Friday, December 17, 2010

Book Review - "Nagash the Unbroken" by Mike Lee.

Holy cow! It has been way too long since I last reviewed a WHFB related book on the blog. Today's review is the next in a series from the Black Library - this one being the second book in the  Nagash "Time of Legends" books. Look for more book reviews here soon! 

"Nagash the Unbroken" by Mike Lee

The second in a series of three book, "Nagash the Unbroken" begins shortly after Nagash was soundly defeated by the combined forces of Nehekhara in "Nagash the Sorcerer". Stripped of his terrifying power, and desperately seeking refuge from the burning rays of the sun, Nagash encounters a pack of hunting rat-creatures who carry a small magical stone. After ingesting the stone (and some of the rat-creatures) Nagash is once filled with a burning torrent of magical energy. Following the trail of the (now deceased) rat-creatures and the scent of the magical stone, Nagash soon finds himself in the hills and mountains of Cripple Peak where the rest of this tale unfolds.

Just as "Nagash the Sorcerer" made great leaps forward and backward in time, so too does "Nagash the Unbroken". Sometimes jumping around as much as 50 years! A majority of the book is spent focused on Queen Neferata, Arkhan the Black, and Lamashizzar, Priest King of Lahmia, who seeks the secrets of immortality hidden away in the books of Nagash he has removed from the Black Pyramid. While this secondary plot it intriguing I often wished the story would jump back to Nagash so I knew what he was up to. While there is less narrative jumping back and forth here overall, it can still be confusing and seems somewhat unnecessary.

While the nobles torture Arkhan and search for new magical venues of immortality, Nagash retreats deep within the mountains where he slowly rebuilds his strength, finds new undead allies (in the ancient tombs and barrows of the barbarians who live there) and re-encounters the cowardly Skaven. While Skaven play a big role on the book cover and even in the text on the back of the book, their overall part in the story is quite brief and mostly revolves around Nagash's hunger for his new addiction to warpstone, which gives him far more power than ever before.

Overall I found this book to be more of the same - an enjoyable look into Nagash's past and an interesting view into the "old world" of Warhammer's "history". While less confusing, repetitive, and boring than the first book the story does seem to meander a bit before ending abruptly on a "cliffhanger" to set up the next book in the series. If you enjoyed the first book or have any interest in Warhammer lore, warpstone fueled necromancy, or the undead you will likely find a thing or two to like here.

Verdict: 7.5 out of 10. A fun, fast, and entertaining read that avoids some of the missteps of the first book while keeping many things the same.

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