…..Wait you need more than that? Ok here’s the review then. To be one hundred percent honest to the reader I know nothing about Warhammer’s Age Of Sigmar timeline. I am only aware of Warhammer vaguely as a war game with miniatures and in book terms I am far more familiar with Warhammer’s other series – The Horus Heresy and its successor timeline Warhammer 40,000 or 40K.
Now to discuss Realmslayer itself. This release is a series of four interconnected hour long audio dramas in a single package. Realmslayer is actually a very good introduction to the Age Of Sigmar because the main character Gotrek Gurnisson knows just as little as a first time listener. Gotrek comes from the previous age and is very confused as to how he arrived in the Mortal Realms where gods walk the Earth and dark forces are ascendant. But for all others attempt to tell him…let’s just say he isn’t very interested in how or why so long as there are monsters for him to slay! The Age Of Sigmar is the closest thing Warhammer has to an age of legendary almost impossible feats and great heroes. And Gotrek Gurnisson is the greatest of all monster slayers!
Brian Blessed does a perfect job as Gotrek. His voice really suits a warrior duardin – dwarf to you and me – from the age of legendary heroes. I particularly appreciated his quieter moments when he thinks no one is paying attention or listening. They get you curious whilst also letting you into his mindset more directly. There is definitely more to Gotrek and Brian’s performance than you might originally expect.
I also particularly enjoyed the rest of the cast. It is very clear when listening that everyone involved regardless whether they have a secondary main role all the way to the most minor of cameos are having a wonderful time. This tends to be obvious when listening to productions where the cast are actually enjoying themselves. Two particular favourites include a somewhat suspicious lich or ‘necromancer’ and a recurring rather ‘confident’ elven assassin. Those particular characters are wonderfully cast and bounce off the others well.
David Guymer’s writing – particularly the battle scenes narrated by Johnathan Keeble – makes the setting shine! Even for a first timer like myself I can easily close my eyes and visualise everything very clearly. I really hope this series continues and I especially hope that David Guymer returns as writer and Brian Blessed as Gotrek. To be honest I don’t think the series would be the same without them both!
Another thing I should tell my readers is I haven’t been this caught up in a story in quite a while! I quite literally had to stop myself from listening to the full four hours of audio drama plus one hour of bonus interviews in a single sitting! This is just too much fun! If you are anything like me you will feel yourself being caught up in the flow of the stories.
I must also congratulate whoever works on the sound design at Games Workshop. Regardless of where the characters are in the piece you feel like you are there with them. When you are in The Realm of Death, you can both hear and feel the biting and icy cold and when you are in the Realm of Fire, you can feel the overwhelming heat coming from the walls and the dangerous creatures used as mighty steeds. The pieces of music are also surprisingly catchy. I was especially fond of the tune used as the opening and ending music between the individual stories.
There may be small mistakes or problems others may notice that I fail to see but even if there are any the problems are so minor that it doesn’t matter. The stories are just that engaging.
I genuinely hope this sells incredibly well so that I can be guaranteed more Gotrek adventures. And I’m not the only one who hopes it does well. Brian Blessed himself even took part in the marketing of the audios praising how much he enjoyed the character and hoping that there could be more for him to play! I could not recommend this more highly to those people who enjoy a good traditional adventure story or legendary fantasy. I’m sure there will be plenty more to hear soon.
After all…GOTREK LIVES!…I couldn’t resist. Please give this audio release a try no matter what you are usually into.
Realmslayer from Black Library
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