Hello to you all once again. I know I promised you something different this time but I’ve decided I will have to take a sabbatical from Mr Pratchett and friends until after October to give me time to have a break from it and to get into the spirit of the season of horror. But one final review comes before October and I’ve been looking forward to this for quite a while!
Those of you who have been following my reviews for a while will possibly remember my review of Realmslayer by David Guymer – here’s a link for those of you who are curious – but if I say the words Brian Blessed or Gotrek Gurnisson that might jog your memory!Audiobook Review: Realmslayer – Warhammer: Age Of Sigmar by David Guymer
This second audio set of Gotrek makes the particularly opinionated dwarf feel like he’s never been away. He’s still the same entertaining dwarf he’s always been. But there is one difference. In the strange worlds of the Mortal Realms Gotrek seeks one thing more than ever: purpose. Why is he here? What is his true destiny? And is there a purpose here that befits the legend of Gotrek Gurnisson last bastion of the Old World? The long lost World That Was?
In the ancient forests of Ghyran dwell the – as Gotrek calls them – ‘tree-kin.’ These creatures claim to know a way to find that which Gotrek seeks but he won’t be the only relic of days long gone searching for this prize. As Gotrek and his – somewhat begrudging – travelling companion Maleneth the dark elf of the Order of Azyr start their journey they pick up another dwarf for their party and reunite with one of Gotrek’s few friends in this new world of the God-King Sigmar. But what other adventures are in store for the group as they follow their guide?
This new Realmslayer release like the first is a connected series of 4 hour long audio dramas which when combined create an interlinking narrative. Without giving away more than the general synopsis above, the story is very well written by Storymaster Guymer and I was entranced throughout either by the characters and their stories throughout the drama or by the excellently done comedy – as an aside I absolutely love the bickering between Gotrek and Maleneth it absolutely fits them!
The performances are equally top notch. Brian Blessed returns to voice the hard drinking hard fighting Doomslayer and as always is clearly having fun doing so. He throws his all into the performance with panache both when fulfilling the roles expected for him traditionally and when doing the ‘unusual.’ There were a few moments later in the set when Gotrek got quite the emotional reaction out of me.
But he isn’t the only one! Penelope Rawlins as Maleneth is equally perfect. Her icey and rather aggressive attitude bounces well off Mr Gurnisson while also allowing her to interact well with their other travelling companions. Those few moments where what occurs gets a genuine reaction out of her matter all the more for how rare they are. The other cast members all do excellently with particular notice to a certain long time enemy of Gotrek and his Stormcast friend both of whom made a rather strong impression on me but I’d rather not give everything away.
The only critique I can think to make is one based purely in personal preference but I still wish to note it to my readers. One of my MANY points of praise in the original Realmslayer was the battle scenes which had narration by the great Johnathan Keeble. Mr Keeble is involved in this new Realmslayer release but there is notably no narration throughout the story itself or the battle sequences. I understand that many other listeners may prefer it like this but the lack of a narrator of any sort felt slightly off to me personally while listening.
In all other aspects though I fell in love with Realmslayer, Gotrek, The Age Of Sigmar and David Guymer’s writing all over again. There’s a reason that David Guymer being involved in any new Warhammer release is a selling point to me these days akin to the great Dan Abnett or Aaron Dembski-Bowden, both other authors of deservedly good reputations. I hope I can persuade some of my readers to follow the Realmslayer audio productions – or more generally – the large and long loved series of Gotrek Slayer novels that date back to some of the greatest battles of The World That Was, a proud tradition which now continues in print courtesy of Darius Hinks and Ghoulslayer which released concurrently with Realmslayer: Blood Of The Old World.
I look forward to hearing more of the adventures of this battle eager dwarf and I’m more than confident I’ll hear his raucous laughter before too long and I don’t think I’ll be the only one. My next review without being too specific I can promise you will fit the upcoming celebration. Just be sure to keep an eye out for the uncanny.