January 12, 2011 by dracs
By William King
Having previously looked at a novel which I think would be a good introduction to the world of 40K, it seemed only natural that Warhammer Fantasy should receive the same kind of treatment.
After a dig around in my back log of books I found one, which I believe is perfect. Enter Trollslayer!
Anyone with even a nodding acquaintance with the world of Warhammer Fantasy knows of the famous mercenary duo, Gotrek and Felix, the greatest (or worst if you think about it) Dwarven Slayer ever and his human companion. You may have noticed that they’re mentioned in a few of the army books, like the Vampire Counts and Skaven, and they’ve even been made into miniatures, for use within the Warhammer Fantasy game itself!
I have no doubt they are one of the longest running and most popular sets of characters in Warhammer Fantasy novels, if not the Black Library in general, and they are probably the thing that cemented William King’s name as one of the premier fantasy writers in the annals of the Black Library.
But enough gushing and on with the review!
Trollslayer may be old now, I believe it is now only available to buy as part of an omnibus, but it is no less of a good read for its age. My reason for choosing them as an introduction to the world of GW Fantasy is simply because they see so much of it!
Throughout the course of the series, Gotrek and Felix have travelled from the Dwarven halls of Karak Eight-Peaks, to the swamps of misty Albion, during which, they have faced everything from ferocious Greater Daemons to miserable Goblins.
Trollslayer contains a wide variety of foes for the duo to face, including, if you haven’t guessed from the title, a troll. Yeah, who’d have thought it?
Possibly the story’s greatest strength is its powerful characterisation. This is a defining feature of much of William King’s work and the Gotrek and Felix series is possibly the premier example of this. If anything, this is highlighted by the fact that the series has since been continued by Nathan Long in his novel Orcslayer.
I don’t think anyone could argue that their arch-nemesis Grey Seer Thanquol has become one of the best loved characters within the realm of Warhammer fiction, as the two are together responsible for the deaths of roughly four of the incarnations of Boneripper. The series has recently spawned a spin off, following the vampire Ulrika, who was spawned in the novel Vampireslayer which is possibly my favourite book within the series… that’s everything that vampires should be people… not glittery with emotional baggage!
Well that’s really all I have to say guys. For me, Trollslayer is a “must-have” for anyone looking to get into the Warhammer Fantasy fiction or for anyone just looking for a narrative overview of the Old World. For those of you already familiar with the world of Warhammer, Trollslayer is still one of those books which should be read as soon as possible… if not out of a desire to read a good book… then at least out of deference to the huge impact this duo have had on the hobby through the years.
The downside is of course, availability. As I said earlier, it is now only available as part of an omnibus and I can understand that people might not willing to risk splashing out on a full collection, just to find out if they like the one book.
But trust me, this one is worth it.
+ A good introduction
+ Strong characters
- Limited availability