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The difficult second album

14 January, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

If you haven’t read Sword of Justice, some possible spoilers here.

Sword of Vengeance is out next month, and it looks like it’s already available to order from the Black Library site. So I thought I’d take the chance to post about it, and to look forward to what’s in store for Helborg, Schwarzhelm and the rest.

It’s the first time I’ve written a sequel, which presented new challenges when compared to planning a standalone story. Sword of Justice was received well when it was released back in July last year, so I was conscious of the need to deliver a satisfying follow-up. As it happens, I wrote the two books back-to-back, without much of a break between them. From a writer’s perspective, the process was a bit like writing a single 250,000 word novel. However, as there have been a few months between the novel releases, that’s not necessarily how it’ll appear to the readers, and the gap was always in my mind when I was putting the second part together.

So what can we expect from the Part II? Bloch’s and Verstohlen’s stories are both continued, one in the Worlds Edge mountains, the other in Averheim. Schwarzhelm remains on the outer rim of politics in Altdorf, cast out of the Emperor’s favoured circle. Helborg lives, but is still crippled by his wounds. As you’d expect, neither man is content to remain in such a state for long. Tochfel, Achendorfer and Grosslich all take up where they left off, and of course Natassja is still waiting in the wings. Averland is at peace, its farmers and cattle-hands blissfully unaware of the horror growing in their midst.

There’s a new character in the mix, too: the Grand Theogonist Volkmar. When I was planning the story, I knew that I wanted to include him in the narrative. As things transpired, he ended up having a bigger role than I’d initially envisaged. I enjoyed writing his parts perhaps the most – he’s a fantastic, contradictory character with a truly unique backstory. A paragraph bio I drew up for him began with the words ‘Volkmar the Grim has returned from the dead. Many in the Empire would like to see him sent back’, which was my take on his place in the greasy-pole hierarchy with all its vicious politics. Aside from some scenes with his retinue at the top of the Church of Sigmar, we get to see just what a Theogonist is capable of on the battlefield when he’s really angry.

Add the return of Leonidas Gruppen, the Knight Panther from the opening battle at Turgitz, and another cameo from Karl Franz, and we have a pretty full cast. Hopefully I’ll be able to post up a short extract soon to whet some appetites, but in the meantime I’ll just continue to enjoy Cheoljoo Lee’s marvellous cover art…

Categories: Warhammer Fantasy
  1. 14 January, 2011 at 13:47

    Can’t wait, looking forwards to this a lot. Even more keen now that I read Volkmar is in it and, praise be ! 😉 , the fact that this will follow on from what happened to in the Storm of Chaos.

    • chriswraight
      14 January, 2011 at 17:17

      Ta, Reds8n. 🙂 Are you going to be at BL Live this year?

  2. 17 January, 2011 at 11:38

    Yes I am indeed. Hope to catch up with you/buy you a pint there. 🙂

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