View Full Version : Advice on gotrek and felix books

14-03-2013, 20:10
Im looking for some opinions on these novels i haven't read any. I started the first one a few years back but was put off by reviews that they were more comical and shallower than other warhammer fantasy books.

Ive since read many the time of legends and heroes series being my preferred ones.

Of all the books Ive enjoyed CL Werner novels the most including thanquol and bone ripper.

Could anybody give me there opinions on these novels and whether there worth a read and if so which ones would you recommend or would i need to read them all. thanks

14-03-2013, 21:44
the first two books in the series are all short stories but are both really good.
personally I liked Manslayer as it seems to be an older wiser felix

14-03-2013, 21:54
For the most part, they are all pretty good. And to be honest, it's not like any GW fiction is high literature or anything. you should give them a chance.

14-03-2013, 22:44
When people say the stories are more comical, what they probably mean is that they're written with a slightly greater sense of self-awareness than some of the more po-faced BL literature, and they're not so grimdarked up the wazoo. Having said that, they're still very Warhammery, in a late 80s/early 90s sort of way, and in some ways, more human and affecting stories, especially early in the series, than typical BL fare. Especially early on, there's also quite a bit of Skaven, which is where some of the humour comes from. If you like C.L. Werner's Skaven then this is pretty much the same - in fact, the way William King presented the Skaven in Skavenslayer basically formed the template for how the Skaven were portrayed in fiction thereafter.

The first book (Trollslayer) is a collection of short stories, which were originally published in the GW Books anthologies back in the day. These are for the most part pretty good, and provide quite a lot of variety. The second is a sort of segue into a novel-based format; the first story is also a reprint, and the rest of the book comprises a group of linked short stories that follow chronologically and are concluded in the final one. From then on, it's into novels.

A number of fans felt that the series lost its way after the third or fourth instalment (Daemonslayer or Dragonslayer) and the plot does bog down a little, dealing with the defence of Praag and the fallout from it, as well as introducing an increasingly extensive supporting cast of characters who are variously entertaining and irritating, depending on your perspective. Rumour, and the natural progression of the plot, suggests that Giantslayer was to be the penultimate book, with Gotrek finally meeting his fate - or whatever was to happen - in the subsequent novel. Unfortunately (or not, depending on your perspective) events took a different turn, William King stopped writing the novels, and the line was eventually taken up by Nathan Long.

The Nathan Long stories are much more in the line of typical BL fiction, and they also come across as much more serialised instalments rather than a total narrative arc. At the end of each novel Gotrek gets an idea that he'll meet his doom in the next one, only he doesn't, and things continue in that fashion. It was around this point that I started to lose interest in the series a little, because it seemed to be flogging a bit of a dead horse, came across as a little aimless and lost a lot of the wry humour that made the series so much fun in the first place. A lot of the supporting cast vanished in the interim as well.

Two spinoff series started in the Nathan Long era, too: the Thanquol and Boneripper series, detailing the adventures of Gotrek's nemesis, and the Ulrika series, following a former paramour of Felix's whose life took an interesting turn. I have very much enjoyed the Thanquol stories, but was put off the Ulrika ones because I didn't like where Mr Long seemed to be taking the character in her last appearance in G&F. They're on the shelf, but a little way down the list.

Eventually, the series was given a quasi-reboot in the Gotrek and Felix Anthology, which apparently represents a move to take the characters out of the "canonical" continuity and towards a more "legendary hero" sort of vibe, which addresses one of the problems there's been with the line for a long time (the original WH Novels operated on a different timeline to the battlegame, which meant Gotrek and Felix's adventures were out of sync with the canon). The anthology is an entertaining read featuring contributions from a number of authors, and includes some stories focussing on enemies of the duo or some of their formerly supporting characters, which allows for some welcome variance of tone. Josh Reynolds then picks up the story in Road of Skulls, which seems to have been well-received although I haven't got round to it yet.

I'd recommend giving it a look, certainly the first couple of books (the first omnibus, or thereabouts). If you don't like them, then leave the series aside; if you do, then you won't need me to encourage you to carry on.

21-03-2013, 15:27
Skavenslayer, Demonslayer, Dragonslayer and Elfslayer - everything else just mediocre