Review: Zaragoz - Brian Craig
Author Brian Craig (pen name for Brian Stableford)
Publisher Black Library
Stand Alone or series First Book in a Trilogy
I've being delaying this book for some time. Now that I've read it I've got mix feelings. First of all let me say that I've got two versions of this book. First published by Baxtree books and another version by Brian Craig. The differences? There are some. I've read the Baxtree because of the paintings inside.. and fortunally I've done that because I also learn something that differs from the old books by Baxtree to this ones. I wonder all those books republished by Black Library and what did they took off. Why I Say this? Well there is a part in this novel that depicts the act of lovemaking. As I read that and after reading dozens of Black Library books I felt that something was different so I went to the Black Library book and read the same paragraphe... The ideia of lovemaking was there but they took out some parts. It's nothing that will change your impression of the novel but it's something. Of course I didn't checked everything so I wonder how much did they changed. Well I wonder all those books published by Baxtree and then republished.. how much did they lose? What information they took and didn't print on this new edition.
Now speaking of the novel itself. Well this book is different from other books. This book is a character based novel but also the plot is totally different what Black Library publish nowadays. Chaos is not Chaos in beasts or man. Evil is not defined. If this book was written outside black library it would fit and you would understand. There is no knowledge needed reading this book.
This particular tale is narrated by Orfeo, a travelling player who tells of his tale in the little-known Estalian province of Zaragoz. Needless to say, he becomes entangled in a web of intrigue there. I must say that this part was a bit confusing with all the names, but nothing we couldn't understand in a long run. On the plus side a novel that depicts the life in Estalia is a rarity. Almost all novels with few exceptions have the Empire lands as the background. This was something that I observed and I am angered. I know the fundamental is the Empire. But why not a book with stories set in Estalia, Kislev or Tilea? Why not Albion or far Cathay? Or even far away to Nippon. Or even to the chaos dwarves land... There is so much yet to discover that I believe Black Library will only stop producing books if Games Workshop goes bankrupt... I don't play the miniatures games but I have all books because I like the world they created in Warhammer Fantasy and 40k Setting. They are far richer than other worlds like Forgotten Realms... Well I've talk so much not about the book... Sorry.