Cover Image: The Court of the Blind King

The Court of the Blind King

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Member Reviews

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Age of Sigmar has been very hit and miss for me. The stories being told are usually very good, but they almost always assume the reader has an in-depth knowledge of this strange, utterly confusing fantasy world. 

With the Court of the Blind King I was expecting to be all at sea as far as understanding things went. That fear nearly kept me from reading it. The thing that swayed me was a mixture of really liking the concept of sea elves and loving Guymer's work.

I can honestly say that, not only is this book a hit, but you can go into it with little knowledge of the world and not feel totally lost. 

As I said, it's a complete hit. It's probably better than I thought it was as I gave it 5 out of 5 at a time where I'm experiencing a fantasy reading slump. My enthusiasm for fantasy has never been lower and yet I really enjoyed this.

You do get the occasional oddity where the author will say 'he grasped his 
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ARC recieved via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

I started this book thinking that I was going to love it because the premise really caught my attention but I ended up DNF it. It's part of a big universe that I had never explored before so I was  lost and confused while reading it. I think that the underwater locations are really interesting and original and I also liked the main character. The thing is that there are A LOT of different races and realms that I didn't know anything about and I really tried to get the little pieces together to understand it but I just couldn't. I finally decided to stop reading it because I wasn't enjoying it. That being said, I would love to return to this world in the future but starting with a different book that explains it more from scratch.
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The Court of the Blind King kicks off a new adventure in the Age of Sigmar from Warhammer. Written by David Guymer, this novel takes a deep dive (pun intended) into the lives and battles of the Deepkin.

In a tale that is full of politics and battles, one can find Prince Lurien. He's willing to fight the world – Nurgle included – in order to gain what he considers his rightful inheritance. His right to rule, as it were.

The Deepkin and the knights of Nurgle are about to collide as the Everqueen's Warsong has woken them all. The two cannot exist side by side, so instead a war is about to break out on this land (and water).

“Strange things happened to the water the deeper one went in the Green Gulch.”

The Court of the Blind King portrays the depth that can be found within the Age of Sigmar. It's thrilling and dangerous, full of politics, alliances, and battles. It is everything that fans could have hoped for, with a few surprises along the way.

The Idoneth Deepkin are relatively new to the world of Warhammer and Age of Sigmar, so it's been fascinating to get a chance to see more of how they work. This is the insight that fans will surely appreciate.

That being said, the worldbuilding is strong enough that even new readers could dive into this book and have a solid understanding of what is going on. Yes, they'll miss out on some of the larger bits of context involving the greater universe, but that also isn't really a requirement for this read. It's fully contained, and that is actually quite brilliant.

What I really loved about this novel is how we were really able to explore the lore of the world. It was complex, divisive, and strange. In short, it was actually perfect in terms of fitting into the world of Warhammer, and I adore that.

The leading character, Lurien, is one of those characters that one simply loves to hate. There's no mistaking him for a good person, yet it is still fascinating to read about his plans and exploits. More than that, it was interesting to see how he would plan his way around scenarios – and how his actions would come back to him (or not) in the end.

The inclusion of Chaos (Nurgle) was a solid choice as well. Though obviously it resulted in a ton of carnage of bloodshed. But once again, that sort of fit with the theme of the day, so it worked really well.

The Court of the Blind King was an all-around interesting read, one that is going to stick with me for some time. It made for a great first introduction to the Deepkin for me, and I hope it isn't the last novel we'll see about them.
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This was great. A real adventure. I have to admit all the names had me a bit tongue-tied but I muddled through whether I needed a little experience in Warhammer I don't know but for fantasy the book cover and all 5 stars. Thank you David Guymer and thank you Netgalley for allowing me to review it.
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The Court of the Blind King is the first feature-length novel about the Idoneth Deepkin – one of the newer races in the Games Workshop Wargaming series, Age of Sigmar. The Idoneth Deepkin, affectionately known in the Warhammer community as ‘Fish Aelves’ are a race of Aelves (Elves) that reside in the deep oceans of the Mortal Realms. The Court of the Blind King tells the story of Prince Lurien and his fight to reclaim what is rightfully his; the Jade Throne.

Lurien as a central character is fascinating. He is a conniving, treacherous, self-centred, terrible, liar. Yet, as a reader, you root for him anyway. Despite all his failings as a moral, upstanding citizen of the Idoneth Deepkin there is something actually likeable about him. Something beyond the ‘loveable rogue’ trope, as he is much more terrible than that, yet as a reader, you cling to his plight and root for him to come out on top regardless of all the awful things that he does to others along the way. Maybe it’s the English in me; rooting for the underdog – as Lurien is certainly that too! There’s something captivating about him as a lead character and I found him most delightful.

Along with him are other Idoneth Deepkin who are just as wonderfully well written as their ‘leader’ Morogai is one such character; an Idoneth of the slave caste that supports Lurien in her own unique way and her ‘boss’ Namariel; who is just as devious as her prince. The extended cast all have their own personalities which David Guymer handles wonderfully – especially considering how extraordinary the Idoneth Deepkin are.

Considering the Idoneth race is so new, David Guymer does a remarkable job of bringing them to life. I have never come across a race like the Idoneth and the rich world in which they live and the imagery that is brought forth when reading The Court of the Blind King is stunning. This book was my first encounter with the Idoneth and I confess I did struggle with some of the specifics of their race. A noble isn’t just called a noble, for example. It took a while for the intricate structures of their society to really sink in. I had to google a few of the titles for different castes and check on Games Workshops webstore to make sure that I had the correct element in mind. When is a shark, not a shark? But, these fundamental changes in the naming make the Idoneth Deepkin who and what they are, so while there was some initial confusion and I’d recommend doing some basic reading around the Idoneth Deepkin, I don’t feel that this detracted from the novel as a whole. Touching on writing style, David Guymer picks out a lot of water-based references that help the book to flow nicely. You never forget the origins of the Idoneth through these subtle references to their nature and they help as a constant reminder that, while descended from, these are not the Aelves of the Warhammer old world.

As the novel progresses and Lurien is asked to perform different tasks to prove himself to the different enclaves of Idoneth he encounters Chaos in the form of Nurgle. I bring this up specifically as I found that this part of the novel was particularly well written. There is something about Nurgle that is truly horrifying in written form and I haven’t felt such a deep hatred and disgust for the Great Father since first encountering them during Flight of the Eisenstein. For me, this is a great thing! For a book to churn your stomach with its delightfully disgusting descriptions of rot is staggering and I loved every second of it. I am also happy with how open-ended this section of the book is and hope that Prince Lurien is dragged back to the horror of Coryza in a future instalment.

All of the tasks that Lurien sets out to accomplish bring the story together nicely. Not once did I question his motives or his reasoning for doing something utterly stupid. Everything made perfect sense plot-wise and The Court of the Blind King is a magnificently well-rounded novel.

I found the world-building in The Court of the Blind King captivating. How the Idoneth Deepkin manage to do anything above water has been a question since I first heard of them and The Court of the Blind King has answers to this and a great deal more. How they work with one another, how they work at all, how they deal with rivalries, their raids and the deeper workings of their politics. The Court of the Blind King has it all in a plot that is fast-paced and full of action, adventure and intrigue.

Being taught about the Deepkin first hand and in such a great story as this is glorious and I am very much a convert – to the point, I’d now like to paint some of the models as well. What more could you want from a Black Library publication than that?

Summary
The Court of the Blind King is a well-rounded, fast-paced novel that introduces and expands richly on the lore of the Idoneth Deepkin. The main character is quirky in his own right and a pleasure to read about. Exquisitely written scenes of grossness! Be warned, you might want to start a new Warhammer: Age of Sigmar army!
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Warhammer!

I'd never read a Warhammer novel so I was keen to see what all the fuss was about. I've also never played the game itself or any of the tabletop variety for that matter. I wouldn't say that this book was inaccessible but it was so filled with lore that I kept feeling that this wasn't written for me. And it wasn't. 

If you took the story and separated it from Warhammer, this would very well be a four-star book. I don't read Magic the Gathering novels or Forgotten Realms books for the same reason. I can only read about Oggs Hammer or Ingrim's Staff or the Amethyst of Amorath for so long before I decide that it's all pointless and I don't care what anything is called or who owned it. 

Lore isn't a bad thing. It's the reason people read books like this. As an outsider, I saw it as stereotypical similar to how we imagine "nerds" playing Dungeons and Dragons in their basement would sound like. 

Three stars to this as a whole product. Four stars based on story and merit alone if this was a standalone unrelated to Warhammer.
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Its aj intersering intoduction to the new lore with an expansive effort on world.buildijg. Familiar yet different.
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The book is well written, I’m not going to argue on that, it probably isn’t my cup of tea and that’s the mere reason why I didn’t like it.
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Court of the blind King is an Warhammer age of Sigamr book written by David Guymer. This is a very fast paced read of a young Prince and this throne. This seems like a very unquie story in the Warhammer world. Luriens jounery to become a king was very rewarding and satisfying. The water gave it an altlantis sort of feel. I really enjoyed this book. Thanks to Black Library and NetGalley for my ARC
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I am not a huge fan of AOS books but the one or two I have read have been like a drug fuelled psychotic break from reality filled with violence and religious fervour, this book follows well in that mode and I can say honestly it made for interesting reading 😳
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