Following on from my post about Knight of the Blazing Sun (and to some degree, from yesterday’s Dracula-related post), I thought I’d do something similar concerning Neferata: Blood of Nagash. More than one person (i.e. anyone at the Black Library Weekender) has likely already started reading it (or even finished it), but for the rest of you, it won’t be out for a month, so feel free to skip this post until after you’ve read it.
When I was offered the task of writing about the characters collectively known as ‘the Ancient Vampires’ I knew very little about them, other than that one had eaten a dragon, one had been eaten by his apprentice and the other was Neferata. The Undead have never been my thing, at least where WHF was concerned. Mostly because my thing was orcs and who needs anything else, right?
But I’m a quick study, and Mike Lee had done most of the hard graft already in his ‘Rise of Nagash’ trilogy. As I’m a fan of doing as little work as possible and still getting paid for it, this suited me quite well.
And then I saw the timelines in the various editions of the Vampire Counts army books, and I cried a little. Still, I persevered and, with significant aid from the ever-helpful BL editors, I managed (well, Graeme Lyon managed–I’m stealing the credit, though! That should count for something!) to create a strange Frankenstein of a chronology.
Incidentally, ‘Strange Frankenstein’ is the name of my horror-core band.
Neferata is an odd book. Time speeds up and slows down in it, like a herky-jerky film reel. It moves forward in fits and starts, and entirely from the perspective of a protagonist who is, at best, unreliable. Said protagonist–Neferata–is a monster and an unrepentant (though not lacking in self-awareness) one. Those she fights are monsters as well, and they use their followers and those caught in the middle like pieces in a savage game.
And it IS a game to them–Neferata, W’soran, Abhorash and even poor, doomed Ushoran–a game that they’ve played since before Cursed Lahmia fell and a game they’ll play until long after the Old World is dust. Empires rise and fall, the pieces change, but the game goes on.
Chronologically, the series falls fairly well into place between the ‘Rise of Nagash’ series and Graham McNeill’s ‘Legend of Sigmar’ series, and features characters from both fairly prominently (one of the benefits of immortal protagonists). Ever wondered what happened to Alcadizzar after he lopped off Nagash’s hand or where Khaled al Muntasir came from? What about Morath? It’s all in there. There are ties to ‘The War of Vengeance’ and ‘The Black Plague’ as well, if you look closely enough.
If that all sounds interesting to you, well, why not order your copy today? And be sure to check out the tie-in stories “Master of Mourkain” (from this year’s Games Day anthology, and soon to be an e-book, apparently) and “The Fangs of the Asp” as well.
And if you’ve read it and have questions, or want to know more about it (or Knight of the Blazing Sun for that matter) why not visit the Black Library Bolthole and drop me a line in the ‘Ask the Authors’ section?