Some really enjoyable stories, some not-so enjoyable ones. I might get around to writing a full review on this anthology. It's a nice mix of stories tSome really enjoyable stories, some not-so enjoyable ones. I might get around to writing a full review on this anthology. It's a nice mix of stories though, and worth picking up despite the fact I've only read the three Ulrika books and the first Gotrek and Felix Omnibus. Which reminds me, I need to pick up the second and the third soon. ...more
The Warhammer Heroes series contains the first Warhammer Fantasy novel that I’ve ever read, Wulfrik by CL Werner, and I was blown away by the fantastic novel that Werner had invented, leaving me only wanting more from not just this series, but the entire Warhammer Fantasy world. This is partly why, when a new Warhammer Heroes novel arrives at my doorstep, you can feel free to bet your life savings that I’ll read it. Eventually. This novel sees a release this month, and to be honest, now that I’ve recently finished reading it, I don’t know why I’ve put it off for this long. Luthor Huss is a very strong instalment to the Warhammer Heroes series, and quite possibly, one of the best yet.
The story itself follows two main characters throughout the whole, third-person narrated novel, and they are pretty interesting characters to follow. The obvious one is Luthor Huss, Warrior Priest of Sigmar and is the novel’s titular character, and looking extremely badass on the front there. Although he may be the main star though, he’s not the only main character in Luthor Huss, for the other one, the one who gets quite a lot of page-time, is Witch-Hunter Lukas Eichmann, who is investigating a series of odd murders which will eventually let him to the head of an army of fanatical warriors. It’s nice that Wraight doesn’t spend the whole novel focusing on Huss alone, and I believe that this is one of these novels that wouldn’t really work if it was told entirely from the third or first person perspective of the main character. It’s kind of like reading a Sherlock Holmes short story/novel from the third person POV of Holmes, and not the point of view of Doctor Watson that we’re used to.
But enough about the characters, let’s talk about the action. Anyone who’s read my recent review of Juggernaut by Adam Baker will know that I’m a huge fan of undead hordes, and Luthor Huss is no different here. Although the undead hordes are not the only enemy that Huss has to face, and I will not mention who that particular enemy is due to spoilers, but one thing’s for sure, both are pulled of pretty spectacularly and allow for some chilling scenes that will keep the reader hooked to the page, with well-written action scenes that show us why he’s quickly becoming a go-to author for anything Warhammer Fantasy.
The novel itself is your average length, and you’ll breeze through it pretty quickly, as I did – in a couple of sittings. It’s a really enjoyable novel, and although it doesn’t look as though there’ll be a sequel, it’s well worth checking out, as Wraight does a fantastic job of fleshing out the background of the Warhammer character.
The pacing of Luthor Huss is pretty quick and even throughout the whole novel, and for those who are wondering if this contains flashbacks or not – it does, but they don’t slow down the pace of the novel like I found to be the problem with Abnett’s Prospero Burns. Wraight knows when they are needed, and knows how to keep you turning the pages without slowing down or decreasing the levels of tension. This is how flashbacks should be done.
I’m struggling to find a flaw with Luthor Huss, and because of that, I’m really pleased about this novel – it’s a pretty enjoyable read. There weren’t any grammar mistakes that I’ve encountered from many advanced review copies in the past, which is a good thing.
This novel is, of course, set in the Warhammer Fantasy world, one that I’ve not explored as much as I have with Black Library’s Warhammer 40,000 one. And, the Warhammer Fantasy series follows characters already established in Warhammer Fantasy lore, similar to the Space Marine Battles novels, only this novel focuses on the heroes and the villains of WHFB of all races, and not just one. I’m pointing this out here, because I don’t really know how much lore there is about Luthor Huss, other than the fact that there is a model of him for the Warhammer Fantasy game (which doesn’t look as awesome as the cover, by the way), meaning that this novel was pretty unpredictable for me as it progressed, with nobody being safe, and as far as I was concerned, there were some moments where I thought even Luthor Huss wouldn’t make it out alive.
Another positive thing about the Warhammer Fantasy series is that they don’t have to be read in order, apart from the Sword of Justice and Sword of Vengeance Duology by Chris Wraight, (which even then, I read Sword of Vengeance without reading Sword of Justice), so if one ‘hero’, author or book isn’t particularly to your liking, you can afford to skip them without being completely lost as to what is going on when you pick up the next novel. However, I’m going to go ahead and say that even though you don’t have to, you should read them all in publishing order. They’re all awesome, and Warhammer Heroes is probably my favourite Warhammer Fantasy series of the lot, topping even the mighty Gotrek and Felix by William King and later, Nathan Long – and the enthralling Ulrika the Vampire novels, also by Nathan Long.
I haven’t read as much Warhammer Fantasy as I would like to. You see, I only started reading Warhammer Fantasy with the release of Wulfrik by CL Werner, and I can say that the novel really opened my eyes to the wonderful Warhammer world, and have been surprised, and quite glad to say, that I’ve enjoyed a large portion of every Warhammer Fantasy novel that I’ve read.
And Knight of the Blazing Sun is no exception. Although it may be Josh Reynolds’ first Black Library novel, I really enjoyed this novel, having wanted to read it ever since I saw the amazing cover-art which would easily catch my eye if I was browsing in a bookstore.
The novel itself follows the main character of young Hector Goetz, a Knight of the Blazing Sun, an Order that I didn’t even know existed in the Warhammer World until I read Reynolds’ novel. But apparently, according to Black Library’s novel description, they’re “a noble and venerable order of Templars dedicated to the warrior-goddess Myrmidia.” Well, basically – Goetz is dispatched to the island of Svunum, where a group of fellow Knights have gone missing. Once he’s reunited with his comrades though, Goetz soon finds himself pitted against pirates and raiders alike, and – on top of that, he suffers from increasingly disturbing nightmares.
But, is everything as it seems? What are the intentions of the Knights on Svunum, and what secret do they hold that could possibly threaten the whole order?
I’m going to say that I was quite surprised by Knight of the Blazing Sun; I never thought that it would be as good as it turned out to be. Varied action, interesting characters, nice plot with a couple of minor issues, the novel proves to be a pretty good read.
However, not all novels are without their flaws, and there are some in Knight of the Blazing Sun. It isn’t one of those books that you will be thrust into right from the start – you’ll find it pretty hard to get into at first, particularly if you don’t know your Warhammer Fantasy background like me. However, it isn’t really until later on in the novel when the action really kicks in, and if you stick with it to that far, you’ll be unable to let it go.
There are some pretty well-written action scenes in this novel, with enough cliff-hangers at the end of the chapters to keep you reading. There’s just another minor, very minor flaw that I had with Knight of the Blazing Sun, and that’s probably just me being nitpicky. I don’t particularly like sentences that end with exclamation marks when they’re not “spoken”, or thoughts, but that shouldn’t detract your reading experience from the book.
Once we get into the last half of the novel, this is where Reynolds really shines. The action-scenes are gripping, and the twists at the end are interesting enough to leave you looking forward to more by the author. Indeed, his next Black Library novel coming out is Neferata, a Time of Legends novel – although that isn’t available until January 2013. However, I’ll be reading it. Reynolds has impressed me enough, and despite the flaws in Knight of the Blazing Sun, if he continues to improve, Neferata will be a really enjoyable read. His short stories are also worth checking out as well, and can be found in various issues of Hammer and Bolter.
The novel itself is well-plotted, despite the pacing being a bit off. Goetz is a likeable enough character to be one that you’ll want to route for, and is a strong enough character to form his own series. Although nothing’s been announced officially so far that I’m aware of, I’d love to see the continuation of Goetz’s adventures, even though Knight of the Blazing Sun is effectively a standalone novel.