Review: The Hour of Shadows – C.L. Werner

Title - The Hour of Shadows
Author - C.L. Werner
Year - 2011
Stand Alone or Series - Stand Alone (Part three of three indepedent novellas about Storm of Magic)
Pages - 126
Reading Time - August 2011

“For thousands of years, the Golden Pool has been a source of malignant energy within the forest of Athel Loren. The wood elf spellweaver Ywain, secretly entrusted with the stewardship of this magical fulcrum, prophesises the coming of a terrible enemy to the ancient realm – even now, the undead hordes of the Black Seer Huskk Gnawbone approach. As the elves marshal their forces against him, the power of the pool grows and an eternal evil rises to corrupt even the very forest itself.”

This was the third book released commissioned for the game expansion called Storm of Iron. The first's book review can be read here and the second here.

As you all are aware (the ones following warhammer) the storm of magic is a time when the winds of magic blow at their strongest and strange things happened. Mythical beast roam the lands, unholy alliances are formed (summoned) and magic-users are able to cast the most powerful spells.

This is the third novella and it was the best. It has briefly Tomb Kings and Bretonians and later and more importantly Skavens versus and Wood Elves.

The story begins as a aftermath of a battle that put wood elves, aided by Bretonia, against the Tomb Kings. They eventually win and parted ways. Skavens for a lower faction plundered the battlefield. Huskk Gnawbone, encounters on the battlefield a powerfull artifact that will eventually made him a powerful Black Seer. After two hundred years we follow a Grey Seer as he is tasked to encounter and kill Huskk. Of course being Skaven nothing happens as it should happen and he is captured and used by Huskk who wants the tap the power of the Golden pool deep within Athel Loren. Here a spellweaver (Ywain) receives a promonition that an attack his under way and asks for the help of the Guardian of the Golden Pool who tells how she must act and who she must ask for help. Here we learn more about Ywvain and a noble she is in love but being what she is, can’t happen without consequences. The ending is unpredictable and the battle between the skaven necromancer and his undead horde against the Wood elves and Athel Loren inhabitants (Treeman, Giant Warhawks, etc) is quite interesting. C L Werner weave a powerful tale and again we are presented a reason to make him the best writer in the Warhammer world.

Another thing that I enjoyed and just for that it’s a must have is the ways of Athel Loren. The author really knows how to make it alive and almost a being in his own right. He also talks about the balance that exists with the wood elves with other beings that make the forest their home. I thought that the wood elves rule supreme but that’s not true. The Wood Elves are considered with the denizens that they are the protectors but they do not own the forest.

The Third installment finish the story arc beautifully. Very good Herr Werner. 9/10
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