So, there’s been some discussion across the interwebs about what folks ought to read, in order to fully enjoy The Return of Nagash. Seeing as I’m the author, I thought I might make some suggestions. Naturally, many of these suggestions will have also been authored by me, because I just got my royalty statement, and I would like to goose those numbers a bit for next time. So, without further ado, let’s see what’s on my End Times list, shall we?
First, and most obvious, Mike Lee’s seminal series, The Rise of Nagash. Detailing Nagash’s rise from ambitious second son of a king, to necromancer and would-be usurper, and finally, to the murderous skeleton man we all know and love. As a bonus, you get the origin of the vampires, and the deeds and daring-do of the Most Interesting Man in the World–Arkhan the Black, as he woos and wins the heart of the Queen of Mysteries herself. All three books in the trilogy are available in this handy e-bundle from Black Library.
After that, you should definitely read the short stories, “Picking the Bones”, also by Mike Lee, and “The Master of Mourkain”, by me, available in this new e-bundle, Nagash: Descendants. The first describes the continuing adventures of Arkhan the Black, as he seeks to wrest control of Nagash’s legacy from his rivals, in the aftermath of The Rise of Nagash. “The Master of Mourkain”, on the other hand, follows the cunning vampire, Ushoran, as he encounters Nagash’s dark spirit in the barbaric kingdom of Strigos, and acts as a prelude to the next item on the list.
The item in question would be my own duology, The Blood of Nagash. Comprised of the books Neferata and Master of Death, it picks up after The Rise of Nagash, and follows the adventures of the vampires as they seek to build a new kingdom in the World’s Edge Mountains. Naturally, vampires being vampires, treachery and violence occur with regularity. And the grim specter of Nagash, of course, is never far away…
Next up, you might want to read “Ghoul-King: Conqueror of Worms” and “Ghoul-King: Empire of Maggots”, both by me. They don’t really add anything to the overall story, but they’re included in Nagash: Descendants so you might as well read them, right? Right.
After that, you should definitely check out God-King, by Graham McNeill, which details the confrontation between a newly resurrected Nagash and the founder of the Empire, Sigmar. God-King, as well as the other books in The Legend of Sigmar series, are available in a–you guessed it!–e-bundle from Black Library.
Following on from that, you should read Gav Thorpe’s short story, “The Ninth Book”, which introduces us to the primogenitor of the von Carstein vampires himself–Vlad von Carstein. It’s available as an electronic download, directly from Black Library.
After that, you should really check out Steven Savile’s wonderful vampire trilogy, available in e-book from Black Library. Inheritance, Dominion and Retribution detail the rise and fall (and rise again) of Vlad and his disciple, Mannfred, as they wage bloody war on the Empire.
Mannfred von Carstein returns in my novella, “Charnel Congress”, as Gotrek and Felix run up against the devious vampire in Stirland, after his resurrection from the mire of Hel Fenn. “Charnel Congress” is available in Gotrek & Felix: Lost Tales.
Mannfred takes center stage in Phil Kelly’s novella, “Sigmar’s Blood”, and his short story, “The Bone Cage”, BOTH of which are available in–drum roll–Nagash: Descendants. Out of everything on this list, these two are probably the most imperative. The novella leads into the short story, which in turn leads into The Return of Nagash, and all three together set the stage for the End Times.
And that’s my suggested reading list to lead in to The Return of Nagash and the End Times. It’s a lot, I know, but it’s worth it. Especially my stuff.