Friday, January 15, 2010

Book Review - "Curse of the Necrarch" by Steven Saville.

More books to review - this time around we have a Black Library release from 2008. Next up will be a review of the first in the Nagash trilogy "Nagash the Sorcerer" by Mike Lee.

"Curse of the Necrarch" by Steven Saville

"Curse of the Necrarch" is a vampire counts related one-shot novel set in the Warhammer Fantasy old world. Where as the "Vampire Wars" series focused more on the major vampire counts bloodlines, this book tells the tale of two lost souls and their quest for redemption (of a sort).

The book begins with a last stand outside the walls of Kastell Metz as the heroic Felix Metzger readies himself and his loyal knights for one last epic battle against the hordes of undead which have ravaged the nearby countryside. As you might imagine things do not go well for Felix leaving the forces of evil triumphant and in control of Kastell Metz.

Flash forward 500 years - the dead once again rise from their graves to feast on the flesh of the living. The necromantic force behind this threat, known only as Radu the Forsaken, has made it's home in the highest towers in what remains of Kastell Metz. Aided by his two apprentice thralls known as Casimir and Amsel, Radu seeks a lost artifact of great power. An item thought to have once belonged to the great and powerful sorcerer Nagash!

Meanwhile in the town of Grimminhagen, Reinhardt Metzger is on the verge of retiring from his position as Knight Protector. But the years of potential peace awaiting Metzger are thrown aside when communications from the outlying villages and neighboring towns cease. Soon Metzger, and his long time friend Kaspar Bohmen, set out to discover the cause of the disturbance. They soon learn that the dead once again walk the land and narrowly avoid their own death to bring this message back to the town of Grimminhagen in preparation for the coming invasion.

The story is easy to follow, and Steven does a good job of keeping things moving at a brisk pace, focusing on the important details without accounting for every small description. The inherent treachery of the vampire thralls makes for an interesting dynamic within the forces of the undead, while Metzger's pride and "I am too old for this" attitude rarely overstay their welcome. If you are looking for a good fantasy action novel you could do far worse than this book. I would recommend this to anyone who has an interest in rotting undead Vampires, or the Vampire Counts of the WHFB old world.

Verdict: 7 out of 10.

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