Luthor Huss by Chris Wraight – Book Review [Bane of Kings]

luthor-huss

Bane of Kings reviews the superb Luthor Huss, a Warhammer Heroes novel, by the multi-author series’ most prolific author: Chris Wraight, also behind the masterpiece that was Battle of the Fang.

“Fantastic. Wraight proves once again that he is fast becoming one of Black Library’s best fantasy authors with another unputdownable novel. Not to be missed.” ~The Founding Fields

The Warhammer Heroes series contains the first Warhammer Fantasy novel that I’ve ever read, Wulfrik by CL Werner, and I was blown away by the fantastic novel that Werner had invented, leaving me only wanting more from not just this series, but the entire Warhammer Fantasy world. This is partly why, when a new Warhammer Heroes novel arrives at my doorstep, you can feel free to bet your life savings that I’ll read it. Eventually. This novel sees a release this month, and to be honest, now that I’ve recently finished reading it, I don’t know why I’ve put it off for this long. Luthor Huss is a very strong instalment to the Warhammer Heroes series, and quite possibly, one of the best yet.

The story itself follows two main characters throughout the whole, third-person narrated novel, and they are pretty interesting characters to follow. The obvious one is Luthor Huss, Warrior Priest of Sigmar and is the novel’s titular character, and looking extremely badass on the front there. Although he may be the main star though, he’s not the only main character in Luthor Huss, for the other one, the one who gets quite a lot of page-time, is Witch-Hunter Lukas Eichmann, who is investigating a series of odd murders which will eventually let him to the head of an army of fanatical warriors. It’s nice that Wraight doesn’t spend the whole novel focusing on Huss alone, and I believe that this is one of these novels that wouldn’t really work if it was told entirely from the third or first person perspective of the main character. It’s kind of like reading a Sherlock Holmes short story/novel from the third person POV of Holmes, and not the point of view of Doctor Watson that we’re used to.

But enough about the characters, let’s talk about the action. Anyone who’s read my recent review of Juggernaut by Adam Baker will know that I’m a huge fan of undead hordes, and Luthor Huss is no different here. Although the undead hordes are not the only enemy that Huss has to face, and I will not mention who that particular enemy is due to spoilers, but one thing’s for sure, both are pulled of pretty spectacularly and allow for some chilling scenes that will keep the reader hooked to the page, with well-written action scenes that show us why he’s quickly becoming a go-to author for anything Warhammer Fantasy.

The novel itself is your average length, and you’ll breeze through it pretty quickly, as I did – in a couple of sittings. It’s a really enjoyable novel, and although it doesn’t look as though there’ll be a sequel, it’s well worth checking out, as Wraight does a fantastic job of fleshing out the background of the Warhammer character.

The pacing of Luthor Huss is pretty quick and even throughout the whole novel, and for those who are wondering if this contains flashbacks or not – it does, but they don’t slow down the pace of the novel like I found to be the problem with Abnett’s Prospero Burns. Wraight knows when they are needed, and knows how to keep you turning the pages without slowing down or decreasing the levels of tension. This is how flashbacks should be done.

I’m struggling to find a flaw with Luthor Huss, and because of that, I’m really pleased about this novel – it’s a pretty enjoyable read. There weren’t any grammar mistakes that I’ve encountered from many advanced review copies in the past, which is a good thing.

This novel is, of course, set in the Warhammer Fantasy world, one that I’ve not explored as much as I have with Black Library’s Warhammer 40,000 one. And, the Warhammer Fantasy series follows characters already established in Warhammer Fantasy lore, similar to the Space Marine Battles novels, only this novel focuses on the heroes and the villains of WHFB of all races, and not just one. I’m pointing this out here, because I don’t really know how much lore there is about Luthor Huss, other than the fact that there is a model of him for the Warhammer Fantasy game (which doesn’t look as awesome as the cover, by the way), meaning that this novel was pretty unpredictable for me as it progressed, with nobody being safe, and as far as I was concerned, there were some moments where I thought even Luthor Huss wouldn’t make it out alive.

Another positive thing about the Warhammer Fantasy series is that they don’t have to be read in order, apart from the Sword of Justice and Sword of Vengeance Duology by Chris Wraight, (which even then, I read Sword of Vengeance without reading Sword of Justice), so if one ‘hero’, author or book isn’t particularly to your liking, you can afford to skip them without being completely lost as to what is going on when you pick up the next novel. However, I’m going to go ahead and say that even though you don’t have to, you should read them all in publishing order. They’re all awesome, and Warhammer Heroes is probably my favourite Warhammer Fantasy series of the lot, topping even the mighty Gotrek and Felix by William King and later, Nathan Long – and the enthralling Ulrika the Vampire novels, also by Nathan Long.

Verdict: 4.5/5

More Warhammer Heroes: Sword of Justice by Chris Wraight, Wulfrik by CL Werner, Sword of Vengeance by Chris Wraight, Sigvald by Dairus Hinks, The Red Duke by CL Werner, Luthor Huss by Chris Wraight, Valkia The Bloody by Sarah Cawkwell (July 2012), Orion: The Vaults of Winter by Darius Hinks (September 2012), Van Hortsmann by Ben Counter (November 2012)

Milo, aka Bane of Kings, is a SFF/Comic reader, and watches a lot of TV. His favourite authors are Neil Gaiman, China Mieville, Jim Butcher, Brandon Sanderson & Iain M. Banks, whilst his favourite TV shows are Battlestar Galactica (2003), Person Of Interest, Firefly, Game of Thrones, & Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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