Well, after hearing lots of good things about the Black Library from various podcasts, I have finally sampled my first offering from them. For those who are not aware, three books were released around the same time as the Storm of Magic expansion for Warhammer. Being more interested in High Elves than other races, I decided that I would pick up the Dragonmage book.
It is a very quick read, being just over 100 pages. The book takes place just before the “current” time of the Warhammer world, during a Storm of Magic. It focuses on the story of two of the contenders for the throne of the Phoenix King (FYI, the current Phoenix King is Finubar).I’ll try not to put any major spoilers in the review without fair warning first.
The book doesn’t really mess around and starts amidst a battle between the two rivals. The battle is resolved in short order with one side as the clear victor and the other retreating to lick his wounds.
The Ellyrian prince has enlisted the help of an elven mage who was thrown out of the Tower of Hoeth and has been trained by another in secret. She reveals to the prince a place of power in the ocean from where she will enact a ritual that will guarantee him the throne. He gathers a fleet of ships and some warriors and sets off with her toward the location.
Meanwhile, (as one might expect from the title of the book) the prince from Caledor decided that his best chance is to try and rouse the dragons from their slumber. He is able to wake a large group of dragons, enough that he and his soldiers can all ride to chase down and battle the Ellyrian prince.
**Major Spoilers (highlight to read)**
When the Caledorians arrive, the mage working for the Ellyrian prince has raised the arcane fulcrum from the ocean floor and has started her ritual. The dragons attack, and the mage holds them off for a while. Eventually, her strength starts to wane and she allows her mentor to take control.
When this occurs, her body transforms her into a Bloodthirster that then tears open a rift, allowing daemons to flood into the land. The dragons then turn their focus on the daemons, starting a massive air to air combat, which eventually leads to a showdown between the prince of Caledor and the Bloodthirster.
As the battle between daemon and dragon progresses, another force arrives. It seems like is is a skeletal lizardmen army, led by a Slann (Mazdumundai?) that then obliterates the daemons fairly casually. The lizardmen showing up isn’t too much of a surprise, since their awareness of this event is alluded to earlier in the book.
With the daemon threat gone, the Caledorian prince charges his wounded dragon at the new threat, the Slann, and it does not end well for the elf. The book ends with one of the Caledorians returning with the Ellyrian prince to Ulthuan and the Slann returning the Arcane Fulcrum to the depths of the ocean.
**End of Major Spoilers**
Overall, I enjoyed the book. I wish that it wouldn’t have been focused on High Elf infighting, since I would rather see them fight other races instead of themselves (and there are few enough of them as it is), but it was still good. It incorporates some of the concepts and creatures from Storm of Magic into it, so some of it might make more sense if you are familiar with the Storm of Magic ruleset, but it is not required to enjoy the book. I would highly recommend it for anybody interested in High Elves and I think it would still be enjoyable for people who just like the Fantasy world.
It will probably be a little bit before I read The Blood of Aenarion, since I have also been reading the Song of Fire and Ice trilogy, and I am reading the last released book in that right now. Once it is done, I will either start in on a Blood of Aenarion or possibly the Sundering trilogy. Let me know what you think of the reviews. Too long? Too short? Boring? Not interested?
Thanks for reading!