more than the reality of what it means.

The magic is fascinating, and our understanding of what it is, how it works, and what it can do continually evolves throughout the novel all the way until the conclusion.

There is definitely a lot of foreshadowing in this regard to the incredibly complex world and magic that eventually became The Wheel of Time.

In terms of plot, this book is gritty and fast paced. There is no "slow build" like what readers of WoT came to expect from Jordan. Similarly, the character development is not as deep, but also not as much of a slow exploration.

Many of the characters are Fairly shallow, but none of them could be described as "2-dimensional" or "cardboard cutouts."

I don't really have any complaints. I went into this book knowing I was getting something written 40 years ago that is firmly in the realm of heroic fantasy and that's exactly what I got. 98% of the roughness of the prose is simply the way books were written at the time it was penned.

The ending came together brilliantly. Although there is a point near the end where I had a WTF moment, following the story answered every question it brought up. The final conflict turns out to be far more epic, complete, and satisfying than I was expecting.

I absolutely recommend this book to any fan of heroic fantasy, particularly if you are a fan of Jordan's Conan novels.

On a side note, the book opens with a forward from Harriet McDougal that tells the story of how and when this novel was initially acquired and why it was never published. That story alone makes reading this book worthwhile, in my opinion.
October 28, 2019
4.5 but Im being a bit biased and giving it a solid 5, mostly for enjoyment, partially because of nostalgia and a great love for Jordan and the Wheel of Time Series.

Does it really deserve that high of a rating.

Yes! The Warriors of Altaii is one of the first manuscripts that Jordan presented and we are just now getting a rare treat in reading it posthumously. When I first heard of it back in the spring of this year I was quite excited. I've been a long time fan of the series. Im ashamed that the book plugged as a prequel of sorts took me as long as it did to get around to. If you've read the WOT you can see how the geography, the magic system, the mannerisms and beliefs of the people within the story can easily give rise to what we know and love about such and epic series.

Does it fully tie in?
Yes and no. Certain references do appear in both stories. Mostly in geography. The whole sisters of wisdom I felt were a precursor to the Aes Sedai. I can see where certain ideas were elaborated on. Outside of that...if you looked at it as mirror version or a possible very early history sure. But you do not need to read the other series to appreciate this as a story on its own.

Where it stands on its own: For being a first manuscript you can see all ready the promise he has as a epic fantasy writer. The worlds are not as lushly developed, the characters still dont fully find their stride and there are bits and pieces of the story that dont quite have that finesse and nuance that his later works came to possess. I still enjoyed the chracters, the overall arc of the story. However, I did want more from the story itself. Some problem solving was a bit too convenient but I keep reminding myself this was one of his first ventrures. Still enjoyed it immensily.

Now I really want to go back and do another re-read of WOT. Goal for 2020.
Profile Image for Blodeuedd Finland.
3,387 reviews293 followers
November 10, 2019
My phone never messes up, but this time, sigh, this audio listen was a mess.

See it started with a torture scene, and I thought, well this is strange, but ok it was Jordan's first book. maybe he meant to throw us in in the middle of things. Throughout I did feel that I had missed something, but it worked.

Then there came a foreword, and chapter 1 forward. And I realised that something had gone horrible wrong. And now I did not do it all over, I already had gotten my impressions. To actually do it from the beginning actually made me think less of the main character! Weird right!

So, maybe I will review the Second Part first:
Second part (my bad!)
This is not WoT level, but I can see how he honed his skill with this one and tried a few things.
I am not sure I like Wolfgar having a little harem or whatever, what is the deal with that?
Jordan has the best battle scenes, wow, I mean the best part of this book were the battle scenes!
This book would have been better as a series, now it worked, but everything happened fast and I was all, but then what?

First part
Ok, so Wulfghar is an idiot, I am glad I read this last. First he just lets that stuff go, ok so everyone lets that stuff go, but this new slave, who is then free is still beaten for days to get to know the culture or something like that. A beaten slave is someone who might turn on you in the end, and they should all rise up.
Which leads me to, I do not like the Altaii. "Wipe them out, all of them." Yup, that is how I feel about them. These are not good guys.
Also he is a idiot, who mouths off like that? Omg, man, calm down! He is not a leader.

Final thoughts.
I have such mixed feelings, I liked the book so much more when I had not read the first 30% or something.

But it was interesting to try to spot things that would later evolve into WoT.

His female voices, just no, they were not that good. He made them very dark, His male voices were obviously better then.
Profile Image for Greg.
418 reviews
November 16, 2019
Yeah, but nah. Its written by Mr Jordan. It was the first book he ever wrote. So its significant for that fact alone. Its also outstanding quality for that fact alone. But by todays fantasy standards, by todays YA standards, its an average read. I see the name "Robert Jordan" and i think epic. This book isnt epic. Its more like one chapter of an epic. One battle of an epic. The fighting and combat is well written, in fact, its the book's highlight. About the only one, though.

The Altaii are plains dwellers, and they want to take the walled city, ruled by evil Queens. the leader of the Altaii is Lord Wulfgar, who is a brilliant leader, a brilliant fighter, a true legend in the making. We dont see him grow, or evolve at all. He is what he is at page one, to page 352.

In fact none of the character evolve. The enemies are led by women, the only gender in the book that can use magic. And one wonders if they are witches, who delight in dark magic. They are brutal, immensely powerful and violent sadistic torturers who exploit their power any way they see fit. So one might ink they deserve what they get. There is one mysterious character, Elspeth, who arrives out of the blue mid-story, from a "foreign world". To be honest, i dreaded her reveal, i read fantasy to escape the horrors of the 21st century, not relish in them, but fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on what the reader is seeking here...) we don't hear about the 21st century. In fact' we hear nothing further about Elspeth and where she came from at all. Aaah yes, this is Mr Jordan's first book....

So yeah, but nah. The combat is great, the magic is great. The characters
Are interesting, the world is well written. Character development is non existent. There is no humour. Its by Robert Jordan, and it was his first book. So yeah. But nah.
Profile Image for invertedcrosss?.
58 reviews7 followers
October 20, 2019
FFO : Conan - 70/80s Fantasy
There's something *cool/weird/incomparable/nostalgic* about reading Robert Jordan's first work.
A must for all the RJ/WOT fans out there.
Profile Image for Delaney.
1,098 reviews
March 9, 2020
Overall I was a bit disappointed by this one. I agree with what a lot of others have said, that this is a product of its time, and moves at a pretty breakneck speed.

I've only read 4 Wheel of Time books but as I make my way through them I'm enjoying them more and more. I think if this had been my first Jordan I would've maybe been more impressed or I would've been turned off of his writing altogether.

For me it went too fast with too little character growth or arc of any kind. There were certain things that felt like they were taking over the main narrative that I really didn't care for, and the more they went on, the more annoyed I was.

I don't think I'd recommend this, especially as a first time Jordan reader, because I feel like you would be missing out on how much his writing grew from when this was written to how I feel about The Wheel of Time.
Profile Image for Matthew Caton.
27 reviews
January 16, 2021
If this was one of Robert Jordan’s first writes, I’m glad it took a long time to get published and that he continued writing. Didn’t love this one, loved all of Wheel of Time. However, as Robert Jordan fan, I’m glad I read it.
Profile Image for Matthew Manchester.
819 reviews93 followers
October 17, 2019
This was Robert Jordan's first manuscript. It is better than 90% of the books out there. I had a lot of fun with this one.

However, if you don't like barbarian-fantasy (and all that entails), you will not like this book.


After thinking for a bit, I've decided this book is a more Conan-version of Jordan's The Shadow Rising and Brandon Sanderson's The Bands of Mourning. It's a more barbarian tale than the Wheel of Time (WOT) was, and it's far more mysterious.

The book is a standalone novel, but if Jordan was alive today I am sure it would be a series.

People have talked about the hints of the (at that time, future) Wheel of Time series that are seen, but there is one that I don't think I've seen mentioned yet, but I'll have to give a spoiler warning for both this book and the Wheel of Time series first.


Jordan's writing style is on point most of this book. The second half is better than the first, and the final battles are some of the best Jordan has ever written.

The mystery of the magic system was the most impressive and the most different thing about this book. Jordan doesn't explain what is happening at all. There's no magic lesson exposition dump. It's just there and the more you read the book, the more you find out, but it's not enough to understand the rules and levels of the magic system. That mystery really helps drive the book.

Due to the book being written in first-person, there's often a lack of clear description about things or people (in a good way) that lends to more mystery than is typical in a Jordan novel. This really applies when talking about the "High Ones" (no spoilers on this one).


I don't typically like first-person books. This one was good, but there were multiple times that I felt this POV hurt the book rather than helped it. But maybe I'm too used to the WOT series since I just read it.

The first half of the book is a little clunky, but mostly because you're trying to figure out what's happening and the author doesn't tell you much.

Besides those two things, the only other issue I had is whether we need this kind of book anymore. I'm not saying barbarian fantasy is dead (several Conan revivals are out there right now), but it's hard to delight in things that we should be better than. I didn't like the more sensual parts of this book because unlike WOT, there is no love or consent. Just abuse and rape. There are few-to-no mentions of any actions, but the situations themselves are unneeded. I get that they fit the genre, which is why I question the genre's validity itself. Sometimes it can lead to a good juxtaposition on an issue (like torture vs death), but I don't feel like it's worth the genre.


I feel this book is definitely worth the read and I highly enjoyed it, minus the few sexual abuse scenes.

The saddest thing is that we will never know what this could've been. Not unless his wife gets another author to write post-humorously, which I can assure you won't happen. Jordan didn't leave any notes for this one.

4.5 stars, rounded down.
Profile Image for Rui Mateus.
112 reviews16 followers
October 22, 2019

Starting this book felt very emotional because this is one of those gifts you don't get every day. This is the first book Robert Jordan wrote and it was published only now.

Everyone was saying how this has so much foreshadowing for The Wheel of Time and I couldn't wait. Well, it's true. There are so many things here that were developed in detail in The Wheel of Time that I think this world could be a different turning of the Wheel or simply one of those worlds that could be reached by Portal Stone. Among the Altaii, I've found what could pass as Aiel, Seanchan or Aes Sedai. The writing is definitely Jordan's, but it's both different and similar to The Wheel. What I found most difficult to adapt to was the pace. In WoT terms, this story would have lasted two 800-page books.

The story is incredibly well-planned and one is compelled to love some characters and hate others. This book also taught me that characters named Talva are not to be trusted. I still have so many questions about this book. What lies to the west? More important, what happens next? A sequel would have been tremendous.
Profile Image for Dustin Cubit.
77 reviews
October 23, 2019
Legendary author, and one of my personal favorites, Robert Jordan posthumously releases the first novel he's ever written.

Warrior of the Altaii's short chapters and length make it an enjoyable and faced-paced read. I'm not at all familiar with barbarian fantasy from the 70's but this has piqued my interest, and I plan on checking out some of Jordan's Conan the Barbarian stories.

There are plenty of elements in the book that point to some of the ideas he had cooking in his head for his magnum opus, the Wheel Of Time. This book is written from the first person perspective of a plains barbarian. I know some people can't stand the first person perspective in fantasy, I didn't find it a hindrance, but I don't have the first person pet peeve in the first place.

Profile Image for Jamie.
34 reviews2 followers
October 21, 2019
Fun to see a book 40 years old finally get published for the first time especially from a writer like Robert Jordan. The world building is great and I really enjoyed Wulfgar as a character. Typical in Conan style barbarian books there is nudity and sex but thankfully it’s more toned down than other books of this style. Fun barbarian sword and sorcery book. Recommend if your are a Robert Jordan fan or if you like Conan. Thanks for finally publishing this!

Also the maps are beautiful!
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