Gods and Mortals by Various Authors – A Book Review



The storm has broken. Sigmar has returned to the Mortal Realms, and his eternal armies march across the lands, smiting the unworthy. This collection of short stories tells tales from the greatest battles of the realms.

For too long, the Mortal Realms have suffered under Chaos’ twisted crusade. Tainted lands writhe in agony and once great cities lie in ruins, the hopes of their people extinguished. But the storm winds rise. Sigmar’s greatest creation, the Stormcast Eternals, strike with His vengeance. Their lightning drives the darkness away and their thunder drowns out the screams of the Foul Gods’ acolytes as they fall to sword and halberd. The sons and daughters of the storm know they cannot fail. For now is the time where the fate of a world will be decided. Where Gods and mortals must rise and fight, or face their final damnation.


Author: Various

Publisher: Black Library

Release Date (Kindle): 02/02/2019

Release Date (Paperback): 25/07/2019

Pages: 656

My Rating of ‘Gods and Mortals’: 4 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon UKAmazon US



I received a copy of ‘Gods and Mortals’ via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


I have been struggling to love warhammer’s fantasy offerings ever since they decided to rip apart the Old World (my favourite setting) and turn it into Age of Sigmar. Initially, I was very hesitant to get back into after this awful betrayal of the universe I knew and loved, but I have come to terms with the fact that it is gone and have decided to get back into it slowly. It helps that many of the same characters feature in this strange new world.

Anyway, please find below my review of the short story collection ‘Gods and Mortals’. Each of the eighteen stories has a short review and a star rating (in the order they appear in in the book). Due to this it is a fairly long review.

 My knowledge of Age of Sigmar isn’t massively clued-up, so I may make the odd mistake where lore is concerned. The star ratings were added up and all sorts of hellish math (percentages) were done to get a star rating for the title as a whole. Overall it scored 71 stars out of a potential 90. Giving it a solid 4-star rating.


Force of Personality by David Guymer – 4 Stars

Hamilcar Bear-Eater is the sole Stormcast Eternal tasked with aiding in the defence of Nemisuvik from the invading forced of Khorne, God of Blood. The story is told in first person narrative from Hamilcar’s own perspective. Not knowing much about the Stormcast, it was nice to have a look into the personality of one of their champions. Mostly, this was a good, entertaining story (I always find first person is). The only part that ruined it for me was that, when underwater, he managed to scream something (can’t remember the words said, but I know they shouldn’t be understandable when underwater). Other than that it was pretty solid and humorous.


Pilgrim’s Trial by Robbie MacNiven – 3 Stars

This short follows Vanik, a chaos knight, as he undertakes a trial to gain the service of a mighty steed. This was well written and it’s always nice to see a story from the perspective of a chaos point of view. The only reason this failed to get higher than a 3 is that I just didn’t feel attached to the main character/story. I can’t put my finger on why. Just didn’t feel it.


The Dance of the Skulls by David Annandale – 3 Stars

Vampire queen, Neferata, attends a ball that she knows is a trap and, most likely, an attempt on her life. The overall plot is that of vampire court intrigue and assassination attempts. I really struggled to get into it but did start to enjoy it more in the latter stages of the story. I prefer my short stories to be more snappy than intrigue-based.


Order of The Fly: Tourney of Fate by Josh Reynolds – 5 Stars

This is one of the longer stories in the collection and easily one of the most enjoyable. This is told from the view of Gryme, a young man in the service to the plague god Nurgle wo is desperate to become a knight of the Order of the Fly. When a fair lady is taken by a knight of Tzeentch, Gryme swears an oath to bring her back safely. Great writing, storytelling and supporting characters as anyone familiar with Josh Reynolds would expect from his work.


The Hardest Word by David Guymer – 5 Stars

David Guymer’s second story of the anthology sees the return of Hamilcar Bear-Eater. In this one, the boastful Lord Castellant has to defend his fortress from a skaven attack, hot on the heels of receiving a prophecy telling of him being dragged off in chains by ratmen.  I really like the character of Hamilcar and would be interested in reading a novel-length offering of his.


Auction of Blood by Josh Reynolds – 5 Stars

Josh Reynolds’ second story of the anthology was far shorter than the first but felt far grittier and more entertaining. It follows Bok, a seller of rare books and agent for his mysterious patron; Neferata. Neferata has tasked him with procuring a certain item at auction. As the title suggests, it gets bloody. I did not want this to end. I can only hope there are longer works featuring Bok, either released or due to be. It did end in a way that suggested he would be getting into further trouble in the future.


Pantheon by Guy Haley – 3 Stars

Pantheon was more of what I class as a passive story than a dynamic one. Sigmar was the main character and, by viewing the life and deeds of a mage from history and showing the wisdom he gained & the important lessons he learned about the folly of wanting eternal life, tries to convince a goddess to inspire mortals against the forces of chaos. I didn’t really care one way or another for this and feel a person more in the know as far as Age of Sigmar goes would get a lot more out of it. I gave it a 3 star rating purely for the decent writing and the overall moral. It really made me think.


Vault of Souls by Evan Dicken – 2 Stars

This one featured three Stormcast Eternals making their way through the cursed city of Shadespire, searching for someone called Thalasar. I’m not sure whether it was a failing of the story or of me as a reader, but I just couldn’t stay focused at all when reading this. To the extent that I read the whole thing and have no clue what happened. I didn’t find myself invested in the characters. I did, however, through the decent writing of the author, enjoy a fair bit of brilliant imagery throughout.


The Road of Blades by Josh Reynolds – 3 Stars

The Road of Blades was the first Josh Reynolds story in this collection that I wasn’t overly keen on. The writing was fantastic, as it always is with Josh, but I just felt the plot was a bit too linear and never really seemed to grab my attention. It features a champion of Khorne looking for a smithing citadel, in search of a great weapon.


Bear Eater  by David Guymer – 4 Stars

Hamilcar Bear-Eater and his warriors travel to the city of Jercho to warn of the advances of the vampire lord Mannfred Von Carstein. I get the feeling David Guymer may have read, and been influenced by, Joe Abercrombie. His famous ‘Say one thing for Logen Ninefingers’ has been replaced with ‘Say one thing for Hamilcar.’ The story took me a while to get into, but it picked up and ended really well. It left me wanting more. But then, I bloody love vampires. And there are none greater than the Von Carsteins in the Warhammer world.


Gravesend Gold by C.L. Werner – 3 Stars

An airship of down on their luck Duardin (dwarfs) discover the wreck of an old airship and hope that by investigating, they may find enough salvage to turn their dwindling fortunes around and make their failed venture profitable. This tale of desperation wasn’t bad. I thought it pretty solid. It just had a slightly weak ending that I found fairly predictable.


Eight Lamentations: The Tainted Axe by Josh Reynolds – 5 Stars

A one-handed knight and a tree spirit must travel deep into the darkest depths of a forest to claim one of Nurgle’s most foul weapons and remove it so the forest can flourish. As has been the case for the most part in this collection, I really enjoyed this story by Reynolds. The back and forth banter between the knight and the tree spirit was really fun and gave it an extra depth that the story otherwise would not have had. Would love to see more.


The Witch Takers by C.L. Werner – 5 Stars

Based purely on the title alone, this is the short story that I had been looking forward to the most. C.L. Werner’s Witch Hunter books from the old Warhammer Fantasy days were some of my favourite books ever. So I am glad he penned a witch hunter story in Age of Sigmar. It’s not Matthias Thulman and Streng, but this short, along with previous witch hunter novels,  cements one thing as fact: Werner is the king as far as witch hunters go. This was well-written, enjoyable and I wanted more. I can only hope he already has, or is slated to write a few novels in Age of Sigmar featuring witch hunters.


Callis and Toll: The Old Ways by Nick Horth – 4 Stars

Another tale featuring a witch hunter (and his aide) as the pair are sent to put an end to a squabble between two great houses. Their task sees them head into one of the deadliest woods in the Mortal Realms to solve a murder. This was really well-written and, were it not for the ‘I told you so’ moment that, if it hadn’t happened could have saved lives, might have scored a perfect 5 stars. It just seemed like a pretty crappy, un-witch hunter thing to do and made me dislike the character of Toll quite a lot.


The Library of Forgotten Moments by Josh Reynolds – 5 Stars

Lord Balthas of the Stormcast Eternals seeks long-forgotten knowledge that might help cure the Stormcast of the impurities of their soul reforgings. Sadly for Balthas, vampire lord, Mannfred Von Carstein, seeks the same knowledge. This one was fun to read and the brawl between vampire and Stormcast eternal was enjoyable. Felt almost like a WWE hardcore match.


God’s Gift by David Guymer – 5 Stars

This is another outing for Hamilcar Bear-Eater. In this tale, he and his fellow Stormcast fight beastmen and come face to face with a treelord. This story leaves the reader with unanswered questions about Hamilcar and the prophecy hanging over his head. If the rest hadn’t already made me want to, this one has me wanting to read more about the adventures of Hamilcar.


Obsidian by David Annandale – 4 Stars

To begin with, I really did not care for this story. It just felt like Romeo and Juliet with vampires. My opinion rapidly changed when the action hit. It hit hard and fast and everything surrounding it got very interesting, very quickly. All in all, a good, enjoyable short story that ended up being far more than I expected.


Blacktalon: Hunting Shadows by Andy Clark – 3 Stars

This was well-written and fairly enjoyable. It featured a monster hunter that only hunted the deadliest of marks to have somehow displeased Sigmar. From the start I found it very hard to like or care for the main character due to her attitude. I felt the character progression was fairly predictable and her little moment of humanity at the end could be seen a mile off. Despite this, it was fairly enjoyable to read. I just feel the collection could have been closed out with a far stronger story.





16 thoughts on “Gods and Mortals by Various Authors – A Book Review

      1. Yep. I reviewed a thriller short story collection last week and damn, reviewing each short made the review do damn long.😂 As you say though, you can get an average rating and it’s also nice to give each story a little recap and review space too.👍📚

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Great review(s) 😊So far I have only ventured into the dark grim future of the Warhammer 40000 world….with one noteworthy exception: Drachenfels. A review for that one will be up somewhere in the coming weeks. I might check out some of the other Warhammer Fantasy novels at some point, but have to be honest that I find the warhammer 40000 world more appealing😊

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Well…I’m at number 30 now..so…24 more to go until we go the final stretch…The War on Terra 😊😊
        haha..yeah..so many cool new books keep appearing. I see how that is a problem 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I like the structure of your review! I think reviewing and rating each short story separately is so much more accurate than just giving a general rating and thoughts…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you 😊

      Same here, I feel I get more out of an anthology that way. Also find it easier as if I just give a generic review by memory I’ll always forget stuff for those larger anthologies.


  3. I played Warhammer fantasy years ago…stopped when went off to grad school, and then they went to Age Of Sigmar and changed everything up and I haven’t got back into it. You think the story line is good?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If I’m honest, it has taken me a fair amount if time to get over the betrayal of them destroying my favourite fantasy setting.

      I am enjoying Age of Sigmar, though. Short story anthologies like these are a good way in.

      I’m also reading an ARC of ‘Hamilcar: Champion of the Gods’ and can say that as an Age of Sigmar new boy, I’m loving that book and not finding it hard to keep up.

      Liked by 1 person

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