Category Archives: Declan Walters

Book Review – The Magos

Advertisements

Book 4 of the Eisenhorn Series by Dan Abnett

I think Warhammer novels are at their best when they leave the Space Marines and superhumans behind and concentrate on more relatable characters. And Dan Abnett has made a great character in the form of Inquisitor Eisenhorn, here returning for Book 4.

The Magos – Black Library / Dan Abnett

From the book:

Inquisitor Eisenhorn returns in a stunning new novel that pits him against his oldest foe, forcing him to finally confront the growing darkness within his own soul.

Inquisitor Gregor Eisenhorn has spent his life stalking the darkest and most dangerous corners of the galaxy in pursuit of heresy and Chaos, but how long can a man walk that path without succumbing to the lure of the warp? Pursuing heretics in the remote worlds of the Imperium, Eisenhorn must confront the truth about himself. Is he still a champion of the Throne? Or has he been seduced by the very evil that he hunts? The Magos is the brand new, full-length fourth novel in the hugely popular Eisenhorn series. This paperback edition also includes the definitive casebook of Gregor Eisenhorn, collecting together all twelve of Dan Abnett’s Inquisition short stories, several of which have never been in print before. These additional stories have been compiled by the author to act as an essential prologue to this long-awaited new novel, while also serving as an indispensable companion to the original Eisenhorn trilogy.

Dan Abnett has brought together a number of short stories (12) and a novella length tale in this novel to tell of some of the adventures of Gregor Eisenhorn and his followers. It’s great to have stories to dip into, and finish in an afternoon of lazy reading and the 12 stories definitely deliver on that promise. They’ll be some you may not like, but you’ll be back on fire on the next one as the Warhammer 40k universe encounters all the Grim Darkness through Gregor’s eyes.

The Novella – The Magos – is a great ending to the series though. Concentrating on the story of a Magos trapped in a backwater planet with no means of escape Gregor’s team kidnap him to ‘ask’ for his assistance in investigating some animal attacks. But things are not as they seem. It’s a great story told at break-neck speed but with not too many characters so it is easy to keep up. Sure, some of them die early, but that just makes everything easier to follow.

It also helps to bring the 40k universe to life – it’s not just epic clashes for the future of Terra – it’s people trying to survive, documenting species for the future, and making a living… and into that walks Eisenhorn to cause or solve mayhem and destruction.

A great ending to the Eisenhorn series, but Dan Abnett does have a number of other books featuring the Inquisition, so if you like this there’s definitely other books you can give a go.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

— Declan

Check out the full list of Book Reviews we’ve done on Woehammer here

Tournament Preparation – Boards and Swords

Advertisements

Big Waaagh in GHB22 – Skrappa Spill

The time has come, GHB21 is dead and GHB22 (part one?) is live. The Battleline is back with Galletian Veterans and there are some ‘fun’ FAQs floating about.

But is Battleline really back? Is Purple Sun now essential? Should we ignore everything and go monsters? What changes?

To answer some, all or none of the above I am taking Big Waaagh to Boards & Swords in Derby (UK) this weekend for a two-day Age of Sigmar tournament. This has some basic comp around Grand Strategies and Battle Tactics – Strategies from the GHB22 and max 2 Battle Tactics from books. Given that (some) book Battle Tactics are allowed and Gloomspite Gitz don’t have any… I pivoted effortlessly back to Big Waaagh!

The List!

Allegiance: Big Waaagh!
– Grand Strategy: Demonstration of Strength
– Triumphs: Inspired

Leaders
Orruk Megaboss (140)*
 General
 Command Trait: Touched by the Waaagh!
 Artefact: Arcane Tome (Universal Artefact)
 Lore of the Weird: Da Great Big Green Hand of Gork
Orruk Warchanter (115)*
 Warbeat: Fixin’ Beat
Orruk Warchanter (115)*
 Warbeat: Fixin’ Beat
Wurrgog Prophet (150)
 Artefact: Glowin’ Tattooz
 Lore of the Savage Beast: Gorkamorka’s War Cry

Battleline
10 x Orruk Brutes (320)**
 Jagged Gore-hackas
 2x Gore Choppas
 Reinforced x 1
10 x Orruk Brutes (320)**
 Jagged Gore-hackas
 2x Gore Choppas
 Reinforced x 1
15 x Orruk Ardboys (255)**
 2x Gorkamorka Banner Bearers
 1x Gorkamorka Glyph Bearers
 Reinforced x 2
5 x Orruk Brutes (160)***
 Jagged Gore-hackas
 1x Gore Choppas
5 x Orruk Ardboys (85)***
 1x Gorkamorka Banner Bearers
5 x Orruk Ardboys (85)***
 1x Gorkamorka Banner Bearers

Units
3 x Rippa’s Snarlfangs (70)*

Endless Spells & Invocations
Chronomantic Cogs (40)
Purple Sun of Shyish (70)
Ravenak’s Gnashing Jaws (60)

Core Battalions
*Warlord
**Bounty Hunters
***Expert Conquerors

Additional Enhancements
Artefact

Total: 1985 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 4 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 157
Drops: 11

The Old…

Some of the list is the same as by GHB21 list; there’s a Wurgogg for the staring competition and two casting whilst he gets there, 2 Warchanters, and two units of ten Brutes. They pretty much do the same as they did in GHB21, except they are brutal against other Galletian Veterans (GVs) due to their ‘Bounty Hunters’ Battalions.

The New…

Having already taken some GVs I’ve decided to lean into it in style… so adding 15 Ardboyz (rallying on a 4+ near the Warchanter), 2 x 5 Arboyz for objective capturing / holding and 5 Brutes for a last minute smash! The small units are all Expert Conquerers (counting as 3 models each for objectives) and the large unit is my third (and final) unit in the Bounty Hunters Battalion – for damage 2 v other GVs.

The Ugly

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that some of the Endless Spells have got better!

Do I ignore it, and hope I don’t lose a Maw-Krusha or dive into the madness and take the toys! Well there’s only one option — more toys! Lots of toys!

So I’ve taken a Purple Sun & Chromatic Cogs (probably for the extra spell, but the re-roll charges is not bad for Big Waaagh late game). My slightly left field choice is the Ravening Jaws – I’ve loved the model since it was released and so couldn’t resist adding him to the list!

The Fast…

With all the points being used, I have limited options and have to drop the Maw Krusha. This wasn’t too bad though as – although he is good – I don’t fancy him running around with all the Purple Suns in the game. So I’ve downgraded him to a Megaboss on Foot — allowing me to go back to my favourite unit!

Rippa’s Snarlfang are back, baby… and they still rock. To find out why check out my secret post!

Da Plan

So I don’t really have one. I can do all the Battle Tactics, although the Megaboss may require some Wurgogg assistance if he needs to kill something; and the army is slower without the Gore Gruntas and Maw Krusha – but there’s a lot of 4+ save bodies and a lot of screens. Added to that if I keep 3 units alive (except Rippa) I get my Grand Strategy — don’t mind if I do.

I’ll try to take some photos and notes and let you know how I get on.

— Declan

Postscript (added 10th July 2022)

It’s been pointed out that – whilst I adhere to the 3 Endless Spell maximum – there is an additional requirement of 1 wizard per Endless Spell so this list is illegal! Ooops. Not sure what I’d drop, but I’d probably try to fit in a Weirdnob Shaman for an Ardboyz unit to keep it legal — Declan

Hobby Update – Orange is the New Black

Advertisements

Blood Angel Batch Painting from Horus Heresy Age of Darkness Box.

In my continued effort to try to get some Blood Angels for Horus Heresy actually finished, I am continuing to batch paint the models from the Age of Darkness Box. In my last article I got them to Mephiston Red (with some Nuln Oil shading)… what’s next?

Last time I got here:

The Blood Angels from the Age of Darkness Box Sets.

Orange is new…

But I needed to get the highlighting done. As I was around when the original Beakies were released, my normal go-to- method is to use edge highlighting… but it can take a long time and I only needed battle ready. Fortunately I had heard of some people using the hallowed technique of drybrushing for their marines! Strange, but I did some investigation and I found this by Sonic Sedgehammer:

Sonic Sledgehammer with all the advice!

They suggested two levels of drybrushing, but why do two when you can go straight to the end and pick up 1? Fortunately I had Ryza Rust from some Martian terrain I painted that I got as a gift from a friend, so I was ready to go and skip right to the end.

The orange applied! A rough and ready drybrush.

The technique is explained well in the video, but effectively just drybrush the edges only and leave the panels free of highlight. This gives a good overall impression and whilst I may do a bit of tidy up later I’m happy with the results at the table-top level.

Black Legion?

Not quite, but the next colour was Abaddon Black to get some contrasting colours onto the models. For this I wanted to keep it easy (and quick) which is rapidly becoming a theme. Some of the eagle-eyed readers will have noticed the black in the picture above, and that’s what I did. Pick out the joints, the cables and the back of the backpacks.

From behind… with even more Black!

Whilst this may be sufficient I do want to add a little silver here and there, but it is a great start and the models are beginning to look like Blood Angels.

I’m really enjoying the batch-painting and seeing progress each time I sit down even if I’m only able to give 1 or 2 hours at a time. By now I’ve normally got bored and hived off some models, but I’m managing to keep with the 50 done to Mephiston Red level – and now they’re all highlighted and some black sections picked out.

But weren’t there 52?

Well yes, I’ve not done the Praetors but there’s a reason for that. In fact there are a few.

  1. I don’t mind if they take longer to paint – they are characters and should have the glory and attention
  2. I want to do a few more highlights, so I’ll like do some halfway colours on them to get there
  3. There’s so much detail I can’t go into ‘automatic pilot’ with them and because I need to think about what colours I want they will take longer.

So the Praetors are out of the batch-painting process for now, but I’ll go back to them soon as I need them to complete the foot troops before I get to the tank and dreadnought.

What’s Next

Well, I’ve already alluded to it, but I’ll be adding some silver to some of the pipes. I think want to start on the cloth/leather for the Terminators and any that may appear on the Beaky Marines, and then I’ll have to move towards the weapons.

I am pleased with the black so far and the contrast it provides, so it’s likely that they will be black as a base as well — but still time to reconsider.

Stay tuned to see how I get on.

— Declan

Hobby Update – Blood Angel Batch Painting

Advertisements

Blood Angel Batch Painting from Horus Heresy Age of Darkness Box.

As regular readers of my Hobby Updates will know, I have picked up an Age of Darkness box set and am painting mine as Blood Angels. The Sons of Sanguinius have been my favourite for many years, and there was never any question what I be painting for my first Horus Heresy Army (Ignoring my Epic / Space Marine ones!)

Sprays before Nuln Oil

In the last article I had sprayed most of the models in TT Combat Spray Black & then Red. The above picture shows what they looked like.

Nuln Oil on right

I then drenched the models in Nuln Oil. If you’re reading this 2 weeks from now (so mid July-2022) the old Nuln Oil. It gives a very dark undertone, but I wanted to use it instead of pin highlighting. If you are include pin highlighting (putting Nuln Oil only into the recesses) is slower but neater!

Tactical Marines and 2 Praetors with Mephiston Red

I have then added 1 coat of Mephiston Red to all the foot troops (52 models) from the Age of Darkness box set. This takes off some of the gloss of the Nuln Oil and the TT Combat Seriously Red spray, and gives the models a nice clear and smooth coat. Whilst I may build up the red on the Praetors a little more, the troops are done with red at this stage.

Heavy Bolters… to the fore!
The Blood Angels from the Age of Darkness Box Sets.

What’s Next

Next up is highlighting the armour with Wild Rider Red. I need to be a little careful here as it is a very bright orange and if I apply too much it’ll look odd. I just want to add a little highlighting to the armour before proceeding with the weapons and other non-red items.

Stay tuned to see how I get on.

— Declan

Book Review – Neferata: The Dominion of Bones

Advertisements

by David Annandale

After a few Horus Heresy: Siege of Terra reviews, I decided to take a break with Age of Sigmar, and what better way than to take a step into Nu-Lahmia.

Neferata, from Black Library

From the book:

Neferata is besieged. To the east, the daemon prince Graunos gathers the legions of the Blood God, seeking to tear the Mortarch from her throne. To the south, Sigmar’s storm heralds the coming of the Anvils of the Heldenhammer, intent on pressing the God-King’s claim. All the while, an ancient enemy grows, hidden within Neferata’s lands. Never has her power seemed so fragile. But, within the dominion of bones, the Mortarch of Blood controls all, and even the champions of the Dark Gods will find themselves puppets in her schemes.

Black Library have more Warhammer 40k/Warhammer 30k releases than Age of Sigmar, but this is slowly improving this as the Age of Sigmar gets more and more background. However, this is almost back to the Old-World as Neferata (brought back by Nagash) is the main protagonist in the book. But caught between the Heldenhammer (Stormcast) and the Blood God how will she retain control?

Lahmian vampires may not be the best vampires on the table top but they are one of the most interesting narratively. Better suited to an RPG than rolling battlefields these creatures are great centre-pieces whilst they manipulate others. And Nu-Lahmia and Neferata have not changed at all – and it’s great to have the stability of knowing the characters.

David Annandale manages to bring this together with Stormcast and Khorne (with a little Nurgle thrown in for good measure), whilst still ensuring that this remained a book about Neferata. It’s a great read, runs at a good pace and has action throughout. Great fun, and perfect for people wanting to bring Lahmian’s into their Age of Sigmar RPGs.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

— Declan

Check out the full list of Book Reviews we’ve done on Woehammer here

Start Collecting: Sons of Behemat – Beginners 1,000 Point Army

Advertisements

As part of our Start Collecting series looking a beginner armies, I’ve drawn the short straw and been ‘given’ Sons of Behemat. Maybe this has something to do with the fact I actually own an army of them, or just because I’ve upset Peter! Either way it’ll be fun, so join me on perhaps the strangest ‘Start Collecting’ article on Woehammer.

Sons of Behemat are the Gargants (Giants) of Warhammer Age of Sigmar. If you play 40k, then think about the Chaos Knights or Imperial Knights Codices and you’ll get the right idea… in fact it is very likely that the success of the Knight kit encourages GW to try making a Mega-Gargant kit.

Upon the release of their book, they were a very popular army but with new armies coming on the scene, extra points for killing them, and the difficulty in piloting them 5-0 they have seen less representation in AoS3. They also suffer a bit from being one dimensional! Sit on an objective; don’t die – can often be a tactic that’ll get you 2-3 at a tournament.

From The Honest Wargamer, State of the Meta Stats

Despite the stop of popularity (10% to 3.3%), they remain a 3-2 army and the best Destruction army (statistically… check out more on The Honest Wargamer website).

The first thing you’ll notice with this army is that there are 4 warscrolls, and no allies (we’ll discuss this below), so there’s not many options available for a 1,000 point force. The second thing you’ll notice is that there is no Start Collecting box… what a surprise; so we’ll have to forge our own path.

1,000 points or working towards 2,000 points

<updated after article released>. We had a great comment on one of the social media thingys that Peter pays attention to. Thanks to Dead Pheonix for pointing out that the below isn’t allowed in matched play 1,000 points ‘Contest of Generals’ because the Gatebreaker is over 50% of the army… so do I rewrite the article, or just change it’s premise! Change of course.

If you want to play 1,000 points open play then the below list is fine, if you’re playing 1,000 matched play then you’ll need Kraken Eater & Warmstomper or 2 Kraken-Eaters. The list below is a great stepping stone to a 2,000 point list though, so have fun with it…!

Gatebreaker or Kraken-Eater?

Your first question will be whether you want a Gatebreaker or whether a Kraken Eater is ‘good enough’ for what you want. The advantages of the Kraken Eater are the additional model count on objectives (30 rather than 20 for the Mega-Gargants) and additional Artefacts if you want them. The disadvantage is – although they look good on paper – the low rend makes them do a lot less damage that you’d think.

The Gatekeeper is definitely a beat-stick and able to take down some of the biggest enemies in Age of Sigmar, but he comes with a problem at 1,000 points… he costs 525 so you can’t have two of him. This makes him a target alongside the Warstomper you’ll be bringing along to keep him company. If you can only kill one of them, you aim for the Gatebreaker.

And why not just grab a Warstomper and 3 Gargants… well you can if you want, but the Gargants only come in 2s, so you’re buying one you don’t need and at 1,000 points then the 2 Mega Gargants are a great start – and a chunk of cash!

Games Workshop’s Gatebreaker Mega-Gargant

You’ll also need a copy of the Battletome as well.

Because we want an army with some variety, and you don’t want to paint two identical models, we’ll go Gatebreaker and Warstomper for our 1,000 point army. Of course, you’ll need the Battletome as well… so this is an expensive start!

The Cost

Remember that if you sign up with SCN Hobby World you can get all these boxes at 25% off the Games Workshop price.

SetGW PriceSCN Price
Mega-Gargant – Gatebreaker £120.00£90.00
Mega-Gargant – Warstomper£120.00£90.00
Battletome: Sons of Behemat£27.50£20.63
Total£267.50£200.63
What it costs

The Army List

Gatekeeper (General) 525
Warstomper 470

So… that was simple. The artefacts are really entirely up to you. I prefer ones which improve killing power, but Arcane Tome is a fan favourite to allow Flaming Weapon and a dispel opportunity. Sure it won’t help against Teclis and Kroak, but if you’re against a mid-tier army it may stop the key spell.

Allies

On the face of it, the Sons of Behemat cannot have allies, but as the army expands, it is possible to take Kragnos to get a little more hitty power – but although he has a 2+ save he can be a weak link against shooting mortal wounds. The other option is of course a Thondia Incarnate… but I don’t know how many of these we’ll see in competitive play given their narrative background and the expense of book and model.

Where next?

Now you’ve got to 1,000 points where to next. Well there are two ways to play if you ignore the Kragnos option. One is to get another 2 Mega-Gargants and take along 4 models to a tournament. It’ll give you a lot of time to view other games as everything is so quick with this option. It also allows you to try out the Kraken Eater.

Mancrusher Gargants from Games Workshop

The other option is lots of small Mancrusher Gargants. These are better than their Gitz cousins (Aleguzzlers) in the Gloomspite Gitz book. They can’t fall over and their damage table doesn’t reduce movement (because you can take them in units). The disadvantage if that they are expensive for an old kit (£80 RRP for a pair), and if you need more than 3 of them they become somewhat mono-pose. They are so bad, even I have converted a few.

The good news about the Mancrusher Gargants is that if you aren’t playing at a specific GW event you can bring Proxies… and there’s loads of great models out there – don’t overlook 3D printed toys either.

So that’s it – is 1,000 points good? Well strangely yes. A lot of opponents won’t have the tools to deal with 2 monsters and the Mightier Makes Rightier rule for objective capturing makes it difficult to take objectives off the Sons of Behemat if they are still alive. Just don’t bank on having too many Most Sporting votes. If you’re playing against a regular opponent, you may want to agree an adjustment in points for them as well – especially if they don’t have access to much shooting.

— Declan

Book Review – Warhawk

Advertisements

Book 6 The Siege of Terra by Chris Wraight

Chris Wraight has written a few books on the Khan of the White Scars and he enters the Siege of Terra when the Khan decides that attack is the best form of defence and attacks Mortarion and the Death Guard for the Space Port… hoping for the arrival of the Ultramarines and Gulliman.

Warhawk Cover from Black Library

From the book:

The Inner Walls are breached.

Traitor vanguards tear towards the heart of the Palace, sensing victory. Desperate gambits are attempted: an unwilling saint is released into the ruins, as well as an enthusiastic sinner. A black sword rises, forged from spite, ready to create a legend. But amid the slaughter, Jaghatai Khan, Warhawk of Chogoris, prepares to launch the most audacious strike of the conflict. His goal is nothing less than the liberation of the Lion’s Gate space port. Cut off from any help, he stakes everything on one desperate counter-offensive, launched against an old enemy who has been made far greater than he ever was before. As the White Scars ride out against the newly crowned lords of life and death, they know that defeat for them dooms not only the Legion, but Terra itself.

As we approach the end of the end with the Siege of Terra things are definitely hotting up and it’s great to see Chris Wraight return to the White Scars and the battles with Mortarion and his Death Guard.

The Khan is stuck on Terra where he is one of the Primarchs facing the invasion of Horus in the final stages of the Heresy and it is not his natural environment, being trapped behind walls, unable to use the speed of his jetbikes. Eventually he grows tired of defense and goes on the attack… straight towards the Death Guard and the Lion’s Gate Space Port.

This is another great addition to the series, and one I liked a lot – which, considering neither of the chapters hold particular interest for me was down to the good writing and pace. The White Scars are introduced slightly in case you hadn’t seen or read of them before and then it’s quickly into the action – there are still lots of smaller stories whirling around here, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself getting a little lost! I certainly did.

That said, it is a fun addition to the story which slowly moves towards it’s conclusion and Chris Wraight does a good job of bringing in the White Scars, but keeping the underlying story moving as well.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

— Declan

Check out the full list of Book Reviews we’ve done on Woehammer here

Book Review – Mortis

Advertisements

Book 5 The Siege of Terra by John French

John French returns to the Siege of Terra series having written one book. And this is a big one… Titans come to Terra; and the Dark Mechanicum are here for war.

Black Library – Ah an Imperator Titan!

From the book:

The victories of Saturnine and the sacrifices of the Eternity Wall space port have faded into the hope of yesterday. Denied but not defeated, the Traitors intensify their assault on the Imperial Palace. With the principal space ports in Horus’ hands, the Warmaster now drains the heavens of his reserves.

As the pressure of the assault increases, the power of Chaos waxes. The waking lives of the defenders are filled with despair, while their dreams pull them in search of a false paradise. As the fabric of the defences fails and the will of those who stand on them cracks, Horus commands the Titans of the Legio Mortis to breach the walls. Against them stands the might of Mercury Wall and the strength of the Legio Ignatum. Ancient rivals, the god-engines of both Legions meet in battle, while within the walls a few desperate individuals seek a way to turn back the tide of the warp’s malign influence. Across Terra, lost warriors and travellers make their way through wastelands and gardens of horror, towards home and an unknown future.

Gosh, book 5 already, and the Death Engines of the Mechanicus are unleashed on Terra… but the Dark Mechanicus have embraced chaos and their engines have changed, and they are coming for the walls.

The globe spanning conflict continues as Horus gets closer to the end, and his inevitable conflict with the Emperor of Mankind, and Dorn holds the walls. As with the other books in this series, there are a lot of characters, and storylines and they all entwine to make a story of war which is not only gun shots and death (although it is mostly that!). The Siege of Terra series would certainly be difficult to follow if you didn’t know the overall story but I have missed a lot of the Horus Heresy series and am following the story in Siege of Terra with interest.

Another great addition – but one for the fans only!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

— Declan

Check out the full list of Book Reviews we’ve done on Woehammer here

Book Review – Saturnine

Advertisements

Book 4 The Siege of Terra by Dan Abnett

They couldn’t keep the author of so many Black Library books away and Dan Abnett comes into the Siege of Terra with a tour-de-force very different (but earily similar) to the Gaunt’s Ghosts series.

Black Library – a great example of movement and scale!

From the book:

The Traitor Host of Horus Lupercal tightens its iron grip on the Palace of Terra, and one by one the walls and bastions begin to crumple and collapse. Rogal Dorn, Praetorian of Terra, redoubles his efforts to keep the relentless enemy at bay, but his forces are vastly outnumbered and hopelessly outgunned. Dorn simply cannot defend everything. Any chance of survival now requires sacrifice, but what battles dare he lose so that others can be won? Is there one tactical stroke, one crucial combat, that could turn the tide forever and win the war outright?

Dan Abnett brings his own special writing style to the Siege of Terra series and it is a tour-de-force. The defenders of Terra are trying to delay their defeat, in the hope of rescue from the other loyalist legions, and Dorn is at the head of the defense.

In common with the other books in the series, the Primarchs are incidental in most cases, and the battles are seen through the eyes of Space Marines, humans, and Sisters of Silence. It’s great to have more female representation in warhammer and Abnett succeeds with a truely scary representation of a Sister.

Although not the last book in the series, it is a powerful stand alone book and definitely not a bridge between set pieces – a great read.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

— Declan

Check out the full list of Book Reviews we’ve done on Woehammer here

Book Review – Sharpe’s Assassin

Advertisements

Book 22 by Bernard Cornwell

As I have recently been reading through Gaunt’s Ghosts recently by Dan Abnett, which is effectively Sharpe in space… and then Cornwell released a new book in the Sharpe series… so I rushed out and grabbed it.

The cover…!

From the book:

SHARPE IS BACK. Outsider. Hero. Rogue. And the one man you want on your side.

If any man can do the impossible it’s Richard Sharpe . . .

Lieutenant-Colonel Sharpe is a man with a reputation. Born in the gutter, raised a foundling, he joined the army twenty-one years ago, and it’s been his home ever since. He’s a loose cannon, but his unconventional methods make him a valuable weapon.

So when, the dust still settling after the Battle of Waterloo, the Duke of Wellington needs a favour, he turns to Sharpe. For Wellington knows that the end of one war is only the beginning of another. Napoleon’s army may be defeated, but another enemy lies waiting in the shadows – a secretive group of fanatical revolutionaries hell-bent on revenge.

Sharpe is dispatched to a new battleground: the maze of Paris streets where lines blur between friend and foe. And in search of a spy, he will have to defeat a lethal assassin determined to kill his target or die trying . . .

Sharpe is back… in France and fighting the French after Waterloo. And it’s all page turning stuff of the best traditions of the previous books.

Sharpe is of course joined by his two constant companions – Sergeant Harper, and Sergeant Harper’s volley gun – as together they search France for missing artwork and for a plot to assassinate the Duke of Wellington.

…but is a triumphant return? – in short, yes! As a fan of Sharpe (this is the reason I’m interested in the Napoleonic era) its a great addition to the series, and its good fun to be back following the characters. Cornwell even throws in a small set-piece battle or two just to get the juices flowing before the heroes go to France searching for the Fraternity – a group of French soldiers dedicated to avenging Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo.

Its a great fun story, a page turner, and definitely won’t be a classic of the genre, but if you’ve read other Sharpe’s then you’ll definitely want to pick this one up… if you’ve never read Sharpe then start at the beginning with Sharpe’s Eagle!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

— Declan

Check out the full list of Book Reviews we’ve done on Woehammer here