Book Review: The Siege of Naggarond (Warhammer: The End Times)

The Siege of Naggarond (Warhammer: The End Times)
Publisher: Games Workshop
Cost: $4.99
Page Count: 35
Release Date: 02/27/2015
Get it Here: The Black Library

Okay, at least The Seige of Naggarond is a better deal than yesterday’s waste of everything, Gotrek & Felix: Rememberers. Still, it’s odd that Marienburg’s Stand was thirty-two pages long and $3.99 while The Siege of Naggaron is only three pages more and it costs an extra dollar. OH Games Workshop and your horrible nickel and diming of gamers. Meanwhile With Ice and Sword was fifty pages long and costs the same as this one, so it’s the best deal out of the five End Times: Quick Reads Subscription pieces in both cost and quality. Don’t worry though, unlike Rememberers, which was so bad, it should be wiped from existence, The Siege of Naggarond is a decent read and falls squarely in the middle of these pieces. It’s a fun read and this makes four out of the five pieces in this subscription package that I can recommend with ease to fans of Warhammer Fantasy.

The Siege of Naggarond is a sequel to The Curse of Khaine. This tale is mentioned in passing in the very first End Times sourcebook: Nagash but this story really fleshes out these events and turns things into a battle well worth reading about. In Nagash is felt like Malekith just came in and slaughtered the army of Chaos on his own. Here you see that things weren’t so one-sided. Of course, this story was written by the same author who has peened several tales of Valkia the Bloody, so it only makes sense that she gets to write the death of this character who was almost synonymous with her. No, none of these are spoilers. The events of this story have been known for months and published in at least two other books. This is simply the first time we’ve gotten intimate details about the Siege.

For three-fourths of the book, the narration focuses on Kruath, a Dark Elf scout is is apparently the only survivor from The Tower of Volroth, which was utterly decimated by the forces of Chaos and their leader, Valkia the Bloody. Kruath was dispatched with a singular mission – to warn Naggarond of the approaching horde which exists only to murder everything in its path. Khorne likes his death after all. Kruath is successful and thanks to his long hard ride, Kouran Darkhand (my favorite Dark Elf) and his fellow residents of Naggarond are able to prepare for the coming battle. Much of the story is told from Kruath’s eyes as he watched the forces of druchii and Chaos do battle with each other. For the last fourth of the story we see things from the eyes of Darkhand himself as we learn that the entire tale is him reminiscing with Malekith, the Witch-King of the Dark Elves on their way to another encounter. The story is very well told, although it is a bit jarring when the narration switch over.

Like many of the stories in The End Times: Quick Reads Subscription, The Siege of Nagarrond is filled with battle descriptions. Here though, the focus is really on three core battles, each of which features Valkia the Bloody. Two of the battles are with Kouran Darkhand and the final one is with Malekith and his black dragon. Of course it’s not just the final battle showcased in The Siege of Nagarrond, but the final battle ever for Valkia the Blood. It’s a shame as she was one of the few female characters in Warhammer Fantasy and one of the fewer still with an actual model and stats for gaming. With her death all we really have left are Nefertata and Khalida (As a Tomb Kings player, I’m thankful my ladies are still intact!). Oh and Alarielle the Everqueen for the elves. Well, this is The End Times and so many characters are dying; you couldn’t give the few female characters in Warhammer a pass just because they are ladies.

The Siege of Nagarrond is a good story, despite its high cost to low page count ratio. At this point though, you shouldn’t be surprised by Games Workshop’s insane fiction prices, but hopefully the higher cost of these things goes into what the author’s pocket, but I doubt it. If you’re a fan of Valkia and/or the Dark Elves of Warhammer Fantasy, this is a really good read. It’s nice to get some concrete details about the siege instead of passing remarks about it in The End Times sourcebooks. You get to see a lot of characterization and depths in these thirty-five pages. Even if you are relatively new to Warhammer Fantasy or have never read a Valkia or Dark Elves story before, you will walk away with a pretty good understand of who the main characters are. Darkhand, Kruath and Valkia are especially well written and it’s a shame we won’t be seeing any of them in Ninth Edition when it comes out in a few months. All in all, this is a fine story and the only thing to be disappointed by in it is the price, and that’s no fault of the author.

So The End Times: Quick Reads Subscription is over. For fifteen and a half USD, you get 144 pages of content. That’s pretty expensive, even for Games Workshop where their 400 page novels usually run that much. Still four of the five stories are well worth reading and if you’re a Warhammer Fantasy fan, you will enjoy the content here. It is what it is. If you’re going to buy some of the stories, you might as well got the subscription route and save yourself three dollars or so.

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