Review: Beastslayer (V) - William King

Title: Beastslayer (2001)
Author: William King
ISBN: 1-84416-052-1
Publisher: Black Library (Games Workshop)
Pages: 288
Reading Time: 8 day (20/01/2008 to 27/01/2008)
Note: 10/10

This is the fifth book in William King's ongoing epic series (after Trollslayer, Skavenslayer, Daemonslayer and Dragonslayer) about the Dwarf Gotrek who has vowed to find his death in glorious battle in order to pay for past misdeeds, and his human companion Felix who has sworn to accompany him on his quest and record his bravery. If you liked or seen Helm’s Deep siege or Pelennor Fields in LOTR then this book is for you.

Trollslayer or Skavenslayer could be read separately but the next four are to be read one after the other… First Daemonslayer, Dragonslayer, Beastslayer and Vampireslayer. Each starts immediately where the other end. (that’s why some persons say the end was anti-climatic or so… It’s not imperative to read any of the previous but it helps... Each book of the Saga (and this one is no exception) the first couple of chapters have a brief synopsis and the reason why Felix follows Gotrek and other loose ends...

Several familiar characters from previous books are back. After defeating a Daemon and a Dragon I wondered what a heck could be more difficult than them. This book showed me that… but I think that they weren’t harder than the Daemon. The Vampire in the next book wasn’t harder also.

Now the Main plot of the Saga: Slayer Gotrek Gurnisson is a dwarf on a death quest. He roams the land searching for the mightiest of evils to fight and slay until he is finally rewarded with a glorious death that will long be remembered and talked about for generations to come. Felix Jaeger is sworn to accompany the Slayer, however long it takes, even though it could end in his own death. Should he survive, it will be Felix's job to record and report the heroic dwarf's many battles, as well as how Gotrek fell in combat.

Now the main plot of the Book: Our two main heroes, along with Ulrika Magdova (female warrior),Max Schreiber (battle mage), and the Dwarves Bjorni, Ulli, Snorri reach the legendary city of Praag by a mighty flying ship to bring word of the invasion and orders from Ice Queen Katarina. A huge Chaos army led by Arek Deamonclaw is approaching and all blades are needed. This means the group must put up with many fanatic bigots and blow-hards within the city too. No force such as this has emerged from the Wastes in two centuries.

There are several sub-plots…

Grey Seer Thanquol, a cunning Skaven, has a secondary role in the story this time. His mutated minion, Lurk, has turned upon him. Lurk is now worshipped and has amassed his own army of followers.

The love triangle between Felix Jaeger, Ulrika and Max.

And another interesting sub-plot involving traitors within the city which never really seems to live up to its potential.

There are two things that bothered me (made me thing). First it’s the Felix and Gotrek likeness. They are becoming with each book more alike. It’s understandable since they are travelling together and I think Felix is becoming influenced with Gotrek’s doom. The other it’s own it ends… William King builds the plot so nicely and in the end you can’t help feeling a bit of anticlimax. Maybe the book should have more 100 pages…

I hope to read some more stories with the evil twin mages Kellmain and Lhoigor as we are reading with the Skaven Grey Seer Thanquol. William king shows us that not all the bad guys have to die.

I can’t decide which one was better… If I had to choose I would choose Skavenslayer because of Thanquol. He is my second most favourite character after Gilead uth Lothain (in Gilead’s Blood).

Currently I will being reading Giantslayer (the follower of the Vampireslayer) and I already know that it will be the last book by William King in the Gotrek Saga. Afterwards it will continue with several more books written by Nathan Long.
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