A Skarsnik Review

Posted: July 19, 2013 in Fiction, Reviews, The Black Library
Tags: , ,

I found this on Goodreads right here, an enthusiastic review by Dark Chaplain of Skarsnik. I hadn’t noticed it before as, for some reason, my Goodreads page didn’t note the review as a review. Which is kind of silly. Anyway, I’ve taken the immense liberty of reproducing it here. Here’s Dark Chaplain’s twitter handle: @TheDarkChaplain. Follow him.

Skarsnik, as it turns out, was a much needed breath of fresh air for me.

Its narrative style, the gobliny wit, wrapped in humorous banter, and the stunning competence of Skarsnik, Warlord of the Eight Peaks, but also the incredible amount of detail put into describing the world under the mountains and greenskin society, make this novel one of my personal favorites of 2013.

The story is wrapped in multiple layers, from the overall point of view of the Doktor Wollendorp, who interviews a mad playwright in an asylum, to said madman’s retelling of his experience in Skarsnik’s realm, and the things the Goblin Warlord told him. Despite this, the book flows very nicely from one point of view and scene to the next.

Being a book about the life of Skarsnik at the core, this made sure that minor pieces in the story would not need to drag on unnecessarily, while still allowing for the creative freedom of the playwright. In the end, it serves to blur the line between fact and fantasy, making Skarsnik appear like a real threat to be reckoned with, but also made sure to leave things ambiguous and leave room for interpretation.

Multiple times throughout the novel Wollendorp and his companion would discuss the veracity of the madman’s tale, and agree that it must be truthful in some regard, yet is undoubtedly embellished by the poet’s vivid mind, and not everything should be taken at face value.

This should very well please those people who voiced concerns over the Warhammer Heroes series demystifying the special characters they portray, by taking away from the tabletop players’ own interpretation of the hero. It feels to me that Guy Haley did a fantastic job at disspelling those concerns by telling his story in this particular way.

This quote from the book frames the whole novel very accurately:

“‘Make sure you tell all those humies, humie, make sure you tell ’em good, make sure you tell ’em about the king in da mountain. Tell ’em all about me, Skarsnik, tell ’em all about my life, leave nuffink out.’
[…]
‘And then, when you’ve told them all that,’ he whispered, his eyes blazing with menace, ‘tell all the other humies that I’m coming for them too.’”

That being out of the way, it is safe to say that Skarsnik’s life was more than just eventful. It was a joy to read, to see the runt develop into a warlord to rival Grom the Fat, and follow in his footsteps. There have been many occassions when I just could not help but laugh about the suitably mean presentation of the goblin race, and can do nothing but applaud Guy Haley for his spot-on representation of the greenskins.

As with Baneblade, Guy Haley impressed me once more. His in-depth take on the Warhammer universe is so well put, I cannot come up with a good reason not to pick this book up if you have any interest in Black Library’s Fantasy range.

In clear greenskin fashion, I give this book lots of stars. Purchase recommendation!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s