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Item - The Vampire Genevieve 1: Drachenfels

(reissue)
Series: Warhammer Fantasy Fiction
Contained In: The Vampire Genevieve (Collection)
Author: Yeovil, Jack (pseudonym used by Newman, Kim)
Dates: 1989
October, 2001 (American reissue)
ISBN: 0743411706 / 9780743411707 (American reissue)
Length: 271 pages
User Summary: Twenty-five years after the defeat of the Great Enchanter Drachenfels, a play is to be staged in honor of his defeat in the fortress where the final battle took place....
Demian's Thoughts: I enjoy Warhammer a great deal, and I have to confess to having wasted a good few hours of my life painting little metal figures. However, I also recognize that the whole thing is a bit silly, and it's not something which I expected would spawn a whole lot of noteworthy fiction. Of course, leave it to Kim Newman to do something clever where the formulaic would have sufficed.

The book starts off as one might expect a Warhammer novel to begin, with the requisite questing heroes and gritty violence. However, the prologue soon comes to an end, and it is revealed that this is not a book about battling an evil spellcaster; instead, it's about staging a play in honor of the past battle! The potentially dry subject matter doesn't prevent a fair amount of chaos and carnage from taking place during the course of the story, but there's subtlety blended with the pulp. Gore is matched by character development, and for every requisite reference to a Warhammer staple, there's something more literary thrown in for good measure. I also found the inclusion of a senile noble who spends all his time playing with lead figures to be an amusing little touch.

Kim Newman's work is a whole universe of its own (as evidenced by the fact that Genevieve, the lead character of this book, would later turn up in the otherwise unrelated Anno Dracula Novels). This isn't the greatest piece of that whole, but it's awfully good reading nonetheless, and as good a starting point as any. I definitely look forward to reading more in this series!

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Users Who Own This Item: bigcobra, Demian, jeff3333, nerelax
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