Well, after finishing my previous book, I moved on to something that I have been looking forward to reading, Blood of Aenarion. Took me less than a week to get through this one, so here is the promised review.
This is the first book in a new trilogy following Tyrion & Teclis from the Black Library. The second book, Sword of Caledor will be released December 2012 and the conclusion to the series in December 2013.
For anybody who doesn’t know anything about these elven twins (how could you not?), you can see a battle report highlighting the abilities of Teclis here , and for Tyrion just take the magical abilities of Teclis and imagine combat abilities instead.
Since these books are fleshing out the story of Teclis & Tyrion which is mentioned in the High Elf army book (and I think in the BRB), I am not going to warn about any spoilers. Now for the book review.
The book starts off with Aenarion, right before the elves create the Vortex to save their land from the daemons that are invading it. Some important groundwork is laid establishing that he is the first Phoenix King, has married Morathi, and has drawn the Sword of Khaine. The action picks up quickly as Aenarion flies off on his dragon to the Isle of the Dead to buy time for Caledor (the best High Elf magician) and his mages to create the Vortex.
The daemons sense that something is going on and all converge upon the Isle. In the ensuing combat, Aenarion and his dragon manage to kill one of each type of greater deamon. Of significant note is the Keeper of Secrets, named N’Kari. As he is defeated, he manages to weave himself into the Vortex, albeit in a much weakened state.
Fast forward many years into the future. The twin brothers, Teclis and Tyrion are introduced. They live out in the country with their father, who has spent the family fortune working to restore power to the armour of Aenarion that was damaged in the final battle. Tyrion is exceptionally gifted with all martial abilities, has a natural grasp of strategy, and is a very likeable elf. On the other hand, Teclis is bed-ridden due to illness and is a rather grim elf, but has exhibited a gift for magic.
We also learn that unbeknownst to the elves, N’Kari has been slowly gathering his strength in the Vortex this whole time, so that he can eventually enact his vengeance upon Aenarion’s descendants (the Blood of Aenarion).
A party of high elves from the court of the Phoenix King show up to take the twins back to Lothern to be presented to the Phoenix King and to be tested for the curse of their bloodline (introduced by Aenarion drawing the Sword of Khaine).
Most of the book deals with the brothers being transplanted from their country life and being introduced to High Elf politics and society. It also details their supernatural innate abilities (including Tyrion defeating a famed duelist and Teclis casting a difficult spell without any training).
In the meantime, N’Kari manages to escape from the Vortex and gathers a force of Slannesh worshipers to support him. They begin to travel across Ulthuan killing members of Aenarion’s bloodline.
The court of the Phoenix King hears about the attacks and eventually figures out what links all of the attacks together. It is also revealed (to the reader) that one of Malekith’s spies is on the Phoenix King’s council and is relaying information back to the leader of the Druchii.
The plan is made to send all of Aenarion’s descendants to the Temple of Asuryan to keep them safe. This works double duty for the twins, since they had to go there anyway to be tested for the curse. Tyrion & Teclis both go through the test and are determined to not have any ill effects from the curse. A prophecy is also given to each of them, foreshadowing some of the great deeds that they will do.
N’Kari figures out what is going on and plans to mount an attack upon the shrine. Along with his growing force, he has also enlisted the assistance of daemons from the other Chaos gods. Lots of cultists, daemons, and elves die, but eventually N’Kari gets in to the shrine.
Teclis and Tyrion know that N’Kari is coming. Teclis determines that the only chance to stop the daemon is to channel the power from the Flame of Asuryan. Tyrion gets the unenviable task of distracting the daemon for long enough that Teclis is able to do this. Working together, the brothers are able to defeat the daemon, for now.
And that is where the book ends. Overall, it was an enjoyable read and I would definitely recommend it to any High Elf fan as it contains quite a bit of information about elven culture and about the two most prominent High Elf characters in the world. I don’t care much for all of the nasty details of what N’Kari and his gang get up to when they’re not fighting the elves, but that is a very minor part of the story. I also didn’t care for the ease with which the daemons broke their way into the Temple of Asuryan. Also, the Keeper of Secrets seems incredibly powerful, pretty much unstoppable except by harnessing the power of a god. It seems to me that if N’Kari was represented on the tabletop, he would probably be like a 10,000 point character. But these are minor complaints. I will definitely be buying Sword of Caledor when it comes out.