So folks, I finished reading the third book in the Age of Sigmar novel series!
Ghal Maraz continues the story from War Storm in two short stories, a slightly odd move that I suppose makes sense given the fact these are the first books from the new Age of Sigmar, but which otherwise would have made better sense to have been published in separate books. But anyway. The first tale follows the Hallowed Knights in Ghyran, still struggling against the hordes of Nurgle. Like the last story in War Storm, it’s a pretty gross story with a lot of repetitive descriptions of horrible stuff that makes it something of a chore to get through. The Stormcasts find Alarielle, but she gets mad when they lead the Glottkin and other disgusting stuff directly to her. The story ends with Alarielle kinda in alliance, but it’s a little weird. It’s good to see some of the folks from the world-that-was, of course, but well, I’m just not a fan of Nurgle!
The second story is a bit more interesting, as it returns to Chamon and the whole Tzeentch storyline. The Celestial Vindicators realise they have found Ghal Maraz in the Eldritch Fortress back in the last story, so Sigmar sends a fairly huge mustering of Stormcasts to reclaim his hammer, including the Lions of Sigmar! I was very excited by that, but unfortunately this is still very much a Hammers of Sigmar/Celestial Vindicators story. There is a lot of weird stuff that goes on in this one, which I suppose can only be expected from a Tzeentch-centric story.
It’s surprising to me that, three books in, the setting for Age of Sigmar still feels a little too goofy to me. I have always tried to ignore this criticism for the game, but unfortunately it’s becoming something of an issue for me in reading these things. There’s very little to engage with really – some things are suggested, but are dropped almost as quickly as they come up. While I get the idea of only suggesting a background to add fuel to games, it gets a little awkward when you’re trying to write a story without giving a lot of background detail.
So, I don’t really know if I’d really recommend any of these books as it stands. They’re probably worth looking into if you’re a fan of the new game of course, as you do get some hints for what you’re doing with these little plastic men. In the previous blog, I thought there were the beginnings of a more fleshed-out landscape, but things just don’t seem to be progressing very much at all…