Book Review: Mark of Chaos - Anthony Reynolds


Book - Mark of Chaos
Author - Anthony Reynolds
Publisher - Black Library
Pages - 416

Book DescriptionAs the forces of Chaos sweep down from the north to threaten the civilised lands of the human Empire, a young Empire commander must prove his honour by tracking down and destroying the enemy leader. Epic fantasy set against a backdrop of war on a grand scale.

Review
Mark of Chaos written by Anthony Reynolds based upon the game with the same title.The story flows nicely and it's divided by the main view of the two characters. Stefan von Kessel a captain of Ostermark and Hroth a champion of Khorne.The story begins after the defeat of Warlord Asavar Kul at the hands of the emperor Magnus Pious. The invasion force was scattered and most of tribes destroyed. But several tribes of the Norscan, Kurgan and the Hung wandered through the lands of Kislev and within the empire. In the beggining of the book we see an attack by Hroth, a Khazag in a village of the Empire. After murdering all the residents he made a duel with another champion of Tzeench which he defeats. After each duel the followers of the loser will join the winner. That is the way of the Norse.After the defeat appears Sudobaal, a sharman that is searching the sword of Asavar Kul. Hroth is his champion. After that they move north and arrive at the shores and there they are received another champion of Khorne, Ullkjar, which is defeated by Hroth. As Hroth is kiling his enemy, Sudobaal intervene and he is spared. Instead Hroth kills several of Ulkjar's men.Meanwhile Stefan von Kessel was defending the northern borders. After a bad decision by the Count of Ostermark, Gruber, that refused to sent troops to the north, Stefan made a choice of withdrawing from the norther border. Gruber was mad but did nothing. Afterwards it appears Reiksmarshall Wolfgange Trenkenhoff that leads his army and Stefan army to the north to help the elves entrechened there. After an succefull attack they attack the fort and save the elves. There they meet the elf mage Aurelion and Khalanos and his dragon. Reiksmarshall have to move south and gives Stefan the command of his army to sail, with the elves, to the island where the artifact the Chaos hosts desire.Meanwhile a scout of Stefan arrives with a letter that confirms his innocence and his grandfather and the treachery of the Count Gruber and his alliance with the dark powers of Nurgle.Stefan drives south with his army leaving the elves alone. Afterwards he meets a hero of the Great War, the warrior-priest Gunthar. Then he drives his army to meet his enemy. Two Ostermark armies clash and knowing of his fate Gruber reveals himself and invokes the army of Nurgle which attack both of armies.Meanwhile Wilhelem the cold-hearted scout complete his quest to arrest Gruber in the middle of the fray and Stefan kills him with a magic-sword entrusted by Gunthar. After killing most of the plaguebearers the plague demom was killed by Gunthar.Meanwhile Hroth arrives at the island as the elves attack him. He leaves his hosts behind and with Sudobaal he goes to a cave where Hroth shows his treachery finally and strikes the sharman. He then enters the portal where he meets and bests Asavar Kul retriving his sword, the slayer of kings and Khorne makes him a demon Prince. Exiting the realm of chaos and in the cave he makes Sudobal his pawn. He leaves then the cave and join the battle on the beach where he slays most of the elfic horde and then battle and kills Khalanos and kills his dragon.After the killing against Gruber and his fiends of Nurgle his moves his armies to Talabheim where Hroth is going to attack.Olaf the Berserker and a thousand warriors strike Teclis the elf-mage. They all die. Making defenses in Talabheim with the surviving warriors of the previous war, and boosted by milita and the reaming soldiers of Talabheim, Stefan prepare for war. The attack come in several waves until the the daemon prince attacks. In the end, we might expect for stefan to kill the daemon prince, what would be very unrealistic but in the end the daemon prince is hunt down by the wrath of Sigmar.

I think in overal it was a page turning book. It was never slow and made you want to continue all night on. But there are several things that made me think.. the main question is the final battle why weren't the previous 200 knights of the household march forward to defend their city? They were waiting to be overrun? I didn't understood that tactic, but is minimal. But 200 knights as household guard? Strange. How expensive that would be.

I am looking forward for the next two books from him. Dark Apostle and Empire in Chaos.
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