Gotrek and Felix: The Anthology (Gotrek & Felix Book 18) – Kindle edition by Nathan Long, John Brunner, Josh Reynolds, Jordan Ellinger, Ben McCallum, David. Gotrek and Felix: The Anthology is an anthology in the Gotrek & Felix (novel series) Gotrek and Felix join forces with another slayer and his human companion. For those who have never met them, Gotrek and Felix are unsung heroes of the Warhammer fantasy Empire, the dwarven slayer* Gotrek.
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Shadowhawk reviews the first ever Gotrek and Felix anthology, containing stories from current series writer Nathan Long as well as some new blood. The Anthology is the first such compilation that features the most famous slayer-remember duo in the Old World, Gotrek Gurnisson and Felix Jaeger.
And truth be told, it has been a long time in coming because there are only so many full-length novels that either William King or Nathan Long could have put out in an in-universe career that spans nearly two decades and a bit extra.
Not to mention that there are just so many fantastic stories to be told. Nathan is one of those few Black Library freelancers whose work oozes perfection. At least for me. Like I mentioned in my Jane Carver of Waar review, I have yet to read any of his work that I did not like in fact, the aforementioned novel forced me to redefine what I thought of as being the perfect novel! So I had extremely high expectations of this novella and I was certainly not disappointed.
Agnar Arvastsson and Henrik Daschke are another slayer-rememberer duo, although they are far less famous and are comparatively young in terms of experience. Where the story is concerned, they provide Felix with an outside yet personal perspective on the years he has spent with Gotrek, fighting one monster after another, one army after another. The pacing of the novella is, as is usual from Nathan, excellent and punchy with not a boring moment in sight.
I was basically racing to finish the novella because I was totally hooked into the narrative and wanted to find out what was about to happen next throughout. The twists and mysteries are well done, as is the action, which is extremely varied and has just the right dose of danger and humour mixed in.
This short story is quite a departure from the previous one as it focuses on Snorri Nosebiter and some new temporary comrades of his as this addled slayer continues to seek his doom. The always lovable as only a slayer can be Snorri is joined by another slayer, brand-new to the job of seeking a glorious death in battle, Grudi Halfhand. However, that did not take away from the purpose and intent of the anthology for me and neither was I bored because of that omission. A Cask of Wynters is fast, and it is punchy.
Josh sets a real quick pace and what he has really succeeded here is in making this as much of a humour piece as it is an action piece. It is certainly amongst the best of the bunch although it does suffer from not showing enough of Snorri. Perhaps Josh can fix that in his next piece! Gotrek and Felix are very much the sideshow here to showcase a down-on-his-luck businessman Henkin Warsch.
The slow pace, the focus on Warsch, the near incidental cameo from Gotrek and Felix and all made for a very unenjoyable experience.
Next we have Kineater by Jordan Ellinger.
This was downright enjoyable from start to finish. It made for quite an engrossing side-plot. Not to mention that the big, bad enemies this time around are not the usual bad-guys of the Old World, Orcs or Skaven or Chaos, but Ogres. And some quite funny Ogres at that.
Kineater has a good pace, some great characterisation, lots of humour and some great action scenes with Gotrek fighting Ogres, especially the titular character, the Tyrant Kineater. Once again, a rather dreary story that is difficult to connect to.
Gotrek and Felix
The narrative progresses as if there is going to be tthe huge pay-off in the end but it all really fizzles down into something that has little to no impact on the reader. It is masterfully written with some great descriptions felxi prose, but there really is no ending to it. Prophecy comes across as if it is merely the first half of a larger narrative.
It has some good moments spanning some of the earlier Gotrek and Felix novels and is very much a, story from the other side, but it failed to work for me gotre a whole lot of levels. When reading a short story, I almost never like it when a key part of the actual ending itself is shown right in the beginning. It really kills the fun of reading the story and figuring things out for myself.
It has a promising premise and it features Skaven quite extensively in it, with Siskritt being the primary protagonist here.
Gotrek and Felix: The Anthology by Christian Dunn book review
Decent pacing, lots of descriptions that make for a fairly atmospheric narrative, and some average characterisation make this just a decent story. It has some similarities with A Place of Quiet Assembly but in this case, the style works much better. Just as with Josh Reynolds, Andy has a prose style that is fotrek and punchy with the occasional humourous bits thrown in for good measure. This was a story that makes me want to see more Gotrek and Felix from Andy. He is definitely a worthy addition to the list of writers for these two characters.
So get writing Andy!
Gotrek and Felix: The Anthology
Werner is an excellent writer who always pays a great attention to detail and who writes some really high-quality stories. Mind-stealer is right on par with all the other stories in the anthology that I really liked.
Thanquol, while a bad guy through and through, is one that is always endearing no matter what. He is quiet possibly the most self-devious, scheming, and traitorous character in Black Library fiction.
William King created a very unique character and Werner definitely does him great justice. Mind-stealer is a story that works on so many levels, whether it is the prose style, the pacing, the characterisation, the twists and turns, or just the sheer entertainment factor. This is easily a story that is not for everyone because it is quite specific in its purpose and serves to show the utter futility of hope and ambition in the Old World.
It is a typical Nathan Long short story that hits all the points of making this both a Warhammer story and a Gotrek and Felix tale.
The action scenes are fantastic, the pace is perfect, the characterisation is spot-on and this is as much a unique story as any of the other top ones in the anthology. The only thing I can fault this short story on is that it is perhaps too cheerful of a Warhammer story by the time the final climax hits.
The Two Crowns of Ras Karim is set in the lands of Araby, telling one facet of their journey to that distant land. This in itself is quite a novelty. To my inextensive knowledge, there are next to no tales of Araby in Black Library fiction and so seeing part of the culture fslix the people of Araby was highly enjoyable. With some great action scenes, this is very gotrej top-notch stuff and a great piece to wind down the anthology.
This is a highly promising story based on the title and accordingly, my expectations feelix it were exceedingly high.
I mean, seeking a glorious death in battle is the dream of every slayer and if a story is titled as such, it better really deliver on the goods.
However, it was all for nothing. This is quite possibly the flattest story in the entire anthology. Gotek, very disappointing and very surprising too, considering that is the finisher story of the anthology. It is also a very simple story that is told in a rather unexciting prose that goterk little to no feelings from the reader. Very average in and of itself. If it were me, I would not have placed this as a finisher at all. Overall, while I expected a much higher quality of stories, I am not too disappointed with it.
Werner make up for the drabness of the other stories. Three of those writers delivered as normal and the other two managed to surprise me so I consider anfhology a job well done. So in closing, I do recommend the anthology novel because of those six stories that I really liked. They are absolutely fantastic and really serve to broaden the setting as well as the Gotrek and Felix mini-verse.
Shadowhawk is a regular contributor to TFF. A resident of Dubai, Shadowhawk reads, reads and reads. His opinions are always clear and concise. His articles always worth reading. Tell yourself it happens to every writer… Writer of Sorts…. Keep up with News and Reviews in a weekly digest! We respect your email privacy. Andy SmillieBlack LibraryC.
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