For many who are interested in fantasy worlds and perhaps also have an interest in tabletop games and role playing, the Warhammer world will be at least somewhat familiar.
Warhammer is a tabletop strategy game using miniature figures which has been produced by a UK based company called Games Workshop since the 1980's. Its setting is a fantasy world which has often been said to be largely inspired by the high-fantasy genre of fiction largely crafted and made famous by J.R.R Tolkien--as such it includes very familiar settings of Elves, Dwarves, Orcs, and humans as a younger race, although from there it is fair to say they have expanded and made their own world.
The book I am reviewing today, Trollslayer (written by William King and printed by The Black Library, Games Workshop's own publishing house), is the first book in a series focusing on the adventures of a Dwarven character, Gotrek Gurnison, and his human companion, Felix Jaeger. Gotrek is a Dwarf Slayer, who's unspecified crimes demanded that he dedicate his life to trying to find a glorious death in battle as a form of atonement. As such, he often goes on highly dangerous adventures and quests, with Felix in tow to record his legacy.
Although it is set within the Warhammer world, you don't need to be a fan of the game or know much about the background to enjoy the book, as the author does a good job of fleshing out the world and the races in it and some of the background history in a very natural way. I have only a passing knowledge of Warhammer and yet I did not feel lost at all in the book. The book is relatively lighthearted--there are a few laughs--yet the main reason I describe it that way is because it is perhaps not to be taken too seriously; the main characters accomplish some pretty heroic feats. It is fairly well written, and engages as a series of short sections, each outlining an adventure the pair undertake. While it may not be an epic fantasy classic like The Wheel of Time or A Game of Thrones, I did enjoy reading it. It is action packed and adventurous.
As a side-note to explain why I began reading this novel--I recently downloaded a game called Warhammer Quest on to my iPad, which I believe is also available on other devices. It is an adaptation of a board game of the same name and is very good, and very playable, a real dungeon-crawler in which you control and level up a party of characters of various backgrounds and skills. So I recommend that as well to any gamers out there, and it piqued my interest to get this novel on my tablet as well to read during commutes. Have fun!
Until next time, friends!