Valkia the Bloody by Sarah Cawkwell

I’ll sum up my views on this book now to save time. I am now calling this book Valkia the Bloody Brilliant. Now go collect some skulls for the skull throne.

If you’re still here I’ll elaborate a little. I bought this book for a couple of reasons. Firstly I think the author is a funny, intelligent and talented writer, but secondly because I enjoyed The Gildar Rift. Unlike her first novel this one is set in the northern wastes of the Warhammer setting. In chronicles the rise to power of a young warrior and her obsessive need to prove herself to Khorne the blood god. Valkia turns from an ambitious and talented warrior in to a vicious, ruthless and berserk killing machine. Do I need to go on?

There is more to this book than a pure hack and slash fest (although it achieves that rather well). Somehow this book manages to show the brutality and inherently evil nature of chaos as just another way of life. All this is done in a way that lets you as a reader see the consequences and lose of self whilst the characters clearly cannot. There is a horrific battle scene in this book between Valkia and a Deamon Prince of Slaneesh that I actually went back and read again. The way others are effected and drawn in to this duel is both unexpected and yet totally obvious. The insidious nature of Locephax is felt long after he is defeated and sows the seeds of distrust that lead to the great betrayal Valkia is forced to endure. Probably the coolest thing about this book is Valkia’s shield boss. I will not spoil it by telling you about it now, but I’m sure you’ll appreciate it when you get there.

I may have woken up this morning with the thought “Blood for the Blood God” running through my head. This is probably not a good think as I head off to work. This book well and truly got in my head. I could feel every bit of my daily frustration and rage being channeled in to the enemies of the Blood God. This book resonated with something primal inside me and I was swept along in a torrent of blood and gore.

The purpose of The Black Library is to leverage the intellectual property of Games Workshop. Or to put it a way that I can understand they are there to make me buy stuff. With the 6th Edition of Warhammer 40k having only just been released I can honestly say that this novel has inspired me to start a Chaos army. I just have to decide whether I want Valkia the Deamon Princess to head. Some conversion may be required but I think it may have to be done.

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