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Perrin
13-12-2013, 18:10
Just checking the order of books in this series, I want to buy the newer ones but the BL website is less than helpful.

What I've got so far is:

Nagash trilogy
Neferata
Master of Mourkain (ebook short)
Master of Death


Is that right? Also not related, but does anyone else find the BL website really cluttered and hard to use? I can never find the books I'm looking for, for example Neferata and Master of Death aren't in the Time of Legends tab, or in New Titles, I had to find a list of Warhammer Fantasy novels on Wikipedia then search for the individual books.

shadowhawk2008
13-12-2013, 18:47
The site has been borked for quite a while. Like forever.

DarkWarrior1981
13-12-2013, 19:06
@Perrin:

In addition there is the short story Fangs of the Asp, which is available as part of Hammer & Bolter #26.

DarkChaplain
14-12-2013, 21:44
I wonder how hard it could be to have a proper section indexing series and approximate chronological order.... Then again, they don't even sort or categorize their stuff properly most of the time =/

Either way, there's another short story called "Picking the Bones", iirc, which plays at Nagash's fall. They advertised that one in the Nagash omnibus (because including it like the novella and short story in the Sundering or Let the Great Axe Fall in Sigmar's would have been too generous...) and got around to releasing it a few months later.

Horus Lupercal
14-12-2013, 22:22
I think as long as you understand who some of the big players are and know the overall gist you can go straight to Neferata.

I read book one and a little bit of the 2nd nagash trilogy but gave up because I found them hard to get through.

Im not struggling to read Neferata at all. I think the Blood of Nagash is a new trilogy set later, I reckon you can get away with jumping in there.

Perrin
15-12-2013, 01:43
@DarkChaplain: Is that the one with Arkhan? If so then I've read that one. That was probably one of the better short stories that BL have put out, Arkhan is great, like an undead Malus Darkblade.

@Horus Lupercal: I have never played WHF or read much of the background so a lot of the novels are new to me. Or at least they were, been into WHF for a good few years now. The Nagash series was completely new to me when I picked up the first novel so I thought it was all really good. When I finished the series I was kind of disappointed, 3 books of what is essentially good vs evil, good finally wins out and everything is looking promising for the new king, then Nagash just poisons a river and destroys the whole country. It was a bit of crappy ending and seemed way too easy. I went back to the books a couple of months ago, and obviously knowing what was coming I enjoyed them a lot more.

I think I'll get hold of Neferata soon, I've read some good reviews of it so far. I am slightly annoyed though that when I saw it on the BL website a few months ago it had the ToL cover, black with a picture in the middle, but now it has a full picture cover on it, which is annoying as it doesn't match my other ToL books. Slightly OCD I know haha. I noticed that the War of Vengeance novels are now full cover pictures as well.

Also, suggestion for the forum and any mods reading this: Would it possibly be prudent to have a sticky listing all WHF/HH/40k novels that have been released? Just three lists in a locked, stickied topic, maybe with a coming soon section, and updated with new releases regularly, posted in one of the BL forums. It would help a lot with the BL website being such a mess.

antihierophant
14-01-2014, 20:32
Complete reading order-
1. Nagash the Sorcerer
2. Nagash the Unbroken
3. Nagash the Immortal
4. Picking the Bones
5. Master of Mourkain
6. Neferata
7. Master of Death
8. Ghoul King pts. 1+2
9. Fangs of the Asp
10. The as-of-yet unreleased (or in fact even announced) third part of the Blood of Nagash trilogy by Josh Reynolds that I expect will be about Abhorash
11. Optional extra. God King (actually the 3rd part of the Sigmar trilogy but as all the Time of Legends is linked in the same way as the Horus Heresy to a lesser extent it includes some of the same characters, not just Nagash. Some minor characters from the first Nagash book even appear in the current War of Vengeance trilogy)

I'll not go into full review mode here, but I'll give you the broad strokes.
The Nagash stuff by Mike Lee (1-4 in the list above) is pretty average. The story is very very good but the writing is sometimes pretty poor, the structure hard to follow at times and it strays from existing fluff in some very severe ways. That being said the expansion of certain characters, especially Arkhan the Black is excellent and he has rapidly become my favorite Black Library character right now. Be warned that the focus on him and Neferata does mean that especially in the second book, Nagash himself is pretty much relegated to a secondary role.

The Josh Reynolds stuff (5-9) is MUCH better written, but he is really just expanding on what Mike Lee already set up. That's not to say it's not good- it is, VERY good- but Lee must be awarded his fair credit too. Reynolds focuses on characters who up until now have had very little existing material about them which gives him much more freedom and it works. He creates some very complex characters and very compelling stories. His stuff is much easier to follow than Lee's. Tends to be a little less action packed, more secrets and plots.

Both writers use the same non-linear chronology but Lee's is much much harder to follow (especially in book 1). Reynolds does it much more subtly.

As for reading the Blood of Nagash stuff by Reynolds without reading the Nagash stuff by Lee first- yes you can, but you shouldn't in my opinion. It is all part of one epic. Yeah you can read the Lord of the Rings without reading the Hobbit, but it's not the same. Even that metaphor is a little weak as the seperation between LOTR and Hobbit is much greater than between these 2 trilogies and their associated short stories.

Right now I just know I am loving ALL of this material! Lee and Reynolds have made the story of the undead come alive (tee hee) that nobody writing about them for Black Library has done since the Vampire Wars series, and this far surpasses that great work.

Hope I've been helpful

VaeVictisGames
15-01-2014, 19:31
Complete reading order-
1. Nagash the Sorcerer
2. Nagash the Unbroken
3. Nagash the Immortal
4. Picking the Bones
5. Master of Mourkain
6. Neferata
7. Master of Death
8. Ghoul King pts. 1+2
9. Fangs of the Asp
10. The as-of-yet unreleased (or in fact even announced) third part of the Blood of Nagash trilogy by Josh Reynolds that I expect will be about Abhorash
l

The third book will be called 'Blood Dragon' and has a vague release date of 2014. I agree with most of your review too, although i also really enjoyed the Nagash trilogy, Josh Reynolds' books have been great so far.

DarkChaplain
16-01-2014, 11:15
Just to chip this in: From what I've heard, some (major) background changes seem to have been issued by the higher-ups, not the authors themselves. The lack of Vashanesh, for example, seems to be one of these cases. A few years back, it was also said that Gav Thorpe would write a Von Carstein trilogy for ToL, which has been put on hold due to the Legacy of Caliban trilogy for 40k. He does, however, have a dwarfen novel coming out this summer for ToL, which is a one-off.

There's some interesting bits about Mike Lee's novels in the Nagash Omnibus, actually. He was asked to write the books after finishing the 5th Darkblade novel, agreed and was sent "about twenty photocopied pages from the Tomb Kings armybook. They included a couple of maps of Nehekhara, a chronology listing the major events in Nagash's reign of terror and a brief history covering the origins of the undead."
He also goes on to talk about the need to basically create a whole culture from scratch (which I felt - as far as I read - to have been a success), including some changes to the lifespan of Nehekhara's people (well-explained and something I can wholeheartedly agree with).
If he ever read or even just received a copy of the Liber Necris is questionable, and certainly not answered in his introduction to the omnibus (written January 2012).

Considering the way he was presented with the task, and the material they sent him, I'm not surprised there are discrepancies between novels and overall lore. If I remember correctly, Lee also lives in America, not the UK, so a simple visit to the archives would have been troublesome. I seem to remember that he had to do his work with Dan Abnett for Darkblade via phone, which must have been quite a problem due to timezones.
Could he have researched more on his own? Sure thing, but seeing how badly the WHFB Lexicanum is being treated, especially the english one, and the insane prices Liber Necris has been going for on ebay for the past few years already, I'm willing to cut him some slack.

antihierophant
16-01-2014, 19:48
Well I definitely agree with a lot of what your saying and certainly never meant to give the impression what he was did was bad. His creation of the culture- the traditions, religion, little quirks like the lifespan or oldest sons being priests/second sons becoming kings etc. were all fantastic.To be honest, I even quite liked the much maligned Ushabti change. Also, a lot of the changes he made lore-wise were quite good and the way he fleshed out characters who we knew next to nothing about like Alcadizzar or W'soran was great.

My criticisms were never as much about content as they were about his skill as a writer. Inconsistencies between his own books, the non-linear story being managed in a way that made it a bit of a chore to follow, some pretty cheesy dialogue (though that's hardly a hanging offense in most fantasy, and especially warhammer), stuff like that. I certainly do not want to give the impression that I think Mike Lee is a bad writer because I don't or that I don't love the Nagash trilogy because I do, I just generally I have the feeling that the overall quality and polish of the Reynolds books are better.

I am curious about the Gav Thorpe Von Carstein trilogy. Do you know how long it's been pushed back? I always found it odd that they were redoing those because although I can understand wanting to expand the ToL series, I always thought the Steven Saville trilogy was excellent, and they are only a few years old.

Danny76
18-01-2014, 20:20
I am curious about the Gav Thorpe Von Carstein trilogy. Do you know how long it's been pushed back? I always found it odd that they were redoing those because although I can understand wanting to expand the ToL series, I always thought the Steven Saville trilogy was excellent, and they are only a few years old.

I wouldn't have said it was redoing them, isn't it kind of just more to the story as it were?
Is the Von Carstein Trilogy the beginning of their story or just a mid point etc? I'll admit I haven't got there yet so I don't know, but I could imagine the ToL was planned to be the start perhaps?

I'll be interested to read the Dark Angels stuff when that comes, but I assume even that will be a while off. HH is really delaying everything, Forge World and Black Library..

DarkChaplain
20-01-2014, 06:05
The Dark Angels trilogy Gav writes has Ravenwing out already (Dec/Jan 2013), the second is Master of Sanctity, due to be released this summer. The final novel hopefully back on track in summer 2015.

As for the Von Carstein / Vampire Wars trilogy... It started off not long before Vlad began his crusade against the Empire, and featured the living more heavily than the dead, I feel.
What ticks me off, however, is the lack of Vlad in the Black Plague trilogy, specifically the part of Van Hal - iirc, Vladimir came to Frederik with one of the Nine Books of Nagash, and I haven't heard any of that in the first two books of the Black Plague.

antihierophant
22-01-2014, 08:50
DarkChaplain-I bought the third yesterday and am going through it now. Like you I'm hoping Vlad appears, but won't be surprised if he doesn't now.

Danny76-To clarify, The Von Carstein trilogy was written a few years ago before the Time of Legend series was started. I assume that Gav's new version will fit into the current ToL series- shared characters etc. As DarkChaplain said they were mostly from a human perspective, but were rather thorough and there no major part of that history missing.

Lord Zarkov
27-01-2014, 21:31
The Dark Angels trilogy Gav writes has Ravenwing out already (Dec/Jan 2013), the second is Master of Sanctity, due to be released this summer. The final novel hopefully back on track in summer 2015.

As for the Von Carstein / Vampire Wars trilogy... It started off not long before Vlad began his crusade against the Empire, and featured the living more heavily than the dead, I feel.
What ticks me off, however, is the lack of Vlad in the Black Plague trilogy, specifically the part of Van Hal - iirc, Vladimir came to Frederik with one of the Nine Books of Nagash, and I haven't heard any of that in the first two books of the Black Plague.

At this point I think it can be safely said that all the references in Liber Necris to Vlad having his finger in every pie in the history of the undead is a figment of Mannfred's egomania - either made up and told to him by Vlad (and which he refuses to disbelieve as it makes him less important) or one of Mannfred's personal delusions (imo more likely the former). The fact that Vlad didn't turn up in Dead Winter (with van Hal just finding the book in a crypt) made it unlikely he would turn up in the rest of the series.
Personally I think the new version makes Vanhel a more interesting and believable character than just being Vlad's stooge.

IMO, Vlad could still be a Master Vampire, and in fact IMO Nagash Immortal and Master of Death both set up a likely character:
Lord Ankhat. He's one of the original vampires, but flees Lahmia by ship during it's fall, and goes off to new places. By Master of Death he's already spent some time in Cathay, some in the North, some in other places, generally building his own power and knowledge and (somewhat sensibly) forswearing Lahmia and staying away from the power games first Nagash and then the other MVs are playing together - he seems to settle for a bit, and then when things get too hot leave alone to learn and build power. I can easily see him continuing this to the point reached by Vlad in "The Ninth Book" and later Sylvania. The brief description of his activities in Cathay was also superficially similar to Sylvania (build a power base in a remote region, spread vampirism among the local nobles to build a power base, etc - he just got rumbled earlier

antihierophant
29-01-2014, 12:26
I agree with Lord Zarkov that the series does seem to have set up that particular character for being Vlad, but I must admit it feels kinda false to me. He just doesn't seem to have the majesty or gravitas I associate with Vlad. If that is indeed the intention I'd need to see a REALLY severe character progression in the upcoming series by Gav Thorpe or, and I'd actually vastly prefer this, another ebook novella by Reynalds linking the two more personality wise to really feel it.

He's an obvious choice by action and by the simple fact there's no other Nehekaran era-vampires unaccounted for, but the way he's been written so far doesn't say Vlad to me at all character wise.

Athelassan
08-02-2014, 19:25
As for the Von Carstein / Vampire Wars trilogy... It started off not long before Vlad began his crusade against the Empire, and featured the living more heavily than the dead, I feel.
What ticks me off, however, is the lack of Vlad in the Black Plague trilogy, specifically the part of Van Hal - iirc, Vladimir came to Frederik with one of the Nine Books of Nagash, and I haven't heard any of that in the first two books of the Black Plague.
That was a fairly late addition to the story and only showed up in a couple of side sources, iirc. I'm not 100% but CL Werner might actually have been told to leave that character out. Certainly I think the Vanhal story actually works better without him, and I always resented his presence anyway.

There are a couple of "bonus" short stories that tie in with the overall series in Age of Legend: A Small Victory, which is set in the wars against Nagash in Nehekhara, and The Ninth Book, set at an unspecified time after the fall of Mourkhain.

antihierophant
09-02-2014, 08:47
That was a fairly late addition to the story and only showed up in a couple of side sources, iirc. I'm not 100% but CL Werner might actually have been told to leave that character out. Certainly I think the Vanhal story actually works better without him, and I always resented his presence anyway.

I agree that I didn't feel the loss of 'Vladimir' in the Vanhel story but personally, while I mostly liked The Wolf of Sigmar, I felt the Vanhel sub-plot was a real anticlimax. Just fizzled out. I was very disappointed.

Cataphract
13-02-2014, 01:16
I think Ankhat is the sire of the Von Carstein bloodline.