Black Library

Does anyone read Black Library books? I do not too much but I listen to theirs audiobooks at work. In my opinion, there are maybe not the best, but entertaining enough to make time pass.

I could say that we can divide them into 4 categories more or less: Warhammer 40K, Warhammer Fantasy Battle, Horus Heresy, and Age of Sigmar.

Those categories are quite different from each other for me. What do you think about them? Personally, I would rate and describe shortly those categories:

Warhammer Fantasy Battle - nonexisting now but there ware a quite few books in this category and for me, there were quite good like the slayers series (Gotrek is returning to us!) but there were atrocious like Grudgebearer too.

Warhammer 40K - Here we have a rich collection too but this one continues. There are ok but there are plenty stupid too. I do not understand how the "ghost" saga is so popular for me it is stupid most of the time and that ridiculous "Beast" series. Not many books are releasing now but I hope that there will be more when GW will push plot little further.

Horus Heresy - Very popular category but for me, it is the least favorite one. Books are popping one after the other and I regret that 40k does not have such attention. Many writers are poping those books and often they contradict each other. And those silly things too... Like some demonic a castle that envelops a full solar system, Angron that is trowing titans and many, many more. And those long and boring descriptions there too.

Age of Sigmar - And now you may mark me as ignored on the forum (if there is such option on this forum). Age of Sigmar is my favorite category. Many people despise AoS from the beginning, most often the people who have not spend a penny on the actual miniatures but are "not involved fans of WFB" but "I prefer to trust, until someone wrongs me". And I like AoS, whole AoS thing was a bold move that turned out profitable and we have even some books from this young world now. And I really like them. The madness of those system-wide castles are not bothering you in AoS such things fit perfectly in this world and the authors can go crazy there without much harm. Another thing is that the most books are about Stormcast Eternals and I consider them much better and more interesting characters then Space Marines. First, Stormhosts not they are not limited to one culture like most of the Space Marines Chapters. You are joining the Stormhost not because you are form some recruiting world but because of who you are. There are myriad of individuals in each. It is shown in "Plague Garden" where we have Stromshost of Hallowed Knights that happens to be the faithful of the realms, but faith has different faces, There is Lord Celestant Gardus who was a healer in life and he is a kind guy, he fights because war is necessary, not for fun. But there is a Knight Azyros Cadoc that was a savage prince and he is cruel, and he loves to slaughter and burn the enemies and each kill he makes is a sacrifice to Sigmar in his opinion. There Is Tornus the Redeemed who fought against chaos but due to some certain unfortunate coincidence of events he became chaos Lord but Celestant Prime smashed him with one strike and who is killed by Ghal Maraz go not to his patron God, or to Nagash but is judged by Sigmar and If there is some worthiness in him he can become Stormcast. And he is the first one, but not all companions trust him because he was an enemy once but some have not a problem about his past at all and trust in Sigmar's judgment in this matter, not because they were raised up on one rock and all have the same views, but there are different people with different pasts. Funny enough Cadoc had no problem with him at the beginning. Second, after death, there are reforged and back in business. Someone can take it as a cheap way for immortal characters but the reforging process is not perfect and not often the character changes, sometimes greatly after one and they ware fighting for hundreds of years now and there are guys that do not remember anything and are frustrated about it. They have questions now, some of them are nothing more than the purpose that made them Stormcasts. Sometimes it ends in disaster. I'm interested in how it will develop in the future. From the down site, I heat those things when they fight and some officer is yelling "you there, keep you shield right, should I go there and show you how things are done?", There are supernatural warriors with, most often, hundreds of years of training and experience, they should fight like a perfect machine and not need such stupid comments. And some of there battle tactics are ridiculous too but overall I like those books. And there will be Gotrek in Mortal Realms!

And what you are thinking about BL if you read them?

I've read a few of the Horus Heresy books, not the greatest works of writing however I have enjoyed them quite a bit.

The only 40K book I read was The Brothers of the Snake, where a single Space Marine is a walking God.

I read some of the old Warhammer Fantasy books a good 20 years ago, and from I remember they were brutal and good.

problem with AoS books is that tomorrow it can be thrown into the trash as retconned
stormcast used to be sigmarite elementals not so long ago
maybe in 20 years it will have matured enough to be worth reading
yes they can make galaxywide castles because there are no rules, no logic, no natural laws nothing to understand
just the fantasy that is in whatever writers mind today and if he writes the next page tomorrow everything can have changed

eventho chaos in 40k is insane it has logic, logic that contradicts and is twisted to the point of insanity but it has rules, limitations and habits, desires and history
if you dig deep enough, read enough, everything in 40k no matter how wrong it might sound most things are relatively accurate (except numbers, writers are not mathematicians so the numbers make no sense)
you have to consider that its written from the perspective of a fallible person so they can be wrong, lies or a tzeensh based illusion but in the end they are all fragments in a giant puzzle that is probably more then thousand books combined

once AoS can have a puzzle like that to try and stick together i can be motivated to read more
but for now its a lot of shining armor worn by a hollow shade of a marine
a marine with culture, history, tradition alongside all their personal history and achievement
you dont just become a marine doing nothing

also, these are supersoldiers
stormcaste, marines, wych or aspect warriors
yes they have fought for hundreds of years but their sargent has done that for hundreds more
you can always get better
for example lucius, probably the best swordsman in 40k
if you compare a regular marine, even a sergeant or even more extreme a chaptermaster
none of them would stand much of a chance against him
and even then he has died dozens of times and still gets exited when facing a good opponent because he has the chance to experience or learn something new
you could learn for a million years and with the limits of the human body removed you would still be able to learn more, still find things you could do better
perfection is an unobtainable goal, and that is the goal these warriors strive for
both in themselves or in that officers case in his unit, every mistake can get them killed so he freaks out in the hope to prevent that
makes sense to me

edit: oh yea, also a fan of the old fantasy
especially the undead books, big fan of the nagash trilogy not a fan of sigmars tale tho
and the skaven books are often hilarious
sad its dead but better go down still burning strong instead of spluttering out in faliure

last edited by Ashardalon

I don't know why you are so worried about AoS future. It’s doing very well and it is only better and better. I fresh after Callis and Toll: The Silver Shard, AoS book both without storcasts and I have to say that it is pretty good. One of better BL books and Barnaby Edwards made a great job reading it.

@grey-seer should have rambled less to keep it clear but
once AoS can have a puzzle like that to try and stick together i can be motivated to read more
is my answer to And what you are thinking about BL if you read them? question
i like having a world to read about
and AoS doesnt have a world yet
dont care about its success, future or some good books, there is nothing to delve in yet, wich is what i love about 40k

for example outside of warhammer there is "tales of the malazan empire, book of the dead"
while its only a dozen and a bit books it builds a incredibly intricate world in those books allowing the reader to hypothesize and imagine how things could work or be
i care more about the world then a specific story in that world
that is what i look for

last edited by Ashardalon