For those who have never met them, Gotrek and Felix are unsung heroes of the Warhammer fantasy Empire, the dwarven slayer* Gotrek Gurnisson and his human rememberer Felix Jaeger are the stuff of legend and have been featured in 13 novels, numerous short stories, the Warhammer fantasy Battle game and even make an appearance in Warhammer online.
*A slayer is a dwarf who seeks to return honour for his clan through the act of a glorious death against the most powerful opponent possible. Ironically those who survive these encounters become renown fighters and have to battle ever more dangerous creatures to seek their heroic doom. They are often accompanied by a "rememberer" who's task is to witness, remember and record these heroic exploits and ultimately the death of the slayer (while trying not to become killed themselves).
The anthology collects the novella length tale "Slayers Honour" along with a number of short stories including a previously unpublished story by the legendary author John Brunner, each featuring tales of the duo or Slayers in general. Each of these tales have been carefully crafted and embody the character and feeling of Warhammer fantasy while playing close attention to those heroic protagonists.
Slayer’s Honour by Nathan Long
The longest story in the collection, Slayer's Honour see's Gotrek and Felix meet another slayer and his "rememberer" as they track down rumour of a giant white spider who would make a fitting doom for Gotrek. The novella length tale deals with the subject of honour and by extension trust, featuring some brilliantly choreographed fight scenes and interesting characters.
A Cask of Wynters Joshua Reynolds
A cask of Wynter follows a band of knights who are accompanied by not one but two slayers, Snorri Nosebiter and friend who are out hunting a band of Orcs and Goblins. The titular hero's are only mentioned in passing but nevertheless this is an engaging self contained short story.
A Place of Quiet Assembly John Brunner
A quite short but engaging tale and one that only really features Gotrek and Felix as special guests, instead the focus is firmy placed on Henkin Warsh who returns to his college after 20 years to find less has changed than it should have, or perhaps more is hidden than it ever was?
Kineater Jordan Ellinger
Kineater is firmly placed towards the humorous end of the Gotrek and Felix stories, a very well written and light-hearted tale complete with a tongue in cheek question at the end about what the title would be for Felix books should they ever be actually published.
Prophecy Ben McCallum
There is a heck of a lot packed into this little story, a nice background written about the origins of Gotrek's axe includes following the expoits of the sorcerous enemies Kelmain and Lhoigor and a guest appearance by Arek Daemonclaw.
The Tilean’s Talisman David Guymer
This is reflective look at just how one of Gotrek and Felix enemies (a Skaven) met their end. The Skaven is portrayed perfectly with just the right amounts of sneakiness and cowardice.
Last Orders Andy Smillie
Another story where Gotrek and Felix only appear briefly, Last Orders involves a case of mistaken identity, a plot to destroy the Empire by the agents of Chaos and a great bar brawl, which is just superb.
Mind-stealer C.L. Werner
That arch enemy Thanquol, Grey Seer of the Skaven finally makes an appearance in this anthology, who acts just as ineptly and comes across perfectly with his megalomaniac paranoia. There is also a great twist on the usual Boneripper escapade, one of my favourite stories of the collection.
The Two Crowns of Ras Karim Nathan Long
Another absolute classic Gotrek and felix story, this short tale moves the characters forward more than any other, giving the reader a deeper insight into these larger than life characters. The story is an absolute gem filled with dodgy characters, even dodgier politics, cursed magic items, priceless treasures and glorious monsters.
The Funeral of Gotrek Gurnisson Richard Salter
I wouldn't get upset by paying too much attention to the title of this story, Gotrek doesn't really die, instead we are treated to another classic Gotrek and Felix episode which include those sneaky Skaven, a dire threat to the empire and even a cameo appearance by Ulrika the Vampire.
Written on 26th March 2012 by Ant.
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