Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Death and Dishonour Book Review

Title: Death and Dishonour
Editor(s): Alex Davis, Nick Kyme and Lindsey Priestley
Publisher: Black Library
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9781844168064
Title: Death and Dishonour

Death and Dishonour is the newest short story anthology in the Warhammer Fantasy universe, and features some big named Black Library authors.

I have to admit: it's the first real Warhammer Fantasy novel of any kind that I've ever read, -- and for that matter finished-- and I wouldn't have it any other way. It's truly an amazing collection of stories, and within the first couple stories I was hooked and felt right at home. Although there's some technical terms and the like that I had no clue about when reading it -- and still don't, but I'm hoping to remedy this in the next few months -- it was still easy to get lost in, and enjoy. Unlike some other universes where you automatically need to know the back history of the universe before you dive into any kind of literature, this collection was very basic in that regard.

Compiled of nine fantastic pieces, this anthology is chalked full of awesome stories that are gauranteed to make you think, including two of the most famous duos, and one of the most brutal bounty hunters in all the Old World.

This selection of shorties starts off with a classic duo that many people are very fond of: Gotrek and Felix. Although I own all three Gotrek and Felix Omnibus's, I've only read a hundred or so pages of the first novel from this duo. But now that I've read Red Snow, I've bumped up the first Omnibus in my personal To-Be-Read Pile, and am extremely looking forward to it.

Following a few short stories later, is Noblisse Oblige, featuring the second duo to grace the pages of Death and Dishonour: Florin and Lorenzo. This was my first real look at these two, and I have to say that their Omnibus is on my To Buy list. I've flirted with the idea of picking it up in the past, but always found a reason to get something else. The story seemed to read as if it were just another adventure wherein the two friends get in trouble once again and have to find their way out. I mean, isn't that how some of the greatest duos are? But with this story, it doesn't seemed forced like some fictional pieces that I've read in the past.

To wrap this whole anthology up, is the final short story: Wolfshead, which features Brunner the Bounty Hunter. A character that, until I picked this book up, I have never heard of before. Now that I've read this piece of amazingness, I feel like I've been cheated on all these years for never knowing he existed. However, there is good news! Sometime in the month of May, I'll have the Brunner the Bounty Hunter Omnibus in my greedy hands, and hopefully I won't be too blown away that I can't write a review. I've read C.L. Werner's books about Matthias Thulmann the Witch Hunter, so hopefully it'll be just as good, and if this story is any indicator, I have I'll be in for one hell of a ride.

But, that's not all for this anthology. Each short story is sperated by three others, filling in the awesomeness with more amazing! Out of the six though, are some true gems, such as: Rest Eternal by Anthony Reynolds, and The Judgement of Crows by Chris Wraight, both of which blew me away with endings I never expected.

The others were interesting, but they for one reason or another just didn't score too high with me, and I admit that part of it's because I am so new to this world. However after reading each of them I wanted more of the Old World. For instance: The Assassin's Delimma for me, introduced the Skaven to me and because of it, I want to find out more. And The Last Ride of Heiner Rothstein threw in a whole new element for me that I'm not quite used too yet, which is the whole concept of black powder weapons. I'll admit that the majority of the fantasy I read doesn't have anything remotely close, or as cool as pistolier korps.

Over all, I was quite impressed with this anthology. Alex Davis, Nick Kyme and Lindsey Priestley, have far surpassed my expectations as editors. With very little spelling, punctuation or grammar errors, it's a solid book, and each story reads smoothly, and the flow from one story to the next is fluid. Not once did I think about sitting this book down to pick something else up to read. That's why I'm giving Death and Dishonour 8.5 TARDIS's out of 10. This is Sword and Sorcery in a large scaled world at it's best, and I can't wait to read more!

For anyone who has never delved into the fantasy universe of Warhammer, but have always wanted to, I would highly suggest picking up a copy of Death and Dishonour. It's a good starting point and stepping stone into what I hope will continue to be an amazing universe.


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