By Darius Hinks
The Bad Moon is rising and Gotrek Gurnisson once again finds himself in the middle of the action, fighting his greatest enemies and trying to find his doom – although in the Age of Sigmar – his doom finding is a little more limited and currently is based around him wanting to remove the Fyreslayer rune from his chest.
Darius Hinks has once again been given the job of adding to the saga of Gotrek and his new companion – Maleneth Witchblade (an Aelf). If you read my review of Dominion, you will know that I like his writing, and this novel is no exception. This being a Warhammer Age of Sigmar novel I’m not pretending that it is a classic to rival some fantasy epics from yesteryear but it is a good fun yarn, with plenty of combat, some character development for Gotrek, Duardin and (more importantly than all that…) Gitz!
It won’t surprise regular readers to hear that I love the Gitz (Goblins) since I started Warhammer Fantasy Battle back in the late <cough> 1980s. Since then the little goblins (or Grobbi to Gotrek) have seen new developments, have conquered the World’s End Mountains, made Scrappa-spill and started to control the Bad Moon… all while worshiping Mork (or possibly Gork). And it is great to have them here.
The Gotrek books often spend a large number of pages building character and giving background to the ‘Big Bad’ of the book and Gitslayer is, fortunately, no exception. Unlike Dominion where the Kruleboyz were only seen from the viewpoint of the humans and Stormcast, or Gloomspite where the Gitz got limited ‘screen time’, Gitslayer puts them front and centre.
There are descriptions of mushrooms, magic, bottles, potions, squigs and, of course, the Bad Moon itself; all coming together to threaten the Kharadron Overlords who have promised to help Gotrek remove the rune from his chest. These descriptions are fabulous and I won’t spoil any of the fun of reading them for the first time, but if you like Gitz this is a great book and succeeds where Gloomspite failed.
The main character remains Gotrek, but we know how it is going to end, as he searches for his Doom, or Felix, or both. We know he’ll upset some locals, get drunk and then save the day… but still we read for the journey. And Gitslayer delivers on this journey.