Cover Image: The Hammer and the Eagle: The Icons of the Warhammer Worlds

The Hammer and the Eagle: The Icons of the Warhammer Worlds

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Member Reviews

This is a great collection of short stories that introduces the reader to the myriad of characters that populate all of Black Library's universes. The selection of stories was great as it brings in all of the major series characters as well as those that headline many of the most recent novels. While these have been published in short form previously, it is great to have them all together in one volume. Not a single story felt out of place and all were enjoyable to read.
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With grateful thanks to Black Library for a review copy.

The Warhammer Universes have always seemed exciting and interesting places to explore and yet totally impenetrable and inaccessible to a newcomer. I had seen many audiobooks available on Audible and a plethora of licensed computer games but, as I had no knowledge of, or interest in, the tabletop game I had no idea where to start. This anthology solves all that and is aimed squarely at the uninitiated.

Split into two sections, one containing stories from the futuristic war torn galaxy of Warhammer 40,000 and the other from the more fantasy orientated Age of Sigmar, each tale highlights one major character from the canon. Although the characters’ names meant nothing to me at the start, the stories are carefully crafted to showcase these people and it does not take long before the reader becomes invested in their worlds and their perils.

At the end of each of the stories we are given a recommended novel to read from the Black Library Back Catalogue featuring the character that we have just met. This is an excellent idea as it provides the much-needed jumping in points for those not familiar with the years of lore that have been created to support the Warhammer tabletop game.

Dividing the anthology between both main Warhammer Universes is a stroke of genius on the part of the editor. Whilst I have no doubt that aficionados will have their favourites the newcomer who knows nothing gets a chance, in one volume, to sample all that Warhammer has to offer and the experience is all the richer for it.

The stories range in reading time between about fifteen and thirty minutes (with one mini novella taking more like an hour and a half to work through.) As with any anthology I enjoyed some stories more than others but there were none that put me off or that I failed to complete. Some were definitely more jargon heavy than others but not so much as to be incomprehensible to the newbie.

The hardest thing now is to decide which of the many possible paths to follow next. I certainly feel that I have enough knowledge to enjoy any of the routes into the Warhammer Universes which are offered here and, no doubt, with each book I read the overall picture will become clearer.

It is obvious that all of the writers whose work is featured here have a deep love for the characters and huge knowledge of the subject. The worlds they portray are almost all grim and war torn and the stories full of violence and mayhem yet they never lose heart or become boring. I am glad that I don’t live in any of these worlds but I look forward to visiting them more often.

This is a hefty tome, the physical book runs to eight hundred pages, and so provides a lot of reading material. I unequivocally recommend it for anyone wanting to dip their toes into the worlds of Warhammer and see what it is all about.
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Loved the stories.  They were dark and gritty.  Everything you would come to expect from blacklibrary.
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This anthology serves as a perfect introduction to the most popular characters in the Warhammer 40,000 and Warhammer: Age of Sigmar universes. By page count, the split is approximately 70% WH40k sci-fi and 30% Sigmar fantasy.

Some familiarity with the Warhammer history and universes is helpful but not necessary for enjoying these grimdark escapist vignettes of violence (you can always check a wiki if you’re completely lost). Characters run the gamut through space marines, commissars, inquisitors, witch hunters, stormcast eternals, and a massively overpowered dwarf.

Before this, I had not read any books in the Age of Sigmar universe. However, I had read a few of the older Warhammer fantasy books (mostly Gotrek & Felix) and found the characters to be seriously overpowered…and the new Sigmar version seems to amp that up even more. I doubt I’ll be picking up any books from that side of things, but I did appreciate the chance to sample the universe.

On the 40,000 side, I recognized a handful of the stories from other anthologies, and several of them are a bit unsatisfactory as stand-alones since they were originally written to bridge a gap between two novels. Other than that, they were decent military sci-fi. I still prefer just about any character to the flat, overpowered loyalist space marines, but it’s all good/grim escapist fun with a nice variety of characters (and some variety in storytelling, though there’s only so much you can do in a universe where “there is only war”).

Overall, a decent collection: story-wise I’d give it 3 stars (my usual rating for most things Warhammer) and tack on an extra half star for the broad sampling of characters.
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A great anthology of stories - I'm still slowly dipping my feet into the AoS/fantasy realms from GW, but this book definitely helped push me towards acceptance.  You also can't go wrong with anything from Abnett, Thorpe, Haley, Dembski-Bowden or McNeill.
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A superb, substantial collection of WH40k and Age of Sigmar fiction. If you've ever wanted to try out these settings, then you'll find plenty in this anthology that will introduce you to their worlds and feel. If you're already familiar with the settings, then you'll find a collection of great stories. Definitely recommended.
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This is an incredible book. Totally recommend it for any fan of Warhammer universes! Dan Abnett is one of the finest authors today.
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Another great anthology from Black Library combing both WH and AoS tales, i had read/listened  to a couple of the stories previously but I thoroughly enjoyed refreshing my memory of  these tales
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