5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
An interesting view of the Old World,
This review is from: Tales of the Old World (Warhammer) (Paperback)
I have mainly read War Hammer 40k novels recently so I bought this to gain an introduction to the fiction of the Warhammer Fantasy world.
In some ways it wasn't quite what I expected. The description on the back of the book seems to suggest (to me at least) that the stories will be about huge wars and pitched battles raging across the old world. However, there was not one story involving huge armies of troops fighting a great battle. There were some battles, but they were small in nature and did not form part of a greater war or campaign. In other words, they were treated more as events affecting the main characters in each story.
However, the stories are quite decent and worth the read. Many of them cover common themes, such as knights on a quest and witch hunters investigating suspicious happenings. But other stories cover some of the other races, such as the high and dark elves and the dwarves (albeit there is only one story covering each of these). If there is one critisism is that the protagonists in all but a couple of stories deal with the civilised races; mainly men from the empire and Bretonnia. There are only a couple of stories where the protagonists are from the dark powers, such as the undead or chaos.
It would have been nice if we could have read more stories from the darker races such as orcs, skaven or chaos point of view. It would be nice to get a better feel of how these races live and interact with each other, rather than only reading about life in the human settlements all the time. But in the stories here, they are treated as the "enemy", rather than being given the role of the protagonist. In fact there is only one story involving orcs, but the main heros in that story are Dwarves and men. I suppose this reflects the fact that most authors feel more comfortable writing about the human world.
One good thing is that the stories do not all have happy endings. Some do, but others either end unhappily or ambiguously. This is welcome, as the ending is not always predicatable. In some cases the ending is shockingly brutal.
So in conclusion, a good selection of stories that give a feel to life in the old world, especially from the Empire and Bretonnian point of view. But don't expect description of major wars or massed military campaigns.