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Hello! And welcome to my review of the novel Warbeast by Gav Thorpe.

I'd like to start off explaining why I have decided to write this review about two years after having read it. My interest in the Age of Sigmar universe was restored after the release of 2.0 and I immediately began digging into the wikis' and lexicanum to absorb all I had missed, especially everything pertaining to my lead faction : the Stormcast. I was thrilled to read all the Malign Portents shorts and to read about characters like Hamiclar Bear-Eater and Balthus Arum while being sad that the most famous named character from my host Thostos Bladestorm is perma-dead. To top it all off in all the list of all the characters with lore entries I read none of the awesome characters I read about in Realmgate Wars: Warbeast had entries. I have decided I cannot let this stand so I am here to regale you with the tales of Arkas Warbeast and Theuderis Silverhand.

 

Ok so I am not going to drop the entire story here but I'm going to give a brief summary and then in a separate paragraph I will list a few spoilers that I feel are really interesting or at least they were at the time. The novel picks up right away with the instant striking of a lone Stormcast (Arkas Warbeast) a Lord Celestant of the Celestial Vindicators (the choppy ones) into Ghur in the middle of a tribe of bloodbound reavers who he proceeds to butcher. Whats interesting is Arkas has been sent to not just his home realm of Ghur but to the very lands he failed to defend from the Skaven (especially a certain Verminlord) centuries ago. The setting is Usungorod, a clear allegory to dark age Russia. The land is a frozen tundra and you can imagine the brillant colors of turquoise and red clashing among the white snow. You learn that The Warbeast chamber has been sent to reclaim a realmgate that leads to the realm of life. You also learn that they are only one half of the force meant to retake the gate which is held by the skaven who are attempting to use it to their own evil ends. The other half is a force led by Theuderis Silverhand of the Knights Excelsior stormhost. Theuderis is interesting in that he is formerly of the realm of metal and was a king who successfully repelled the chaos forces that attempted conquer his lands. Both these characters clash as do the tactics of their stormhosts ( it seems the Knights Excelsior have been retconned into brutal purists rather than strict disciplined by the book types). However they both have serious personal questions about their purpose and the wisdom and intent of their God-King Sigmar not least of which is motivated by their policy on discovered survivors. There are brutal, visceral fights, but the real heart of this book is the incredibly human depictions of the Stormcast especially Arkas himself. I love this novel and absolutely recommend you read it if you're able. It almost seems nostalgic to look back at a time before the building of the great cities or the assault on the allgates.

Have you read this book? If so how did you like it? Lets have a discussion!

Spoilers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

The Frost Queen of Kislev makes an appearance with some interesting revelations.

The story takes place in a region of Ghur with particularly potent magic influence and the characters struggle against its influence on their minds.

It is revealed that the Warbeast purpose are to die, confronting the overwhelming Skaven alone and sell their lives dearly as the more regimented Knights Excelsior coast on to the realmgate with the bulk of the Skaven drawn away.

My favorite: Arkas used to be a Were-Bear when he was mortal. Whats more he still is. he thought his reforging had removed the "flaw" but he will live with the bear spirit inside him forever and he must learn to become one with the beast.

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Hamiclar Bear-Eater...

I've not read amy AoS novels, but recognise this name from forums. What's his deal, is he worth readimg up on, and where would I read about his exploits?

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He is worth reading (at least that's what he thinks). He is sometimes presented as AoS version of Ciaphas Cain with the difference that Ciaphas consider himself a coward and Hamilcar is a "lovely braggart". Here are the books written by David Guymer (new one should be released soon):

https://www.blacklibrary.com/Home/Search-Results.html?__csrfToken=5IdCk1nm%2BhJmbbFlGepzGSD%2B7k3Quw2wt6dLamqNMLin&filter_type=6&filter_Action=0&filter_name=SearchTerm&submit=GO&filter_value=hamilcar

David Guymer sometimes posts Hamilcar's quotes and boasts on twitter 

 

 

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