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on 17 September 2017
A strange book that attempts to take what is obviously a fairly one-dimensional cartoon villain and make him the protagonist of a novel. Thanquol, the main character, doesn't have any motivations or personality other than being an evil guy. His antics become more and more disgusting as the story progresses (he starts by mistreating his apprentice, then conducts experiments on slaves and finally tortures and kills his dwindling band of followers for gratuitous reasons) but that gets predictable and repetitive really fast. The author didn't include a line about how Thanquol furiously masturbates under his robes every time he hears the screams of pain of one of his victims but the spirit is definitely there.

The human protagonists feel like they were inserted so that the readers could have someone to root for but they are little more than cardboard cut-outs and their tragic deaths at the end left me completely indifferent. There is also an omnipotent and omniscient wizard who shows up periodically through the story to foil the bad guys but he is more of a plot device than a real character. The book does have a few bits of light-hearted humour but overall it is about a dreary place full of unlikeable people. You might enjoy it if you like reading about torture and violence for the sake of it but otherwise I'd give it a pass.
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on 19 November 2017
A nice read and good look at the life of a grey seer and all it’s ups and downs. XD
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on 25 December 2009
Five Things To Know If You've Never Read A Warhammer Novel

1) The Warhammer world has a variety of fantasy races, above and below.

2) Grey Seer is a "spin-off" from the Gotrek & Felix series, in which Thanquol is a recurrent enemy (Boneripper is his rat-ogre bodyguard).

3) Skavens are a race of man-sized rat-like creatures, but they are not actual rats; although they do worship a deity called the Horned Rat (and the Grey Seers have horns).

4) Grey Seers are natural-born wizards that rank below the Council and above the Warlords, aided in magic by warpstone.

5) Warpstone is dark magic in solid form; unrefined is far more dangerous than refined (humans call it Wyrdstone).

Grey Seer Thanquol is forced to retrieve the Wormstone (a toxic version of Warpstone), by the Council of Thirteen. He's made enemies amaong the skaven clans, mostly due to dirty politics (and a certain dwarf screwing up his plans in the past), so the Council considers him disposable.

A band of smugglers happen upon the Wormstone, and hope to make a profit from it, but they don't realize how poisonous it is. When the first smuggler becomes infected with green worms from the Wormstone, the reader is shown how easily the worm plague is spread. (By the way, I loved the graphic details -- made my skin crawl.) There is also a giant mutant rat hunting down the Wormstone.

The narration switches views between the skavens and humans, and it's easy to follow. I personally preferred the scenes with the skavens; I just didn't care what happened to the smugglers...they seemed so boring compared to the in-fighting between Thanquol and his adept, Kratch. Although, the mysterious Dark Master, playing the skavens and humans against each other, was intersting, but very little is revealed about him. Also, I was rooting for Grey Seer Thanquol every time he had to face off with the dark wizard. (Boneripper was another favorite character.)

I would love to read another novel centered on Thanquol, as Skavenslayer (Gotrek & Felix; Warhammer Novel) was not enough either.

If you are already a fan of Gotrek & Felix, you might like Shamanslayer, but if you prefer Warhammer 40K, Emperor's Mercy (Bastion Wars) was an excellent novel.

As noted, you can pre-order Temple of the Serpent (Thanquol and Boneripper).
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on 22 February 2010
I thought i'd input wit my review as a couple of the others have stated dislike to the human parts of this book. I personally enjoyed these parts and although the book is mainly about the Skaven, i thought it really helped the story unfold and it would have lacked depth without seeing things from the human point of view.

The story shows you the Skaven plotting, betraying each other and going about their ways in trying to take control of the ultimate weapon (the Wormstone).
In the meantime, a group of human theives happen upon this very weapon and i enjoyed seeing how they dealt with it while having no clue as to its power or the horrific side effects of coming into contact with it.

The Skaven do have a larger role to play, but the way it flicks back and forth really helps keep you guessing and it helps develop the plot really well.

It gets particularly interesting when a Mysterious Warlock enters the fray. I really wasn't sure whether this man would turn out to be good or bad. The book reveals very little about him until 3/4 of the way through, although he is always there behind the scenes...keeping watch.

As always, Thanquol is an interesting character and his cowerdice really does know no bounds. The other Skaven characters who play a part are all well thought out characters and i also enjoyed reading about Lord Skrolk for the first time.

The book gave me a good insight into the Skaven. You really get an idea of how deadly an army they could produce if they were not such cowards who betrayed their own kind without hesitation. If all the Skaven clans bounded together under 1 banner they could comfortably rule the world above.

Anyway, it's a good book and worthy of a read. The plot twists throughout and the ending even had a little twist. It's the first book i've read by Cl Werner and i liked his writing style.
I'm looking forward to the next one.
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on 23 September 2009
I found this book difficult to get into at first. This is because its not just about skaven but also by being set under Altdorf, there are empire characters too. They are the boring part of this book and i found myself scanning these sections. The skaven bits after a slow start are very good and a certain pestilens character turns up that i didn't expect which was really cool. Its okay but im bored of reading about empire thieves in WH fiction. I dont know why it always has to be these types. Its an okay book and Thanquol is still a very devious and very likable skaven character.
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VINE VOICEon 25 September 2012
When an ancient and extremely dangerous substance known as Wormstone is rediscovered beneath the streets of Altdolf, the Council of Thirteen need someone to retrieve it and they settle on the recently powerful but recently disgraced, and therefor expendable, Grey Seer Thanquol to perform the dangerous task. When Thanquol arrives in the Skaven city of Under-Altdolf though he discovers that not only does he have to deal with the usual treachery and intrigue of his fellow Skaven who want to keep the Wormstone for themselves but he must also deal with the lowly humans who have stolen the stone.

'Grey Seer' is a spinoff of the 'Gotrek & Felix' series that focuses on the paranoid and egotistical Thanquol. I am a big fan of the Skaven and I very much enjoyed this book which was generally nicely written and had some nice humour as well as some good action. C. L. Werner is a reasonably good writer and the book does a good job of showing the ever shifting politics of the Skaven as well as having some nicely choreographed battles. It is also nice to see the classic version of Boneripper get an outing.

While the book does focus quite a bit on the Skaven and their plots, the story also follows the group of humans who oppose them and the mage of the Grey Collage who leads them. This Shadow Wizard is a very nice character and is something of a Warhammer version of pulp fiction hero The Shadow, which I thought was interesting and I would definitely like to see more of this character. Other than him though most of the other non-Skaven characters were rather bland and it is definitely the ratmen who are the stars of the book with their plots and backstabbing.

Overall this was a very solid book and I will definitely be looking to get the next book in the 'Thanquol & Boneripper' series. I feel the book deserves a good four and a half stars.
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on 29 May 2010
If you want to read about an absolutely senile backstabbing murderous rat hell-bent on killing everything then this is for you!
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VINE VOICEon 29 July 2009
The mysterious Skaven rise to the fore with this, the first book written from the ratmens point of view. In particular, that of the seemingly indestructible Grey Seer Thanquol. Written by renowned Warhammer author CL Werner (perhaps better known for his Brunner series and more recently Mathias Thulman (Witch Hunter) he brings his own indomitable take to the bane of Felix and Gotrek's existence.

Creative, thrilling and above all giving a more rounded appeal to the under dwellers its sure to attract many more followers to the Horned Rat as they seek to put the dominion of men under their rule on the battlefield. A novel that will appeal to many and perhaps will lead to the first full Orc novel in its own time. A fun time will be had by readers perhaps even giving the odd household a break from the normal noises to be replaced by plenty of squeaks of excitement and perhaps even the odd squirt of fear musk which will make this a true addition to any Warhammer collection. Well done BL and Clint.
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on 17 March 2016
A brilliant book which captures the nature of the Skaven, with that mixture of cartoon humour and seriously scary magic. In this book there is a suitably fiendish scheme, loads of villains, constant betrayal and intrigue mixed with heroism all in one. The perfect tribute to the Skaven.
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on 23 September 2015
Good continuation of the series
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