In the bleak, haunted underworld of Shyish, a vengeful Slayer seeks the Lord of Undeath.
Gotrek Gurnisson returns, his oaths now ashes alongside the world-that-was, his fury undiminished. Branded with the Master Rune of Grimnir, the God that betrayed him, and joined by Maleneth Witchblade, a former Daughter of Khaine turned agent of the Order of Azyr, the hunt has taken them far and wide through the Realm of Death. Will Gotrek find a path to the Undying King or will the underworlds claim him as their own?
Author: Darius Hinks
Narrator: Jonathan Keeble
Audio Release Date: 14/09/2019
Running Time: 8 hrs 22 mins
Genre: Fantasy/Warhammer Age of Sigmar
My Rating for ‘Ghoulslayer’: 4 out of 5
As ever, if I see something with Gotrek’s name on it, I have to dive in as he is one of my favourite characters the Black Library have ever produced. I also have a very iffy relationship with the Age of Sigmar (I’ll never truly like it and will always see it as the crappy actor that replaced your favourite actor for the same character in between seasons of your favourite TV show) but thought maybe a Gotrek novel would be what I needed to get me a little closer to the setting.
Although it was by no means my favourite Gotrek novel, it was certainly enjoyable. I love the fact that Gotrek shares my dislike for the Age of Sigmar setting as he frequently calls things by the names they were known as in The Old World rather than the silly names they are known by now.
His quest for vengeance upon the gods sets him on the trail of The Great Necromancer, the god of the dead, Nagash. His single-minded hunting of the gods is enjoyable and, when paired with his gruff, brutish character it works incredibly well.
The partnership with Maleneth Witchblade is by no means as satisfying as the partnership with Felix, but his comradery with the Stormcast Eternal they are with is an enjoyable one. I didn’t hate Maleneth but I just couldn’t get into her as much as I did Felix. That’s the problem when a character has shoes that are far too big to be filled by those that come after him. I’m not sure what it is, whether it’s the characters, the setting or some mixture of the two, but there was something that just rubbed me slightly the wrong way and left it feeling less like a Gotrek novel and more of a novel that Gotrek appeared in. Whatever the reason, I just couldn’t bring myself to give it the full five stars.
I’d not recommend this to anyone who isn’t familiar with Gotrek. My advice would be to pick up the books set in the Old World before trying to enjoy these. You may not enjoy them as much, but you’ll certainly have an easier time of it. You also can’t really get a sense of what Gotrek has lost by starting here.
The voice acting was, as is always the case with Jonathan Keeble, wonderful. I am thrilled to see that he seems to be the voice actor they want to use for Gotrek going forward as he suits the character perfectly. This is my third book narrated by Keeble, the 2nd in the Warhammer universes, and it will certainly not be my last.