Yearly book reading challenge update and the Prince Corum book series

Back in April I’ve posted an update on my yearly book reading challenge, after reading a total of twelve books last year, I wanted to best that record by reading more books. Below is a recap list of what I read this year.

  • The Rats, by James Herbert
  • Lair, by James Herbert
  • Domain, by James Herbert
  • Chacarodons: The Outer Dark, by Robbie Mcniven
  • The Horus Heresy: Galaxy in Flames, by Ben Counter
  • The Horus Heresy: Crimson Fist, by John French
  • Nagash: The Undying King, by Josh Reynolds
  • Legacy of Dorn, by Mike Lee
  • Elric of Melniboné, by Michael Moorcock
  • A knight and his horse, by Ewart Oakshott

Today I can announce (a late one) that I’ve now passed my goal, with six more books read! This year I have so far read 16 books, three of which are part of a trilogy of books. Below is a list of what I’ve read since April’s update post.

  • The Knight of the Sword, by Micheal Moorcock
  • The Queen of the Sword, by Micheal Moorcock
  • The King of the Sword, by Micheal Moorcock
  • The Land Leviathan (the Oswald Bastable trilogy), by Micheal Moorcock
  • The Dark Powers of Tolkien, by David Day
  • The Fog, by James Herbert

The first trilogy in the Corum series written by Micheal Moorcock.

So now that my goal has been met, I’m going to read some more books and see how far I can go before the end of 2019.

After reading the Sword Rulers trilogy by Micheal Moorcock, I was really inspired by the story and creations by Micheal, a fun and interesting series relating to the multiverse. I think it’s a series that’s hardly been talked about with today’s generation (including me for a time before I found out about Micheal Moorcock). I’ve got an idea that I’ve been working on for weeks now, that will hopefully attract more new readers to the Corum series and other Micheal Moorcock books……

Until next time,

-Bjorn

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BL celebration stuff

A few weeks ago, I went to my local GW store whilst I was shopping around town (and remembered that it was BL celebration day), and got myself a limited print of Storm of Iron along with free gifts. I got my Mortarion badge, postcard and the free novella book with my purchase.

The novella is worth getting as the books inside are top quality, from Mortarion’s Primarch short story to a Severina Raine short story. Theres still some copies left at my local store yesterday (tons of postcards too, even a pile of Warhammer Adventures), which is better than last year when all the free novellas were gone.

I got Storm of Iron for many reasons!

  1. I’m an Iron Warriors devote, anything to do with the legion be it Horus Heresy or a 40k story I’ll read it!
  2. It’s a kinda a sequel to HH: Angel Exterminatus (by the same author) with many Iron Warrior characters returning like Kroger and Forrix. I’m really keen to know what happened to these characters after the Horus Heresy and what changes they’ve gone through in the last 10,000 years.
  3. I’ve got an (Nurgle) Iron Warriors Collection so this book will provide me with many inspirations for future ideas.
  4. It’s limited print so it won’t be out for long, very difficult when there are other new books on sale. Especially the last Horus Heresy book was nearly my choice until I saw Storm of Iron.

So far, Storm of Iron is a fun read with plenty of action and gripping moments. It’s more of an action war story than character development, but that’s not to say there aren’t any interesting character moments.

The first Titan battle was badass, can’t wait to read how March two will go!

Anyways, that’ll be all for today. I wish I could say more on the subject, but there’s not much for me to say apart from the fact that the postcard of Mortarion looks amazing! I’m seriously considering putting it in a photo frame.

Until next time!

-Bjorn

12 days of winter: day four, My top ten recommended Black Library books

Apologies for getting Day 4 of my seasonal blog post late, it took me some time to edit this post right before deadline schedule!

After four months of reading The Founding Omnibus for the Gaunts Ghost series, I felt like I’d achieved not only that I had read three books in a short space of time (very rare of me to do that). Ive also learned a lot more about the Warhammer 40k universe even more through the eyes of mortal characters. Dan Abnett is truly a master at writing very engaging and unique characters and stories that are relatable.

I’ve decided that I wanted to do my own top ten books I’d recommend reading for new and old readers. I’m a bookworm by heart, reading is one of my many hobbies in my past time.

My rules for picking this list goes like this:

  • Only one author per slot and only one book that they’ve written, if it’s in a anthology, I’ll mention where the book.
  • Can’t be multiple books/ series in one slot, for example, Gaunts Ghosts, Horus Heresy, The Beast Arises and etc. Only one title in the series can be chosen.
  • Must be books I’ve read and finished.

So with the rules set, I’ll now reveal my chosen top ten Black Library books I’d recommend. Enjoy!

10) Space Marine Battles: Slaughter at Giants Coffin, by L.J Goulding

My first pick is this novella story by L.J Goulding, featuring the near decimated chapter of the Scythes of the Emperor. This story is very action packed with one of the best Space marine vs Tyranids I’ve read so far. Following the fall of their home world of Sotha, the Scythes of the Emperor arrive on a Death world, where they prepare to rebuild their numbers after narrowly surviving the clutches of Hive Kraken.

This story is a sad tale of loss to he eyes of the space marines, what it truly means to be a space marine during times of darkness.

If your interested in reading more action packed stories with Tyranids involved, this book is certainly one to read.

9) The Dance of the Skulls, By David Annandale

A short Age of Sigmar story about Neferata and her ways of politics, this story focuses more on character motivation and discovering how the undead aristocracy functions. It’s an interesting insight into the lives of the living and dead celebrating and dine in the realm of death.

This short story is a great read if your keen to know more about the Soul Blight vampires, as well as the Neferatas personality and actions when dealing with obstacles from rival houses.

8) The Emperors Architect, by Guy Haley

One of my favourite traitor Primarchs got his own pre Heresy books a few years ago as part of the Primarchs Horus Heresy book series. Then about year ago or so, a short story Written by Guy Haley about Perturabo was included in the Sons of the Emperor Anthology.

It adds onto the early years of Perturabo and how the people of Olympia view him as either a monster or a saviour. Personally, this short story was by far the best one out of all of the stories in the anthology, as it added more mythos to character that isn’t widely known.

The Emperors Architect is a fascinating story about Olympia after Perturabo reunited with his father, the world now in imperial compliance. I’d recommend this book to anyone who wants to see what life was like during the Great Crusade.

7) Time of Legends: Malekith (part of The Sundering trilogy series), by Gav Thorpe

My first Black Library book was Time of Legends: Malekith, The Sundering Trilogy. This book got me started in the world of Warhammer and it’s fictional setting, a tale that grips me still to this day.

It’s a tragic story that not only shows what Malekith was like before he was corrupted, but it also showed the Warhammer World before the time of men.

I recommend reading the whole trilogy if your keen to learn more about the Durchii’s past, and what started the whole elven civil war.

6) The Labyrinth, by Peter

Need a horror story to read that’s not Genestealers? Well, The Labyrinth reads like an unfolding nightmare as it plunged one Sons of Malice marine into a nightmarish battle for survival.

I really liked the flow of this story as it unravels mysteries about the horrors that the Sons of Malice will face, the end twist is jaw dropping! I can’t spoil the story here, but I’d recommend reading it if your into horror/ Sci Fi Horror.

5) Fifteen Hours, by Mitchel Scanlon

This book to me feels very much like a Sci Fi story that is inspired by WWI, a young adult at a very young age joins the army to fight a war far away from his home. If I could describe this book in one word, it would be “tragic”. You see the Imperium not as a glorious force like the propaganda would have you believe, but instead a disorganised power that is slowly crumbling away.

Take my advice when reading this book, skip the first chapter and read on, and stop before the last chapter and read the first one. Trust me, it’ll make the story worth reading without spoilers, as it ruins the story by revealing too early the main protagonists fate.

4) The Horus Heresy- Vengeful Spirit, by Graham McNeill

I have many favourite books from the Horus Heresy series which I can’t include them all here, but I picked my personal favourite which is Vengeful Spirit. Drawing story lines from many books (by the same author and others) into a plot that would be epic in scale and drama that unfold.

Want full on Astarte action? Imperial knights? Titans? Lore? Mystery? Well this book has it all, as the battle of Molech sees the Sons of Horus take on the loyalist in a full on warfare.

3) The End Times: Return of Nagash by Josh Reynolds

It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t include the End Times onto my top ten list, even if I haven’t read many books from the series. This book is arguably my favourite so far, with unexpected deaths, more deaths and probably my favourite team up of Arkhan the Black and Mannfred Von Carstein.

It’s sad that the End Times (supplement gaming books) didn’t do well with the community, with only five books that hardly covered every faction and story plots. However, BL did the best it could to make the End Times enjoyable to read, with Josh Reynolds writing a the rise of Nagash.

Interestingly enough, Josh Reynolds had the opportunity to return to writing the undead in several AoS stories including the Realmgate Wars, Soul Wars and short stories.

2) Into the Malestom (part of the anthology book by the same name), by Chris Pramas

Now you may be wondering why I’ve picked this short story for second place. It’s a story that not only shows what Warhammer 40k is like in the grim darkness of the far future, but also how loyalty means nothing in a galaxy that neither cares nor remembers your sacrifices.

A lone Astarte named Sartak returns to his chapter after years of absence, that chapter is none other than the Red Corsairs. With a White Scar marine in on the plan, they attempt to take down Huron Blackheart!

Sartak considers himself to still be an Astral Claw, disowning his legions new identity. But his loyalty is tested as gradually the story takes a turn for the worse. The ending (which I won’t spoil) has got to be one of favourite endings where it really sticks with the theme of Warhammer 40k.

1) Necropolis, A Gaunts Ghost novel, by Dan Abnett

You’ll have already gussed I would put a Gaunts Ghost novel as my number one recommended book. I’ve chosen Necropolis as my chosen book due to it’s sheer gripping rollercoaster ride of a story of Hive city siege warfare, as Gaunt and his ghosts most defend a city against a vast chaos military might.

Dan not only writes characters that we already get aquatinted with in previous books, but also adds new characters that are funny, tragic, strong, intelligent and some being complete aresholes.

If your into grand scale siege warfare and want to see what Hive society is like when war hits home, I’d recommend reading this book!

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With that, my top ten book recommendation is done! I hope you have enjoyed this post and maybe interested reading a sample or two of the books I’ve mentioned. I haven’t read every single BL book and popular books, so I’m still reading so many books!

I’ll be back again today with day 5 of 12 days of Winter. See you soon!

Black Ark fun fest

This week I’ve been reading one of BL’s novella series one books, Heart of Winter by Nick Horth. It’s a short story of revenge as a female Corsair captain, Arika Zenthe, seeks to kill her farther by any means (basically anything bloody).

I won’t spoil the story here, but I’d recommend giving it a read yourself. What’s fascinating is that the story delves into the what makes a Black Ark a fearsome Citadel/ fortress sea fleet, what makes it sail and what goes on inside the fortress (just imagine Clar Karond mixed with Hag Graef, and you’ll know what I mean). There’s also more exploration of different societies and races in Ghur, and how the places function in brief but interesting exposition.

But to meat of the meal, this story is a first look at the Scourge, or Scourge Privateers to be exact, and this story has enough lore to make sense of how the Scourge operate in AoS. I’m very pleased to see part of (once Dark Elves faction) the Druchii factions get some spotlight by BL after a three year gap of nothing to go on. Nick Horth has done a splendid job at crafting a creative, fun and new background lore into the Scourge whilst also keeping the established lore of Warhammer Fantasy woven in.

With that said, I’d like to point out a few interesting bits of information I’ve found in the story, although they might be slight spoilers to the novella story (not major ones). So it’s best if you the book first if interested in reading it.

  • Reaper Bolt Throwers make a come back and are now cannon in AoS lore! (Whilst they’re not got point values for match play, you can more than justify using one in narrative games for a cut throat Scourge Privateer army).
  • The Black Arks are still the same as Warhammer Fantasy lore.
  • The Scourge are just on the tip of provoking a war with Sigmar, but still do trading openly and a side of black marketing behind closed doors.
  • The Elves originally of the Dark kin are all still called the Druchii, so there are still some traditions of the past carried on into AoS’s timeline.
  • The Scourge Privateer are all known to many as the ‘Scourge’.
  • [slight Spoiler]: In Druchian, The Dryads are described as being cold blue with dark wood of black, caused by the morbid eternal cold affect of a sacred artefact. So depending on the environment, I guess the Dryads can change based on the season.
  • The Wanderes get a bad reputation, and the Dryads would more than gladly slay them for their crimes of the past, for betraying and leaving the forest folk in the Age of Chaos.

Now you may be wondering why I’ve not mentioned much about the books protagonist, Arika. It’s mostly because a lot of her history will spoil the story if I said here. However, as far as a female protagonist goes, she’s on my list as top best Aelven anti hero characters for hero ruthlessness at getting the job done and isn’t too brooding with the right mix of fun and dark.

Would I like to see her in a sequel novella, short story, audio or even a full privateer novel? Yes, I very much want to see her story continued in any form of said above. We’ve already got a lot of Stormcast Eternals, Freeguild, Duardin and Chaos stories, now would be a great time to get some Aelves in BL books. I think Nick Horth’s book has a exceeded more expectations with this book, with the cliffhanger at the end being a very good one, I hope we’ll be able to see more of Arika Zenthe in future fiction.

Well with that, I’m done for today, one book down, there more to go! Next up I’m reading Evan Dicken’s first AoS novella, The Red Hours. So far into chapter one I’m already absorbed into this story, and I can’t wait to see how it progresses!

Until next time!

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Thank you for reading this post! If you have any questions, post a comment below and I’ll reply back as soon as I can. Thanks!

-Bjorn

The Sample days 2009- 2012

I found these sample Black Library booklets the other day whilst sorting out my box of old books and dvds. These sample books used to be available at local GW stores for free, an easy way to find which book to get next.

I used to collect these when I needed to find the next book on my to do list, very helpful at a time before digital sample downloads. Sadly after 2012 GW stopped producing these free sample books, I can imagine it costed Black Library a lot of money to produce them.

Whilst there’s no value in these sample books as many of the books featured can still be read online. However, not all of the books shown in the sample booklets are accessible, as a few haven’t been republished in physical and digital download. Such books include limited edition books, art books, old published books and choose your own adventure books. So I’ve kept them still to this day.

In a way, it’s a part of Black Library history that’s obscure to most people, today I doubt many would even remember the sample books. So I thought I might show my sample books today, I don’t have a lot to say as there’s not much I can talk about.

Until next time!

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Thank you for reading this post. If you have any questions, post a comment below and I’ll reply back as soon as I can. Thanks!

-Bjorn

Ghosts

So very near to the end of book three in The Founding arc of Gaunts Ghosts (written by Dan Abnett), as well as one last short story to read before I’m done reading this book. I’m really hooked on the current third act of the story, probably one of the best siege warfare stories I’ve read!

For those of you who have read The Founding arc books, which one was your favourite and why? Also which character did you enjoy reading the most?

After reading this book I’ll be getting down to making my top ten BL books I’ve that I’d recommend reading. I would like to share my thoughts on the books I’ve chosen and why I picked them for my list.

“Try again”- Bragg

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Thank you for reading this post. If you have any questions, post a comment below and I’ll reply back as soon as I can. Thanks!

-Bjorn

Once a Red Corsair, always a Red Corsair

I found this a few days ago at a charity shop whilst I was looking for the second book to the Sundering trilogy (I past it off for a couple of weeks), sadly it was sold by the time I went in. However, this anthology book was nonetheless a good find as it’s a pretty old BL book published (and I don’t think it’s been reprinted either).

So far I’ve read one of the short stories, into the Maelstrom by Chris Pramas, which is story that really gripped me at the edge of my seat. It’s one of favourite Red Corsair stories that really paints a fearsome picture of Huron Blackheart as a rightfully titled tyrant.

I might read more into this book during road trips, as I like to read short stories when I’m out on long journeys.

I’m currently reading the last 100 or so pages of Necropolis by Dan Abnett, such a smashing book to read in my opinion so far. Soon enough I can finally do a top ten post on my favourite BL books I’ve read and recommend to read.

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Thank you for reading this post. If you have any questions, post a comment below and I’ll reply back as soon as I can. Thanks!

-Bjorn