So, with all the new Warhammer games coming out (Vermintide, Mordenheim, Warhammer: Total war) I had an urge to explore the universe, but I’m curious - ARE there any decent Warhammer novels? I seem to remember some about the Eternal emperor? Or was that the Sten books I’m confusing these with?
Both 40K and fantasy is of interest to me. Thanks in advance!
+1 for Horus Heresy. I made the mistake of trying to read them in chronological order. This is unnecessary and often painful as some of the books are terrible. The first three are really good, then anything by Abnett.
Bear in mind, this depends on what you mean by good. I tried to get into these a few years ago, and started with Abnett, who is pretty commonly trotted out as one of the best authors. I got about half-way into the first book in a trilogy of his, and stopped. It just was not worth the time. Felt very derivative and cheesy. It was not terrible, just not worth the time.
In general Abnett is not regarded as poor author and the best of a bad bunch in Warhammer books, but as a highly regarded author in his own right.
His writing is pretty tight and concise with plenty of action and his books are well written, of the many thousands of books I have read Abnett does not register as a poor author anywhere in there. Of course this does all depend on individual opinions but most people will say Abnett is good and worth a try if you are considering Warhammer books.
I have never read any Warhammer novels. But I did see there was one written by the late Barrington J. Bayley, Eye of Terror. Bayley was a fine writer of non-commissioned F&SF novels back in the 20th century, so I bet his Warhammer novel is pretty good too.
I’ll put in another vote for Gotrek and Felix. They’re my favorite on the Warhammer Fantasy side. If you read through the lot of them, you’ll get a pretty broad introduction to the most important of the lands and races of the Warhammer Fantasy universe, since the two main characters travel around a lot and face off against a very broad range of enemies. The only real downside is that IMO the first book is one of the weakest in the series. It’s basically a set of short stories that they put together into a book. It’s not bad, it’s just not as good as the subsequent books.
I also liked the Matthias Thulmann: Witch Hunter series and the Blackhearts Omnibus.
Gotrek and Felix and the Witch Hunter books are available on eBook from Black Library and I think on Apple’s electronic bookstore, but not Amazons (although Black Library website bought books are DRM free and you can load them onto Kindles manually no problem). Blackhearts is unfortunately out of print and hasn’t showed up in eBook form.
I also agree with the Eisenhorn / Ravenor recommendations for WH40K.