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Warhammer Age of Sigmar Limited Hardcover Edition (2000 Copies) ----- This is your first chance to enter the mortal realms and see Sigmar's chosen warriors in action - heroes of heavenly magic in god-forged armour who ride the storm and bring death to the servants of Chaos, in this case the dreaded Goretide. The perfect place to start exploring the Age of Sigmar. ----- The Warhammer Age of Sigmar Limited Hardcover Edition (2000 Copies) ----- This is your first chance to enter the mortal realms and see Sigmar's chosen warriors in action - heroes of heavenly magic in god-forged armour who ride the storm and bring death to the servants of Chaos, in this case the dreaded Goretide. The perfect place to start exploring the Age of Sigmar. ----- The war is over, and the Mortal Realms have all but fallen to Chaos... Khorgos Khul rampages across the fiery Realm of Aqshy, hunting down mortal kind to slaughter or subjugate to Khorne. His Goretide have crushed all resistance... until the storm. From the heavens hurtle paladins clad in gold. Sent by Sigmar, the Stormcast Eternals have come to liberate all the realms from the yoke of Chaos. Their leader is Vandus Hammerhand, Lord-Celestant of the Hammers of Sigmar. After a long age of darkness, there is hope. Vandus must open the Gates of Azyr to unleash Sigmar's righteous fury against the damned. Everything depends on his victory.


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Warhammer Age of Sigmar Limited Hardcover Edition (2000 Copies) ----- This is your first chance to enter the mortal realms and see Sigmar's chosen warriors in action - heroes of heavenly magic in god-forged armour who ride the storm and bring death to the servants of Chaos, in this case the dreaded Goretide. The perfect place to start exploring the Age of Sigmar. ----- The Warhammer Age of Sigmar Limited Hardcover Edition (2000 Copies) ----- This is your first chance to enter the mortal realms and see Sigmar's chosen warriors in action - heroes of heavenly magic in god-forged armour who ride the storm and bring death to the servants of Chaos, in this case the dreaded Goretide. The perfect place to start exploring the Age of Sigmar. ----- The war is over, and the Mortal Realms have all but fallen to Chaos... Khorgos Khul rampages across the fiery Realm of Aqshy, hunting down mortal kind to slaughter or subjugate to Khorne. His Goretide have crushed all resistance... until the storm. From the heavens hurtle paladins clad in gold. Sent by Sigmar, the Stormcast Eternals have come to liberate all the realms from the yoke of Chaos. Their leader is Vandus Hammerhand, Lord-Celestant of the Hammers of Sigmar. After a long age of darkness, there is hope. Vandus must open the Gates of Azyr to unleash Sigmar's righteous fury against the damned. Everything depends on his victory.

30 review for The Gates of Azyr Limited Edition Hardcover: Warhammer Age of Sigmar Realmgate Wars Book

  1. 5 out of 5

    DarkChaplain

    Review also published here This is it, then. The Age of Sigmar has come... and left me cold, bored, frustrated and unsatisfied. There is very little to this novella. In fact, I am confused as to how there could be this little substance to this book. At 128 pages, I expected a lot more of... everything. Everything except mindless action, of course, since that is all you really get in this story. Especially when compared to other novellas Black Library has published, this one is bleak. Even Space Review also published here This is it, then. The Age of Sigmar has come... and left me cold, bored, frustrated and unsatisfied. There is very little to this novella. In fact, I am confused as to how there could be this little substance to this book. At 128 pages, I expected a lot more of... everything. Everything except mindless action, of course, since that is all you really get in this story. Especially when compared to other novellas Black Library has published, this one is bleak. Even Space Marine Battles stories like Blood and Fire, The Eternal Crusader or the Warhammer 40,000 starter set novella, Dark Vengeance, the various Gotrek & Felix novellas... they all offer more than this book did. A lot more. For one, they don't spend about 66% of the book with immortal, hammer-wielding, angelic supermen fighting enraged chaos-worshipping buffoons. Well, they often do have that, but not in one go. There are various scenes and characters involved to shake up the monotony of combat. This is not the case here. Once battle is joined (barely a third into the novella), it does not stop to even consider the mortal humans it introduced as early as chapter two, went into hiding in chapter three and did not reappear, act or become in any way useful until chapter 8, mere pages before the book's end. There didn't appear to be any point to these mortals apart from showing off the cruelty of the bloodreavers in chapters two and three, and to give protagonist Vandus Hammerhand, Lord-Celestant of the Stormcast Eternals, an opportunity to prattle about how he and his fellows are the bringers salvation. I did not like Vandus Hammerhand. In fact, I think I could have liked him, had he not been introduced as a wonderful, perfect "Sigmarine" (as people have taken to calling the Sigmar-serving Stormcast Eternals, due to their resemblance to Space Marines), first of the host and overall swell dude. The Eternals are mind-scrubbed. They got snatched away by the God-King Sigmar, mind-wiped and reforged into immortal warriors living pretty much only for war in Sigmar's name. Vandus Hammerhand didn't seem to have received that particular memo, since the moment he enters the realm of Aqshy, to reconquer the land and defeat Chaos Lord Korghos Khul, that his memories start returning. His name, his moments before being spirited away, memories of the realm he once defended... it all comes back to him. And it turns out that Khul and him have unfinished business to settle. Neither the return of his memories nor his emotions regarding them felt in any way satisfying to read about. The impact on Vandus was at the same time mind-numbing (for him) and yawn-inducing (for me). For being the first of the host, though, Vandus sure took a lot of taunting from his former enemy, Khul, to get a grip and unleash Sigmar's power. When the main character wonders why the heck he is still holding back against the guy who burned his village to the ground and is bathing the realm in Chaos (literally), you cannot help but ask yourself why a fool like that was picked to lead the glorious heroes tasked with cleansing the realms. In fact, I wanted Korghos Khul to win. At least he had some interesting ambitions (collecting the final skull to offer to his god Khorne, to top off his skull-pyramid and ascend to apparent daemonhood and lay waste to all the realms with his "Goretide"), humor and actual interaction with his lieutenants (all of which had silly names, like "Skullbrand the Bloodsecrator"). Where Khul showed actual excitement about fighting Vandus, the latter seemed to cower on top of his "Dracoth" (think He-Man sitting on his Battlecat Gringer, just that its a wingless dragon beast instead). I almost laughed when Vandus finally started to get serious and told his nemesis that "nothing remained" of his old self - just after he got paralyzed because of his memories, and before he encounters the surviving mortals. Even Ionus Cryptborn, the "Lord Relictor" of the Stormhost, would have made for a more compelling character. Let me quote a passage: Ionus smiled beneath his deathmask. If things had been different, he might have been pleased to recount the tale. He would have told of the debt he owed the God-King, and the ancient curse that his choice had made him subject to. He would have told of Nagash, the deity who slumbered still but would be sure to come for him when the toll of years was complete. He might have said that, yes, he was different, and that he was the Lord-Relictor of the Stormhost, privy to secrets that not even the Hammerhand had been made a party to, and that every road ahead of him was dark and filled with pain whatever the outcome of this battle. That is about as much as the reader gets to learn about Ionus Cryptborn, and all I could think of when reading it was that the Cryptborn's debt to Sigmar, the curse and his fallout with Nagash would've made for an exceedingly more compelling narrative than this one. The stakes of it all are very esoteric and intangible in this story. The realm is a broken wasteland, humanity is almost wiped out (in fact, Vandus is surprised to learn about the survivors after winning the battle), and the biggest motivation for the Stormhost seems to be that they do not wish to disappoint almighty, all-knowing Sigmar. I can't even fault Chris Wraight for this - that's simply how Games Workshop designed the lore for the Age of Sigmar tabletop game. Dull and uninspired, without any of the charme you'd find in Warhammer Fantasy stories before it. None of the humor, sense of wonder or adventure. It seems that in the grim darkness of the replacement of Warhammer Fantasy Battles, there is only war. In a nutshell, The Gates of Azyr is the story of two armies clashing for around 4-5 chapters before an anticlimactic end to the story. But as Vandus Hammerhand tells us that "truly, [the wars] are only just beginning". Maybe Vandus and Khul will even meet again, who can tell. As of now, I am even less eager to follow those...

  2. 5 out of 5

    Filip Mlody

    As a big fan of the previous Warhammer universe I was going into this with high hopes of a reset that will bring life into the world that (apart from End of Times) was stuck not progressing and not moving forward. Boy, was I mistaken... I won't go much into details but there are two words that describe this reading experience: Boring Cliches Prior to this book, I thought I like reading through epic battles. Now I have changed my mind. If you're new to the universe, and like having over half of the b As a big fan of the previous Warhammer universe I was going into this with high hopes of a reset that will bring life into the world that (apart from End of Times) was stuck not progressing and not moving forward. Boy, was I mistaken... I won't go much into details but there are two words that describe this reading experience: Boring Cliches Prior to this book, I thought I like reading through epic battles. Now I have changed my mind. If you're new to the universe, and like having over half of the book to be a description of one battle, I'm sure you might like it. Unfortunately I had to force myself to finish this and it is absolutely one of the worst books I have read in a while. I guess the whole reset in general, and the high fantasy new setting rather than the more interesting grimdark, means that I have to leave the franchise I have followed for almost twenty years and find a new one. If this book was supposed to be an epic entry of the Age of Sigmar, for me it's a complete fail and I'm going back to my End of Times novels where things at least are moving forward.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Roger

    I Loved it Vandus saw that already his captains were doing what was required of them. Ionus was leading the Retributors down from the heights and into the valley of fire. They would be charged with holding the line around the base of the portal, and there the Cryptborn’s strange powers would be tested as never before. Anactos had taken his Skyhost soaring into the rain-soaked storm, from where the assault on the magical wards would begin. As for Vandus, he had the bulk of the Stormhost with him – I Loved it Vandus saw that already his captains were doing what was required of them. Ionus was leading the Retributors down from the heights and into the valley of fire. They would be charged with holding the line around the base of the portal, and there the Cryptborn’s strange powers would be tested as never before. Anactos had taken his Skyhost soaring into the rain-soaked storm, from where the assault on the magical wards would begin. As for Vandus, he had the bulk of the Stormhost with him – the Liberators, destined to charge into the heart of the oncoming hordes, to take them on as no foe had taken them on for uncounted years. Their task was to engage the greatest of the creatures of Chaos, to prevent them from approaching the Gate, and to turn their advance in on itself, buying the precious time they needed

  4. 5 out of 5

    Alexander Draganov

    Wow! Holy Sigmar! Now that was a cool beginning to the new series! First of all, I want to say that unlike other fans, I do love the idea of the Stormcast Ethereals a.k.a Sigmarines. They are what I missed from the old fantasy Warhammer. I never could like the old human Empire, but these new warriors are amazing. The book itself is also amazing. Sigmar the God King sends his new divine knights into a realm of Chaos, ruled by a monstrous warlord of Khorne with an endless army of bloodthirsty canni Wow! Holy Sigmar! Now that was a cool beginning to the new series! First of all, I want to say that unlike other fans, I do love the idea of the Stormcast Ethereals a.k.a Sigmarines. They are what I missed from the old fantasy Warhammer. I never could like the old human Empire, but these new warriors are amazing. The book itself is also amazing. Sigmar the God King sends his new divine knights into a realm of Chaos, ruled by a monstrous warlord of Khorne with an endless army of bloodthirsty cannibals. Incredibly epic battle follows, and the way the tension between the two main characters - hero and villain is build is superb. The conclusion is great and with surprisingly touching human moment. Overall, that was one great fantasy book and I want more!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nicholas

    This is the first book to herald in the new Age of Sigmar in the Warhammer world. It's a novella, so its pretty easy to read and the story, albeit short, is engaging and well written.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Michael T Bradley

    I feel as if there will be a point in this ... book? novella? story? however you want to categorize it ... for everyone where they will turn to their metaphorical self and ask, 'What the hell am I reading here?' For me, it was exactly at the 50% mark, with this sentence: 'Even as the bulk of the Goretide waited for Khul’s orders, Skuldrak lumbered inchoately, bellowing in a haze of apoplexy as the flail bit deeper.' Yes, a good 75% of these words make sense, and even make sense together, but ... I feel as if there will be a point in this ... book? novella? story? however you want to categorize it ... for everyone where they will turn to their metaphorical self and ask, 'What the hell am I reading here?' For me, it was exactly at the 50% mark, with this sentence: 'Even as the bulk of the Goretide waited for Khul’s orders, Skuldrak lumbered inchoately, bellowing in a haze of apoplexy as the flail bit deeper.' Yes, a good 75% of these words make sense, and even make sense together, but ... seriously? A little context for those not in the know. A few years back now, the folks behind the Warhammer tabletop game made a momentous decision, and with the current version of Warhammer (5? 6?), they decided to change EVERYTHING. Rather than being a somewhat substandard D&D knock-off, where dwarves fought elves or whatever, they now decided they would be a Warhammer 40K knock-off! Where guys in metal armor fight elves or some shit! Now, I kid, but honestly, from everything I've seen/heard/read, the new version of WHF (Warhammer Fantasy), the tabletop game, looks AWESOME. They've thrown rules balance out the window, encourage silliness - and therefore more casual gaming, rather than people who prefer nerfing to storytelling - and overall it seems to be the revamp that the game desperately needed. It's all WAYYYY too expensive for my blood, but had I the money, time, and inclination, I'd definitely at least try it out. One of the sad side effects of this, however, is that it pretty much destroyed the Black Library's fictitious offshoot of WHF, which was ... less a knock-off of D&D, and more a ... grown-up D&D? It's tough to describe. It's epic fantasy, but not HEROIC fantasy. WHF has been stuck in the mud, blood & grime of the earth for the past 30 years, full of macabre situations and humor so dark you often find yourself grimace-laughing. It's wonderfully brutal, and gloriously amoral. And when the "event" happened a couple of years ago where it all ended, I got quite excited. Can you imagine D&D ever doing something like that, where literally Chaos gods win & the entire world is obliterated? It's insanity. My hats off to them for doing it at all. But ... I'm starting to feel like that's really where the WHF fiction line should have stayed (in oblivion). There's just ... no good way to tell a story when your entire universe consists of giant overpowered bro's just chest-bumping the shit out of each other & screaming until one side goes down (literally, not metaphorically ... though with the craziness of the new rules, I'm sure you could work that in, too). Chris Wraight, a normally very talented storyteller, here gives a damn good go of introducing us to the new world where Sigmar, a human-turned-god in the Old World, has been ... chilling or whatever ... for millennia, but now has decided to win the Realms back (there are eight Realms? I think? There's like ... Life, Death, Clouds, Amethyst - there appears to be no rhyme or reason to them), and to do so he's crafted Stormcast Eternals, which are Space Marines, but in gold armor and they carry warhammers so they're totally not just Space Marines. And they come down to the ground in poofs of magic air, NOT dropships, so they're totally not Space Marines (fans have begun calling them Sigmarines, which is perfect). Also, they were once humans (anyone who died fighting w/Sigmar's name on their lips belongs to Sigmar and could show up here), and they've been turned into superpowered, gigantor bro's with nothing left in their heart but fighting. But I must stress, they are NOT Space Marines. That would be silly! Soooo ... the gate of Azyr. Is ... a gate. On a world (not Azyr). Through which ... is something? Maybe another Realm. I missed that. There's a tribe of bloodreavers who wander around eating meat (like ... freshly killed meat. Mostly human) and yelling out things like their names (Rakh! Vekhhhkkhhh!) to each other, and riding giant beast creatures. They fight for a giant Chaos baddie (Karg Is Cool? I think?) and are bad guys. And two "normal" humans are running away from them. The bloodreavers (along with Karg Is Cool, leading .... the Goretide) attack the two nice people! But then! The Sigmarines appear! Because they want the gate! Fighting ensues!!!!! It ensues like you wouldn't believe! Have I mentioned Skuldrak yet? Have I mentioned ... Skuldrak THE BLOODSECRATOR yet? His name is Skuldrak the Bloodsecrator, and that's really all you need to know. Okay, I lied: That's not all you need to know. Here's the rest of what you need to know: Skuldrak the Bloodsecrator is the most well-crafted, three-dimensional character in this entire book. Let me ... let me repeat that. SKULDRAK THE BLOODSECRATOR ... has the most depth of anyone in this mess of a tale. Every POV we got from him (only two or three) added to my enjoyment. Here's why: Skuldrak likes skulls (probably not a coincidence). He needs but one more to complete his collection, and ... to do something. He's been collecting them so long, he can't really remember what getting them all will do. And he's not even sure if he cares anymore. But, hey, it's a living, right? And what else are you gonna do when you're like 9 feet tall, sworn to the blood god of Chaos, and TOTALLY not a Chaos Space Marine? Insert ubiquitous 'at least there's dental' joke here. The main draw I can see, as a fan of WHF, to this series, is MAYBE you'd want to read to see if one of your favorite characters has become a Stormcast Eternal? But then ... so what? I can't even think of someone, but let's say if Felix somehow became one, right? Sooooo .... so what? He's not going to really be Felix anymore, and all he's gonna do is wander around screaming BROOOO and chest-bumping things to death. Do I really want to read about that? I don't think so. I'm going to try some of the other stuff in Age of Sigmar just because ... I'm morbidly fascinated? But seriously. WTF were they thinking? #skuldrakthebloodsecrator #bloodsecratortrilogynow

  7. 4 out of 5

    Eliran

    Well, this isn't what I expected at all. This book is honestly a extension of the story from the Age of Sigmar starter box, and not a good one at that. The 96 page manual for the game tellls the story better than this novel! It's not that I dislike the setting, there's a lot of potential(and I play Stormcasts as my army). Shoot, if these guys are supposed to be "Sigmarines" then why not take a lage from the other Space Marine novels and make the focus on battles and action? I'm fine with some 10 Well, this isn't what I expected at all. This book is honestly a extension of the story from the Age of Sigmar starter box, and not a good one at that. The 96 page manual for the game tellls the story better than this novel! It's not that I dislike the setting, there's a lot of potential(and I play Stormcasts as my army). Shoot, if these guys are supposed to be "Sigmarines" then why not take a lage from the other Space Marine novels and make the focus on battles and action? I'm fine with some 100 pages of "battle porn", but this book didn't even deliver on that. Therein lies my discontent, the missed potential this book had. The personal drama Vandus Hammerhand has, his shock of seeing his homeland in ruin and the memories of his previous life before his reforging(a physical and spiritual rebirth) flooding back to his memory could've been something interesting to explore but was barley dealt with. Nevermind how much of a pushover he was initially, has almost made me lose respect for him(the narritive in the manual made him look like a badass! At least the model looks cool). If this was my first exposure to AoS lore, I'd be dissapointed. Thankfully, the stories written in the game manuals are better written, along with the campaign books. The 4 part aduidodrama(Prisoner of the Black Sun, Sands of Blood, Lords of Helstone and Bridge of Seven Sorrows) are excellent stories and overall good. The only redeeming factor I could give this and why I didn't give it 2 stars was Johnathan Keeble's voice acting for the audiobook. He did an excellent job bringing emotion and voice to the rather dull characers.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Adam Lines

    A short, enjoyable quick read.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Dylan

    This was interesting. it was a fun novella, but i was really hoping it would give more insight into how the Age of Sigmar came about, it being the first book to take place in the new setting. What it *is*, and this is by no means a bad thing, is a narrative retelling of the events that take place in the starter set. Which is actually kindof a good and needed thing. The End Times novelizations were a retelling of the textbook-like accounts of each volume. However in the Age of Sigmar box, it only This was interesting. it was a fun novella, but i was really hoping it would give more insight into how the Age of Sigmar came about, it being the first book to take place in the new setting. What it *is*, and this is by no means a bad thing, is a narrative retelling of the events that take place in the starter set. Which is actually kindof a good and needed thing. The End Times novelizations were a retelling of the textbook-like accounts of each volume. However in the Age of Sigmar box, it only presents you with the scenarios, not the story background of what the events meant or how they turned out. Also Chris Wraight is a fun author and he does good stuff. I like his Space Wolf novels better, and there wasn't a lot of characterization going on in this book, but it was still a worthwhile read. Really, i'm just sorry there isn't more to it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Michael Dodd

    Warhammer is dead, long live Warhammer! That’s right, the old Warhammer is gone and in its place is Age of Sigmar, and Black Library have got straight in on the action with Chris Wraight’s latest novella, The Gates of Azyr. This is a whole new chapter for Warhammer, set thousands of years after the events of the End Times, with endless scope for brand new storytelling. Running to the usual 120-ish pages, the book introduces the new Stormcast Eternals led by Vandus Hammerhand and the Khorne force Warhammer is dead, long live Warhammer! That’s right, the old Warhammer is gone and in its place is Age of Sigmar, and Black Library have got straight in on the action with Chris Wraight’s latest novella, The Gates of Azyr. This is a whole new chapter for Warhammer, set thousands of years after the events of the End Times, with endless scope for brand new storytelling. Running to the usual 120-ish pages, the book introduces the new Stormcast Eternals led by Vandus Hammerhand and the Khorne forces of Khorgos Khul, as Sigmar’s forces make their first strike into the Realm of Fire and finally strike back against the armies of Chaos. Read the rest of the review at https://trackofwords.wordpress.com/20...

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jordan

    Well, here it is. The first story in the new Age of Sigmar setting. And here I am, two years late to the party. This actually the third or fourth time I've read it, as I picked up the first omnibus after grumpily realizing that my beloved Old World of Warhammer Fantasy was dead and a new highly-trademarkable replacement had come, and I needed to either get on the AoS train or watch it vanish into the sunset of increased GW profits. The first time I rolled my eyes pretty hard, the second I got bu Well, here it is. The first story in the new Age of Sigmar setting. And here I am, two years late to the party. This actually the third or fourth time I've read it, as I picked up the first omnibus after grumpily realizing that my beloved Old World of Warhammer Fantasy was dead and a new highly-trademarkable replacement had come, and I needed to either get on the AoS train or watch it vanish into the sunset of increased GW profits. The first time I rolled my eyes pretty hard, the second I got busy with another book clamoring for my attention and didn't feel like simultaneously trying to shoehorn in the hippopotamic mass of a BL omnibus into my already fraying early-1980s-model brain, and...I forget what happened the third time. But the AoS tabletop RPG looms on the horizon, crafted by some of the same talents that forged the fantastic The One Ring RPG (RIP), and now I have to learn the lore. So here we go, and anyone who knows me or reads my reviews knows I am a huge homer for paladins of all stripes, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't more than a little drawn to the thought that not only is the Big S real, he survived the End Times and the Old World's ending, he's more powerful than ever and Very Angry about evil running rampant, and *finally* a Warhammer fantasy setting actually has some real Good-aligned firepower to stand up to the Chaos Gods. I don't mind grim darkness, but it needs the light of actual hope to give it much meaning beyond dreary hopelessness. Call it too much Tolkien (all hail) exposure - I don't know what else to tell you. Chris Wraight is one of my favorite BL authors, both in WHF and 40K, and as at least one other reviewer has noted, is at his best when he gets to put flesh on the bones of well-known but relatively unexplored people and places in the vast lore of the settings, such as Ludwig Schwarzhelm in WHF or the M32-era Battle of the Fang in 40K. Here he has the unenviable task of trying to give us a story undoubtedly rooted in box artwork and the names of hero units, and under those conditions does all right. It's like trying to make a book out of a power metal album, if that makes any sense (and we all know most metal lyrics only do about half the time). This is already way too long, so here are what I think are the strengths and weaknesses: STRENGTHS: The characters are distinct enough to be generally interesting, if not terribly surprising. The prose certainly can paint a clear picture. Wraight wisely chooses to show us the overall feel of the battle by choosing specific duels and scenes, rather than staying at the tactical map level and dryly telling us about unit movements and lines of march. It worked for Homer, and Homer would at least, I think, have an appreciation for what's going on here. Wraight also shows the looming thought of how boring final victory actually is to war-crazed loonies like Khorne and his ilk, and the ennui and apathy that sets in when they have no one left worth fighting. The emptiness isn't just there for them - the nameless tribe of innocents caught in the middle have no society or culture left. They don't even know any other gods to call on in their final hours, or even a tribe name to cry out as they sell their lives as dearly as they can. We're seeing some of that dull misery and dreariness that shows up when you follow grim darkness to its (near) end. WEAKNESSES: Wraight has too much to do and not enough pages to do it in. I don't own any army books, so for me and others in my position who don't play the miniature games, even a small amount of world-building (beyond the new opening crawl) would have helped us settle in a bit. He has to introduce us to the Mortal Realms, their history, and the gods who are battling for supremacy, in addition to the Tale-of-the-Box-Set-Cover-Art he's been commissioned to deliver. I think these are functions of the situations that Wraight likely found himself in rather than failings built on a lack of skill or poor decisions, though. Use of the word "Bloodsecrator", which is beyond stupid and sounds like something from a pretentious fanfiction piece (or a corporate-mandated use). The Stormcasts' bold speechifying is less impressive than their Chaotic counterparts'. Wraight's use of superlatives and adjectives gets a bit overheated here (though it's a bit ironically appropriate), but it has a certain gravitas, and let me tell you, I wandered into an R.A. Salvatore novel earlier this week, and *his* narration and dialogue sent me running as fast as I could within less than sixty pages. Wraight is doing fine here, given the uncertainty of his terrain. TL;DR - this is an adequate if slightly predictable start to life in the Mortal Realms, especially within the context of a short novella. I'm told the Age of Sigmar is finding its footing, so I aim to press on and see what happens next.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Karl Ljungberg

    I'm not the most dedicated Warhammer fan. In fact, you'd not be wrong to question my status as a "fan of Warhammer". Not because I don't like it but because I've never really invested into this universe. Or franchise. Or setting. Whatever you want to call it. I never bought any of the miniatures or read any of the books so my only glimpse into this universe has been through my friends and the video games. But this year I decided that I should at least sample it and see for myself. The Gates of Az I'm not the most dedicated Warhammer fan. In fact, you'd not be wrong to question my status as a "fan of Warhammer". Not because I don't like it but because I've never really invested into this universe. Or franchise. Or setting. Whatever you want to call it. I never bought any of the miniatures or read any of the books so my only glimpse into this universe has been through my friends and the video games. But this year I decided that I should at least sample it and see for myself. The Gates of Azyr seemed to be a good place to start as it followed directly after the reboot of the Warhammer Fantasy universe. It was short and relatively cheap to get a hold of and, quite honestly, the cover was badass. And... for all intents of purposes, it was a good place to start. The novel depicts merely a single battle but there is enough fluff to introduce the two factions you probably need to know going forward: the Eternals and Chaos. Basically good (the Eternals) and bad (Chaos). And it gives our first hero, Vandus Hammerhand, and villain to follow and just enough drama to make it interesting. But going in, you have to understand that it is short so it does not spend much time setting up characters or even the setting. It's meant to be little more than a sliver of flavor to get you interested. Something that surprised me was how intricate the language used was. There were plenty of words I'd never really heard before and had to look up and others that I didn't really expect in a novella that basically boils down to good guys with hammers fight bad guys with axes. And a lot of violence. Like, so much. This was at first a positive surprise but it eventually became a bit of a hassle. Because despite its relatively short length, it took me a while to finish it. I mostly read to and from work and expected this to be done in a day or two but because of the language I often had to stop and start again and sometimes the way it was written and edited made it easy to lose my place. That and the lack of built up characters is really my two complaints about this novella. I didn't expect too much out of it, considering it was only 120 odd pages, but even for what I got it was a bit weak. It used plenty of names and titles and nicknames that it was easy to get lost when it was describing battles or conversations. I often found myself momentarily confused as to who was doing who. Part of this is because I'm definitely not up on my Warhammer lingo but some of it was just poorly established. Despite that, however, I still think this was a worthwhile start. The start was a bit slow but once it got going I was genuinely into it and enjoying myself. What little taste I got of Vandus and Ionus made me curious about their futures and how they were gonna go about wresting the lands back from Chaos' forces. However, if you're not into battles described in detail and can't stomach/don't desire violence then this isn't for you. It's more or less thirty, forty pages divided between setup and conclusion and then just one drawn out battle in between. It's well written but can be a chore to read in parts and ultimately lacks deep characters... ... but, man, it was a lot of fun to read.

  13. 5 out of 5

    The Good Man’s Reviews

    CAUTION HERE MAY BE SPOILERS I wanted to read these Realmgate books after I read my first AoS book the Eight Lamen Spear of Shadows, i wanted a little backstory into what the hell this Age of Sigmar book series is about and everyone seemed to agree that the Realgate Wars books are the somewhat official entry into the AoS universe. Right away i gotta say i really liked this opening short story, i liked the idea that this is like old works Warhammer except the Gods take a more active role in the wo CAUTION HERE MAY BE SPOILERS I wanted to read these Realmgate books after I read my first AoS book the Eight Lamen Spear of Shadows, i wanted a little backstory into what the hell this Age of Sigmar book series is about and everyone seemed to agree that the Realgate Wars books are the somewhat official entry into the AoS universe. Right away i gotta say i really liked this opening short story, i liked the idea that this is like old works Warhammer except the Gods take a more active role in the world. I also liked the idea that the world has gone to sh*t and Sigmar has sent his own team of Avenger like heavy hitters to sort things out. The Good Stuff - i like the Stormcast Eternals. The whole idea that previous warriors from the old world got zapped up to warhammer heaven to be "reforged" and made to be taller and bigger than any mortal, with a sweet blue and gold crafted full body armour and a deadly warhammer weapon. The idea that guys gets beamed down with lightening to kick some ass tells you that Sigmar is pulling no punches, this book of Revelation, God sending down his angels to sort out the Devil. - The very idea that eveyone in the world is either a follower of Khorne or just a half starved, terrified scavenger sets the scene as what happens when chaod and thr chaos Gods have free rein. - Khorgus Kull, this guy is one series bad ass. Once everyone in the world was killed he killed just about everyone who wasnt allied under his banner. I loged the idea that hes just waiting for that ine skull to top his pyramid in the hopes of ascending to demonhood. Its a good idea and i love how focussed his is on it. - This story is one big battle scene after another, you get a little backstory about characters and thisbis where the great writting comes out, the author does so much with so little, you dont get pages of backstory because its unnecessary, its short, its sweet and it works. You get all you need to know and nothing more. The Bad Stuff - The only thing i found weird was the idea that some of the Eternals have wings, like white feathered angel wings. Not that i didn't like it, it just doesn't seem to fit with everything ive come to expect of warhammer. But that being said this is a whole new genre of warhammer novels and they seem to be writing the rukes as they go, so maybe this is the norm in this books? Maybe. Who knows? Honesty ive read some of the reviews about this book and most people seem bot to like it. Not sure why i really enjoyed and am looking forward to seeing where these novels go. 🙌🏻🙏🏻

  14. 4 out of 5

    Callum Shephard

    There are few things more divisive in this world than massive reboots of beloved franchises. Often they are the source of fan rage and, to be blunt, they’re extraordinarily easy to get wrong. Start copying ideas from the old universe or rely too much upon pop culture nostalgia (hello JJ Abrams) and it’s insulting to devoted fans who stuck with the universe. Don’t change enough and the reboot is seen as unnecessary, adding nothing to the franchise and cutting short countless ongoing interesting s There are few things more divisive in this world than massive reboots of beloved franchises. Often they are the source of fan rage and, to be blunt, they’re extraordinarily easy to get wrong. Start copying ideas from the old universe or rely too much upon pop culture nostalgia (hello JJ Abrams) and it’s insulting to devoted fans who stuck with the universe. Don’t change enough and the reboot is seen as unnecessary, adding nothing to the franchise and cutting short countless ongoing interesting stories. Change too much and you alienate fans, anyone interested in the series, and end up betraying the setting. The first story of a reboot needs to kick it out of the park, needs to sell people on the very idea of the new status quo. It needs to show the potential for new stories, establish the new rules, fully explore the setting’s origins and set the rules, while at the same time showing a glimpse of what could follow. It needs to ultimately serve as a pilot for a future series, and in this regard The Gates of Azyr doesn’t work. Don’t misread this, it’s hardly a bad novella, and there’s plenty of good or interesting concepts in here, but it just doesn’t work as an introduction. In part the book’s failings are down to the novella’s short length and having to include a full battle, advertise all the shiny new units, and add new characters, but it might also be down to the author. Chris Wraight is a talented man, of that there’s no doubt, but his successes seem to often rely upon audience familiarity with the setting. Battle of the Fang and Wrath of Iron (a novel which, upon re-reading, desperately deserves a re-review to cover its far more prominent strengths) both worked because they followed long established points and ideas in a universe where the rules were already set up. Neither required much introduction from the forces involved, and followed long established story ideas, so they needed no real time to establish the world in of itself. The opening chapters of Gates of Azyr are written in this same way, but the problem is that there’s not enough time spent really establishing the new setting. We have a brief set up, a few pages long, establishing Sigmar’s new army of Stormcast Eternals, ready to assault the mortal realms and reclaim it. This is delivered via a speech, yet there’s not nearly enough time spent establishing who these people are, enforcing the sheer significance of this event, and no time is spent detailing just what we’ve missed between the fall of the Old World and this one. It’s only later on when we start to get some real information about the Eternals, and while interesting, unfortunately a lot of it leans towards an unfortunate trend. When the models were introduced, many fans just brushed off the designs (pauldrons and all) as being astartes stand-ins for Fantasy. The book sadly only helps to enforce this with every bit of information. Along with being former mortal men, heroes selected to be raised to the ranks of the god of mankind’s crusading armies, remembering little of their prior lives, their ultra-disciplined nature and thoughts reflect space marines more than they do any kind of Fantasy army. Still, with all of this, it was made clear that the book still had some benefits, so what worked here? First of all, there were some obvious stabs to establish Chaos as a reigning force which did work extraordinarily well. In a short space of time the reader is given a multitude of varied examples of Chaos characters, their realm’s history and what sort of nightmare the place has become. It’s brief but certainly serviceable, acting more like an exaggerated version of Nosrica were it overrun by Khorne’s worst aspects. It’s hardly overt, but the few scenes we do get to focus upon world building are certainly quite interesting, and the warlord Khorgos Khul in particular is given one hell of an introduction. At the same time, while the astartes point stands,there are points where the Eternals do gain an interesting edge. In particular a moment where half-forgotten memories flood a warrior’s mind, reflecting upon his past life, and their introduction establishes the kind of bombastic speech which really sets the tone for the story. It is glorious, and like the dialogue there’s an odd charm in it’s archaically stilted manner, more akin to something from older editions or early 2000AD tales than anything else. Plus, for the short time we do see them, the Eternals do prove themselves to be an army with a great deal of interesting potential behind them storywise. If they’re given another tale to actually focus upon their society and true character building, I can see them being a fascinating force to read about despite the obvious astartes connections. Moving away from each side and onto the story itself, the main meat of The Gates of Azyr revolves around the first big conflict between Chaos and the Eternals in generations. It’s extremely streamlined, sticking to a few big objectives and it hits all the right notes as a showpiece. The reader is given opportunities to see the new units in action one at a time, and is given a good impression of just how each army will fight, from the regimented forces of the Eternals to Khorne’s unrelenting fury. We see them unit by unit, and while admittedly a little clunky, it does help to provide some good grounding to see their role on the battlefield without it ever seeming too much like an open attempt to sell miniatures. It’s further helped by how the whole battle really establishes the realms and the gate system, ranging from the importance of holding each one to how they operate to the key signifiers reflecting where they link between. The actual fighting itself is satisfyingly bloody, brutal and swift. In Wraight’s usual manner it’s more reliant upon the reader building an image in their head from very general descriptions of individual events rather than a broad, sweeping view of the whole conflict. In this case it works to a degree, as while it doesn’t present the battle as being on quite the scale as some might hope, it better reflects the more skirmish style nature of Age of Sigmar and allows for more memorable duels, brawls and fights than trying to cover everything at once. Again, The Gates of Azyr is hardly bad but it’s definitely not the start this new setting needed. We should have seen a series of short tales in an anthology better exploring the setting as a whole, or a full novel by one of Black Library’s heavy hitting authors, or perhaps even a more atmospheric world-building piece. Unless you’re already familiar with the setting, concepts and ideas behind the new world, this one is a book you should hold off on for the moment. Wait until you get a better idea of how the setting works, then take a gander for some decent if unremarkable sword porn.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Hawke Embers

    The Age of Sigmar is upon us! Or as the forces of darkness/Chaos are calling it: Oh [email protected]#*! The Gates of Azyr is the first entry in the Realm Gate wars series, a novella that sets up the coming crusade of light against the forces of darkness/Chaos. The Dark Gods of Chaos have been busy since the God King Sigmar closed the gates of Azyr and allowed the forces of Chaos to run rampant, killing all that cross their path. With this novella, the God King Sigmar waits no longer! Sending forth his legions The Age of Sigmar is upon us! Or as the forces of darkness/Chaos are calling it: Oh [email protected]#*! The Gates of Azyr is the first entry in the Realm Gate wars series, a novella that sets up the coming crusade of light against the forces of darkness/Chaos. The Dark Gods of Chaos have been busy since the God King Sigmar closed the gates of Azyr and allowed the forces of Chaos to run rampant, killing all that cross their path. With this novella, the God King Sigmar waits no longer! Sending forth his legions in a tide of lightning and presumably to the tune of Heavy Metal music. The series has a cool concept, taking huge inspiration from WH Fantasy lore and Norse Mythology with Azyr being Valhalla; a heavenly place where warriors go upon death and are reforged into warrior gods. The Realms in the "Realmgate Wars" are also essentially the 9 realms from Norse Myth. Where this story falls over is the main character, he comes across as immature and far too uncertain for the warrior general of a heavenly host of warriors. The combat also tends to focus a little too much on certain actions in order to highlight some of the new warriors; which feels rather forced. The good news is that this novella has enough interesting elements to make one want to read the next full entry. The narrative opens up with survivors fleeing Chaos raiders, giving us a glimpse at harsh mortal reality before said mortals witness the coming of warrior gods, its enough to ground the narrative. A 3 out of 5

  16. 5 out of 5

    Victor Ward

    Clearly meant to be an introduction book to the new Age of Sigmar series, this book outlines a lot of the basics and focuses on the character and names of the two opposing sides from the introductory material. There isn't room for plot twists or deep philosophies amongst the constant fighting, but some good key elements are laid out here that define Age of Sigmar's break from its more tolkien-esque roots: * The good guys are now shinier and less human. You'd think this would actually make it more Clearly meant to be an introduction book to the new Age of Sigmar series, this book outlines a lot of the basics and focuses on the character and names of the two opposing sides from the introductory material. There isn't room for plot twists or deep philosophies amongst the constant fighting, but some good key elements are laid out here that define Age of Sigmar's break from its more tolkien-esque roots: * The good guys are now shinier and less human. You'd think this would actually make it more tolkien-like but they also happen to be PTSD riddled veterans who are losing their humanity in a constant stream of violent conflict and lost memories. Stormcast may look shiny, but I think they might be the most 'grimdark' idea the Black Libary has ever conceived. Imagine being saved by your god only to be turned into a weapon good for nothing but fighting in endless wars a thousand years after everyone you cared about died without you and you get the gist. * The bad guys have some more dimensions to them as they've been raised in a world that's only ever known the constant conflict and defilement of Chaos. They are still all about as deep as a kiddie pool, but its a step in the right direction. Probably about as deep as we'll ever get to an enemy whose two biggest traits are killing without thought and eating those they kill. In the end it's a good introduction that shows some promise, but is hampered by the need to fill out all the checkboxes laid out by the owners of the IP.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Layth Al-Najjar

    The first novel in a line of many expensive books I do not pretend to know what the appeal of wargaming is, but something I can really get behind is the stories people fabricate around them. This first foray into the so-called AGE OF SIGMAR(tm) reflects all of that, complete with a lurid description of the named characters of the piece, then establishing them as demi-deitic entities with opposite answers to The question "do you like violence?" The resulting conflict is then is not so much a fight The first novel in a line of many expensive books I do not pretend to know what the appeal of wargaming is, but something I can really get behind is the stories people fabricate around them. This first foray into the so-called AGE OF SIGMAR(tm) reflects all of that, complete with a lurid description of the named characters of the piece, then establishing them as demi-deitic entities with opposite answers to The question "do you like violence?" The resulting conflict is then is not so much a fight at that point as an argument of opinions with sword strike and a poor wingless dragon some cruel bastard had nailed a saddle to. Something I really appreciated about novels of the Old world was how 80's the content was; the dwarves had Mohawks ;there were rat people who shot guns of radioactive rock at lizard robot people; almost an entire quarter of the characters came from a satanic panic heavy metal stereotype list. That's all gone now (maybe?) so all that's left to wonder is the grand question of all marketers vying for that great white money whale of MAINSTREAM APPEAL(tm): will you like it if you just picked it up in a bargain bin? To that end ¿ye¡no!be? Nonsensical question for the book: does anyone non-cannibal eat anything at all? Can they eat or is this one of those DISBELIEVING WILLY SUSPENSIONS (tm)

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy German

    Too short for what Black Library asks for it. It's also still a pain to have to pull down their books outside of Amazon and manually put them on the Kindle. I'd read a lot more Warhammer books if I could get them direct. On top of that buying direct from BL was a pain... their site is crap. With the Age of Sigmar I'm not sure what the books are going to be about. Those involved in the action have no human element. They are Kurt Russel from the beginning of Soldier. It's hard to see how that will Too short for what Black Library asks for it. It's also still a pain to have to pull down their books outside of Amazon and manually put them on the Kindle. I'd read a lot more Warhammer books if I could get them direct. On top of that buying direct from BL was a pain... their site is crap. With the Age of Sigmar I'm not sure what the books are going to be about. Those involved in the action have no human element. They are Kurt Russel from the beginning of Soldier. It's hard to see how that will be compelling. This novella was ok, it's essentially the first appearance of the Stormcast and does provide fluff for the game, which is good for sure. I wouldn't say it's a good book, but as a way to ingest the lore of the game it's not bad. Particularly as a supplement the fluff in the rule books.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Danny Montgomery

    I think this was before they decided that Stormcast immediately shoot like lighting back to Azyr for reforging when they die. Maybe its because of that they really didn't want to show weakness by having Stormcast die in battle. I am not saying it doesn't happen but they keep talking about how they are outnumbered like 4000000 for each Stormcast, but are pretty much untouchable. You can't build suspense when your characters are playing in "God-Mode"Other books in the Realm Gate wars are guilty of I think this was before they decided that Stormcast immediately shoot like lighting back to Azyr for reforging when they die. Maybe its because of that they really didn't want to show weakness by having Stormcast die in battle. I am not saying it doesn't happen but they keep talking about how they are outnumbered like 4000000 for each Stormcast, but are pretty much untouchable. You can't build suspense when your characters are playing in "God-Mode"Other books in the Realm Gate wars are guilty of making the Stormcast certain of victory, but this is probably the worst offenders. Adding the instant soul sending for "reforging" is needed so they can allow the good guys to die and still come back. Basically if you have a story where 1000 soldiers fight 12000 soldiers, even if those 1000 are super skilled and buff it seems cheesy and fake if only like 2-5 of them get injured and die.

  20. 4 out of 5

    C. Scott Kippen

    Wonderfully narrated, but the story is uninteresting and boring. The Age of Sigmar world is so uninteresting compared to the Old World. They are trying to build the world, but they are failing. The Old World lived and breathed. It had heroes, peasants, merchants, and all the others. The AoS world has only grand clashes between good and evil, and the everyday person is not featured really at all. I understand why GW re-did the game of Fantasy, but I don't understand why a new game caused the destr Wonderfully narrated, but the story is uninteresting and boring. The Age of Sigmar world is so uninteresting compared to the Old World. They are trying to build the world, but they are failing. The Old World lived and breathed. It had heroes, peasants, merchants, and all the others. The AoS world has only grand clashes between good and evil, and the everyday person is not featured really at all. I understand why GW re-did the game of Fantasy, but I don't understand why a new game caused the destruction of the Old World and all its depth and interest. There is good fiction in the Age of Sigmar line, but so far none of it is as good as anything from the Old World.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Slawomir

    Gives insight in to world but... As a jackhammer collector and owner of the Age of Sigmar box set I was quite tempted to get to know more about my painted war host. This book gives you a brilliant background to box set and the scenarios contained inside. Unfortunately, at least for me, it was lacking something. The book itself was clearly made based on the scenarios and therefore was missing on the story and focusing a lot on descriptions . Nevertheless I am still going to buy the next instalment Gives insight in to world but... As a jackhammer collector and owner of the Age of Sigmar box set I was quite tempted to get to know more about my painted war host. This book gives you a brilliant background to box set and the scenarios contained inside. Unfortunately, at least for me, it was lacking something. The book itself was clearly made based on the scenarios and therefore was missing on the story and focusing a lot on descriptions . Nevertheless I am still going to buy the next instalment... Not because of the book but because of Age of Sigmar box.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kris Deters

    Listened to the audio book while painting. The narration was quite good, however the story was dull. The majority of the book is one battle, with very little character development. I will listen to the next book, but I hope there starts to be more focus on character and less on the cosmically devastating impact of each hammer swing. The beginning and end, with focus on character interaction and world building, were the best parts of the book.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Scott Waldie

    It’s little more than a giant battle scene which serves as an establishing shot for the Age of Sigmar, but Wraight’s prose is glorious, conjuring imagery like an endless power metal video, and the messages of reclamation and post-Chaos are inspirational enough to want to dive further into the fiction of this new Warhammer fantasy setting. And, come on...the Stormcast Eternals? How could you not cheer with a faction name like that?

  24. 4 out of 5

    Cesar Perez

    It's just an intro. All set up, no real pay off, but it's a fun quick read. Plenty of action, not much characterization or anything else. If you have the Warhammer: Age of Sigmar Starter Set it might spark your imagination, as this book uses those models to tell it's short story. The tale continues in the next book.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Denmark

    A good introduction to the age of sigmar universe. A good introduction to the age of sigmar universe. This eBook is free to no reason not to pick it up if your getting into aos. It's a short and enjoyable read.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jordan Steinhoff

    I know this is a novella and is just supposed to help you dip your toes into the new Warhammer world but it's thin even by that standard. It was ok but I bet I could have skipped it and just moved onto one of the full novels without negative impacts.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Declan Waters

    Games Workshop's first book of the world that is, after the world that was... its a good fun story for those interested in learning the lore although it does (naturally) concentrate on the first meeting of the characters from the starter set for the Age of Sigmar wargame.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Morbus Iff

    I've never read any Warhammer fiction and the size and breadth of hundreds of books is appealing. But I hope they're not always just long and drawn out battle scenes. Which they probably are (I mean, duh, why would I think any less?). Maybe I should try Horus Heresy instead.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jesse Slater

    Fun read, very heavy metal epic in tone. The characters were given good characterization, very bombastic. The descriptions would have gotten a bit thick in reading, but worked well in the audiobook reading. Very epic. Good fun.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ned Leffingwell

    This is a book set in the Age of Sigmar universe. You get what it advertises, crazy high fantasy battles. I started this for a quick entertaining read and that is what it delivered. Not too deep but plenty of action. Recommended for Age of Sigmar fans.

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