Book reading challenge 2020

My challenge has begun to read at least 20+ books until the end of this year, and the extra challenge of reading all of my Warhammer Army books.

This post will be updated when I’ve finished reading books, which I’ll add a small roundup on my thoughts on how it went.

Warhammer Army Books:

Warhammer Fantasy Army Book: Bretonnia (finished 6/1/20)

This was quite an enjoyable read for an army book that’s about twenty years and more old! Whilst it does use elements from existing fiction and tales, it does have a lot of interesting stories and structure for how Bretonnia is organised and function in the Warhammer world. If you put aside the glaringly obvious knightly tropes, the book actually has some interesting stuff like the False Grail, when Duke Maldred betrayed the Chivalry code and ended up being killed by the red pox.

There are pages in the book that explore the lore behind Mousillon as this once splendid and mighty land that was just as magnificently as the capital of Bretonnia. Comparing it to now as an abandoned place that’s overrun with undead and Skaven, a miserable ruin that is still rumoured to be haunted by the laughing ghosts of Maldred’s Court.

I’m not sure wether Mousillon is covered in the next ed of Bretonnia, but it would’ve made a great setting for a Warhammer Quest!

The short stories were enjoyable to read with some insights into the Bretonnia setting, where common men may need to arise to the challenge as a Knights Errant to slay an Ork Warboss, or to do a deed to earn his right as a Knight of the Realm. These aren’t silly stories that are just written up to fill in spaces, these stories really help the reader to understand the ideology of Bretonnia as a Chivalry coded society.

I like this book a lot, it’s got great imagery, lore and wealth of useful inspiration. Nigel Stillman, the writer of the book along with artists including Wayne England, John Blanche, David Gallagher, Des Hanley, Paul Smith, Mark Gibbons, Toby Hynes and John Wigley have done an amazing job at putting together this army book. I’d rate it on my top ten list of must have army books for any collector.

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Warhammer: End Times Thanqoul rules book (finished 7/1/20)

Not much to say on the book, but the info on the new Skaven units was pretty cool.

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Warhammer AoS: Malign Portents (finished 5/2/20)

This expansion was a prologue to AoS 2.0 marking the supernatural and paranormal events leading towards the Necroquake. The book features rules for the Harbingers, four seers of each grand alliance who can scry the portents and discern their meaning for the future. Along with these new characters are the Malign portents rules, where a Harbinger can use points to spend an ability each turn.

It also features rules for playing in Shyish, as well as expanded rules for Skirmish, narrative play and match play.

This book was the start of AoS becoming a much more appealing franchise, twisting the hopeful and colourful setting into a grim and morbid phase in the narrative. With a new AoS logo to represent the changes, Malign portents was the stepping stone for what would lead on to future instalments that retained the hopeful aspect and moving it with the darker side of the Mortal Realms.

I liked the background material, as it explained the setting from the Age of Myth to Age of Sigmar, as well as the events leading towards the Time of Tribulations. You get all sides of the event from prospectives of Sigmar, the Chaos Gods, Nagash and even the Grots.

Rule wise I can’t say much as I haven’t played them yet, I’ve been meaning to get some games played using the expansion book. My only criticism would be that the Harbinger Keyword should be available to selected hero models for factions like Wizards or priest. For example a Ogor Mawtribe Butcher can be a Harbinger as they are wizards, they’re like seers for the Mawtribe with their magics in cooking. I think having this rule apply to all factions would’ve been a really interesting addition to the game. But having it only got the new models tied to the expansion at the time was the selling point.

Overall, nice book. I wish later expansions had the same price tag, it was accessible due to the cost of it only being £15. I thought that was a sweet deal!

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Warhammer Age of Sigmar Chaos Battletome: Clans Pestilence (finished 7/2/20)

My first AoS Battletome during 1.0, a decent book to read with some interesting concepts. I liked the idea of Clans Pestilence searching for all thirteen Great Plagues to sway the Horned Rat into the aspect of the Pestilence.

However, because it was a standalone faction book away from the rest of the Skaven, it felt odd in a way that the faction was split up. Although back then AoS was more like a Skirmish game of small factions.

Comparing his to the Skaventide army book there are a lot of thematic differences in the way the book is presented. In terms of art, imagery, writing and style of presentation. Clans Pestilence was themed as a plague ridden faction but in a sort of hopeful presentation of AoS 1.0. With Skaventide, the book takes on a darker turn that harkens back to the Skaven 7th ed and the End Times book 4: Thanquol.

I don’t dislike the book as I at lest like some of the ideas and threads sown into the faction, however, it just wasn’t a Skaven book to me.

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Warhammer Fantasy Battles Army book: Skaven 7th ed, written by Jeremy Vettock (finished 20/5/20)

Ah yes! This army book is by far one of my all time favourite Warhammer Army books produced by GW. Written by Jeremy Vettock, a man who has much wisdom when crafting the villainous side of the Warhammer fantasy world. Especially the Under Empire and its many aspects of the Greater Clans and the backstabbing society, rules by the council of Thirteen.

As a kid I was absorbed by the way the book paints the different places and factions within the Skaven army, the marsh nightmare of Skavenblight, the hellish pit of Hellpit to the fallen Dwarf city of City of Pillars. The artwork was a very influential part of my teenage years being inspired by the imagery in the book, I’d even say it was the golden age of GW art (for Skaven).

The only down side was the lack of information on certain names characters, would’ve been interesting to learn more about the Lords of Decay and their rise (or fall) to power.

This book is a must for Skaven fans, even for AoS Skaven players as it’s the holy Horned Rat bible of all things verminous.

Reading books

Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Soul Wars, by Josh Reynolds (finished 28/1/20)

This is my second read on this book, as I needed to take notes on the lore and information on the Free-city of Glymmsforge. It took me longer than expected to read as I had to take notes for information on Glymmsforge, but it took me less time to read compared to my first read two years ago.

This book is still in my honest opinion the best AoS book to date, its one of the better AoS stories that not only focuses on the Necroquake event and the battle of Glymmsforge, but the setting of the Mortal Realms. AoS at the time had little to no background that really made sense, it was disjointed, very high fantasy that sounded silly.

But when Soul Wars came around, it paved away much of what would make AoS much more gripping, the setting had a lot more weight than just ‘a load of realm’. This book was the one that got me into AoS and see its potential despite my distrust with GW after the End Times.

Reading this book again, it’s actually presented a lot more things that I missed out, including stuff like Grungni using automata machines to mine Mallus, Glymmsforge having 12 saints for all twelve mausoleum gates and a character from one of Josh Reynolds books made a cameo appearance.

Overall, a fantastic book worth reading.

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The Island of Blood, by Darius Hinks (finished 3/2/20)

I liked reading this book as a short but fun story about a classic Warhammer Fantasy Battle pitying the High Elves against the Skaven. As this book will be reaching its tenth anniversary this year, I thought I’d read it again after nearly a decade ago since I last read it.

A lot has changed since this book was released and I’ve learnt much more about the lore, as well as being more attuned to reading. It’s still a fun story with the Skaven taking much of the centre stage as backstabbing mad rats, trying to scheme and weave plots to storm the Island of Blood to claim the Phoenix Stone.

Tied to the 8th ed release of WHFB, this novella story links to the narrative of the boxed game. The studio team even made a gaming board to represent the battlefield of the Island of Blood, a chaotic warped place that defies natural law. I was lucky enough to have seen the gaming board at Warhammer World way back during my early days in the hobby.

There’s not much to say about the book in terms of lore bombshells, but it’s a nice little story that sits in the history of WHFB. It’s a major inspiration to my hobby experience when I was developing my painting skills and collecting models. It’s also my pathway to collecting Skaven!

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Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Realmgate Wars vol 2, Ghal Maraz-War in the Hidden Vale by Josh Reynolds (finished 4/2/20)

This was my first Warhammer AoS book I’ve read way back during 1.0, back when the setting was going through the rough phases of being established. Back then reading this book was confusing at times, I didn’t feel like I knew much about he works of AoS and who the Stormcasts were as individuals, to me hey seemed carbon copies of golems.

But recently I wanted to give this book a second chance and read Josh Reynolds story, since it’s a novella within a book. I didn’t want to read Guy Haley’s novella as I really disliked the pacing of the story. He’s a great writer, I enjoy a lot of his works, even his Primarch book, Konrad The Night Haunter was a good read despite conflicting material. But his story in Ghal Maraz, The Eldritch Fortress, was terrible to read. If it was written as a novel of its own, I’d say it would’ve been significant improved.

However, It’s not his fault as the setting was still expanding from fresh, and this book was a tie in to the second expansion of the Realmgate Wars. So I’d imagine Guy had to follow notes from the book to the letter.

Anyways what did I think to Josh Reynolds story? It was good, not the best of works but a decent story to read. It follows the story of the Hallowed Knights journey to find Alarielle and establish a connection of alliance with her and Sigmar’s armies.

The novella suffers the issue of feeling point a to point b plot, as the story is paced from event to event. Comparing it to Soul Wars, it lacks character that the time needed to establish character and places to fully immerse yourself in the setting.

The book does have a few good points such as Gutrot Spume, a jolly pirate who’s quite charming in his own sick way. The characterisation of Morbidex Twiceborn was quite enjoyable to read as a bloated Nurgling/Plaguebearer who’s a jolly loudmouth.

Whilst this book still feels very loose in my opinion, it does however lead on to expanded instalments by Josh Reynolds, relating to Gardus Steel Soul. Exploring more on his backstory and how his journey has developed. I’ve read only two instalments (one a short story and the other a novella), but I’ve found those to be much more enjoyable to read.

Speaking of which, I think it’s about time I gave Hammerhal a second read after reading it a few years ago. I need a refresh on the story.

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Yorkshire Ghost Stories, published by Bradwell Books (finished 10/2/20)

I got this book last year when I went to Yorkshire for a week, I thought I’d read up on Yorkshire’s supernatural side of things.

I was surprised to find that I really enjoyed this book! Some of the tales aren’t that spooky as it’s just sightings or odd events occurring. Some however……….

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Into the Flux, by Michael Moorcock (finished 12/2/20)

A short story about a descendent of the Von Bek line, as hes tasked by the distant future of Europe to travel in time. Tasked to the future to see how the world would be if the European machine carried as it were on its own decision making. However, as Von Bek tries to return to his time things go horribly wrong as he is casted across the time stream.

It’s not the best of Michael Moorcock’s work as I found the story not being as good as his other works. The way the Grail turns up in the story seemed to be just a reference in relation to the first Von Bek book.

That’s not to say it’s a terrible book, as the introduction to the Europe in the not too distant future has some relations to today’s European Union. Like how big it’s becoming like a colossal machine that’s constantly maintained by society living within it. Those within the background worry about its expansion where they can’t foresee where it may go, what choice is the right one to ensure its survival.

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Creed, by James Herbert (finished 25/2/20)

I didn’t like this book which is a shame as I really like James Herbert’s work. The paparazzi side of the story is the best part as James describes how they think and see in their day to day business.

The horror side of the story felt like a big let down, it just didn’t have that visceral horror like the Fog or The Rats Trilogy. I wanted to enjoy this book, alas the whole supernatural side of things just didn’t work for me.

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The Horus Heresy Primarch series: Magnus The Red, Master of Prospero (finished 11/3/20)

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The Horus Heresy: Betrayer, by Aaron Dembski Bowden (finished 6/4/20)

Also, I’ve read several short stories relating to Angron and Calth, before reading Betrayer. However, I won’t be including short stories for my reading challenge.

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Hamilcar Bear-Eater: Champion of the Gods, by David Guymer (finished 14/5/20)

Bretonnia

Treasure hunting is probably my greatest gift, and my greatest burden. Sometimes I find long lost books that are hard to track (well, not too hard if you look at places like eBay. For a steep price though). Other times I’m in the rain at a bargain sale with nothing to take back. But the hot dogs make up my day!

This year was a dry year with only a few findings, my usual carboot source hasn’t been at the sales for a long time now. Another stall I saw in the summer last year who had a wealth of old White Dwarfs and classic supplement books weren’t there this year. Only place I could find my classic Warhammer items were from a charity bookshop. So far it’s stocked a few of classic stuff like the original Rouge Trader book (I didn’t get that as it costed £40!!!), codex’s, novels and even some classic graphic novels.

The later half of this year had been more successful thanks to my regular visit to my local shop. I brought some really good stuff.

But nothing compared to what I found a week before Christmas.

Aye, the Bretonnia army book. This was my second encounter with this book face to face as I saw the same book way back when I got a copy of the Dwarf army book.

I’ve got a Bretonnia army built on historical miniatures that I’ve substituted for units within the army. This book will be very handy for playing my Bretonnia faction without relying on an online PDF, although there are a few units that I can’t have access to that are in the second Bretonnia army book. But if I’m lucky I might find a physical copy of that edition for Bretonnia.

Currently I’ve worked out a list that’s around 1,500pt, which is a fairly decent sized army to play with. It’s roughly consists of:

  • Bretonnia Lord on Warhorse
  • Hero
  • Hero
  • 20x Men at Arms
  • 20x Men at Arms
  • 9x Knights of the Realm
  • 10x Bowmen
  • 10x Bowmen
  • 1x Gryphon (substitute rules for Owlbear model)

It’s a small list, but it’s just enough for a good game of knightly fun. I’ve only got to paint two units of Bowmem for this project, and then that’s it for the project until I can find more historical miniatures that fit the scale of my army models.

I’m hoping to play some classic Warhammer next year with my dad using 1,000pt, this will be our first rank and file game (not my first, but my first in a long time). Dark Elves vs Bretonnia, I can almost see a knightly clash of Cold Ones against the steeds of Knightly deeds.

Oh and I found this too a few months ago…..

My Crimson Fists and Black Templars are deemed unworthy by this book supposedly. This books only worth keeping for historical purposes. At least the author did a better job for the Dark Elves 8th edition army book.

That’s it for 2019 treasure hunting! It’s been a good year despite the dry months of empty handed searches. I’m really looking forward to finding more stuff in 2020!

Until next time,

-Bjorn

Book reading challenge 2020

This year I set myself a challenge of reading books and beating my goal based on the total I read last year. This was my first ever book reading challenge I’ve set myself up for, the goal was to read more than twelve books.

Easy you might say, for me, I tend not to finish reading the whole book as I get distracted or become really unmotivated to read through the whole story. It’s trying to keep names, personality, locations and everything else in mind when reading, or else I become inconsistent. I like to imagine giving characters unique voices to keep things consistent and immersive with that characters identity and background.

How did the challenge go? Well, I thought I wasn’t going to make it, but to my surprise I’ve actually done it! Not only that, but I’ve read up to twenty books!

Here’s what I’ve read for this years challenge.

  • 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
  • Eric, by Terry Pratchett
  • Knight of the Sword, by Micheal Moorcock
  • Queen of the Sword, by Micheal Moorcock
  • King of the Sword, by Micheal Moorcock
  • The Fog, by James Herbert
  • Gaunt’s Ghost: The Saints Omnibus which includes four novels, Honour Guard, Guns of Tanith, Straight Silver and Sabbat Martyr (note I’ve only read three books, the third book was passed on)
  • Sons of Wrath, by Andy Smilie
  • The Land Leviathan, by Micheal Moorcock
  • The Dark Powers of Tolkien, by David Day

What helped me for the challenge?

Music really helped me to read through these books, whilst I did use music last year for reading the first Gaunt’s Ghost Omnibus, it was only 40k OST that I’ve used to read it. For books that weren’t 40k related, it didn’t fit well unless it was a sci-fi book.

I’ve tried to broaden my music genre playlist to fit into the genre of the book I was reading, like the Rats for example, I used Mitch Murders Hardwired Album to immerse myself in its retro noir horror synthwave. This approach in using music as background noise has been a great motivation tool for reading, it adds weight to the stories that can’t be done with just imagination alone.

Top authors I’ve enjoyed reading

James Herbert was my favourite author for this years book reading challenge, after finding a copy of the graphic novel, The City, I was drawn to his fictional literature. In a matter of weeks I had the whole The Rats trilogy and read The Fog. His literature is gritty, realistic, graphic and strangely relatable with the characters he creates.

Micheal Moorcock was another stand out author for his Corum book trilogy. It inspired me so much that I did an art post entirely dedicated to illustrate key moments for the first half of the Knight of the Sword. A underrated fantasy that I’d highly recommend reading for it’s 70’s inspired sword and sorcery epic, with connections to the multiverse that connects a few characters from Moorcock other works.

Another book by Moorcock that really got me hooked was the Land Leviathan, an alternate history views by a multiverse traveling man who sees earth decimated by a catastrophic world war. Led by a ruthless, smart and cunning Warlord, Africa becomes the new super power of earth using technologies left over by the World War.

It’s a fascinating sci-fi story that mixes alternative history, politics and who would rise and fall in this post apocalyptic world.

Two Challenges

In 2020, my goal will be to read over twenty books. But there’s an extra challenge alongside this, as I’ve set myself a goal of reading all of my Warhammer army books from start to finish. That’s right, from 40k to AoS, I’m going to read all of them to catch up on things I’ve missed and might not have read for awhile.

The only exception is The End Times: Thanqoul, as that’s more of a book than an army book, so that will be added to the reading challenge.

My rules as follow for the challenge:

  • Book only counts as completed if read all the way through, no chapter skipping.
  • Can read book from where I left off when I last read it (can be the year before or reading on from the last month of the year) but I have to at least remember the plot of the story. Otherwise, I need to start from the beginning.
  • Army books need to be read from start to finish, rules, photos and small blurbs that’s not part of the lore section can be ignored.
  • The End Times: Thanqoul rule booklet counts as a an army book of sorts as it’s got lore on playable units that tie into the main book.

On January 1st I will be starting my Yearly Book Reading Challenge and The Warhammer Army Book Reading Challenge. I’m looking forward to staring these challenges very soon. Currently I’m reading Lukas The Trickster by Josh Reynolds, so far it’s a cracking read.

Until next time,

-Bjorn

12 days of Winter|My top ten books of 2019

This year was my biggest reading challenge to date as I made myself a goal to read more books than I read last year. If I can remember my current reading checklist I’ve read about 20+ books, although I wanted to do a top ten list to make this post not too long.

So here’s my top ten books of 2019, enjoy!

10) Legacy of Dorn by Mike Lee

This book was a nice book to read at the start of 2019 to inspire me to build my Primaris Crimson Fists. The story takes place during the Rynn’s World War in the perspective of a few surviving Space marines who have to survive alongside surviving Rynn’s Guard troopers.

A very intense and engaging story of survival and struggles to keep order in check, this story explores what it means to be a son of Dorn, how a Space marine deals with loss and regret and how the Crimson Fists work alongside imperial Guardsmen.

9) Nagash The Undying King by Josh Reynolds

This AoS novel covers the events after Nagash’s defeat by the blade of Archaon, telling the tale of a tribe called the Rictus Tribe who have become the centre stage of the story’s plot. It’s an insightful look into who worships Nagash and how they’ve had to deal with the Great Necromancers silence after his defeat.

A nice novel to read, I’d say it’s one of the better AoS books out there with tons of interesting lore and themes that hobbyist might like to create. A noble army of Maggotkin of Nurgle Knights, a clan called the Rictus Clan who worship Nagash and even a skeleton Giant makes an appearance too! (Make a warscroll of that please GW).

Overall if your a fan of Nagash or just an avid fan of AoS and want to know more about Shyish during the Age of Chaos, this book is certainly a must to connect the dots for the Malign Portents and the Necroquake.

8) The Land Leviathan by Micheal Moorcock

Reading outside of Black Library books, I’ve been reading some Micheal Moorcock fiction. Whilst I’ve never read the first book in the series, the second book, The Land Leviathan is an amazing science fiction story about an alternate future where western society is destroyed as an African superpower takes over the world.

It’s a great story as it explains how an inventor solved world hunger with technologies that excelled the living standards for poor people. In a nutshell, society got too greedy and started a nuclear war thanks to the inventors own Warmachine creations. Western society goes downhill as the war destroys pretty much every governing nations.

But, whilst the western world is nearly wiped out, Africa rises up and uses the remaining technology to take over the world.

I won’t spoil the whole story, but there’s a lot of questions to ask, and the themes that run through this story. If you like science fiction that has a completely different style of presenting an alternative timeline, The Land Leviathan is worth read.

7) The Corum Trilogy: The Knight of the Sword by Micheal Moorcock

Another Micheal Moorcock book that I’ve added to my list due to its significance of being my favourite fantasy story that’s not GW related.

The Knight of the Sword is a fantasy story that follows the first book in Corum’s adventures, the last of his kind, Corum goes in search of revenge to destroy the first Chaos god of the Sword rulers. This book has some interesting lore about the universe that this story is set in, and how it connects to the grander scale of the multiverse.

6) The Fog by James Herbert

The latest book I’ve read from the master of horror writing by the late James Herbert. The story follows the events of an unnatural earthquake that opened a fissure in a small village, releasing a fog like cloud into the sky.

What follows is a string of physiological horror stories that lead up to a growing rise of murders and strange behaviour from those affected by the fog.

This is quite a good book to read that explores the concept of how everyone can be turned into the worst aspects of themselves. Hatred, love, regret, fear and deepest emotions can be triggered by the fogs presence.

5) A Knight and his Horse by Ewart Oakshot

As a hobby I like researching history that’s mostly a Medieval and the battle of Stalingrad, although I’m not fluent enough to give guided tours on these subjects.

But there’s one book that I really enjoyed reading this year that covered my favourite subject, Knights and Jousting. A Knight and His Horse is a book that explains the history of how cavalry was developed of the centuries, how Knights would be armoured (and their horses) and the types of horses that were used during the Medieval times.

Packed with some interesting illustrations and facts to understand what Knights really did. I don’t know if this book is still reprinted today but I’d highly recommend reading a copy for it’s easy to read guide on Knights.

4) Domain by James Herbert

The third book in The Rats Trilogy, Domain is probably one the most depressing books I’ve read from the trilogy. Set after a nuclear attack devastates London and the rest of the U.K., those that survived live in either well maintained underground fallout shelters or basements to survive.

Unbeknownst to the survivors that something vast and hungry has come to search for the survivors and devour them alive. The giant mutated rats are back, and they now rule the streets of London.

At this point in the series things get very same old as you know well enough what these mutant rats will do if they ever see you. That’s not to say it wasn’t interesting, having it set after a nuclear apocalypse is a great way of changing the narrative.

The short stories within this book highlight just how horrible the apocalypse can be for those that survived, as the rats catch their scent and on mass hunt the survivors down. I can’t spoil much here but be prepared for some really depressing stuff. One the bright side, the short story about a neighbour who built his shelter despite ridicule (and laughed at them in return as he survived the apocalypse) is stuck with a cat. It should have been its own story due to it’s well written humour and horror.

3) Storm of Iron by Graham McNeill

Iron Warriors are one of my favourite traitor legions from the first founding, their Horus Heresy stories have a lot of insight into the legions organisation and the flaws that defined their downfall to Chaos. I was especially pleased with Perterabo’s Primarch novel alongside the short story (in Sons of the Emperor) which fills in more information on Olympia. It was thanks to Angel Exterminatus (by the same Author as Storm of Iron) that I started reading HH books.

Storm of Iron is very much a sequel to Angel Exterminatus that features some of the most intense fighting of swift warfare. The Iron Warriors led by the Warsmith, have come to take down a highly fortified stronghold to find something which even the defenders don’t know about.

I was very impressed with the story and how Graham brought back my favourite Iron Warrior legends like Kroger, Forrix and the Warsmith.

Honsou is my new favourite Iron Warrior just for the sheer badass stuff he does!

2) Honour Guard by Dan Abnett

Whilst I’m still reading the Gaunt’s Ghosts the Saints Omnibus, I do have a favourite book in the collection that I wanted to add to my list. Honour Guard is a great story that continues off from Necropolis (one of my all time favourite Gaunt’s Ghosts book!), which sees the Ghosts and the Verghasties on the holy world where Saint Sabbat herself was rested. After a major error resulted in the destruction of a holy site, Gaunt must lead an honour guard on a mission to recover the remains of Saint Sabbat. A mission that may be his last……

Whilst it wasn’t as good as Necropolis I did enjoy this book for the narrative of a long road journey, a sort of final act of dignity and spiritual journey that Gaunt must take to succeed the mission. Surprisingly there was a lot of good humour especially from Major Rawne’s parts.

When judging the Saints arc I think Honour Guard is probably the best book so far in the omnibus, the others were fine although they didn’t have that quality that the former had. Straight Silver was good but I thought the first half of the story was jarring to read, the second half started to read like a proper Gaunt’s Ghost story. I didn’t like the third book in the series, it just felt like the other books I’ve read before.

1) The Rats by James Herbert

My top book for 2019 is The Rats, a story that’s chilling to the bone reading the most bloody graphic descriptions I’ve ever read. For such a small book with only a 100+ pages, I was captivated by the narrative and disgusted by the horror that the late James Herbert crafted.

This book was his first time publishing books, and that’s saying something for one of his most popular book in his career.

The Rats takes place roughly in the 1970’s, a string of deaths have occurred by hungry giant mutated rats, larger, stronger and hungry for human flesh. The victims are described by their background and what led them to where they are now before their fate is sealed as the Rats kill them alive. You feel connected to the victims, some good, some bad, but you want them to survive no matter what will come next.

I’ve made a few posts about The Rats earlier this year after I’ve found a copy of a Graphic novel, The City. It was by a random chance encounter that would lead me on to discover James Herbert and The Rats Trilogy.

So it was by no doubt that I wanted The Rats to be my top book of 2019.

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That’s all for today, check back tomorrow to see what my new post will be for my 12 days of Winter blog posts.

Until next time,

-Bjorn

Books, books and more Warhammer books

Today’s post is another treasure hunting find that may or may not be worth much, but the history and content of these books are worth a lot to people like me! After months of nothing, my usual car boot hunting of items gone dry and my luck running I thought that would be it for me. But……a couple of weeks ago I’ve found some interesting findings!

Inferno vol 6 and vol 27, these books have some rare material that I haven’t seen be reprinted for years (well apart from GW’s limited reprint of Inferno issue in celebration of the return of the new Inferno).

Up next two very very old books that were published during the Boxtree years (old publication before GW set up the Black Library as their fictional book publication), Deathwing and Konrad. I also found other Boxtree books like Harlequin and Chaos Child. I picked the other two as I didn’t want to read the Ian Watson books as I’ll need the first book in order to read Harlequin and Chaos Child.

I’m currently reading Konrad which is so far a good book, still need some time to read it all and see who or what Konrad himself is. Is he the same Konrad as Konrad Von Carstein?

That’s all for tod……… wait, just today I’ve found this…..

I got Gileads Blood a few weeks ago and got Gileads Curse today. It was on sale at my local library as stock is changed over, only months ago it was still on the shelf. I’ll be reading this once I’ve done Konrad.

That’s all for today!

Until next time,

-Bjorn

Horror Harvest: James Herbert The Fog

I’ve now decided to theme my horror reading book blog posts under the ‘Horror Harvest’ title, so it will be like a series of sorts with a nice artwork.

Before I begin with The Fog, I’d like to thank IRO (Imperial Rebel Ork) and The Fly on the Wall podcast, for taking my suggestions for their podcast topics. They did a brilliant podcast on the Subject of James Herbert, and what book they enjoyed the most.

The podcast is like an all sorts show ranging from different topics from funny and serious subjects. Its great for long bus trips (they can take ages so a good hour of podcasting always helps!), painting miniatures, walking and anything else really.

It’s also good motivational therapy fuel for getting through paper work after paper work after paper work after paper work. Oh did I mention it’s great for getting through paper work?

If you would like to know more about the podcast and who bears the one Mocha of all Mochas, I have two links to IRO’s blog where he has the official links for where you can download the podcast.

https://imperialrebelork.wordpress.com/2019/04/24/fly-on-the-wall-podcast-plus-some-hobby-updates/

https://imperialrebelork.wordpress.com/2019/05/02/army-of-hate-second-miniature-plus-fly-on-the-wall-podcast-episode-2/

And for those of you who want to hear the James Herbert episode, links below to IRO’s post.

https://imperialrebelork.wordpress.com/2019/06/04/fly-on-the-wall-podcast-and-the-new-post-apocalyptic-saga/

Best of luck to The Fly on the Wall podcast!

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Continuing on my journey reading James Herbert’s books after a colossal read of The Rats Trilogy (and the Graphic Novel), today I want to share my thoughts on The Fog. A horror story about an ominous yellow fog that appeared after a huge fissure opened up in a small village, floating away after our main protagonist saves a child whilst being trapped below the fissure gap. However, unbeknownst to the people who witnessed this strange event, the fog would go on through the land to cause madness to anyone who inhales the it.

This book unlike The Rats trilogy, is more of a horror mystery story mixed with human physiological horror. The fog itself whilst known in origin of how it came to be (no spoilers here!) It’s still a mystery as if it may or may not be sentient. Anyone who comes across the fog and inhales it becomes a single minded force of madness.

Wether by hatred, depression, love or any other emotion, the fog is just the means to create the horror as it turns both good, bad and everyday citizens.

At the core of the fog there is an unatural light which seems to draw people closer, as if it wants them. It also seems to rest at places of convince for safety, say inside a church, a rail tunnel or an underground motorway. Overtime this fog grows in size as it feeds off carbon dioxide, becoming as big as a town.

The story focuses more on human psychology, when the mind slowly deteriorates making the person more savage with madness. Usually the person affected will either eventually die from their minds deteriorating, or commit suicide.

Our main protagonist, Holman, is the first to be affected by the fog after he escapes from the fissure. For weeks he was classed as clinically insane as he became a mad man, until weeks later his sanity came back whilst being placed in a mental health facility.

At first it was assumed that he was diagnosed with PTSD from the fissure incident, but later on through the story it’s revealed that the fog had cause this sudden personality change. This would be proven true as several incidents of strange murders are all linked to the yellow ghastly fog.

My thoughts on the book?

As usual James Herbert writes The Fog in great detail and engaging narrative, using his human victim characters to tell their story and how the horror aspect plays into their actions. Each character has an interesting story to tell, from our main protagonist, Holman, as a survivor of the fissure. Side characters including a drunk who cares more about his pigeons than his wife, a woman who’s same sex relationship broke apart by her partners choice to be in another relationship with a man, a school teacher who’s past during the Second World War is a dark and disturbing story and a man child who decides to give his boss a message he’ll never forget.

Similar to how The Rats Trilogy was written, these short story’s in one book adds to the weight of the affects that the threat can cause as a consequence. You feel for those who don’t deserve it, but can’t stop reading the book as you find out the fate of these unfortunate victims.

By this point I’ve become pretty used to how James Herbert writes his books, nearly leaning towards predictable at times when it came to certain sub story lines and plot twist. However, this isn’t to say it’s all predictable as the finale throws a very good question during the end, and reflection on just what the Fog could be.

This was James Herbert’s second book that he published in his writing career, still in the early days when James would use excessive blood, violence, mature themes and subjects that you tend not to see in today’s literature. It’s only later on that these things would dull down as supernatural and paranormal horror stories were written.

Overall, another great book to read as a twisted but enjoyable horror story. If you’ve read James’s books before, you may find some parts of this book to be the same old stuff you’ve read before. However, it’s still worth reading if your interested in the human psychological horror genre.

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Well that’s all I have for my post on The Fog. Now that I’ve read all of my current James Herbert books, and read some other books (like Eric, by the late Sir Terry Pratchett) too to broaden my ongoing reading past time. I’ve now started another book by James Herbert, this time a supernatural horror story, The Ghosts of Sleath.

until next time, mind the yellow fog,

-Bjorn

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