The Chronicles of Malus Darkblade: Volume One – Dan Abnett and Mike Lee
Also on my reading pile is this, a compilation of the first three books of (apparently) the second most popular series in the Warhammer canon.
It’s certainly no Dark Tower in terms of thematic weight, or depth of characterisation, but that doesn’t stop it being a thoroughly entertaining read. The plot barrels along, the dialogue’s sharp, and the writing is solid.
(Though personally I’d have been happier with half the number of adjectives/adverbs/descriptive similes. There’s only so many times you need to know something dark glittered like onyx. Maybe I’ve different tastes to the average Warhammer fan?)
But the book’s strongest feature, and what makes it worth recommending, is the protagonist. The titular character isn’t just an anti-hero – he’s no Flashman, or Gatsby, or even Dexter Morgan, the serial killer with a heart from a few novels and more famously the TV series.
Malus is utterly evil. Yet the reader finds themselves rooting for him, despite his being completely amoral, self-serving, torturing for pleasure, and killing whoever’s in his way – all with a permanent sardonic smile on his face. Which is pale, like a winter’s dawn.
On that topic, any books you can recommend with a total bastard as the protagonist, readers?