Monthly Archives: August 2011

Defenders of Ulthuan & Sons of Ellyrion – Dual Advanced Review [Lord of the Night]

Lord of the Night reviews the epic High Elves duology, Defenders of Ulthuan and the long-awaited sequel Sons of Ellyrion by Graham McNeill, New York Times Best Selling Author and winner of the 2010 David Gemmell Legend Award.

“An epic story of heroism, love, betrayal, sacrifice, tragedy and hope. The High Elves face their greatest enemy, on the brink of their final demise, two brothers carry out their own quest that will determine the destiny of the Asur and Ulthuan itself.”
~The Founding Fields
Its been a bit since my last review, mainly because i’ve been delving into books that I didn’t feel the need to review, though mayhaps in the future you’ll see an Honor Harrington series review or more for A Song of Ice and Fire but now we are back to Warhammer Fantasy. This was my first real outing with the High Elves, i’m solidly in Malekith’s camp and with Naggaroth, but the heroes of Ulthuan are a delight to read. This has definitely made me an all-round Elf fan, but i’m still rooting for Malekith.
When a lone elf washes up on the shores of Ulthuan with no memories, save only that he must find Teclis the legendary Loremaster and impart some message, the elf Caelir begins a journey that will take him all across Ulthuan, to places born of creation and places lost to time itself. Meanwhile the morose elf Eldain and his wife Rhianna are called to Saphery, to start their own journey that will see them fight dark legends, discover horrific truths and meet some of the greatest heroes ever to live.
And while the battle rages the stories of great champions, known and unknown continue on. At the gates of Lothern the legendary Prince Tyrion leads the defence against the Witch-King’s hordes, at the Eagle Gate the brave defenders face the Hag Sorceress and the champions of the Prince of Pleasure, and the forest realm of Avelorn faces its darkest hour as the darkness of the Druchii pervades its lands.
The characters of these two novels are fantastic, both the new and the old. New for the novels we have Caelir the amnesic Elf who holds a dark secret locked in his mind. Eldain the lord of Ellyr-Charoi who too holds a dark secret, but far wider in its scope. And Rhianna, wife of Eldain and a mage of Saphery who serves as Eldain’s last real connection to the world. And the fearsome Chaos Champion Issyk Kul, a perverse killer that shows us the plans of the enemy, and the predations of Slaanesh (or Shornaal as he is known to Kul).
Plenty of famous characters play pivotal roles in the novels. Chief of these is Prince Tyrion, descendant of Aenarion and the champion of the Phoenix King and the Everqueen, who leads the defence of Lothern and through whom we finally get to see a bit of the curse left by Aenarion to be suffered by his descendents. But many others do appear such as Eltharion the Grim, the Phoenix King Finubar and the Everqueen Astarielle, Prince Imrik of Caledor and of course, Malekith the Witch-King and his infernal mother Morathi. These characters all lend weight to the story, provide interesting viewpoints and some truly epic moments.
The action in the two novels is breathtaking. The bravery and heroism of the Asur, the relentless cruelty of the Druchii, the madness and perversion of the Slaaneshi warriors all clash together in a land of magic and wonders, both good and bad. The personal duels and battles are quite good, but its when magic comes into play that the battles take on a whole new dimension. My personal favourites are Issyk Kul’s final battle, the end of the Battle of Lothern, the arrival of Avelorn’s army and the final battle for Caelir, Eldain and Rhianna (and the other Elf present who I won’t name).
The world of Ulthuan has also been fleshed out as Naggaroth was in Malus Darkblade. The grim marches of Tor Yvresse, still wounded from the Goblin King’s rage. The straits of Lothern, clean and filled with the scent of the sea. The wild forests of Avelorn unbound by limits and rife with the power of creation. The plains of Ellyrion, wild and untamed where elf and horse ride as one. McNeill has brought a new life to Ulthuan, giving us descriptions and visits to places that before were just names and lists of past heroic deeds.
The pacing of the series is very good. The books never dragged on, nor did they grow stale. The battles are fantastic but the peaceful scenes, of travel and discovery and character development are just as engrossing. The air of suspense that hangs over which characters will live or die is palpable, some characters will obviously live to fight another day but enough new characters live and die that you never quite know who is safe and who isn’t.
The ending of the first novel is a hell of a cliffhanger, i’m glad I didn’t get Defenders of Ulthuan when it first came out because that cliffhanger would have been gnawing at me for years. But for Sons of Ellyrion the ending is far larger. It could be debated that its a happy ending or a sad one, some live some die, but I think of it as a happy ending for the protagonists, its not a storybook ending but its filled with sacrifice and love, and at the very end, hope for the future.
I give both Defenders of Ulthuan and Sons of Ellyrion a 10/10, these two are a must-read series if you have ever read a Warhammer novel, or even expressed interest in the High Elves. These are the novels that will get you hooked on the fantasy world.
Should you buy these novels? The answer is yes to all. Any fan of Warhammer, Elves or just fantasy these are two novels that you should read. This is epic fantasy and shows us why Graham McNeill won the Legend Award, which I hope he wins again for Sons of Ellyrion.
Well that’s it for this review. Most likely next will be Path of the Seer, or possibly Thanquol’s Doom if my reviewer post for Black Library is accepted. I strongly hope its the latter, being a devotee of the Horned Rat like Thanquol I am eager to see his next adventure.

Cat and Mouse by James Patterson – Review [Bane of Kings]

Cat and Mouse

Bane of Kings reviews the Alex Cross novel Cat and Mouse by James Patterson, the fourth novel in the bestselling series.

Full of plot twists and turns, Patterson makes the pages fly by.”~The Founding Fields

Reality 36 by Guy Hayley – Review [Bane of Kings]


Bane of Kings reviews Reality 36 by Guy Hayley, published by Angry Robot and the first novel in the Richards and Klein series.

“Ever wondered what would Sherlock Holmes be like if it was set in the future? Well, look no further than Reality 36.”~The Founding Fields

Salvation’s Reach by Dan Abnett (Advanced Review)

Commissar Ploss returns to book reviews with Salvation’s Reach. The latest novel in the Gaunt’s Ghosts series of books.

“This book is bloody brilliant!”
~The Founding Fields

Note: this is an advanced review. The book will be available for purchase starting October 2011.

Well folks, i’ve finally managed to get another review done. Please forgive the delay.  I was graced with an early look at Dan Abnett’s new book Salvation’s Reach and i have to say, i loved it. Plain and simple.  I could simply save myself the trouble and end the review there but what kind of fan would i be!

Salvation’s Reach is book number 13 in the hallowed Gaunt’s Ghosts series from BL Publishing.  Book 12, better known as Blood Pact saw our favorite regiment of scouts and specialist operatives on a tour of R&R back on the world of Balhaut. Now, there were plenty of things that happened in Blood Pact that effect the way this story plays out, but i won’t really be touching on these. Can’t have spoilers now, can we. lol

Suffice it to say that at the end of Blood Pact the regiment of the Tanith First leaves Balhaut for the planet Menazoid Sigma. 

Menezoid Sigma, we come to find, is a “dispersal point.” Basically a mustering ground for regiments that will be shipping off to war in the near future.  The Tanith First have been drafted into a covert operation, presented by Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt to the Warmaster’s High Command.  Their target? Why, a place called “Salvation’s Reach” of course. :o )

Our wonderful cast of characters is back in action once again; the knife-edge that is Major Rawne, Gol Kolea, Ban Daur, Elodie Dutana (Daur’s significant other), Commissar Viktor Hark, Junior-Commissar Nahum Ludd, and Tona Criid to name a few.  Together, along with a fresh influx of Belladon troops, our intrepid heroes mount a covert assault on the place known as Salvation’s Reach. 

They have with them a person who is key to the operation. A defector of the Archenemy. His head is filled with secret know-how and information that is vital to the mission and it’s success. Naturally, his safety is of the utmost importance, and likewise, challenged at every turn!  Rawne, and the self-appointed “Suicide Kings” are charged with the safe-keeping of this person after an attempt on the defector’s life.

After much travel through the warp, and one outstanding void battle later, the Ghosts launch a two-pronged attack on Salvation’s Reach. One; straight through the front door, loud, large, and in charge.  The second; two small insertion raids that are carried out behind enemy lines so to speak. Gaunt leads this sneaky attack on key areas of Salvation’s Reach, in order to gather vital intelligence and artifacts that Imperial forces can use to dismantle the Sanguinary Lords and finally win the Sabbat Worlds Crusade!

It’s an action packed story filled with battles, babes and booz, not to mention a new love interest for Gaunt.  Oh yeah, did i mention that two brand new characters hailing from Vervunhive make their Gaunt’s Ghosts debut? No, i didn’t? Ah, well you’ll have to find out who they are for yourself. hehehehe

Salvation’s Reach has proven, once again that Dan Abnett is at the top of his game. And even though authors like Aaron Dembski-Bowden are giving him a run for his money, this book clearly demonstrates his mastery of literature.  A thoroughly engaging read, this book is bloody brilliant!

I give Salvation’s Reach a consummate: 10/10 (something, i’d like to point out, i’ve never done before)

reason: Salvation’s Reach  is an outstanding novel. The characterizations are classic Abnett, in the sense that they are fething superb! The pacing doesn’t slow for one moment and will have you constantly turning pages. Thrilling, truly thrilling!  There’s not a fault in this book, and believe me, i looked… looked very hard.

Should you buy this book? YEEEEESSSSS!

Salvation’s Reach is available from Black Library and these fine retailers below:

The Space Wolf Omnibus by William King – Review [Bane of Kings]


Bane of Kings reviews The Space Wolf Omnibus¸ published by Black Library and written by William King.

“Epic action-packed encounters. The adventures of Ragnar Blackmane are among King’s best work.”~The Founding Fields

Warning! This review contains minor spoilers!

Sons of Ellyrion by Graham McNeill – Advanced Review [Bane of Kings]


Bane of Kings reviews the conclusion to the High Elf duology, the long awaited Sons of Ellyrion, written by Graham McNeill and published by Black Library.

“Epic in every sense of the word. McNeill knows what he’s doing.” ~The Founding Fields

Note: This is an advanced review for Black Library Publishers. Sons of Ellyrion will not be available in stores until September 2011. Also, this review contains minimal spoilers for this novel, but due to the nature of the ending of the previous book, there may be spoilers for Defenders of Ulthuan.

A Couple of Updates

ok folks. :) I’ve got a few updates for you all and you may be wondering why you’ve not seen any reviews for at least a week now.  Don’t worry.

I’m currently in the process of reading a few novels for review. Salvation’s Reach, Path of the Seer, The Legend of Adam Caine, Blood of Anaerion, The Crown of the Conqueror, Germline, Evil Ways. And, Atlas Infernal.

And on top of that, i’m under a brand new deadline for another short story of mine, so i’ve got plenty of writing to do as well…


etc, etc, etc. lol

good times. We’ve also got some stuff going on behind the scenes as well. TFF will be getting a facelift and new domain. :) and we’re getting a new Logo soon! so, on that note, i’ll see you soon with another review.

btw, Bane of Kings is on “vacation” for a short time, that’s why he’s not posting either. lol

Commissar Ploss

Full Disclosure

US Game Day 2011 – Black Library Q&A

Well howdy folks, I’ve got plenty to show you today. This past weekend was Games Workshop’s US Games Day. :) While i did record a few other videos, the one i wanted to upload was the Black Library Q&A session in the late morning of that Saturday. The only video of the session was taken by me, so you can’t find this anywhere else. :) Please enjoy, i will include the show notes for your convenience.


The Black Library Q&A Session from Games Workshop’s US Games Day. Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, Chicago Illinois. July 30th, 2011

Shot by: David “Commissar” Ploss for and Black Library.


0:00-0:10:00 – Pregame debauchery (not really debauchery…)

1:22:00 – New and Noteworthy titles. Spotlight on BL features.

4:20:00 – Author Introductions

4:35:00 – Question 1: Availability of BL Books on Kindle and other various devices.

5:20:00 – Question 2: Upcoming Print on Demand titles?

7:10:00 – Question 3: GD first-timer inquires which Books/series each author has written, then asks them to pick their favorite book!

12:20:00 – Question 4: Possible secrets revealed soon in the Horus Heresy sereis?

13:20:00 – Question 5: If you could have miniatures made of any of your characters, which would you choose?

14:30:00 – Question 6: Are there any plans for future Black Library inspired miniatures?

15:25:00 – Question 7: As BL authors, do you get to pick what you write about?

20:10:00 – Question 8: Anything you can say about continuations of the Dark Angels storyline? (Horus Heresy)

21:38:00 – Question 9: Whom do you reference based on precedence regarding writing about various factions?

24:35:00 – Question 10: Where does Deliverance Lost fit into the timeline of the Horus Heresy series?

27:11:00 – Question 11: Is there interaction between BL authors and the codex writers/game developers?

32:15:00 – Question 12: Has anyone had a plot idea get flat-out rejected?

37:21:00 – Question 13: Is there any bit from the back-catalogue you would like to revisit or expand upon?

39:25:00 – Question 14: Are there attempts to line up the releases of books with releases on the hobby side?

42: 34:00 – Question 15: Deadlines? Good or Bad?

44:50:00 – Question 16: Any hints of Clint breaking into 40k more soundly?

45:44:00 – Question 17: Any chance of a novelization of the Space Marines video game from THQ?

47:35:00 – Question 18: What sort of sources do you use as reference material/inspiration for your books?

51:00:00 thru. End Credits

thanks for watching! i hope you enjoyed it!

Full Disclosure
The Founding Fields - Blogged