Good day to you all my friends at Out of the Boxing Gaming! Today I would like to recommend a good read. Writing a review or recommendation is not typical for me, but this book made such an impression that I feel like I need to share it with my hobby shop friends!
Gloomspite by Andy Clark. This is one of the newer releases from the Black Library that came to us in 2019. I just recently became a fan of the Age of Sigmar game and have been building a Gloomspite Gitz army, so I decided to pick up this book to see what it’s all about. Not to mention the cover of the colorful artwork depicts the ever-looming Bad Moon, with Scragrott the Loonking front and center, surrounded by squigs and moonclan grots!
I want to give you a little background, so you know what you are getting into without giving away too much. This book’s prolog starts off strong. A band of mercenaries from the Grand Alliance Order, called the Swords of Sigmar, go through a traumatic event resulting in the loss of their leader Varlen, brother to member Hendrick. Believing Varlen’s death was in sacrifice to deliver an important message to the city of Draconium, the Swords of Sigmar set off to warn the city and fulfil what they belief to be Varlen’s last wish…
The city of Draconium is already experiencing a run of bad omens. People are shouting prophecies in the middle of the town; bugs are starting to crawl in hordes out of sewers and cracks; odd holes appearing in basements that seem to have erupted from beneath the earth! Clearly the works of heretics… There must be a cult worshiping Chaos in Draconium, no? The city watch is on edge as they have no clue as to what is happening but refuse to seek aid from the Storm Cast Eternals. Draconium is a proud city and can protect its citizens without aid. When the Swords of Sigmar arrive, they are let into the city to deliver their message. Alas, their warning goes unheeded, and the watch refuse to open the gates to let them leave the town. The gates are not to be opened for any reason until they find the culprit of the odd happenings. Here is where everything starts to get fun.
“Listen child and heed me well, a grave warning you must fear. Get to bed and silent stay, Lest the blackencap might hear. Shuttered must the windows be, Your eyes, quickly close them fast! Or the Bad Moon’s light you’ll see, And the sight will be your last.”
This is the reason I loved this book so much. I would categorize this as Grim-dark Fantasy. The pace of the book builds you up. You get to learn about the Swords of Sigmar, and a little bit of each member’s background. They are all completely different, with diverse races and personalities. I mean this is basically a DnD campaign in a book. It has a perfect balance of different races and classes in the Swords of Sigmar and the chaos and hell they endure in the city of Draconium would make an excellent campaign for any DnD fan even if they are not a Warhammer fan. The slow pace and the buildup of chaos as things continue to grow out of control in the light of the Bad Moon is amazing. It truly gives you the best idea of how a Gloomspite Gitz army would fight a war on the table, and the madness ensued under the light of the Bad Moon. I now have this incredible image in my head of how every unit in my army would act and fight. This book does not leave any of them out! Hoppers and boingers bounce all over the city. Rockgut Troggeths burst from the earth with their beady eyes and gigantic clubs over their shoulders. Spider riders jumping over roofs and leaving webbings and traps throughout the alleys, capturing, and dragging away wrapped up citizens. I cannot tell you how excited I was when the Gobba Palooza made an appearance, or when a madcap shaman was casting spells! This book, though extremely graphic and somewhat terrifying, gave me such a great idea of how my favorite AOS army would be in real life. As soon as I finished this book, I was incredibly inspired to play a game! I made my boyfriend go to Out of The Box to play with me because I had a new image in my mind of how terrifying my army truly is, and how I should be playing them. It just made the tabletop game that much more fun for me after reading this book. I would highly recommend this book to any Age of Sigmar Warhammer fan, or to anyone who enjoys Grim-Dark Fantasy novels, this is a great read.
Happy reading, friends!