Friday, 5 April 2013

Warhammer Book review: Orion Vaults of Winter By Darius Hinks

Orion: Vaults of Winter was kindly supplied to me by Dagmire from the 40k Overlords (check out their podcasts for some great while-you -paint listening) Written by Darius Hinks who outside of a couple of short stories I am unfamiliar with, it's one of the oversized books that BL are fond of charging an extra quid for (although you get less pages and actual content as the print is larger) What is actually here though is quite well written, the Wood Elves are given a very distinct identity feral and savage although the book focuses upon politics perhaps a little more than I would have liked. In general though the feel of the realms of Athel Loren are spot on though and the description of Orion’s reincarnation is both visceral and vivid.

Orion as a character is very hard to identify with however, as the book progresses you feel that much of the story is focussed in the wrong place and although it is Orion the book concentrated on you just feel that his actions are secondary and very much to the detriment of the overall story. Bit of a weird one , the end result is satisfying but the route taken to get there is convoluted and frankly at times bewildering. I liked much of the book but Orion comes across as a total dick (outside influences notwithstanding) and as a King of the Forest is very hard to like or empathise with. Portrayed more as a petulant child than as a noble Lord of the Woods his characterisation was one thing that really bothered me throughout the book.

Most of the rest is great however with a good balance between well described action and character development/narrative. Even If the 'twist' will come as absolutely no surprise it does set up the end nicely for a continuation of the trilogy and I will probably read the rest of the series hoping for more of what I did like about the book whilst ironing out the few kinks.

The book does feel a little on the lightweight side though and readers may end up feeling a little shortchanged as its by no means a long read.

3 out of 5 for Vaults of Winter.

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