Title Grey Seer (Thanquol and Boneripper I)
Author C L Werner
Publisher Black Library
Reading time 15 days (something like that)
Rating 9 / 10
I start reading this book last year in July when I received it as pre-order (as I always do with all black library books). Being a C L Werner title I had to read it immediately as I did with his previous novels (Palace of a Plague Lord and Blood for the Blood God) but this novel had something even bigger. It was a Thanquol novel. Having read the Slayer novels by William King and considered that the main arch-rival of Gotrek and Felix (which was the one of the best portrayed characters on all warhammer world) was getting a series I had to read it...
As I said I started on July but only finished on the fifth of January.
I really don't know why I didn't read it alltogether and from the beggining to the end since I remembered that I was loving it. Well, as I stayed for five days in the hospital I made myself promise that I would end all those books I started and didn't finish. This was done and I am very pleased with myself.
C L Werner is to me one of the greatest writers in Black Library. That is true.
Thanquol is one of the coolest character in the Warhammer World. That is also true.
Books with skaven are never to many. True as well.
So nothing could go wrong.
Thanquol was done perfectly by Werner. As I was reading the book I didn't thought that Werner was very different than William King. I think Thanquol was the only one who gained with this change of writing style and writers.
The other characters were given their own time and Werner builds them nicely even if they are out of light compared with Thanquol.
We are given great insights about the Horned Rat religion and society. I think that this was done perfectly and it did felt like an alien society something that other writers would fail to distance them with us.
Now the plot... The Council of Thirteen (the rulling leaders of the skaven society) force Thanquol to reocver a rock called Wormstone (a toxic version of Warpstone plagued by the Horned Rat). We are given several informations about the skaven society and how they rule with their politics. At the same time a band of smugglers (humans) stumble and recover Wormstone to make a profit from it.
The narration switches between the skaven and human characters. Myself, I didn't care about the human part. They were inconsequential. Strange or not so strange human and skaven societies are not different. We are given in-fights between several skaven characters and human alike.
Another good thing that I liked was the band of unlikely heroes that protect the human city from the skavens since nobody believes that they exist. They are like myths.... The human leaders perpetuate this notion or else something worse could happen to them...
The only thing I didn't enjoyed that much was the human characters (in the beginning of the book I didn't care about the smugglers and that's why I only give 9 out of 10). I know Werner can make excelent human characters. Bruner and Mathias come to mind. But this ones were weak. (But this doesn't change a thing about my love with this book).
If you enjoyed this book read Skavenslayer which was the first book we were intoduced to Thanquol (and the biggest until then participation) or wait for the second book on this series... Temple of the Serpent coming in a few months.
Personnally I am a fan from C L Werner and I also have bought one anthology that he made a short story about a ronin. I didn't get the chance to read it so far but I will read it to understand how he writes other fiction besides warhammer. I and Werner have being talking from some time and he sent it Runefang (another novel in warhammer world) with a dedictatory. It was great of him. I will try to read it in the following months and review it.
A word of praise for him and I hope he continues to write novels to Black Library since he does it so well. I read in the black libray blog that he is going to write a novel with Wulfrik the Wanderer. How delightful. This is him... (no, not Werner, the character).
Wulfrik the Wanderer is the ultimate seafaring warrior. A hairy giant of a man adorned with the trophies of his many kills, Wulfrik travels the four corners of the world and beyond. He seeks out and challenges the champions of every race and creed, for as punishment for his hubris, Wulfrik is bound to a lifetime of constant duelling and violent death.
I hope the next one would be I Sigvald the Magnificent...
I think he should clone himself so he could write more novels...
A note of beware with all those graphic images and details that Werner give us. It make our skin crawl... Oh yeah...