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TwistedBishop
18-11-2009, 09:16
I'm looking for some suggestions on a good starting point for the Warhammer Fantasy novels.

Some background on myself: I've mainly been interested in 40k in the past, but recently I got into the Warhammer MMO and it's kindled an interest in collecting a Fantasy army and getting acquainted with the fluff. However, given that there's a new edition coming out next year and I'm planning on waiting for it, I'm stuck in the awkward position of not being able to go straight to a core rulebook for the setting information.

I know almost nothing about the Fantasy setting besides what little I've gleaned from the MMO, and from what I understand it diverges from GW's canon in key ways. I'd like to avoid the Time of Legends series if possible, and jump into something more "current". Preferably a novel or omnibus that sets the world up well for a newer reader. I know that Dan Abnett is the go-to writer on 40k; is there a similarly well-respected Fantasy author?

Thanks.

Baggers
18-11-2009, 09:20
There are two good series. The slayer series by Bill King and Nathan Long and the Malus Darkblade series by Mike Lee and Bill King. Other than that, a lot of the books are one off and so you can take your pick of what you want to read.

Skyven
18-11-2009, 09:35
Why wait to build an army. The Skaven book has only just been released and it is 8th edition 'ready' (as suggested by the non-partial rule for templates). Beastmen is due out early next year should be the same -- these books won't get updated again for years and are therefore good places to start.

If you go Skaven with an army, you could check out the Thanquol novel 'Grey Seer' that was recently published.

TwistedBishop
18-11-2009, 09:46
Why wait to build an army.

I actually do plan to start the army this holiday season. I tend to collect armies based on aesthetics, so my relative ignorance with the setting won't be too much of a hinderance there.

What I meant was, the main rulebook is usually the best place to get a feel for the game's landscape, and I won't be seeing that for about 9 months, or whenever they decide to release 8th next year. Honestly, I tend to like game novels as an introduction to a setting anyway. It's just finding one that's both a good story and good for a n00b can be tricky.

Iseult
18-11-2009, 09:48
Gotrek and Felix, first five books or so are fantastic. Buy the first and second Omnibus and you will be entertained.

Bill King's characters are interesting because of their flaws and the depth of their relationships with each other, and would pass as good novels if you took them outside of the warhammer world because of this. That they also cut a swathe through legions of orcs, skaven and daemons is a welcome bonus :D

By contrast I tend to find many of the other authors lean towards extremes in their characterisation and are one dimensional as a result.

EDIT: The Gotrek & Felix series will set you up with everything you need to know to start an Empire or Skaven army (the Skavenslayer book is an absolute gem) and could do for dwarfs too at a stretch

BigbyWolf
18-11-2009, 10:31
The Gotrek and Felix books start well, but later ones have been pretty formulaic and dissapointing (most notably Orcslayer).

Dan Abnett's "Riders of the Dead"(?) is a very good book, and covers Empire, Chaos and Kislevite characters/ methods of warfare.

Although my favourite GW books of all time really do have to be the Konrad trilogy from the early 90's.

Grimmeth
18-11-2009, 11:37
Konrad was a brilliant trilogy of books - except for the ending... I'm gutted that someone stole mine!

The Bill King books seem a pretty good start from what I've seen (although I haven't actually read any for some reason...) Not massively up to date on fantasy books but Grey Seer gives a view of the 'darker' side of the Empire, an incredibly detailed view of Skaven and is pretty damn funny to boot!

The Red Scourge
18-11-2009, 14:29
Keep away from things with names like Felix, Gotrek and Konrad - they're like the Barbara Cartland of fantasy. Best thing to say about them is that you could use them to start fires and as a substitute for toilet paper (if you're really desperate) :)

The Genevieve stories are a decent read.

Grimmeth
18-11-2009, 15:15
I've read Drachenfels a loooong time ago, but remember quite enjoying it - but it's similar to Knorad in that it falls into the 'old fantasy' style, which may not be what the OP is after - not sure what other Genevieve books there are though?

TheBigBadWolf
18-11-2009, 15:46
The life of sigmar is ok, not specifically a novel but a background style book.

arachnid
18-11-2009, 16:04
Is the malekith novel any good btw?


There's a whole host of both fantasy and 40k books coming out next year, looks like a big focus on the evil armies too :D

Looks i won't run out of reading material anytime soon .

Lycannus
18-11-2009, 16:09
Is the malekith novel any good btw?
.

I thought the Malekith book was awesome, waiting for the next one

Have read all the Gotrek and Felix books, and all the Darkblade books, I enjoyed and recommend them

Orcboy_Phil
18-11-2009, 16:16
Go for the Konrad triology. Great set of books and will introduce you to Imperial culture and elements of Khorne and Slannesh. In fact it makes khorne seem alot less one dimensional than you'll get in most sources.

Darth Alec
18-11-2009, 16:17
Reiksguard by Richard Williams is good. It even has some Ogres.

Malekith is great, couldn't put it down even though I had bought it as a bus ride-read.

Heldenhammer is ok, but nothing special.

Count Zero
18-11-2009, 16:18
the Witch Hunter omnibus was all right. omnibuses offer great value too, esp if bought though Amazon etc.

BigbyWolf
18-11-2009, 16:32
Keep away from things with names like Felix, Gotrek and Konrad - they're like the Barbara Cartland of fantasy. Best thing to say about them is that you could use them to start fires and as a substitute for toilet paper (if you're really desperate) :)

The Genevieve stories are a decent read.

Meh!...and that's all your getting for that Mr. Scourge...dissing my literary choices! You're just lucky you're pretty...

The Red Scourge
18-11-2009, 17:40
...dissing my literary choices!

Thats an awful big word for those books mr. Wolf. Just too many darn syllables, I'd go with a single syllable word, like 'trash' :p

Hrokka `Eadsplitter
18-11-2009, 17:54
I would buy the Bfsp novel, quite wellwritten and very good for newcomers(have read it myself, it's OK).

BigbyWolf
18-11-2009, 18:44
Thats an awful big word for those books mr. Wolf. Just too many darn syllables, I'd go with a single syllable word, like 'trash' :p

True enough, I was about 13 when the Konrad books came out...so you may have a point there (and you've no idea how much it hurts to say that!)

I do still maintain that the earlier G&F books weren't THAT bad (the two that stick in my mind are Daemon/ Beastslayer), but I do have a thing for Chaos, so that could be why...

amysrevenge
18-11-2009, 19:40
Taking the writing quality of the books as unimportant for the moment, is the world background exposition reasonably thorough? Do you get a sense of both the history and the current state of the world?

decker_cky
18-11-2009, 20:13
I'm curious, should I read at least Skavenslayer before I read Grey Seer?

outbreak
18-11-2009, 22:57
I'd read the first 2 omnibuses of gotrek and felix before grey seer but that's just me...

Primarch Arkthenion
18-11-2009, 23:14
I would agree with Outbreak. Also If i were you I would read either Nagash, Malekith, or Heldenhammer because it gives some good background info. No matter what you are playing if you plan to read any of the fluff I would read heldenhammer and gotrek and felix. The Vampire wars are ok but Vampire Genevive is really bad. Also bad are ancient blood, curse of the necrarch, and Blood for the Blood god

ChaosVC
19-11-2009, 03:37
Also try Ambassador and its follow up series (forgotten the other books title), I think there is only 2 book for it. Very dramatic and down to earth people that stood their ground against the force of Chaos if you like more "realistic" approaches of telling a story between humanity Vs daemonic powered warriors. The other one would be Riders of the dead, a simple story which describes how the gods of chaos do their work with their followers and their "chosens". Look for Graham McNeill's books, most of them are generally pleasent to read. Never like the slayers series...not a fan of super dwarfs or human though, Sigmar is an exception.

Roark
19-11-2009, 04:00
Malus Darkblade series by Mike Lee and Bill King.

Actually, the Malus Darkblade series was written by Mike Lee and the UberGod of Black Library: Dan Abnett.

Abnett is easily the best Warhammer writer around, in my opinion. Pity he doesn't write more fantasy.

I can echo this recommendation, though. Plus Gotrek & Felix. Excellent series both.

Grimmeth
19-11-2009, 11:32
Thats an awful big word for those books mr. Wolf. Just too many darn syllables, I'd go with a single syllable word, like 'trash' :p

They ARE trashy, all action, read-on-a-train kind of books, there's no denying that, but then not everyone wants to read literary works of art all the time.
MOST aren't badly written for what they are, and I'm assuming the OP isn't really expecting them to be much more than that.