dan abnett

Books, malus darkblade Lord of ruin by Dan abnett and Mike Lee

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So, that’s that. Iv finished the Lord of ruin a malus darkblade story by Dan abnett and Mike Lee. Ive finished the malus darkblade series of novels. 

It’s hard to know what to say, there wasn’t much within the book that didn’t fit the already established stories in each of the books- Malus is exhausted, comes up against insurmountable odds, gets injured a lot, sometimes severely, prevails before coming up against even greater odds, finds the location of one of the ancient relics he’s required to find to free his soul from the daemon of Slaanesh T’Zarkan.

By this point Malus has pretty much turned into tue daemons puppet with his body not being his own. Caught by servants of the Witch King Malekith he is sent North to oversee the defence of the black tower of Ghrond from an invading force of Chaos led by his sister Nagaira, meanwhile all the leaders of dark elf lands that he has upset conspire against him.

The book was good, the action well written (malus facing off against a bloodthirster perhaps pushed the limit a little) and the story never felt rushed, in fact I suspect the story was a lot longer than previous books in order to ft everything in.

The series overall, whilst a little predicable- five relics five books- was an interesting insight into the Dark Elves society and the treachery that every Druchii is capable of, as well as highlighting how fast power can change hands dependent on usefulness to Malekith. The trudging sometimes was a little frustrating, too much of the same plot was recycled so you knew where things were going before Malus got greviously wounded yet kept going.

There has now been released a final darkblade book set in the End Times. I own it but I have other books I’d prefer to read through first.

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Holiday in Cardiff day three Wee man shopping

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Day one here

Day two here

so, today I have a headache, I can’t decide if it’s a hangover or just a headache from the oven like room we’re staying in. I suspect it’s a hangover further exacerbated by being in an oven like room, as well as oversleep from nor being disturbed during the night by kids at home, or drunks in the hotel.  That and the 9% beer from last night.

The sleep was far more peaceful (not being the weekend I suspect the hen parties have gone home), though I woke at six and couldn’t sleep, getting through another chapter of my book- it’s starting  to drag a little now.

Rox is currently showering in a weird cripple shower in advance of trying again with harvester for breakfast.

 

Weird cripple shower that apparently floods the entire bathroom 

So today harvester was able to provide breakfast (presumably the bank holiday Monday was a minor issue), we were greeted by a gormless miserable waitress who seated us and let us stuff ourselves 

 

  

  

 

At this point rox went dress shopping and I popped to a few of my favourite shops for a browse. Now, of course browsing is one thing, not spending money completely another so I ended up picking up some bits 

From cardiff games workshop, the final end times book.

 

  Having just finished the second, the chance to get them all in hard back was too good to resist- even if they’ll be on ebay once I’m through them.

From firestorm games, the batman miniatures rulebook and Alfred model

 

I haven’t played the game yet, but the models look cool and it’s gaining momentum in my local gaming club.

And finally from rules of play, a ship missing from my x wing collection

 

 

I had gone in just to browse the games we’d played Last night and price them up, but couldn’t resist picking up a ship that I know will soon be out of stock for six months.

Back in the hotel now and I’m back onto the book whilst rox snores off her morning exertions. I soon got bored of reading whilst she snored so headed down to the bar for a quick drink before waking her.

 

Three pints later (oops) I wake her and we get ready to go for dinner. We had some vouchers after a disappointed meal at bella Italia, and we’re able to use them at cafe rouge- the location for one of our very first dates.

So a bottle of wine ordered we get to eating, starting with a sharing platter and taster bowl of snails. I’d had them before, but only from lidl so it was nice to try them ‘properly.’

 

  

  

Next up was sea bass with tomatoes and sugarsnaps. Unfortunately a mini crisis in the phone from my mum meant I forgot to get the picture at the start of the meal 

 

Finally desert, I wasn’t keen on sugar so went for the cheese plate, which is something I’m definitely going to do more often 

 

 

From here we had planned to go to crazy golf, but misjudged the opening (by about a week) so instead headed into a former regular haunt of mine- the live lounge.

Boy was I in for a shock, having been here numerous times it was strange to the the average age of patrons being about 35-40 with some people far in advance of that. Still it was nice to sit and listen to some live music whilst being entertained by the oddballs and old people trying to interact with women half (or more) their age.

Back in the hotel and I feel a little drunk- probably a mix of beer, white and red wine, lager and cocktails not mixing pleasantly for me. 

Books, which series next?

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So, as you may be aware I’ve been unable to avoid starting series’ of books whilst leaving others unfinished. It’s now at a point where I want to get them finished in order to move on to even more books.



These are the next in line of the series of books Iv got in my pile at the moment.

Master of Sanctity by Gav Thorpe. Dark Angels. One do my favourite chapters of space marines, partly because they’re clearly not as ‘good’ as they’d suggest but also because of the secrecy in which they operate as nobody knows anything until they reach trusted levels and a closely monitored revealing of the truth is allowed to them. It’s a real reminder of working for games workshop. I read the first book of the trilogy Ravenwing about 18 months ago and whilst the story has largely gone from my memory I do remember the focus being on a new member of the Dark Angels vanguard force dealing with the revelations his new position has revealed to him, whilst having to hunt down chaos marine forces and fighting Orks. I also remember a cool vision of bikes racing around a space station as the mysterious dark angel Cypher evades capture or lays a trail depending on point of view. 

Men from the Boys by Tony Parsons. If you read my previous posts on Tony Parsons books you’ll know that whilst i empathised slightly with being a new dad I was outraged by the characters attitudes and bitterness. The second book was worse than the first and honestly I have low expectations of the third. I do however have a curiosity as time has moved on faster than my life has so there may be some insights for me to prepare for.

Nagash the Unbroken by Mike Lee. Warhammer fantasy books about the undead invariably follow the same plot- undead army devastates all before them before the leader is destroyed or incapacitated and everything crumbles. The first in the Nagash trilogy wasn’t much different yet I know Nagash becomes more powerful than at any point previously. Again it’s curiosity that means I’ll be reading this one soon.

The Doom of Dragonback by Gav Thorpe. Another origin of the Warhammer world, this one isn’t strictly speaking part of a series (aside from the large time of legends books) but it ties in very closely with the war of vengeance books of which Iv read two and am waiting for the third and final one later this year. These books establish the reasons for the hatred between the dwarves and elves and so are an important background to the major races of the Warhammer world.

Gotrek and Felix book 2 by William King. I’m actually halfway through this one so I suppose I should really list book 3, but as the pair have a big hand in the end times I feel it’s one of those series I need to get through sooner rather than later.

Lord of ruin by Dan abnett and Mike Lee. A Malus Darkblade book- the last of the series. Except it’s not, the end times has added a sixth (and potentially final) darkblade book, so I’m going to need to get to this one in order to read that one. So far alls gone Malus’ way- not at all as planned but he’s recovering what he needs to and has killed off a good number of his enemies at the same time, so this one will be interesting as a conclusion (even if it’s no longer the conclusion.



The Devils Graveyard by Anonymous. The anonymous books so far have been really enjoyable- the first was theBook with No Name followed by The Eye of the Moon. Known as the Bourbon Kid  series there are now four books and I have the third to read. The books aren’t linked beyond a few crossover characters and locations but they’re really enjoyable.



Manhattan in Reverse by Peter F Hamilton. This is the short story anthology I got from the in laws at Christmas, you’ll have seen previously Iv been working through it and have been enjoying them. I think because he’s keeping it simple by using the current world and changing minor things before exploring what that would do to society rather than attempting to create a whole new world.





Tales of the Old World by various authors. A fairly old anthology of Warhammer fantasy stories from a variety of settings. Being a large collection from a variety of authors the stories vary in content and quality but there have been some good reads in there so far. It’s interesting to read them because they’re from a time before there was any concerted effort to link stories and establish a timeline so it becomes something of a free for all with regards the themes and settings.



The Fall of Altdorf by Chris Wraight. The End Times books were a series I was resisting but I finally gave in and read the first one after seeing a few spoilers as well as knowing that the new edition of Warhammer fantasy this summer will require me to know what’s been going on if I’m to have any hope of continuing to read the books, let alone collect a new army. The first book The Return of Nagash was intense ade major characters started dying and major events in the future were alluded to, such as the fall of the imperial city of Altdorf, so the name of this book suggests we’ll be seeing some of this events first hand.



Hammer and bolter volume 2 by various authors. Similar to the Tales of the Old Times anthology this gives a selection of stories from both the Warhammer World and the Warhammer 40,000 universe, but from a slightly more recent selection meaning the stories aren’t so loose and are (mostly) written within a framework.

So I’m interested in your opinion, what should I read next?

Because of course Iv got these to get through too





Books, Nagash the Sorceror by Mike Lee

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So, rather than carry on with a series I was some way into, or read something stand alone I started another new series. The time of legends novel Nagash the Sorceror by Mike Lee.
I was torn on what to read next, I’d just finished book for of the Malus Darkblade series and was torn between the fifth and final book or the first of the new End Times series the return of Nagash. In the went i essentially merged the two potentials, Nagash the Sorceror deals with the rise of Nagash and happens to be written by Mike Lee who cowrote the Malus Darkblade books with Dan Abnett. incidentally if anyone can tell me how exactly you cowrite a book please let me know, more specifically how Mike Lee and Dan Abnett cowrote Malus Darkblade

So I got started, not sure what to expect. I’m getting more and more into the Warhammer background, but this is set well before the ‘current’ times, essentially before the Empire and such. One thing Iv found with larger scale Warhammer books is that they rarely get the balance between large battles and the necessary politics, background and setting quite right, but Mike Lee managed this really well by running two timelines, allowing one story to deal with the politics and motivations of Nagash and his allies/enemies whilst the other some time on delved deep into a war torn land and focused primarily on the battles that and military elements of the story,
It was also really interesting to see so many known characters as individuals such as Arkhan the Black were detailed and an overview of Settra was given (although as a dead king who hasn’t been brought back I’m curious to see where he is going to appear). Also the three Dark Elves from the War of Vengeance series had a significant role in the books (not altogether surprising as they head South in the vengeance books, but still pleasant) and appearance from Skaven, Beastmen and Lizardmen (all three at least in an earlier form) as slave armies, showing the spread of life that is potentially going to grow over the next few thousand years.

Undead stories in the Warhammer world have normally followed a similar plot- dead rise up, killing all before them and growing larger by absorbing the dead. As it seems they can’t be defeated somebody gets to the leader, kills him and the army crumble. Because of this I was waiting for it to happen and it did lead to a fairly predictable ending, although at the same time it was dealt with in a different way, (plus Nagash didn’t die) and was far more open ended than any defeat.

I’m now in a mega dilemma

Do I read the next one, or the Final Malus Darkblade book or do I start on the End Times series to avoid mega spoilers as the Warhammer World is devastated?

books, malus Darkblade warpsword by Dan abnett and Mike lee

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so, book four of the series and the fourth relic is being hunted for, this time in the city of executioners.

again it was a good story if a little repetitive in terms of it’s plot, Malus has been in the open for a few months, gets where he needs to be, lies and kills to get information, finds what he needs, is shocked, gets grievously hurt, heals, fights beyond pain, gets hurt, changes plan, uses the daemons power, kills some more, gets his relic.

still, there was a little more going on in this one, with the politics of the dark eldar again playing a part as the executioners fight amongst themselves for their own purposes whilst also against Malus’ brother Urial.

there was a point towards the end of the book in which Malus acknowledges that time is short, so I suspect the final book will lead to him finding the relic fairly early at which point he’ll be betrayed by the daemon T’zarkan and spend the rest of the time dealing with that whilst suffering a massive mortal injury that will eventually go away

Books, malus darkblade reaper of souls

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So, I have finished the third malus darkblade book- reaper of souls by dan abnett and mike lee.
Whilst I had enjoyed the previous books I had growing concerns that every book would follow a simple plot- malus takes a beating a lot and finds the artifact he needs in the last few chapters. The beatings were mental in the first book, but as I said previously the second book toned down the damage whilst also finding useful plot points to explain them away. This book was better. For a start Malus spent most of his time in full armour, allowing him to take a beating without bleeding out constantly. Also there is time given for recuperation after serious injuries. He also spends the second half of the book in incredible pain and damaged but with no choice to go on.
As for my plot concerns this one surprised me as (no real spoiler) he acquired the artifact really quickly, before a shocking few chapters which changed the whole direction of the story, the series and Malus’ life, as well as robbing him of the three artefacts he’d already claimed.
The time is running out too for him to find all five artefacts, with only a few months left to do so he’s going to be hard pressed, especially given that events towards the end of the book have essentially robbed him of so many of his resources (and naturally added to his list of enemies).

The next book is on order so I’ll be getting to it soon. I’m excited as Malus is heading for the City of Executioners- where handily enough a whole host of his enemies are waiting.

Books, malus darkblade bloodstorm

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So, after a host of short stories I read the second Malus darkblade book. I enjoyed the first one, but felt it overdid the injuries suffered by malus without getting hurt, and it was a worry that there were four more books for him to get injured through.
Well I’m pleased to say the injuries were toned down. The fighting was as intense and he did take beatings from time to time- he was even skinned at one point, but some magical trickery healed that one. Additionally the daemon possessing him is taking much more control over his body, giving him slightly more resilience to pain. This story was probably better than the first, I enjoyed the use of a fleet hunting out a mystery island before some intense battles against some nurgle warriors and a nasty nurgle daemon.

It also threw Malus into contact with his brothers and sisters, relying on them whilst scheming against them.
The best thing about the book is that it covers at least four months of the the twelve months Malus has to find all five of the artefacts meaning he’s now in a race against time to recover the remaining ones.

I’ll be onto the third book soon, but first some more short stories