“Berthold’s Beard” by Joshua Reynolds (Black Library)

ReynoldsJ-BertholdsBeardA Gotrek & Felix short story

When Gotrek and Felix agree to help an impoverished nobleman reclaim his birthright, they are thrown into a battle for survival against a creature from their darkest nightmares.

Previously printed in the Black Library Weekender 2012 Saturday Anthology, Berthold’s Beard is a quick tale featuring the Dwarf Slayer and his human companion. It’s quite fun, too, indicating once again that the Gotrek & Felix franchise remains in safe hands.

Berthold’s Beard captures the tone and fun of William King’s and James Nathan Long’s G&F fiction, but does not ape their style. The story is an odd one, to be sure, but no less fun for it. It is, however, very short, which makes it rather tricky to review without spoiling everything. Our heroes have been hired by an heir to the Berthold line, to complete a legacy quest – they must travel to the ancient Berthold family country estate and return with something, by way of proving the nobleman’s heritage and therefore gaining access to the family’s vast fortunes. Sounds easy, right? Yeah, it’s really not that simple. But then, it never is when Gotrek and Felix are involved…

If you’re a fan of the series, then this short story will tide you over until you can get hold of the latest novel, Road of Skulls (out now in paperback and eBook). As I said, the series is in very safe hands, and Reynolds has faithfully recreated the fun and adventure of the previous instalments of the series. I’m really looking forward to reading his first full-length contribution (I may read it next week, we’ll see).

If you’ve never read the series, I think it’s about time you pick up either the first Omnibus paperback, or at least the Trollslayer eBook. If you’re worried because you’ve never read any Warhammer fiction, then this would also be a perfect starting point. (Many moons ago, that’s exactly what this series was for me.)

Recommended.

***

UPDATE: Apologies for getting the second author’s name wrong – it was, of course, NATHAN Long who took over from Will King.

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