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passtheKhorneplease

Slogging through the Realmgate Wars

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So I am on the first Realmgate War omnibus and I am struck at how hard it is to read sometimes.  I have read a bunch of 40k stuff, and being fairly well read I understand the place of the black library in the literary firmament.  But even some of the bad 40k stories seem to work better than the realmgate wars.  I just finished Wardens of the Everqueen which started ok and then just got worse and worse and worse.  I heard the books get better after the first couple.  Is this true?  Should I continue?  Or should I just skip ahead to some of the newer books that I have heard are better.  Opinions?  Anyone share my pain?

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I had a similar issue with the 2nd Omnibus. I tried reading Warbeast but just couldn't get into it. I've found the Call of Archaon series, also in the Realmgate Wars #2 Omnibus, to be pretty fun though.

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There's nothing worse than slogging through books you're not enjoying to 'get to the good stuff' - wasted far too much of my youth doing that :P 

If you're not into it, just skip ahead to some more recent stuff that catches your eye! 

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Yeah I'm a Language Arts teacher and I tell my students don't waste your time reading a book you don't enjoy, because life is too short.  But of course since I am a teacher I engage in a breathtaking amount of hypocrisy all the time and love to say I read a book, so I have problems putting a book down even if I am hating it.

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Posted (edited)

I feel the main problem with the whole RealmWar series is that they are basically just really campaigns formed of strung out battles that outstay their welcome. You're thrown right into the middle of them right from the very first book without as much grounding as the series really needed. Furthermore you're only introduced and kept up with the Stormcast and their enemy of the book - which is neat, but the Stormcast do start to feel very "Mary Sue" when they are marching for days on end without rest or supplies; fighting huge battles; climbing vast mountains and then fighting another fight all without pause or rest. I think the lack of rest phases means there's less breakup of the events - less charcter development outside of battle.

 

They are a slog in many ways and I've found them heavier going and am not even through the first.

 

That said they are setting up the setting, though mostly by beating Chaos back from multiple realms. I think once you're past them there's a LOT more better books that follow which are easier to understand and get into because you've got a grounding in the background of the factions. Plus some secondary factions do appear in the Realmgate series - you get a great introduction to the Sylvanath and how their peoples work, operate and fight and their relationship with their Everqueen. Bits that make it so much easier to then dive into the short stories in Inferno 1 and 2 or the new Novella series (which are really great reads). 

 

That said my first AoS book was Pestilens and that was great fun - yes its another long battle, but its got a lot more breakup to the action and really sets a very epic fantasy setting with towers built along the spines of a great land wurm and skaven gnawing holes through the beast and reality and battling with pestilent weapons (and I don't even "like" Pestilens the most of all the skaven)

 

 

It's a little bit like slogging through the slow start of The Fellowship of the Ring - its slow, it can grate a little and for some its a bit offputting; but it sets a scene for all that is to follow. Though I'd probably break up the big omnibus editions with something else inbetween each included book. Personally I've been breaking it up with Inferno and Gotrek and Felix (because darn it I want to hear Brian Blessed playing Gotrek but also want to be fully up to date with the character and his story) 

Edited by Overread

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I'm surprised you said you hate "Wardens of the Everqueen" maybe it's because I listen to the audiobook version of it. The realmgate wars stories were enjoyable to me, but then again I tend to consume every AoS story I can get my hands on. 

I wonder if a person's age has something to do with it. 

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It might be that stories like Malazan Book of the Fallen have spoilt us for true epic sweeping fantasy sagas 

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If I had my time again I'd skip all the Realmgate Wars books, they really were a slog. The Gav Thorpe Warbeast being a notable exception. 

The AoS books basically get really good basically from  City of Secrets onwards. 

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Posted (edited)

I couldn't finish Warbeast either. I do like book seven though, Fury of Gork is a cracking book. I'd love to read it again.

Stuff has come out now about how difficult it was to write Age of Sigmar in the early days. To put it nicely, GW really didn't have their head around what the backstory actually was and were a bit all over the place with their briefs. This made it quite a challenging experience for the writers.

Edited by Greyshadow

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11 minutes ago, Greyshadow said:

I couldn't finish Warbeast either. I do like book seven though, Fury of Gork is a cracking book. I'd love to read it again.

Stuff has come out now about how difficult it was to write Age of Sigmar in the early days. To put it nicely, GW really didn't have their head around what the backstory actually was and were a bit all over the place with their briefs. This made it quite a challenging experience for the writers.

Aye I get the feeling that the authors are far more settled with it now than they were then. I think its easy to keep a book lock in a battle because you basically just go with the models and powers and you can leave out all the knitty-gritty bits of detail about the world and its peoples. I think with things like maps, time lines and a more formal understanding of the Realms and some limits on size and structure its starting to give the authors something more to work with that they can sink their teeth into and flesh out. 

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Honestly, I'd just go to the new books.  I just read Hamilcar Champ of the Gods today, and it's one of my favorite AOS novels' I've read to date, the last short story collection Gods and Mortals was also terrific. 

I think they really hit their stride around the time of Plague Garden and the Lamentations stories.

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Yeah I do have the audio of Plague Garden and the first chapter of that has been more interesting than anything I have read in the Realmgate Wars so far.  I ready Hammerhall which was solid if a bit too fighty toward the back half.  Glad to hear they get better.  I love the models for Sigmar and the rules are better and less overwrought than 40k rules, but 40k has a ton of fun fluff fiction that Sigmar does not (yet) have.

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Fury of gork, mortarch of night and call of archaon are the best in the realmgate wars, the fiction gets way better afterwards. Wardens of the everqueen is a hard read due to the plot, so many false hopes from one end to the other.

The best books in age of sigmar imo are the hammerhall section of hamerhall and other stories. Plague garden and scourge of fate. Black pyramid is pretty good too

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26 minutes ago, passtheKhorneplease said:

Yeah I do have the audio of Plague Garden and the first chapter of that has been more interesting than anything I have read in the Realmgate Wars so far.  I ready Hammerhall which was solid if a bit too fighty toward the back half.  Glad to hear they get better.  I love the models for Sigmar and the rules are better and less overwrought than 40k rules, but 40k has a ton of fun fluff fiction that Sigmar does not (yet) have.

Oh, you don't like fighty stuff.  

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40 minutes ago, passtheKhorneplease said:

Yeah I do have the audio of Plague Garden and the first chapter of that has been more interesting than anything I have read in the Realmgate Wars so far. 

I really wanted to like  Plague Garden and though I found it a great inspiration for building scenery I were greatly dissapointed by the story. 

However not sure sure if it’s a part of the realmgate wars, but the Lord of Undeath is imho the best AOS novelle I have read so far and it works fine as a prequel to the Soulwars which is also really good. 

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This just shows what people can like can vary wildly when it comes to the stories. I love it all, I found all the stories enjoyable, but I do think some are better than others. However I never thought any of them were BAD. 

Maybe I enjoy the realmgate wars novels because I like paladins.

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I do like fighty stuff (if I didn't I don't think I would have gotten as far as I have into the black library), but I prefer to be sandwiched between interesting characters and established stakes so it is not just shooting off you bolter just to shoot it.

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Yeah GW missed a trick in jumping for the whole Age of Sigmar idea because they cut out two whole massive ages of their own new world - the Mythic (which would have been best to do) and the Chaos Age. So by the time we get to Realmgate the Realms are technically REALLY old already. I kind of get the feeling that GW writers regret that choice and that it was pushed by marketing for Stormcast alone, because the way we get heroes back in the current age is a bit forced considering that so many thousands of years have passed in the Realms already that the peoples of them should (in theory) so so far removed from the old world that they'd not even be recognisable. Yet here we are with Scourge Privateers in Black Arks; Gotrek and Thanquol running amok and the like 

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Nagash: the undying king is pretty darn good too

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6 hours ago, passtheKhorneplease said:

So I am on the first Realmgate War omnibus and I am struck at how hard it is to read sometimes.  I have read a bunch of 40k stuff, and being fairly well read I understand the place of the black library in the literary firmament.  But even some of the bad 40k stories seem to work better than the realmgate wars.  I just finished Wardens of the Everqueen which started ok and then just got worse and worse and worse.  I heard the books get better after the first couple.  Is this true?  Should I continue?  Or should I just skip ahead to some of the newer books that I have heard are better.  Opinions?  Anyone share my pain?

Realmgate wars are really bad. AllGates is the only half decent book.

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3 minutes ago, Turgol said:

Realmgate wars are really bad. AllGates is the only half decent book.

I think he's talking about the novels not the campaign books

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Books 1,2 and 5 are pretty much direct novelisations of the campaign books and suffer because of it. 

The books I would strongly recommend are  pestilens,  city of Secrets, 8 lamentations,  the silver shard,  Soul wars ( a tie in novel that's actually good) Overlords of the iron dragon, all the recent novellas, the Mortarch of night audio drama, and the gotrek audio drama. They are all great. 

 

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I find listening to them on audio book *really* helps. I tend to listen while I paint or draw so it’s nice for that. It’s like having a friend tell you stories about their characters etc. haha

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8 hours ago, Chikout said:

The books I would strongly recommend are  pestilens,  city of Secrets, 8 lamentations,  the silver shard,  Soul wars ( a tie in novel that's actually good) Overlords of the iron dragon, all the recent novellas, the Mortarch of night audio drama, and the gotrek audio drama. They are all great. 

^ this!  I quite enjoyed the Realmgate Wars books, however when I read them there wasn't very much fiction about and as various interviews with GW staff has said there was actually too much scope in the realms so there was mountains of creative freedom, but nothing very much anchored down (other than a couple of key events).  We're in a much, much better place now though.  The Realmgate Wars is very much set right at the beginning of the Age of Sigmar, so not reading them (or only some of them) won't impact your enjoyment of future books, even the ones that tie into specific characters.  Certainly the books @Chikout suggests don't have any tie ins. 

I'd also say that pretty much all of the after the Realmgate Wars all books are very good reads, unlike in the past where some books may have been considered poor.  We've had some exceptional stories and the likes of Josh Reynolds, David Guymer and Gav Thorpe have really got under the skin of the Mortal Realms.

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