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Ok, I got the omnibus with all four books in it (it's a Black Libary publishing if you didn't know), and after reading half of it, I'm stuck with the feeling that boy! This blows... I mean, I'm not the worlds greatest fluff knower, but I do consider myself fairly knowleadgeble on the warhammer world as a whole, and major thingies. Now, my problem with the book is it's (in my opinion) glaring ignorance of some well stated 'hammer facts and beliefs.
To illustrate, a few words are in order. First off the main character, Genevieve is a 600+ years old bretonnian vampire, yet she can go anywhere in the old world without anyone doing more than give her a shrug, most will come running begging her to drink from them(!). The highpoint so far has to be a play she is central in, which has her surrounded by all the empires electors, the emperor himself, the high priest of Ulric and the Grand Theogonist himself, to name the most important. And they all clap at her, knowing what she is...The Grand Theogonist for heavens sake! And yes, it's in the time of Karl-Franz I. This theme is recurring throughout the entire book, the undead even have their own inn in Altdorf. *sigh*
And there's the incident with the halfling, standing around, casually glancing down to look at his shoes...a halfling with shoes? Come on.
Oh, and I've just started to read about Wolf, the former Chaos Beastman Champion that has been reversed back to normal, and is now living large in Altdorf (yes, he's still a beast bla blah, that's why we don't reinject them into society, but burn them at the stake )
And there are more, but I can't remember at the moment. So, a question begs asking; Aren't the BL authors required to keep true to the Warhammer World? And why aren't there GW screeners before it's published? Cause this feels like reading an ordinary novel, but with familiar names for towns and heroes...
What's next, a 40K novel about a former Chaos champion that happily wanders around the galaxy helping all he can find, and Space Marines are ok with it...
Anyone else read it and felt the same?
The problem that you are having Cryogen is that the Genevieve books are based more off the warhammer fanatsy roleplaying background rather than the warhammer game. Not only that but the books were written back i beleive in the late 80s early 90s as such the background fluff has changed dramatically from that period as such the books appear inconsistent with the current edition.
If you look at the original heroquest fluff it doesn't fit in with the current fluff at all. This is the problem with new games designers coming along and wanting to stamp thier name into the backdrop of the gaming worlds.
Personally i liked the books especially the way that Kim Newman wrote some of the charcters.
Hm, so way back when, halflings wore shoes, and vampires were accepted within the entirety of the empire? In the RPG? I've played the Roleplay (yes, the original) and I can't say I remember vampire tolerance or shoed halflings...
Perhaps not, i must admit i haven't played the original warhammer fantasy roleplay, but also remember when she wrote the books there was no Black Library in fact i think she explains a lot of this in the introduction to the collection.
I go out of my way to NOT read many of the GW fictional novels for this reason.
In my opinion, a lot of the authors take far too many creative liberties with their stories. They contradict Warhammer cannon or write things that just don't make sense in that world. That, or they "uber-up" their characters so much that a single hero-type character can slaughter the better part of an entire army on his or her own. I hate "world in peril" stories, where the conflict is so important and the consequences so dire that they would earmark a major, world-altering event in the Warhammer timeline, yet the events go unspoken of outside of the novel that contains them. A sign of pure hack writing and an over-inflated sense of importance on the author's part, where bigger is always considered to be better.
I prefer little stories that are told really well. Why can't we just have Warhammer novels that not only remain true to the cannon, have no clear good guys or bad guys (or at least good guys and bad guys with heaping shades of grey), and that focus on minor events, such as a single battle between a lowly Empire captain and a regular Orc warlord? Those would be infinitely more interesting.
The only authors who should be allowed to write novels concerning major events in the Warhammer world are the "loremasters", such as Gav Thorpe himself. As it is, I don't even consider most of the GW novels to be cannon - they hold no more weight in my eyes than fan fiction.
Now, all this being said, can anyone recommend a decent Warhammer novel? One that is actually well-written, for adults, and doesn't overstep its bounds? I have only read a couple, but the reviews and synopses I've read about others lead me to believe that they are mostly a waste of time. I was, however, looking hard at The Ambassador Chronicles; read the first few pages, and it actually seems to be pretty cool. Any advice?
Yeah Gav Thorpe the Loremaster the man who wrote the worst ending for a campaign ever, why they didn't sack him for that i will never know i could have written a better end in two minutes, the mistakes that he put in that and the amount of complaints Gawes Workshop recieved i feel means that he should be stripped at least of the title of Loremaster.
Which campaign ending are you referring to? Storm of Chaos?
Although I've heard the complaints from others, I rather liked the ending to the Storm of Chaos campaign. It was original and didn't devolve into the standard huge battle at the end where one army is killed to a man. The battle for Middenheim was well done, and having Valten mortally wounded by Archaon and then being assassinated on his deathbed was very unexpected. Not every champion dies heroically on the field of battle.
Mostly I heard about how players complained that Grimgor defeated Archaon in single combat, and then spared his life, but that too was unexpected and totally made sense. Archaon would have normally kicked Grimgor's ace all the way back to the mountains, but he was drained from his fight with Valten, so Grimgor had the upper hand (and Orc players the world over rejoiced because for once their hero came out on top). Also, Grimgor spared him because as the epitomy of ongoing warfare, Grimgor does not kill his most worthy foes; he lays the smackdown on them and embarasses them, only to leave them alive so they can recupperate and fight him again.
I much prefer fluff that can surprise and has a touch of originality to it, rather than just degenerating into the standard, rock-the-world brawl for a climax (although, on occasion, those are great too).
Well form what i heard from some friends who are staff members Gav was almost fired because of the storm of chaos ending, Grimgor stating i am the greatest and then just walking of? That did not make sense. The greatest Skaven Assassin who never leaves behind any evidence that he was involved, leaving behind evidence. Nope sorry Gav took the fluff with that and made a mess of it worse than a lot of other Black Library writers would have. They should have got Simon Spurrier to write it up he would have done a much better job.
As for warhammer fluff the Ambassador Chronicles is good although it does have the standad world shattering battle at the very end that you seem to dislike.
Robin D Laws Series about the grave robber Angelika Fleischer is quite a good read and sounds to me more like your cup of tea, Check out Hounour of the Grave for the first instalment
I'm not opposed to the huge battles (this is Warhammer, after all), I'm just far more impressed when they start with something like that, and then take it in an unexpected direction. I just don't like the standard "hollywood" action cliches popping up time and time again, such as "we have to have a big battle, and the hero has to face the villain in single combat at the end, and he must prevail". That's been done to death, and I just like seeing when writers take some chances with their stories.
As for the part about Valten's assassination, I thought it was pretty clear that it was staged. I still think Valten was killed, but who knows...with no body and only a pool of blood in his bed being found, maybe he'll pop up later, nursed back to health by the Elves or something. But I felt it was strongly alluded to when Karl Franz is speaking to one of his aides (can't remember the name), about what he's going to do with Valten, and the aide says something to the effect of "let me take care of it", and the next day, Valten is found dead by Luthor Huss.
In other words, I think that it was well written and alludes to a conspiracy within the upper echelons of the Empire. Either:
1. Franz' aide arranged to have Valten killed, possibly unbeknownst to the Emperor, and planted evidence that deliberately and obviously implicated the Skaven;
2. Franz or his people hired the Skaven to kill Valten, with orders that they must leave a trail so as to draw attention away from the Emperor's involvement in the murder of the people's hero;
Or, perhaps there is a third explanation. Perhaps the setup was a ruse, possibly orchestrated by Luthor Huss himself, to protect his lord, Valten. It was allegedly Huss who found Valten's body. By the time Huss comes to the Emperor with this news, and brings him back to the crime scene, the body has mysteriously vanished, with only the blood, Skaven assassin's weapon, and symbol to be found in the chamber. Maybe Huss set it up so that everyone would think Valten dead, so they would stop hunting him and he would be allowed to heal. Come to think of it, I imagine that is probably what GW is planning - bring Valten back "from the dead" in a few years when a new Chaos campaign rears its head. Then we'll have Armageddon. Or, this is all just cracked supposition, but either way, conspiracy theories are fun...
As for the rumours that Gav Thorpe was almost fired over writing that ending, I find them to be highly suspect. Thorpe has been an integral part of GW (especially Warhammer Fantasy) for many years now. To believe that they would fire one of their best employees over a single story that they received some complaints about is a little too far-fetched. Besides, GW staffers are notorious for starting insubstantial rumours. I'm not calling your friends liars - I'm just saying that maybe they heard the rumour from someone else, and passed it on.
Or, maybe its all true. But I just find it a little too hard to believe.
Ok this has dragged away from the orginal theme but... pff. Tis only Cryo Nuff said.
As to the BL novels, yes the authors do take libertys with much of the fluff we know but some stuff can be good. Without said 'uber' heros we would not have Sigmar, Gotrek, Nagash etc they always feature and in truth always must. In saying this going against the grain of these said hero's is just plain wrong - Gromgor letting his opponet live? He was humiliated by Crom and wanted to prove he ws still best by taking down his 'boss', yet when he gets there he just shouts at him and buggers off for tea somehwere? :huh: As to the apocylitic battle between Archaon and Valten.. pathetic. Valten lands one blow on the Everchosen and is then gutted by the daemonsword, now remember this was using Ghal Maraz. The weapon used by Sigmar himself to slay the first ever chosen (who previously was over in Ulthuan and slain by Anerion.. but that's by the by... ) and yet now the weapon can't even snap a standard (the attack ws blocked by the BSB of the Chaos side before hand).
Ohhh and don't even start me on the Garagrim - Ungrim section... >=[ Overall the fluff was floored. Gav could not do anything but set the fluff so that no major changes over came the world, Valten disappears - but not dead, or is he? Archeon defeated but not dead - why in the name of the gods was he not struck down by his own fickle gods?! - I could go on with the SoC fluff but won't. It was flawed and has been one of the worse peices of fluff GW has done yet.
Back to the books. There are a few good ones, Riders of the Dead isn't bad - the ending is not quite what you expected. The Ambassador Chronicles are good too. Another series to look at it the Brunner series - he's a bounty hunter, anything for gold him. Witch Hunter and Witch Finder - these follow a single witch hunter in his holy tasks. Another series is done by Gav and the Heart of Chaos one; not too bad.
As for Gav himself, he can do some decent stuff. Grudgebearer for example is great, well written and gives depth into a race we normally know only as grumpy or as psychotic orange haired slayers. I have also heard good things about the 13th Penal Guard books - Schliffer is it? Overall he can do good stuff but sometimes he is bound with the background built - to kill a character that's in a book would just drop his sales or see less use of them in the game etc.
While I do say I enjoy the BL stuff, some won't and even so they do often take stuff into their own hands with certain aspects. Oh but stay away from Dan Abnett.... he's trouble and his stuff is uber. Very uber...