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DanSchwent

Dantastic Book Reviews

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Gotrek & Felix: The First Omnibus - William King Trollslayer: Introducing Gotrek Gurnisson, a dwarven Slayer sworn to die a heroic death and Felix Jaeger, the poet who's sworn an oath to chronicle it. In the stories in the first book contained within this omnibus, Gotrek and Felix encounter cultists, wolf-riding goblins, a ruined dwarven stronghold, a mutant-creating sorceror, and werewolves, among other things.

For years, people have been telling me to read this, saying it's comparable to Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser series. After half a decade of putting it off, I finally picked it up. The big Warhammer logo on the front was off putting, so much so that I almost put the book back down. I mean, fiction based on a role playing game? And who is this William King person anyway?

So, I've read through the first story. Are they as good as Leiber's stuff? Of course not. Don't be ridiculous. But they are a rip-roaring good time. I enjoyed myself tremendously. Gotrek is a one-dimensional killing machine but he has funny lines. Felix, on the other hand, is a well developed character that continually examines his place in the world.

William King isn't a bad writer, either, despite me never having heard of him and this being a RPG tie in. Honestly, I'd say his writing is as good as David Gemmell's. The stories are well done, although there are some fantasy cliches present. One thing that pleased me is that the setting seems to be more Eastern European based than most fantasy.

All in all, I'm enjoying the heck out of these.

Skavenslayer: Felix and Gotrek settle in Nuln for a time and find work first as sewerjacks and then as bouncers, all the while encountering the machinations of the skaven in the city's sewers. Can Felix and Gotrek foil the sinister pllots of the skaven?

The second book in this omnibus is a collection of short stories, much like the first. The stories in this one, however, are much more closely tied together. While I liked Skavenslayer, I didn't enjoy it as much as Trollslayer. The stories were a little too Felix-heavy and I never thought the skaven were compitent foes for Gotrek and Felix. Still pretty enjoyable though, good action and a lot of laughs. On to the third book!

Daemonslayer: Felix and Gotrek join a Dwarven expedition into the Chaos Wastes aboard an airship, searching for the lost Dwarven citadel of Karag Dum. But what will they find when, or if, they get there?

Daemonslayer has the epic feel the other two books were lacking and is full of dwarfish goodness. More of Gotrek's pre-Slayer past is revealed, but there are still many questions. Snorri Nosebiter, another Slayer, is introduced. The airship is described well and actually seems plausible. I like that the Warhammer dwarves are good at technology. The journey to Karag Dum doesn't drag, as many epic journeys do, and the final battle is probably in my top ten fantasy final battles of all time.

Upon completing the First Omnibus, I will say that I liked it a lot. It was 700+ pages of pulpy fantasy goodness and I plan on getting the Second Omnibus soon. Gotrek & Felix won't make you forget about Fahfrd and the Grey Mouser but they're entertaining as hell. I'd recommend this book to pulp fantasy fans, as well as fans of David Gemmell.