Book Book Review: Swords of the Empire - Various Stories

Pages : 253
Edited by Marc Gascoigne & Christian Dunn
Publisher : BlackLibrary

In the grim world of Warhammer, the bloodthirsting followers of the dark Gods ravage the land. It is a dark age, a bloody age, an age of daemons and of Sorcery. It is an age of battle and death, and of the world's ending. Amidst all of the fire, flame and fury it is a time too, of mighty heroes, of bold deeds and great courage!
Swords of the Empire is a storming collection of all-action stories including a brand new Storm of Chaos novella by the award-winning Dan Abnett and a new Zavant the great detective of Aldforf by Gordon Rennie!

The Vampire Hunters by Robert Earl 30pag
Meat Wagon by C.L.Werner 44pag
The Case of the Scarlet Cell by Gordon Rennie 54pag
Rest for the Wicked by James Wallis 30pag
The Nagenhof Bell by Jonathan Green 28pag
Swords of the Empire by Dan Abnett 46pag

Vampire Hunters is set in the cold freezing lands of Kislev. The story is somewhat confusing but it has a good finale. The writing was good. It was the first book I read by Robert Earl (writer of the bretonnian Florin d'Artaud triology, so far). It was for me a weak story and with Rest for the Wicked the worst stories in the books.

The second story was Meat Wagon features the (un)beloved Witch Hunter Mathias Thulman and Streng (his sidekick). The plot its about some travelers who share a coach who are detoured into a abondonated Sylvanian village and are attacked by a Vampire and his zombies. Meanwhile when they are detouring the WitchHunter asks (order) the drivers to take him along. CL Werner is one of the best writers of Black Library in the Warhammer world. He introduced us the characters in a very good way that aftewards we want to read more not only by Mathias but also others characters.

The third story is "The Case of the Scarlett Cell" by Gordon Rennie. We see the return of the gentleman sage of Altdorf - Zavant Konniger and his man-servant Vido (as previously seen in the book Zavant) - who gets mixed up in a curious case of the supposedly executed serial killer known as the "Reikerbahn Butcher" who won't stay dead - a case of blood, betrayal and hidden agendas Zavant-style. As I have read the Zavant book(a comment will be written in the future), I was anxious to read this particular story and It was GREAT. I love Gordon Rennie way of write and the plots he conjure. Zavant is a mix of a Sherlock Holmes with Indiana Jones and other characters. I think it's the best story along with Swords and the Empire by Dan Abnett.

Rest for the Wicked bringes Dick Grenner and his collegaues from the Pallisades into the skullduggery world of the secret organisation known as The Untersuchung, and the skullduggery surrounding an attempt to assassinate an Elector Count - who can you trust? Apparently no one. This was my first time to read a book with James Wallis.

The Nagenhof Bell puts Torban Badenov and his band of sellswords in yet another dangerous situation. Trying to recrute former comrades-in-arms to fill the holes left by dead team members, Torben and his crew in the small town of Nagenhof. Unknown to them is the fact that a sinister mutant bell-ringer plans to replace the usual bell in the Temple of Morr with a certain brass one recovered after a Skaven attack some years earlier.
This was, also, my first book of Jonathan Green. I have the book the Dead and the Damned which is compilation of storys by Torban Badenov. The written is good and has Skaven which I love. I think this, overall, a good addiction to this book.

Finally Swords of the Empire sees Reikguard Knight Jozef von Kallen and his men travel to the far reaches of Kislev as escort to a Wizard seeking sorcerous knowledge that will help the Empire in the coming Storm of Chaos. But all is not as it seem, and allegiances have a way of changing in the face of the High North and the Dark Gods.
The book was written by Dan Abnett. As everything I have read by Abnett it's great. The plot is well convincing and the writing it's great as everthing written by him. I am portuguese and the writing as some words not familiar to a not english professor or english native. With a dictionary in some words a I finish reading last day. This was the pearl in the book (along with Zavant).

To buy or not to buy. That is the question. If you are thinking of starting reading books in the Warhammer World I would point some out. I love this short-stories colections 'cause it introduce me to some of the writers.
There are several like Lords of Valour, Realm of Chaos, The Laughter of Dark Gods, Way of the Dead and Swords of the Empire. 8.5/10
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