Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Zaragoz.

Thanks Orlygg!

I have recently finished reading Zaragoz by Brian Craig after a prompt from the Realm of Chaos 80s blog. It was superb! I can be smugly proud of all the classic Warhammer literature I have read but for some reason I never got around to Orfeo's trilogy. I remember reading the WD which gave WFRP character stats for the book's main personalities but I suppose budgetary constraints held sway over me, preventing me from reading it first and second time around. I genuinely loved the book, not least because it helped me through some long, boring waits in the hospital recently, but also because it is technically such a neat and clever piece of work that takes place in everyone's favourite world of perilous adventure.

Brian Craig's Zaragoz.



The cover you are more likely to end up with if shopping for a bargain on ebay. It makes virtually no sense and has no artistic value to recommend it, but inside, beyond the bland cover art, is some juicy Warhammery noogah.


Much of the stuff churned out by Black Library these days is by people that are well grounded in Warhammer lore but are authors as a second career or even a hobby. Even the accomplished writers are treated very badly and encouraged to write quickly rather than well, hence Dan Abnett's occasional nervous collapse and Bill King's regular disappearing tricks for example, so their output can be very hit and miss. Vampireslayer is a good example of too much blood being wrung from the Felix and Gotrek stone, you can really sense that Bill King just no longer believed in what he was doing. It was therefore a real treat to stumble over Zaragoz once more.

The book captures an atmosphere of looming danger and brooding evil incredibly well. It has enormous gaming potential whether for WFRP or WHFB3 and should inspire even the most jaded of GMs into coming up with a little horror story for their players to get ensnared in. Craig draws on several real world inspirations for his tale, though he self-deprecatingly acknowledges this in the prose itself, and in doing so he weaves a spine-chilling and nightmarish web of intrigue just waiting for the protagonist Orfeo to stumble into.

As the sequels to Zaragoz, 'Plague Daemons' and 'Storm Warriors', are in the post next on the list will be Craig's 'Pawns of Chaos' I think! I bought this and 'Wine of Dreams' when they first came out but only read the latter, which although it didn't really belong in the Warhammer world it had been crowbarred into was a memorable read.

Pawns of Chaos.


Porn of Chaos. Sorry, got carried away.


Thanks for stopping by!

4 comments:

  1. Zaragoz is one of my favourites. I must a have read it three or four times now. You're post has inspired me to read these classics once more over the summer months.

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  2. Great news! Zaragoz now nestles in my top two, next to Drachenfels.

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  3. Whoops i thought you said Zardoz, http://www.imdb.co.uk/title/tt0070948/, I'll get my coat

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    1. I will never be able to quite shake off the image of a flabby 'between Bonds' Sean Connery arsing about in a nappy. Boorman must have been hoovering up LSD with the film's budget if you ask me, I much prefer Excalibur.

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