Monday, July 26, 2010
Sword of Justice by Chris Wraight
Warhammer Fantasy has a lot of famous characters: Gotrek & Felix, Malus Darkblade, The Blackhearts, etc. However, a number of characters from the game haven’t received much face time from Black Library, and they are working to alleviate that gap with their new series, Warhammer Heroes. Each book focuses on a major figure in the Warhammer Fantasy setting, and gives some more depth into their background and story. The first volume, Sword of Justice, follows Ludwig Schwarzhelm, champion of the Emperor. It looked like a neat idea for a series, and an exciting starting novel.
However, I jumped in and found it not at all to my liking. The beginning is an extended fight scene with no rationale. Why are the imperial warriors, gathered from the dregs of what was left with another army on campaign, at this location? Why was it critical to the war effort? Why were the beastmen attacking? These and a host of other questions left me baffled without answer, and it didn’t help that the beginning hardly featured Ludwig Schwarzhelm, who took his own time showing up, and didn’t make a huge splash.
This novel turned out to be not at all what I was expecting, and not much to my liking. Some reason for the huge violence of a story is necessary for me. I like fight scenes as much as the next person, but without some reason behind it, it becomes a pointless and meaningless part that doesn’t do much for me at all. I found this one unfinishable. Let it go, but keep your eyes peeled for the next one, by C.L. Werner, which has quite a bit of potential.