Book Preview: Empire in Chaos

So maybe all this time-travelling has got to me, but I thought I’d take a look at the Warhammer Online novel that’s due to be published in September 2008 (make of that date what you will!). How can I provide such an insight you might ask? Well, those helpful people over at The Black Library have provided a 15-page excerpt to whet our appetites, so I thought I’d read through it and see if I felt hungry.

Written by Anthony Reynolds, Empire in Chaos is set firmly in the Warhammer Online universe, which distinguishes it from many Black Library releases. It’s listed as the first in a series of novels that take place in the MMORPG’s universe. Now, I’ve not read any of the World of Warcraft novels, so this is my first foray into computer game-related fiction, and of course, I’ve only got 15 pages to play with her. But it gave me enough of a taste to ask my local library to order it for me (ok, so it’s also my workplace, but for the record many libraries are happy to take suggestions!).

So, without further ado, here’s the overview of the novel:

When Annaliese Jaeger’s* village is overrun and destroyed by mutants, she and an injured elf captive are the only survivors. As the two unlikely companions fight their way towards Black Fire Pass, Annaliese discovers within herself powers of courage and faith that inspire all around her. With a grizzled witch hunter and a dwarf warrior, the heroes battle alongside the armies of the Empire and the dwarfs, above and below the earth, against greenskin tribes and the hordes of Chaos.

The extract provided comes from the start of the novel and describes in glorious detail the mutant attack on Annaliese’s village and her first interaction with the elf captive. It’s very well-written and the details of the horrors of the attack as well as the inhuman treatment of the elf in captivity really drew me into the action a lot more than I’d expected from such a short extract. And it made me think more about the setting for Warhammer Online, and how it’s actually a fairly horrific prospect for war to be everywhere.

The excerpt really captures how people would live and think and react within this universe, and as a fan of roleplaying (although more casual these days), it did make me smile and change how I feel about the idea of RvR in-game. I want to feel like I’m fighting for my life and that of my friends, family and everything I hold dear!

Anyway,  I am looking forward to this and the rest of the series; a set of Warhammer novels that’ll take place in our universe, one we’ll shape. 15 pages doesn’t take long to read, why not check it out and see what you think?

* Yes, she shares a surname with Felix from the Gotrek and Felix novels.. will be interesting to see where this heads.

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12 Responses

  1. I’ve really enjoyed the Black Library books that I’ve read. I guess my expectations of game fiction were a bit low, but I’ve been blown away by some of them.

    And yeah, my first thought was “Jaeger, is she Felix’s daughter?”

  2. Also, is this actually the first warhammer book with a female protagonist (not counting vampires 😛 )?

  3. @Spinks no idea… I’d hope not, but you know how few of them I’ve read.

  4. I do want to read the books, which is the first in the series?

  5. As far as I can tell this will be the first in the Warhammer Online series.

  6. That exceprt was a good read. I will probably have to buy that when it comes out.

    Benn looking for another good Dwarf book in the line but Barnes & Noble here doesn’t keep a huge selection in stock.

  7. How about the Felix books? Which is the first in that series?

  8. Looks to me like it’s Trollslayer from Spinks’ review. I’ve not read them yet, but I heartily recommend Grudge Bearer as a dwarf book.

  9. This is the first Warhammer book with a living female protagonist.

    Jaeger means Hunter. Think how common that name is. I don’t think there’s a relation to suspect a connection to Felix.

    An’ yeh hoomies and yeh stunties. Gotta have a reason for Waaagh. Gotta protect loved ones. Da Boyz dun need a reason for Waaagh. Runnin’ around and hittin’ stuff wiv choppas iz reason enuff fer uz. Waaagh ever’wurr is hevvin’ on Oif!

  10. Thanks cappadocius!

  11. A “relation to suspect”? Oi, me no am speak Gothic so good.

  12. […] free 64-page sampler, which previews titles to be published in October and November. Leaf through Empire in Chaos which is due to be on sale at Games Day and decide if you can fit in a quick novel set in the […]

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