Thanquol’s Doom (Warhammer: Thanquol & Boneripper #3) ★★★☆½

thanquol's doom (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Thanquol’s Doom
Series: Warhammer: Thanquol & Boneripper #3
Author: C.L.Werner
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 304
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

Due to Skaven politics, Thanquol’s success at staying alive and reporting the death of the conjurer from his previous expedition is now a mark against him. Everyone wishes he had died so as to not remind them of the expedition at all.

Now Thanquol must “lead” an expedition against a Dwarven stronghold. He is allied, this time around, with the skaven scientists/alchemists and they have supplied him with a mechanical Boneripper built from the remains of his original one. Unfortunately for Thanquol, he is saddled with another Grey Seer who has secret instructions of his own. And of course, the Alchemists have their own hidden, true agenda.

Turns out Thanquol is simply a diversion for the dwarves to focus on while the alchemists and the other grey seer do their own thing. The grey seer is going after a powerful magical item, the paw of something or other and the alchemists are building a Doomsphere, meant to destroy the dwarven stronghold totally and completely. The fact that it might destroy the skaven city as well is just incidental.

Thanquol schemes how to make use of both of these agendas. He ends up releasing a chaos demon of almost uncontrollable power, by accident, and the doomsphere destroys itself due to the dwarves machinations.

The book ends with Thanquol still alive and figuring out how to survive this latest debacle.

 

My Thoughts:

This was a decent end to this trilogy. Since this was a spinoff of the Gotrex & Felix series I wonder if Thanquol ends up being killed off in that series? As a skaven, he certainly deserves it!

I’ve been considering why I enjoyed this Warhammer trilogy as much as I did while I haven’t really enjoyed the others I’ve read. Part of it is the humor. Werner does a fantastic job of showing how cowardly, two-faced and constantly backstabbing the Skaven are and it is just really hard to get depressed when reading about their antics. It’s like watching a clown car at the circus. The humor was ironic in nature, with Werner showcasing the worst of the skaven nature through Thanquol but it was so ridiculous that I couldn’t help but laugh. Much like the clown car I mentioned or seeing clowns beat the crap out of each other. Objectively, it is unpleasant, but in the right situation, it is great humor. It mitigated the depressing side of the Warhammer universe. In comparison, Werner wrote some of this book from the dwarves perspective and my goodness, now THAT was depressing. A Book of Grudges, Berserkers who live only to die in battle, a declining population due to birth rates and attrition? Ugh, ugh and ugh.

I was about to give up on the whole Warhammer universe after my run in with Tyrion & Teclis. Thankfully, this turned things around so at least I’ll try another Warhammer trilogy. Bookwraiths has reviewed another Warhammer trilogy by Werner and if my next choice (the Legend of Sigmar trilogy) doesn’t pan out, I might try that. But if I hit 2 stinkers of a series in a row, or they are just too depressing for me, I’ll probably be done with Warhammer.

★★★☆½

 

bookstooge (Custom)

 

 

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Temple of the Serpent (Warhammer: Thanquol & Boneripper #2) ★★★☆☆

templeoftheserpent (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Temple of the Serpent
Series: Warhammer: Thanquol & Boneripper #2
Author: C.L. Werner
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 416
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

Thanquol is blamed for the loss of the warpstone in the previous book and various skaven faction leaders all plan on killing him. To survive, he goes on a mission with the assassin faction to wipe out the leader of a city sacred to that faction. The assassins were driven out long ago and a race of lizardmen took it over. Now it is up to Thanquol and a small army to penetrate a dangerous jungle, find the city, kill the leading magician and make it back home. Hopefully with loads and loads of loot.

There is a magic toad, who has the power of mathematics from the higher powers, that is orchestrating many strings. In response to the skavens coming to the city, he brings a boatload of humans to balance out the equation and to see what the final solution will be. The final solution? Every single human dies by the end of the book. Almost every single skaven is killed and the lizardman magician dies as well. The toad goes back to contemplating mathematics.

Thanquol gets back to the ship and after a fight with zombie pirates, abandons the ship in a lifeboat and the magic toad magically has it go back to the skaven capital. That is how the book ends.

 

My Thoughts:

I rather enjoyed this dark fantasy. Having a villain as the main character allows me to root against him and when things fall apart around him, it isn’t a bad thing but a good thing. It also helps that skavens as a race are just despicably cowardly creatures and the author does a fantastic job of getting into Thanquol’s head and showing how he can switch his thought process on a dime. Each skaven is completely self-centered, so what is good is what is good for them at that moment.

I knew that the human storyline was going to be a bloody mess, but I figured the mercenary guy, Graetz Adalwolf, might survive. I did not see him killing himself to escape the attention of the magical toad. Good call though, as that would probably end up having been hell on earth for Graetz. There was only one female human character, so she was the obvious love interest, but it was written in such a desultory manner that it was no surprise when she bites it at the end. In fact, with just a very small re-working, the whole human storyline could have been done away with. But since they provided at least half the blood and entrails, this story would only have been half as fun without them.

Boneripper. Once again, not really a character but a name. Thanquol seems to have quite the limited imagination when it comes to naming his rat ogres, so when they unsurprisingly die in one violent way or another, he just names the new one Boneripper. Bonerippers remind me more of a force of nature than a character. Kind of like a super violent magical spell that Thanquol has, but in the shape of an ogre.

Now, like I stated at the beginning, I did enjoy this. I only rolled my eyes once, right near the end. Some human zombies that the skaven army had encountered takes over the ship that Thanquol needs. Can anyone say “Pirates of the Caribbean”? Sigh. But it did allow the current Boneripper to die and become a food source for Thanquol on his magical boat ride back to his home. Ok, that whole “magical boat ride back home” thing had me rolling my eyes too.

But I still want to read the final book in the trilogy. Considering how I’ve felt about previous Warhammer books, that counts as a stunning success for me.

★★★☆☆

bookstooge

 

 

 

Grey Seer (Warhammer: Thanquol & Boneripper #1) ★★★☆☆

greyseer (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Grey Seer
Series: Warhammer: Thanquol & Boneripper #1
Author: C.L. Werner
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 296
Format: Digital Edition

 

 

Synopsis:

Thanquol is a skaven magician, one of the Grey Seers. After having several of his plots foiled by Gotrek and Felix, Thanquol is sent on a dangerous mission to Altdorf, capital of the Empire, to recover the Wormstone, a huge piece of warpstone that will give its user tremendous power.

Of course, being skaven, Thanquol plots how to seize the stone for himself or at least how to use it to climb up the rungs of power. But since his “allies” are skaven too, they all are also planning on how to take it for themselves.

Upon finding out that the Stone is actually weapon more effective against skaven than humans, Thanquol plots on how to wipe out the city of Altdorf AND the skaven city of Under-Altdorf, thus gaining prestige and favor with the Council of 13. A human wizard of Altdorf has been keeping an eye of the skavens and with his cronies does his best to stop said plan. The other skavens of Altdorf also do their best to stop Thanquol, since dying isn’t really what they want to do.

The book ends with Thanquol’s plan going awry yet again, most of the skavens fighting him dying and most of the humans fighting the skavens dying.

 

My Thoughts:

First off, Boneripper is just a name that Thanquol gives to his current giant rat bodyguard. It’s almost more of a title than a name, as he seems to go through them at a pretty rapid pace. Now that I know that, I won’t be expecting a real duo as main characters.

I’ve not read any of the Gotrek and Felix books, which I gather is where Thanquol is originally introduced. From the little bit that is referenced, I’m not sure I WANT to read those books. They sound like a right pair of brutal thugs. Given, I’m getting that from Thanquol’s viewpoint, but even still.

So, I finally read a book about the skavens. Giant magical rat people with all the characteristics of rats. Cowardly, self-serving, backstabbing and generally bad guys. You’d think that would depress me but for some reason it really didn’t. What DID get me down was how the humans opposing the skavens were just as much scumbags, even the wizard guy. With characters like that fighting against Chaos, I’m kind of glad Chaos ends up taking this world.

I keep going into these Warhammer books thinking they’re alternates to the Forgotten Realms books. Ha, not even close. Warhammer is bleak, bleak, bleak. It is a good thing I have a month or two between them. Any sooner and I’d be overwhelmed and have to defenestrate myself, which just wouldn’t be cool.

I’ll definitely be finishing this trilogy. I’ve also got 2 more Age of Legends trilogies to work through but after that, I don’t know that I’ll be staying in this world anymore. It’s just too bleak and depressing for me.

★★★☆☆

bookstooge

 

Bane of Malekith (Warhammer: Tyrion & Teclis #3) ★☆☆☆ ½ DNF@27%

baneofmalekith (Custom)

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, Librarything & Tumblr by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Bane of Malekith
Series: Warhammer: Tyrion & Teclis #3
Author: William King
Rating: 1.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 416
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

DNF @ 27%

 

My Thoughts:

Nothing was happening. I was not in the mood for some b-quality fantasy book to give me a modicum of entertainment. This was no worse than the previous 2 books but that is damning praise. It was like eating spaghetti but without any sauce or meatballs or spices.

I am really not having good luck with the Warhammer universe. Savageddt has suggested I try some Gotrek and Felix. My only reservation is that those books appear to also be written by William King and I’d really like to try someone else. Guess I’ll be spending some time this weekend checking some other Warhammer series out.

★☆☆☆ ½

bookstooge

 

  1. Sword of Caledor (Book 2)
  2. Blood of Aenarion (Book 1)

Sword of Caledor (Warhammer: Tyrion & Teclis #2) ★★★☆☆

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This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Sword of Caledor
Series: Tyrion & Teclis #2
Author: William King
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 268
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

It has been 100 years since the previous book. Tyrion and Teclis are both becoming more adept at their roles and how they fit into Elven Society.

The book starts out with them and a bunch of humans on a quest to find the Sword of Caledor. Going through jungles, swamps and eventually ending up at a dead city, they find the Sword.

Once back home, Tyrion is called upon to take part in a tournament to decide the champion of the new Everqueen, as the previous one suddenly died, all because of Malekith’s long term plans. Teclis must decode a bunch of scrolls he took from the dead city that seem to describe the end of the world.

Meanwhile, Malekith has bound the demon from the previous book and is invading the Light Elves/Asur’s homeland. He uses the demon’s ability to use portals to spread his army across the land and plans on destroying city after city in one fell swoop. He also sends an elite contingent to the Tournament to capture the new Everqueen. With her bound to Malekith, the Asur will have to follow him.E

Tyrion foils said capture, but the book ends with him and the Everqueen on the run and the land about to be overrun by dark elves.

 

My Thoughts:

My initial thought when we meet the twins and their human entourage in a jungle searching for the sword, was that these elves were not Tolkien’s elves but that they seemed familiar. Further on, I realized that they reminded me of the Melnibonéans from Michael Moorcock’s Elric Saga. Decadent, superior and on the decline without even realizing it.

My second thought, when Malekith invaded with a whole boatload of boats [sorry for that, but couldn’t really think of another turn of phrase], was “Where are the watchers, the scouts, Joelendil Farmer?” Why didn’t SOMEBODY see a whole bloody army invading? I don’t get the impression that the Asur homeland was a vast, unpopulated realm. Maybe it is, but if so, me having no knowledge of the land denied me knowing that. It just came across as authorial “Because I said so!”

My third, and final negative thought, was, “this is depressing as all get out”. The Asur were ennui laden jerks, the Druuchi [the elves in thrall to Malekith, the other son of Aenarion] were all spies, tattletales and backstabbers and the humans were greedy pigs hardly even worth looking at.

Action-wise, this had some good stuff! The battles to find the sword of Caledor, in the jungle, in the dead city, were pretty good. Had a good mix of dinoaurs, ghosts and undead [sadly, no undead dinosaurs]. The slaughter at the Tournament was a bit “meh”, as none of the super-duper warriors, besides Tyrion, seemed to fight back and even Tyrion had to pull a rescue and run mission.

★★★☆☆

bookstooge

 

  1. Blood of Aenarion (Book 1)

Blood of Aenarion (Warhammer: Tyrion & Teclis #1) ★★★☆☆

aenarion (Custom)

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Blood of Aenarion
Series: Tyrion & Teclis #1
Author: William King
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: SFF
Pages: 416
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

6000 years ago, the world was besieged by the forces of Chaos and on the edge of destruction. An elven Mage worked a great magic that drove the chaos forces away but one of the demons was caught and trapped within the spell. The mage was only able to finish the spell because Aenarion, mightiest elf warrior, threw everything he had against the forces of chaos.

Now the spell is unraveling and the demon is out for vengeance against the descendants of Aenarion. Two of those descendants, Tyrion and Teclis, are just reaching the age of being presented to the King to see if they carry the curse of Aenarion and to have their possible futures foretold. Both of the twins are possibly the mightiest of elves in their respective arts, Tyrion has the potential to be a warrior without peer and Teclis may plumb the depths of the magical arts not seen in Millenia.

Now the twins must work together to survive Elven political infighting and a demon who is out to kill them. Not much of a life.

 

My Thoughts:

My first impression: Bleak.

While it is very similar to Forgotten Realms in style, in tone it is so different that it is hard to even lump them together. There is no hope, there is no lasting victory and Chaos WILL destroy the world at some point.

We follow the twins as they reach the age of majority and begin to have responsibilities that their father has run away from. Having lived in the backwoods of nowhere, neither twin is prepared for what it means to live in an Elven city. The elves of Warhammer are most definitely not in the mold of Tolkien’s elves. They are just prettier humans that live longer and things are just as nasty as in any political system.

With the twins exhibiting major traits of Aenarion [peerless warrior and mage extraordinaire] just as the super spell is unraveling, it is pretty easy to spot what is going to happen. But that didn’t detract from the story at all. William King appears to be a decent author and his skill level brings this up a notch. The climactic battle at the end with the twins channeling the power of some other Force [are there forces of Law to counter Chaos in Warhammer?] is pretty good. Of course, the demon isn’t destroyed so you know he/it will be back again to cause problems in the next 2 books.

I don’t know enough about the Warhammer universe so I have questions. I suspect though that I’ll have to just keep on reading to get those answers. As long as the writing quality stays at this level and not at the Blood on the Reik, I should be ok with the darker overtones.

★★★☆☆

bookstooge

Death’s Legacy (Blood on the Reik #3) (Warhammer) ★★★☆☆

cf9715189f9ab0f02945ed0e96b5e383

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, Booklikes & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

 
Title:        Death’s Legacy
Series:    Warhammer: Blood on the Reik #3
Author:   Sandy Mitchell
Rating:    3 of 5 Stars
Genre:     Fantasy
Pages:     416
Format:   Scanned Digital Edition

 

 

Synopsis: Spoilers

Rudi and Hanna are on the run, yet again. They head to another big city so Hanna can attempt to join another magic college and Rudi can work. Hanna gets turned away, pretty much goes darkside and joins her mother. Rudi gets captured by the witch hunter and imprisoned at a major temple to Sigmar. There he learns his heritage and finds out that his own parents were going to use him as a vessel to hold a demon prince, only the ritual was aborted. Now Rudi has a demon entwined with his own soul.

Now Rudi must work with those who were trying to kill him to free his soul. He must not die or the demon will be freed and destroy the continent. Meanwhile Hanna has joined one of the dark gods and has her own plans for Rudi.

Rudi survives betrayal on all levels and ends up being entombed alive with a ritual that will keep his soul attached to his dead body, thus denying the demon access to it. The book ends with Rudi contemplating the coming hundreds of years as he has to lie in the tomb and moulder away.

 

My Thoughts: Spoilers

I went and looked up some Wiki info for the Warhammer novels. They have ended and apparently it is because the dark gods win and everything is destroyed in the final series or two. So that is the tone of everything. Even if the good guys can hold off the forces of chaos, it doesn’t matter because we the readers know the ultimate end.

This was not a good series to get introduced to the Warhammer universe. The story was good and the ideas were neat, but my goodness, Mitchell’s writing was technically correct, but more time was given describing their journey (in which nothing happens by the way) than when things were hopping. Long stretches of boringness that should have been excised from the book by a good editor. VERY pedestrian writing.

I saw Hanna’s betrayal coming from book 1, but I did not expect it to take the shape of the game of gods that it did. I was expecting something more personal but this worked pretty good. Hanna wanted Rudi dead to release the demon, which would have been weakened by the priests of Sigmar. Hanna and company would then have swooped in, killed the demon, gotten major kudo power points for killing a demon and that power would have allowed them to take over the temple of Sigmar in the name of their god. Which would have weakened Sigmar and strengthened their god. But reading chapter upon chapter of Rudi doing research while in prison to get to that? Boring. I thought about giving this 2 ½ stars but the ending pulled it up that half star.

Finally, the covers for this trilogy. They’ve looked really cool. They look like what I want to be reading about in a universe called Warhammer. Scary looking, bad ass beings of power with huge weapons. If the story contained within had only lived up to the bar set by the covers. I feel cheated.

I’ve got my next Warhammer trilogy that I’m going to read, but I wish I could find someone who could point me to a good beginning point.

★★★☆☆

bookstooge

 

  1. Review of Book 1
  2. Review of Book 2