As a huge fan of the Warhammer novels its always great to get some of the tales about the Heroes of certain battles be they the good guys or the villains. Within this offering we get a tale set around the Goblinoid Invasion of Grom the Paunch which as a huge fan of the Greenskin's really made my day.
Alas the tale really didn't hit the spot in my opinion. I really didn't get a real grip on the principle unit mentioned within this offering (the Grimblades) and it felt that it wasn't as fully rounded or as polished as it could have been. The characters didn't give me a firm team to route for, the battle sequences pretty standard and to be honest the whole thing could have been a massive adrenaline injection so that there were no real lulls or peaks to help the tale move along. It's a great shame that Nick's usual talent didn't shine through but I do wonder if he'd bitten off a little more than this one title could have chewed.
Grimblades, by Nick Kyme, is Book 4 in the Empire Army Novel Series set in the Warhammer Fantasy universe published by the Black Library. The Empire Army Series is a collection of stand-alone novels which aim to showcase the different units of the Empire's armies and to bring the battles of Warhammer to life and as such create a greater link between the tabletop game and the Warhammer literary universe. This book focuses on the Reikland 16th Halberdiers, known as 'the Grimblades', during the invasion of the golblin warlord Grom the Paunch.
The positive of this novel is that the author manages to excellently convey the gritty realism of war in both the action scenes and how the soldiers attempt to deal with the after effects of conflict.
My main complaint about this novel is that it just does not fit the profile for the Empire Army Series as large sections of the book are focused on Prince Wilhelm of Reikland and his advisor Captain Ledner instead of on the Grimblades. It can be considered quite a good book if taken out of context of the Empire Army Series though. Also the author, Nick Kyme, switches between the characters of the Grimblades too often and this leads to no character taking the main role in the novel and carrying the story along.
Overall, this is quite a good grim book although it doesn't conform to the Empire Army Series and I would recommend this novel to most knowledgeable Warhammer Fantasy fans who have an interest in the history of the Empire.
`Grimblades' is the fourth book in the Empire Army series of Warhammer books and while it probably isn't as good as `Reiksguard' of `Call to Arms', it is better than `Iron Company'.
With the Orc and Goblin hoard of Grom the Paunch invading the Empire, the Emperor Dieter IV responds by fleeing to Altdorf and telling his Elector Counts to look to their own defence. Prince Wilhelm of Reikland however decides to go to the aid the besieged Averheim and assembles an army to fight Waaagh! Grom. Amongst the regiments marching to war is the Reikland Halberdier regiment known as the Grimblades.
`Grimblades' was an enjoyable book once it got going but it was one which has a number of flaws. The most notable of these is that many of the characters are somewhat clichéd and stick to some rather overused character types, the big dumb guy, the old veteran, the alcoholic, the preacher, the stone-cold killer, etc. The other major problem with the book is that the plot takes a while to get going, and when it does, it is unfortunately predictable.
The book does have its good points though as the battle scenes are well done and the middle third of the book is very well done and entertaining, it is just a shame that the book trails off somewhat after the siege of Averheim. Overall, I would give this book three and a half stars, as while it was enjoyable there are better books in this series.