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Made in us
[DCM]
Savage Minotaur




Baltimore, Maryland

AoS’s latest novel, “Lady of Sorrows” is from CL Werner, finally here after being delayed a few months by Covid.

Its an adventure/quest novel in the realm of Shyish, Nagash’s stomping grounds. A fairly quick read at sub 200ish pages, but there is still enough substance to enjoy. From the horrors of the Nighthaunt throughout the novel, the lair of an Ogor Hunter, the haunted remnants of a Sylvaneth enclave, and all sorts of curses and traps bar our group of heroes. Never really a dull moment.

The heroes themselves are a nice mix of characters, albeit all humans this go around. Well, mostly human, as there is one character that was a standout, due to his unique nature. He’s a Ghoul, a cryptborn he’s called by the others, but not in the throes of any delusions. Talks/acts like a human but still looks like a ghoul, while keeping a ghouls carrion appetite. Interesting concept.

The rest of the humans are soldiers, a scholar, a wizard, and one Warrior Priest to round out the main cast. The tension amongst the group, aside from the rigours of their quest and its nature, has to do with the city being divided between The Reclaimed who toiled in the darkness during the Age of Chaos and the Azyrites, who are essentially colonists. Their culture/customs are wildly different as well as segregated and thats a source of strain between all the characters throughout the story.

Pretty quickly into the novel you realize that the stakes are very high and no one has any plot armour, which I always love in a novel. The eponymous Mortarch of Grief was portayed well when she felt like making herself known, and the payoff at the story’s end caught me off guard. Appropriate twist I suppose, given the books title.

A thumbs up from me.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/07/18 22:39:58


"Sometimes the only victory possible is to keep your opponent from winning." - The Emperor, from The Outcast Dead.
"Tell your gods we are coming for them, and that their realms will burn as ours did." -Thostos Bladestorm
 
   
Made in gb
Eternally-Stimulated Slaanesh Dreadnought





So I finally finished the novel, I found the story okay. I can see what CL Werner was doing but the twist didn't land all that well for me since I didn't really care for the characters. I would say 7/10

To go on the spoiler front? Also please don't read it if you plan to read the novel, it would be ruined if you knew some of the details.

Spoiler:
Jahangir is not the main character. He gets killed off within the first quarter, I can see CL Werner was trying to subvert our expectations with the book, but I think the story he wanted to tell would've been served in a better vehicle by keeping Jahangir as the protagonist. In trying to subvert your expectations he has to take time to build all these characters which is easier said than done in a 200+ page novel. Now this might be a hit with some people and others it might not. I'm the latter category. I would've liked a story where the hero slides into a state of despair and corruption only to realise in the end how futile the quest was after everyone placed his hopes on him. Instead this story is given to a group of characters I don't really care all that much about. Out of the group Mahyar was the most interesting in my opinion. Now, I do have to say when I picked up the book I told a mate of mine who worked at the GW if Lady Olynder loses I am going to be annoyed, she's a mortarch. I'm glad she doesn't.

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2020/08/16 21:39:21


 
   
Made in us
[DCM]
Savage Minotaur




Baltimore, Maryland

I definitely felt it could’ve benefited from another 50-100 pages to flesh out some of the characters a bit more. Maybe even a bit from Olynder’s perspective.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/08/20 13:11:02


"Sometimes the only victory possible is to keep your opponent from winning." - The Emperor, from The Outcast Dead.
"Tell your gods we are coming for them, and that their realms will burn as ours did." -Thostos Bladestorm
 
   
Made in gb
Eternally-Stimulated Slaanesh Dreadnought





 nels1031 wrote:
I definitely felt it could’ve benefited from another 50-100 pages to flesh out some of the characters a bit more. Maybe even a bit from Olynder’s perspective.



Agreed, don't get me wrong it's not a bad book. It just seemed that Werner tried to do too much with such a low page count.
   
Made in us
Humming Great Unclean One of Nurgle






Spoiler:
I reallyliked the first twist. Having him die literallyroght out the gate like that was actually surprising for me; having him survive longer would have made his death so much less impactful for me. One knows from the onset that at the least most of the expedition was going to die, but the expectation was that they would be ground down by successive conflicts. By all suddenly dying off immediately it turned the tables on the traditional story path.

I cannot say the same for the ending. In particular, having the Veiled Oracle be eeeeviiiill read to me as simply uninspired.
The nature of the 'curse' I did like, as I was wondering from the onset why Olynder didn't simply overrun the towns. Having the characters all die wasn't inherently bad either, but having it be 'it was hopeless, they all die' again just fell flat. I did not totally expect it, but I was certainly not surprised. I would have liked if there had been a revelation on the part of a character(s) that they did claim victory in a manner. Returning once a generation but never fully wiping out the towns allows Olynder to continually farm souls (even if that was not her intent) and while all the current inhabitants may die with the curse broken, no future generations will be born just to suffer. Better yet, the veiled oracle could have [been an actual entity] pointed this out to Olynder, turning her victory to ash in her mouth. The oracle could then further reveal that she served Nagash all along, and this was actually him tormenting Olynder all along.

Consider; Games Workshop rules not so much games but as toolboxes for players to craft an experience from, and open/narrative/matched play just examples of how things can be put together. 
   
 
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