Tag Archives: C.L Werner

Marching Time by Various Authors – Anthology Review [Eroldren]


Eroldren looks over at the latest theme anthology from the Bolthole forum writing community, Marching Time, covering the myriad subject of Time Traveling.

Showcases varied time periods and locations of remarkable Bolthole imagination to be found throughout this curious collection.” – Eroldren, The Founding Fields

The Black Wind’s Whispers by Various Authors – Book Review [Eroldren]

The Black Wind's Whispers

Eroldren takes a look over the Bolthole’s first self-published anthology, The Black Wind’s Whispers, with a special short story contribution from C.L. Werner.

“Indeed a strange batch of intriguing tales from our world’s dark side done with unexpected takes.” – The Founding Fields

Swords of the Empire by Various Authors – Book Review [Eroldren]

Swords of the Empire

Eroldren reviews the Warhammer fantasy anthology, Swords of the Empire, edited by Marc Gascoigne and Christian Dunn, a with short stories from Robert Earl, C.L. Werner, Gordon Rennie, James Wallis, Jonathan Green and Dan Abnett.

“Straightaway, there are six stories that all deserve recommendations. Together, it’s a brilliant compilation of grim page-turners.” – The Founding Fields

Siege of Castellax by C. L. Werner – Book Review [Shadowhawk]


Shadowhawk reviews the latest Space Marine Battles novel by Black Library.

“Grim, brutal, and clinical, Siege of Castellax is an excellent representation of the Iron Warriors and of Warhammer 40,000.” ~The Founding Fields

Dead Winter by C. L. Werner – Advance Review [Shadowhawk]

Don't worry, there's nothing bigger than those little guys out there.

Shadowhawk reviews the first novel in the new Black Plague trilogy,  part of the ongoing Time of Legends series for Warhammer Fantasy Battles.

“A sweeping saga of how the Empire is about to be plunged into one of its darkest moments, Dead Winter is not a novel to be missed. ~The Founding Fields

Age of Legend – Book Review [Shadowhawk]


Shadowhawk reviews the first anthology for the popular Time of Legends meta-series for Warhammer Fantasy, a collection of short stories by new and old authors alike.

“A superb collection that collects together some of Black Library’s finest with an added dose of two new authors to the setting, Age of Legend is a great read.” ~The Founding Fields

Gotrek and Felix: The Anthology – Advance Review [Shadowhawk]


Shadowhawk reviews the first ever Gotrek and Felix anthology, containing stories from current series writer Nathan Long as well as some new blood.

“A good mix-up of stories spanning the entirety of the duo’s career, the anthology has something for everybody.” ~The Founding Fields

Black Library Games Day Anthology 2011/12 – Review [Shadowhawk]


Shadowhawk reviews the first ever Black Library Games Day Anthology for 2011/12. The anthology collects together six different short stories from some of Black Library’s finest authors, covering everything from Warhammer 40,000 to Warhammer Fantasy, the Horus Heresy to the Time of Legends.

“A collection of delightful and unusual tales, the anthology only leaves you wanting more.” ~ The Founding Fields

The Red Duke by C.L. Werner – Advanced Review [Bane of Kings]

Bane of Kings reviews CL Werner’s latest Black Library Novel, The Red Duke:
The Red Duke: CL Werner
A Warhammer Heroes Novel
“Another amazing instalment from my favourite Warhammer Fantasy author.”
~The Founding Fields
Note: This is an advanced review for Black Library. The Red Duke is not released in stores until November 2011.

The Red Duke is the latest novel in the Warhammer Heroes range, produced by Black Library, and, as the series title suggests, it focuses on Heroes of the Warhammer world, making this particular series a must for any fantasy fans. We’ve had Wulfrik, Sigvald and Ludwig Schwarzhelm take starring roles in this popular series, and now it’s the Red Duke’s turn to take the stage.
Unfortunately, I don’t know as much about the Warhammer world as I do the Warhammer 40,000 universe, so I probably would have delved into the back-story of the Red Duke here. But, seeing as I’m not, I’m just going to have to give you a brief overview of the plot.
Before the Red Duke was a vampire, he was a knight, and not just any night. A noble, honourable and chivalrous knight of the realm, and he remained that way until he was betrayed, back-stabbed in battle… but, rather than die there, he was reborn – as a bloodthirsty, vicious undead monster, who undertook a long crusade of slaughter and ruin before he was eventually defeated.
And not only defeated, but entombed for all time, never to rise again. Until the witch Jacquetta seizes her chance to free the Red Duke, and a new campaign of the undead begins for the second time.
The Red Duke seems unstoppable in his madness, but then… perhaps his madness can be used against him.
Author of Brunner the Bounty Hunter, and the popular Thanquol and Boneripper Trilogy, CL Werner is perhaps, as mentioned earlier, my favourite WHFB author.
Having read the entire set Warhammer Heroes novels bar Sword of Justice by Chris Wraight, The Red Duke continues to prove why this series of standalone books is the top-tier Warhammer Fantasy series out there, even when including Gotrek and Felix, admittedly which I’ve only read the first Omnibus of.
Nonetheless, you probably want to know what makes The Red Duke great. Well, Werner manages to get the personality of the Red Duke himself just right, and not only that – but find a way to combine the past and the present of him in a way so that it doesn’t really bog down the storyline, although, saying that – I did find myself skipping a few of the flashbacks when I was in an enjoyable scene in the ‘present’.
Other than that though, the pacing is done well, with the action scenes being brutal and bloodthirsty.
Turning away from the Red Duke now, the Bretonnians provide an interesting break from the mad vampire, as their characters help let us know what’s at stake should the Red Duke win, and give us a ‘hero’ to fight against the anti-hero that is the Red Duke himself. Knights, brave sons, great swordsmen and counts are all featured in the pages of The Red Duke, and we really get to understand more about Bretonnian history in this book, and what honour means to these noble knights.
The description is pretty enthralling as well, and we really get to take a peek into the surroundings of the Old World, as much as we get to know the characters that Werner has put across for us. We get to ‘know’ everybody, from the cowardly necromancer Renar, to the Red Duke himself, and in particular, his motives, as to why he wants to pillage and conquer Bretonnia.
Revenge is perhaps, the most important theme in The Red Duke, with two characters in this novel spurred by it, one being the Duke himself, and the other I won’t mention the name of due to spoilers.
Action is enjoyable in this novel. A cavalry charge against the lines of the undead, and even the way the undead themselves fight, proves that Werner certainly does know what he’s doing. 
Rating: 8/10
Should you buy this book? Yes, if you enjoy the Bretonnians and their lore, vampires (the real kind), and possibly Warhammer Fantasy fans in general. I don’t know about if you’re a non-Warhammer fan, but The Red Duke is a good read, and should be high on your list of WHF books to get if you are one.
More Warhammer Heroes: Sword of Justice by Chris Wraight, Sword of Vengeance by Chris Wraight, Wulfrik by C.L. Werner, Sigvald by Darius Hinks
More C.L. Werner: Grey SeerTemple of the Serpent, Thanquol’s Doom, Mathias Thulmann: Witch Hunter, Brunner the Bounty Hunter. 

Where can I buy this book?

The Red Duke by C.L Werner – Advanced Review [Lord of the Night]

Lord of the Night reviews the latest Warhammer Heroes novel, The Red Duke by C.L Werner, author of the Thanquol and Boneripper series, Brunner the Bounty Hunter and Matthias Thulmann: Witch Hunter.
“The Red Duke is a nightmare on the lands of Bretonnia, a fae tale that is told to disobedient children and scared peasants around the campfire. But there is more to the tale than simply a hero and a villain, in fact the roles may very well be the other way around.”
~The Founding Fields

Yet another novel down, and this one is a smash. The Red Duke is a great story of heroism, betrayal and revenge from beyond death. But of course things are never so clear when you deal with the troubles of the past as this novel so clearly demonstrates. C.L Werner has surpassed Wulfrik in this latest Warhammer Heroes outing, as we get a story with a hero who is a monstrous villain, and yet still sympathetic.
The story of the Red Duke is a mysterious one. Nobody can remember who he was, only what he became and the cruel deeds that made him a figure of dread throughout Bretonnia. Some say he died at Ceren Field, on the lance of King Louis the Righteous and the rays of the sun. Some say he returned 500 years later and was slain finally at Ceren Field, both times his army scattered and destroyed, burnt so as to never return to the living world. But the truth is far worse, as the Duke still haunts the shadows of Bretonnia, and he will tell us the truth of what happened all those years ago. The truth of heroes and villains, of monsters and magic, and of honour and betrayal.
A good cast of characters lends weight to the tale but the Red Duke stands heads and shoulders above them all. Once a great general who fought for honour and justice, loved by his family and his wife, the greatest swordsman of Aquitaine and respected even by his enemies, the Duke is now a cruel tyrant, trapped in memories of the past, reliving his cruelties that make even the Skaven and Dark Elves look kind, because even death is not an escape from the Duke’s clutches. But behind his madness lurks the mind of an extraordinary tactician and a fearless swordsman who was never bested in life.
But the Duke is not alone in the narrative. Supporting characters from the knights Leuthere D’Elbiq and Count Ergon Du Maisne on their quest for revenge and atonement, the damsel Iselda who aids them with the powers of the Lady, and on the Duke’s side the necromancer Renar whose advice may be the key to the Duke’s triumph over Bretonnia. These characters are well written and we see just how important honour is to a Bretonnian through Leuthere and Ergon, and a very dark side to Bretonnia is illuminated through this.
The best action of this series comes from the threat of the undead. There’s plenty of sword battles, displays of powerful magic and no Bretonnian novel would be complete without a knightly cavalry charge, lances tearing into the enemy and the thunderbeat of hooves. But the fearless forces of the undead meet all of these without pause, fighting from the will of their master and the unlife infused into them. But we also see the weaknesses of the undead, and while they are a potent force, they are far from the perfect warrior.
The pacing of the story is very good. Each chapter begins with a flashback to the Duke’s past, this keeps the narrative ordered as the story doesn’t break into flashbacks randomly but rather keeps an ordered pace as each flashback links with the others to reveal what truly happened five-hundred years ago. The atmosphere really feels like a vampire movie, you can just picture the Red Duke in black and white as he regales us with the tale of his rise and fall. And the story moves at an ideal pace, keeping the reader interested the whole way through by switching narratives from past to present.
The ending of the story is a great one, both amazing and disappointing, not for quality I assure you! But for the actions of characters who such hopes were placed upon. We see that a Bretonnian values honour, but the value they place on honour is so great that any pragmatic or practical man would be utterly horrified at their folly. And the Duke still stalks the shadows, where he is bound and what he will do are a mystery, but for now all that matters is that we know the truth of what happened so many years ago.
I give The Red Duke a 8.7/10 for a gripping story, characters who enthral you with their stories, and a hero who may have been relatively unknown before this, but hopefully soon will become as well known to readers as Nagash, Malekith and Archaon. And all the while we see just how bad Bretonnia was, is, and always will be.
Should you buy this book? Any fan of Bretonnia (If there are any) will enjoy this novel, as will any fan of the Undead and the Vampire Counts. But for general fans of Warhammer its another question. But the answer is the same. Yes, I think this is the best of the Warhammer Heroes novels yet and any fan of Warhammer will definitely enjoy The Red Duke.
Well that’s it for Fantasy and C.L Werner for now, the latter more than the former sadly as I must wait for Dead Winter but not for Black Library. Next up is Nocturne and The Outcast Dead, the former of which I will be starting today. Until then,

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