Happy Towel Day 2012!
While I'm typing this post, Germany is already good four and a half hours into this year's Towel Day - May 25. Some of you might be asking themselves what the hell that is supposed to be, and why you should care.

First of all, Towel Day is a day where the world shows their appreciation and pays tribute to the famous author Douglas Adams. Adams died on May 11 in 2001, and two weeks after his death, the first ever annual Towel Day was celebrated.

Douglas Adams? Maybe the name rings a bell already, but here it comes:
He wrote The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which spans a radio comedy series, a 'trilogy of five books', a TV series, even a movie adaption and lots of other stuff. It is quite popular and should be a title most science fiction fans are popular all too familiar.

Shortly after Adams's death, a post found its way on the Internet:

Towel Day: A Tribute to Douglas Adams
Monday 14 May 2001 06:00am PDT

Douglas Adams will be missed by his fans worldwide. So that all his fans everywhere can pay tribute to this genius, I propose that two weeks after his passing (25 May 2001) be marked as "Towel Day". All Douglas Adams fans are encouraged to carry a towel with them for the day.

So long Douglas, and thanks for all the fish!

— D Clyde Williamson, 2001-05-14

Now, 'Why a towel?', you might be asking. It is a question best answered by quoting the Hitchhiker's Guide itself:

A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-bogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have "lost". What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with.

If you're a fan, or simply want to have a good Friday afternoon and maybe do something crazy, you should definitely check out the list of internationally planned Towel Day activities on towelday.org. There's probably something going on near you!
Maybe you haven't heard of Douglas Adams or the Hitchhiker's yet, but if this post made you curious, please check Adams's Goodreads page.

My Towel has been slung around my neck for the past 5 hours now, so I guess I'll be safe today. What about you?

Don't Panic.
Have a nice Towel Day 2012!

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Review: Blood Reaver by Aaron Dembski-Bowden
After finishing the prequel Soul Hunter incredibly quickly, I've been waiting for Blood Reaver to arrive on my doorstep, eager to claw myself back into the Night Lords trilogy. Apparently, though, I was not meant to finish it quite as quickly as I had wished to, but at last, here's the review. Let me just say that this was a fantastic successor to Soul Hunter, and left me shivering and chuckling alike. The new contributions to the series really added even more depth to the scenario, and I appreciated every chapter. A lot of neat details featured in the book tempt me to order some boxes to convert a few Chaos Marines models for my shelf...

First Claw is hunting again. In search for prey, they stalk the night once more.

The Story:
"Driven on by their hatred of the False Emperor, the Night Lords stalk the shadows of the galaxy, eternally seeking revenge for the death of their primarch. Their dark quest leads them to a fractious alliance with the Red Corsairs, united only by a common enemy. Together with this piratical band of renegades, they bring their ways of destruction to the fortress-monastery of the Marines Errant."

General Information
Blood Reaver is the sequel to Soul Hunter - don't read it without having read that one first. Most things said in the earlier review still hold true; the story still brings up Heresy-era moments once in a while, which makes sense given most of the cast's involvement in the Siege of Terra. The Night Lords are still screwed, even more so than in SH, with their ship critically damaged and their supplies at rock-bottom, and they are still treacherous bastards.
If you have enjoyed Soul Hunter's depiction of the 8th Legion, you won't be disappointed.

Structure & Plot
The Night Lords of the Exalted's warband are struggling for survival. Their supplies are almost at an end, their ship is critically damaged after the events at Crythe told in the prequel, and their ranks are diminished. In-fighting takes its bitter toll on the Legion and their new Navigator, Octavia, the eighth of Talos's slaves, has to fight for control over their vessel, the Covenant of Blood, who rejects her guidance through the warp. Desperate actions lead to the warband striking for Ganges Station, an Imperial deep-space refinery, to plunder supplies, slaves and technical components to keep the Covenant going. When Imperial reinforcements are inbound, the Exalted has to give another shameful order to ensure the Company's survival - retreat. Given the circumstances, there is only one way to repair the ship and become hunters again: sailing into the Maelstrom, begging for a Tyrant's assistance.

Lufgt Huron, called Blackheart, Blood Reaver, the Tyrant of Badab is a broken creature, yet still holds together in his hatred for the Imperium and is planning his greatest assault to date when the unlucky Night Lords arrive at the docks of Hell's Iris: Attacking the fortress-monastery of the Marines Errant Chapter to plunder their precious gene-seed to cripple the loyalist Chapter and swell the ranks of Huron's Red Corsairs even further. The Tyrant's ascendancy and the richness of his renegade warband show a strong contrast to the crippled Night Lords Company, and Huron knows fully well that he may use them as a vital pawn in his war. But the Exalted and First Claw are just as treacherous as the Blood Reaver, and are aiming for something far different for the siege - the Red Corsair's spoils of war. The former Night Lords vessel Echo of Damnation will be their prize for helping Huron. He just does not know it yet...

Final Words & Verdict
All in all, I loved Blood Reaver, probably even more than Soul Hunter, which makes it quite exceptional. The Night Lords are changing, which gets clear throughout the whole novel. Some things will end, others will begin, and nothing will be quite the way it was before this story. Characters are getting a lot of development, either directly or passively, and BR even explores some more emotional tunes, which build up a solid balance to the presence of the Tyrant of Badab and his minions. I even think Huron has been a more impressive leader than Abaddon the Despoiler in Soul Hunter, and almost wished for the Blackheart to lead a 'Red Crusade' to rival Abaddon's black ones.
Incredibly enough, some of the new characters made me laugh heartily at times, from Octavia's attendant 'Hound' to the ninth slave of Talos and the strange chemistry between some characters. Not only that, but it also managed to make me grieve the losses this book brought with it and the sacrifices made by some members of the warband. The end was quite bitter-sweet and the epilogue promises some exciting events to happen in Void Stalker, when Talos's visions of the Eldar finally become a reality.

Blood Reaver is full of surprises and draws you into the setting. Aaron proves yet again that he's the mastermind behind the 41st Millenium's heretics and feeds the reader with a high amount of tension and action. If you've read Soul Hunter, you simply have to read the sequel, and if you haven't yet, this book is just another damn-good reason to catch up with the trilogy. It is dark, it is full of treachery and even hope for a change.
The second Night Lords novel is definitely worth the time you will spend on it.

Next up for me is either Atlas Infernal, Empire or, you guessed it, Void Stalker, the last book about Aaron's Night Lords. I'll have to make up my mind today.

Blood Reaver on the Black Library Website
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Review: Heldenhammer by Graham McNeill
Quite honestly, I have tried starting Heldenhammer more times than I'd like to admit. There were plenty of reasons to finally get done with it, and, in hindsight, I don't regret the time spent in any way. It is a pity that bad timing always stood between me and the Legend of Sigmar, for the book was truly moving.

Now that I am finally done, let me review the first Sigmar novel in detail. Will I pledge my sword for the Heldenhammer's dream of an united Empire of man?

The Story:
"It is a time of legends. The lands of the old World are wild and untamed, where the primitive tribes of men struggle for survival. In this time of peril, by virtue of his valorous deeds, a young man claims leadership of the Unberogen tribe. His name is Sigmar Heldenhammer, and his actions will change history forever. This is the story of how Sigmar rose to power, culminating in the Battle of Black Fire Pass, where men and dwarfs fought against the vast hordes of orcs in their quest to safeguard the future of the Empire."

Book One of The Legend of Sigmar

General Information
Heldenhammer was the first book in the Time of Legends series to get released. The trilogy is complete by now, with the Omnibus collecting all three parts of the Legend of Sigmar coming up this summer. All Time of Legends contributions aim to unveil essential parts of the fictional history of the franchise, telling the stories of the first undead who ever rose from their graves, or the civil war engulfing the elven dynasty, and many other tales beyond these.
The Legend of Sigmar trilogy follows the life of Sigmar, King of the Unberogen tribe, and shows how he realises his dream of humanity united in purpose. Did you ever wonder what's up with the Warhammer that gives the franchise its venerable name? Sigmar was the first man to wield it in battle, and he was the one who reshaped the scattered, rival tribes of men into what would become humanity's greatest realm in the Warhammer world - the Empire. It is a quest that would eventually see him revered as a God by the men of the Empire for millenia to come.
Heldenhammer is quite a classical story, written in a different, lighter tone than other grimdark Warhammer novels; it is full of hope, good humor and events of cinematic proportions, almost comparable to the epic sagas we have been collecting over the course of human history. It is a story which lays the foundation for the franchise, so even if you've never heard or read of Warhammer before, you might easily enjoy it.

Structure & Plot
The book starts the night before Sigmar sets out with an army of his tribe to battle the Orcs invading the lands of their allies. Sigmar has ridden into battle before and even earned himself the gratitude of the dwarfen High King Kurgan Ironbeard, but this time he will earn his shield and progress into manhood, leading hundreds of Unberogen warriors against the enemies of mankind. Swinging the legendary hammer Ghal-maraz, the gift of King Kurgan, Sigmar and his men quickly emerge victorious, but one of his Sword-Brothers, Trinovantes, fell to the Orc warlord while holding the assault to give the rest of the army time to resupply.
Returning home to Reikdorf, a shadow lies over Sigmar's triumph, for his fallen friend's twin, Gerreon, blames Sigmar for the death of his brother. Worse even, the woman Sigmar loves was the sister of the twins, and stands between both sides. While Sigmar's father, King Björn of the Unberogen tribe, honours him and the fallen men, Sigmar overcomes his shyness and begins a relationship with his beloved and dreams of a future where all men stand together against the shadows that threaten their race, united and strong as an empire.
Little does he know that Gerreon, feeling betrayed by both Sigmar and his sister, plots against the King's son, and that his apologies aren't to be trusted. Sigmar's naivety would see him stripped of what he loved most andhurt beyond measure, but despite all he would emerge stronger than ever.

After his father's death in battle against the barbaric tribes of the north, the Norsii, Sigmar inherits the title of King of the Unberogen and quickly sets out to realise his dream. While uniting the rivalling tribes turns out to be just as hard a task as expected, Sigmar would not leave the road he has determined for himself, and overcomes all the trials before him. He renewed old swordoaths, forges new bonds with the other kings, slays creatures that would see men destroyed and eventually leads his race to new heights. His goal seems to be near, but mankind's enemies did not sit idle, and soon warnings of a new threat reach the King's ears:
The Orcs march for war. Ten thousands of Orcs seek to invade the lands of men, and only if all tribes work and fight as one will their race be allowed to survive, for alone they are lost. Sigmar leads a massive army of all his allied tribes to stand against the Orc warlord Urgluk Bloodfang - at Black Fire Pass, the fate of humanity will be decided, and an Empire born...

The book spans many years in Sigmar's life, from his mid-teens to late twenties, laying the foundation for the legends surrounding him. Apart from a few scenes, the whole story is written from either his perspective or with focus on his life and surroundings. Heldenhammer really manages to breathe life into Sigmar's character, making him much more than the sum of the legends of his deeds. It is a story full of emotion, hope and great strength that shows expertly just how much potential lies in unity.
Of course, telling of an individuals life in such a way will lead to the feeling that things are going too fast at times, and many details and discoveries ended up as mere notes between events; the introduction of rune-writing, stone roads, better wargear and the quick growth of human settlements all have a place in the story, and a role to play, yet they are never really explored as much as I'd liked them to be. What might seem unnecessary or even boring to others I thought was a great way to build up the world, showing just how essential Sigmar was to humanity's prosperity. While what was written was enough, I surely wouldn't have argued against more of these details along the road.

Final Words & Verdict
Graham McNeill managed to drag me completely into the story. The dialogues were inspiring, emotional and enjoyable. It was incredible how some scenes made me laugh, and how human the characters felt. Even Sigmar, who might be seen as some sort of wonder-boy by some for realising his dreams and smiting even the most brutal beasts on his own, felt human, realistic and deep. It was a real joy to follow his footsteps, from his homeland, his first love and his relationships to his friends to the tasks he'd need to fulfill to forge new alliances.
In a way, these trials almost appeared similar to the Labours of Hercules, and somehow that comparison isn't so far off, for, as Warhammer fans already know all too well, Sigmar would eventually join the Gods in their pantheon - at least that is what the descendents of the Empire believe.

At the end of the day, I really regretted not having read this one much sooner - and I had this one on my shelf since January 2009! If it wasn't for other books on my list, I'd have picked up the sequel, Empire, immediately after finishing Heldenhammer. Alas, this will have to wait for another day.
In my opinion, Graham has pulled the right strings with Heldenhammer. There's been enough foreshadowing and promise for the rest of the trilogy to utilize, and if you trust the David Gemmel Legend Award 2010 McNeill earned with Empire, it is only going to get better from here on.

Next up for me will be Blood Reaver and most likely Atlas Infernal, but I am already looking forward to the rest of the Legend of Sigmar. If I got you interested, keep an eye open for the Omnibus edition coming this August!

Heldenhammer on the Black Library Website
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Review: Prey by George Mann
Prey is the latest Raven Guard short story by George Mann.
Only available as an ebook, the price of £0.79 / 1.00€ / $1.25 seems quite fair, considering this story is about 2500 words, two and a half as many as the BLis15! shorts. Prey also works as a teaser to George's upcoming limited edition novella - The Unkindness of Ravens.

"Raven Guard Chaplain Cordae hunts a deadly beast in the mountains of the Chapter’s homeworld, Kiavahr. But as the creature realises the danger, Cordae finds himself the prey..."

The story is actually quite simple, yet unusual. Expanding further on the Raven Guard's background, George Mann tells the story of Chaplain Cordae's ritual hunt for a Roc, a gigantic raven-like bird. Having pursued the animal for nineteen days, Cordae is close to the hunt's end, yet the bird surely has been aware of his pursuit. Timing and cunning would decide whether Cordae would bring the Roc's dead body home to become part of his armor, or if the pursuit would see him lying dead on the foot of the mountains he had been climbing for days.
To succeed, Chaplain Cordae of the Raven Guard has to risk his life attempting to capture his prey. But how can he be sure he didn't underestimate his quarry?

George Mann isn't new to the Raven Guard; Having written two previous audio dramas about them, namely Helion Rain and Labyrinth of Sorrows, over the last years, he has taken every opportunity to add a few new traits and layers to the Chapter, partly inspired by Forgeworld products, which prove to be a satisfying contribution to their background. He knows the Raven Guard and manages to make them both appear deep and accessible in their ways.
Prey is a prime example of his efforts to expand the lore of the Raven Guard; instead of showing Space Marines on the field of battle, Prey discovers the Chapter's culture, rituals and symbolism. One single, unarmored Space Marine testing his mind against the giant ravens of Kiavahr, the Chapter's homeworld - we certainly don't get things like these often enough. Even the warriors of the Adeptus Astartes do have a cultural background, as Prey expertly shows.

While the story is definitely unusual and admittedly short, it was quite a pleasant read. The ebook managed to paint a vivid picture of the ritual hunt and the Chaplain's determination to take down his quarry. Add to that all the little details to flesh out the Raven Guard-feel of the story and you get a good read you won't regret picking up. Especially fans of the Chapter will find a lot of inspirational details for upcoming hobby projects. Fans of Bolter-porn will be severely disappointed, however, so be aware that this story is not about war, but filling a niche. It certainly isn't for everyone.

I recommend picking the ebook up; The low price makes this an especially safe bet.
But beware! You might get tempted to buy the upcoming novella The Unkindness of Ravens. Well, at least I am...

Update: An Extract of The Unkindness of Ravens is up on today's Black Library blog entry. Check it out!

Prey on the Black Library Website
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Review: Dead Winter by C.L. Werner
Having thoroughly enjoyed C.L. Werner's The Red Duke, my anticipation for Dead Winter has been huge. A plague, ratmen, the mighty Empire brought to its knees... What is not to appreciate about that scenario? Being the latest entry to the Time of Legends series, I was sure to pick it up anyway - more Warhammer Fantasy is a good thing in my book.

Now that I finished the book, I need to get in touch with a Plague Doktor. I think I might be contaminated...

The Story:
"More than a thousand years after the Age of Sigmar, the Empire he struggled to create rests on the edge of destruction – the reign of the greedy and incompetent Emperor Boris Goldgather has shaken down the great and prosperous edifice of his erstwhile realm. Without warning, a terrible and deadly plague strikes, wiping out entire villages and leaving towns eerily silent through the long frozen months. As the survivors struggle to maintain order and a worthy military presence, vermin pour up from the sewers and caverns beneath the cities, heralding a new and unspeakable threat – the insidious skaven!"

General Information
Dead Winter is the latest entry to the Time of Legends series, which is trying to explore the origins of the Warhammer world as fans know it. Being blessed with a rich lore, Warhammer is certainly a treasure trove for epic battles, reformations and tragedy beyond measure. From the founding of the Empire of man by Sigmar Heldenhammer over the civil war that tore the race of elves apart to the rise of the undead under the reign of Nagash, the Time of Legends series has seen a fair share of epic events that have only been shortly addressed in armybooks before. The Black Plague trilogy is no different, yet it marks a vital timeframe for the Empire. Cross-referencing to the Sigmar and Nagash trilogies, the novel can stand well on its own, and manages to feel like real history more often than not.

Of course, Dead Winter is founded on actual historic events. Humanity has survived the Plague many centuries ago, and I am sure most of us have learned enough during history lessons to realise that it was a dark time for all involved. Yet that was history, and those history books hardly manage to give us an insight on why we should care. Dead Winter, however, shows the reader a conclusive view on all layers of society and how they cope with their fear of getting afflicted with the Plague. From the lowliest peasant over soldiers, counts, priests and even princes, C.L. Werner makes clear that everybody is involved and in danger once the disease spreads.
Add to that the presence of a greedy, incompetent Emperor, leading his realm into ruin, the forming of resistance against this unjust ruler, and of course a bit of necromancy and plotting ratmen, and you get a very promising, dark and unforgiving story that keeps you on edge.

Structure & Plot
The book follows multiple plot-lines, which switch within chapters, neatly arranged to make for a compelling read. All those plot-lines are based around the novel's leading topic - the Black Plague. As C.L. Werner put it himself, the disease itself is the star of the book, the focus everything comes back to. They are only loosely connected throughout the novel, but are sure to meet in the inevitable sequels. Some of them might even shake more than just the Empire of man.

We see the unjust reign of Emperor Boris Goldgather, his overtaxation of the Empire's provinces and his schemes to enflame the rivalries between his subjects to keep them at bay. After having disbanded the armies of the Empire and removing the exemption of the Dienstleute, men employed by the provinces, towns and cities to secure their lands and defend their people, from taxes, resistance against Boris forms. From protest-marches of the discharged soldiers to the plans of the noblemen to dethrone the tyrant, a conflict ensues that involves all of the Empire's people and demands sacrifices from all of them. There can only be one solution to the Empire's misery - a coup against Emperor Boris!

Earning his living by catching rats in the city of Nuln, Walther Schill lives an easy life, shunned by society for his choice of work. Wishing to be with his love, a tavern maiden of the Black Rose, he quickly acquires plenty of coin due to the surge of rats on the streets of Nuln after the outbreak of the Plague. One day, however, a body is found, and the rat-catcher quickly realises that the man's throat had not been slit with a blade, but gnawed open - by a giant rat! He makes plans to catch the beast and make a good fortune off it, but little does he know what he might attract through his deeds, and what sacrifices his short luck would demand. I particularly liked this plot-line; it had a surprisingly human tone, realistic and comprehensible, sprinkled with hope and joy that presented a nice balance to the depressing reality of the spreading disease. But in the end, nobody is safe, and reality catches up...

Cold reality also holds Graf Gunthar of Middenheim in its grips. The ruler of Middenland has to face hard decisions that would earn him the disrespect of his son, prince Mandred. Having to decide between accepting refugees of the surrounding lands or barring Middenheim's gates to everyone, Graf Gunthar decides to protect his subjects from outside influence by shutting them in. Being forced to watch the refugees in front of the city-state die from their diseases and by the claws of beastmen, his son decides to help smugglers to get refugees into the city, against all reason. Courage and a good heart lead the young prince from one foolishness to the next, but even he will have to face the sad truth sooner or later...

While Middenheim is still looking at the bright side of things, the town of Bylorhof has already lost the battle against the Black Plague. Priest of Morr, god of the dead, Frederick van Hal struggles to keep his people sane and pious while they descend into the depths of human despair and return to the worship of old idols. When his own family is in grave danger, Frederick has to make decisions that will change his life forever. He steps into a realm of powers he should never have learned about - the vile art of necromancy. When the charlatan Plague Doktor Bruno Havemann damns his family at last, van Hal is struggling to keep even his own desires for vengeance in check...

All the while, deep below the surface, the Skaven are busy trying to betray each other, with Puskab Foulfur, Poxmaster of Clan Pestilens being the leading character on his way to claim a seat at the Council of Thirteen. Betrayal and counter-betrayal with a following counter-counter-betrayal are the most essential part of this plotline. Despite being so obviously skaven in nature, I found it quite difficult to make out which rat was actually double-crossing which other rat or clan. It really draws you deep into the abyss of skaven malice and makes you appreciate just how mean and evil this vile race truly is - and how it is possible that they haven't overrun the surface already. However, that might yet come to pass, thanks to Puskab's own creation - the Black Plague.

Final Words & Verdict
If you read this to make up your mind whether or not you should buy this novel, let me answer the question straight away: Hell yes, you should. Why haven't you already? This novel is bloody awesome, it is just that simple. It is dark, it is bloody, it evokes the whole spectrum of emotions, from fear and courage over hope to despair and love and hate. It is exciting, addictive and makes me craving for the sequel already. History is being written in Dead Winter, so close yet so different from our real history, it makes you wonder 'what if?' from beginning to the bitter end. The book lays the founding for two further installments to The Black Plague, and let me tell you, you'll want to read them after finishing Dead Winter. From one who knows quite a bit about the Warhammer lore, let me tell you that this is just the start to epic events yet to come. Some scenes and characters really made my fanboy-heart squeal in anticipation.

The only negative aspect to the book, if you ask me, would be the way the Skaven-plot was handled. Of course, they're the ones behind the Plague and use it to decimate mankind before engaging them in force, but I felt like their side of the story was, while excellent and exciting, a bit too detached from the events on the surface. Admittedly, though, they simply don't care about the human-meat as long as they don't have to face it at full strength. While the Skaven did have a paw in the events around the Revolution, the plot-line's lead character, Puskab Foulfur, followed his own path. It is also regrettable that the Grey Seers did not really appear in the novel apart from the opening chapters.
Without a doubt, the skaven-side of the story will be much more prominent in the sequels, but their presence in Dead Winter felt a bit lacking, which isn't a fault of the book, as it presented them quite fitting- and satisfyingly, but an issue you'd find in almost any series. Some parts of the story simply had to get sown before they can be reaped in a later installment, and there's nothing wrong with that. It just makes me wish I already had the sequel in my paws...

That being said, the book is amazing, vivid, moving and at times infuriating when confronted with blatant human failure. It gets you as close to the Black Plague as you can possibly get without getting afflicted, and makes you glad you are just watching the events unfold. Once again, C.L. Werner managed to capture me with his grasp on the grim darkness of Warhammer Fantasy and the depths of the human mind. I am itching to squeeze Wulfrik into my reading list already, and am browsing various stores for a copy of the Mathias Thulmann Omnibus. There are plenty of books written by Clint which I haven't yet have the pleasure to read, but if The Red Duke and Dead Winter are anything to go by, I cannot wait for his next contribution.

For the time being, however, I'll have to be content with Blood Reaver's imminent arrival and C.L. Werner's Black Plague tie-in story featured in Age of Legend - fittingly, said story is called Plague Doktor...

Dead Winter on the Black Library Website
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