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Summary

A Warhammer Horror novel.

Many years ago, the Great Enchanter Drachenfels was defeated by brave adventurers. Now, playwright Detlef Sierck plans a production showing these events - at the site of the necromancer's death. But the dead do not rest easy.

It's the original Warhammer Horror novel. Hailing from the late 1980s, it depicts an early version of the Warhammer world and is packed with spine-chilling moments and memorable characters - there's a reason it's still a dearly loved title 30 years after its original release!  

Detlef Sierck, the self-proclaimed greatest playwright in the world, has declared that his next production will be a re-creation of the end of the Great Enchanter Drachenfels - to be staged at the very site of his death, the Fortress of Drachenfels itself. But the castle's dark walls still hide a terrible secret which may make the opening night an evening to remember!  

A classic Warhammer novel - 30 years old this year - returns in a brand-new edition under the Warhammer Horror imprint. 

It includes a new introduction by the author, the horror legend Kim Newman, whose real name is appearing on the cover for the very first time. Written by Kim Newman, writing as Jack Yeovil.

Narrated by Antonia Beamish.

©2019 Games Workshop Limited (P)2019 Games Workshop Limited

What listeners say about Drachenfels

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Great horror

Full of dread and fun twists. Narrator did a good job selling it as well.

3 people found this helpful

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Inspired to read more works by K. Newman.

loved this publication and motivated to read more K. Newman and older publications by games workshop set in the Old World. It's nice to read a fantasy story with mature themes like violence, horror and lust. Something about it just seems...wholesome.

3 people found this helpful

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A gripping tale from the world that was

Really enjoyed this look into the earlier version of the old warhammer fantasy world. The characters were interesting and the politics and their struggles have definetly inspired me with ideas of future characters for my own future RPG ideas. Worth a listen if you're a big fan of Warhammer Fantasy and want something a little less action orientated set in the Old World.

2 people found this helpful

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Much hyped story turns out to be worth the praise

This is a very early story from the warhammer fantasy series. It has always been well spoken of but its taken me thirty years to finally get around to giving it a go. It was hugely entertaining and I recommend it. I even plan to offer it to a family member to see it it will get her interested in black library novels. I think it's a nice gateway into the adventures of Warhammer Fantasy.

1 person found this helpful

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A good story from the Warhammer universe

It's been a long time since I played any Warhammer but it was a familiar world to step back into with this book.

It was gruesome, dramatic and detailed, just as Warhammer should be. A very good book, but I would only recommend it to people with at least a basic understanding of the Warhammer universe.

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Orson Welles & Vampire Nun Battle Dracula Hitler

Drachenfels dates from the post-quirky 89-91 period of Games Workshop when they were first trying to coalesce their hokey fantasy properties into a coherent shared world. They'd hit upon a great vibe - Gothic Low Fantasy with added Cosmic Horror - and hired a bunch of experienced novelists to tie all the lore together and develop it. Naturally they all went with the game with the strongest story ideas, WHFRP, which GW would jettison entirely shortly afterwards in favour of developing the world via WHFB 4th edition. This is why in this novel goblins work in human towns, vampires live openly among humans, and Emperor Karl-Franz is a thoughtful, considerate statesman as opposed to a Gryphon-mounted one man slaughterhouse. We're cultivating an atmosphere of subtle dread, in other words, as opposed to Tolkienesque shiny-speared mass battles.

Drachenfels is what would nowadays be pitched as a Young Adult book, although the editors would probably ask for Mr Newman to tone it down a bit since the baby-murdering, eyeball-munching serial killer and the mutant who bites his own heart in half with the set of teeth inside his chest cavity might prevent the movie adaptation from getting a 12A, and that's before we get to all the lowkey references to 40s film noir set personnel.

Plot: Gothic German Orson Welles gets bailed out of prison to dramatise the 25th anniversary of Prince Handsome's defeat of Satan, but his script advisors get picked off one by one by a supernatural Hannibal Lecter. A classic tale, thrillingly told.

Subplot: French vampire nun seeks closure on an old relationship. Genevieve is supposedly credited for getting girls into Warhammer but I've yet to see one tbqh.

Twist: Prince Handsome's hiding a dark secret in his well-filled tights.

Storywise, from beat to beat Drachenfels doesn't ever turn out quite as you expect. It's a story about staging a play, with a murder mystery and fantasy quest nested inside it. It's witty, fast-moving and fun, the gore is turned up to 11, and it openly takes the piss out of its intended audience - two people play with lead soldiers in this book; one's a child and the other is a senile old man.

Performance - Antonia Beamish's narration is very good but her voices are inappropriate and I wish she'd read it straight rather than trying to act it out. Still it's not so jarring that it spoils the book.

Give this one to your kids when they're finished Hunger Games or whatever, and watch the light gradually go out of their eyes as they discover the current Warhammer Library and get bored.

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Highly enjoyable, excellent narrator.

The story was fine, as you'd expect to come from Warhammer Horror, gruesome details and daemonic powers, especially given Drachenfels nature.

Loved the narrator and her voice acting, however I felt her dwarf voices were quite the ways off though. Not nearly as hardy enough or Northern enough.

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Would not recommend

Picked this up because I am a fan of the warhammer universe but this book was a waste of time.
Many caracters, all of them forgetable and boring. Same as the plot. Very hard to follow and fragmented in too many 'acts', jumping around from 1 storyline to other. The ending was predictable imo and thus dissappointing.

Although labeled as horror I could not find anything remotely scary about it.

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An enjoyable story.

Strongly recommend it. Slow start but it eventually picks up and you really enjoy the main protagonists.

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Classic warhammer

I'd never read this book when it first came out. I was surprised how much of the lore was already in place back then. It was very enjoyable adventure cheese. Definitely recommend if you're a fan of the setting.

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  • Mark E. Olendzki
  • 04-10-20

Stands the Test of Time

I first read this book 20 years ago when I was in secondary skill and I can honestly say it was just as entertaining now as then. Great and often gruesome descriptive detail really sets it apart and drags the reader in. Further, I enjoy low fantasy Warhammer stories that don't involve magic swords and massive battles.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-02-20

Decent listen.

The Story doesn't really intrigue, the narrator is female but most characters are male, creating some dissonance. Don't waste too much credit on this one.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Jedidiah Oberry
  • 18-12-19

Drachenfels

Pleasantly surprised and well worth the time to listen.
Slightly slow in the early chapters but stay with it. All the characters are very well written.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Nicholas
  • 01-12-19

Slow but worth it.

Story was a bit hard to follow and dull in the beginning. However if you stick with it it develops into a very great tale with a few twists, i for one didn’t expect.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Doug Mayovsky
  • 28-11-20

The Best Standalone Warhammer Book

Next to Gotrek and Felix, this is probably my favorite of the Old World stories I've heard thus far. The atmosphere is moody and intense, and it forgoes the usual focus on constant battles to more deeply develop its characters.

Its also nice to see the author given proper credit this time around. Having a female voice in this universe is something that grimdark storytelling could use more of.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Austin
  • 01-12-21

Aged Worse than a Moulden Wine

Plot holes and questionable canon aside from this novel of 1986, one is left with quite a poor taste in their mouth. Hours of roundabout storytelling convey a sterile and otherwise unremarkable tale. Save yourself the time and read a plot summary of the events on 1d4.

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  • manda
  • 05-11-21

Holy crap. Plot twist.

I loved this story. There were times I was almost late to work because I didn't want to leave my car so that I could listen.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Durge
  • 06-10-21

Terrible narriator.

I can hardly understand, and she barely changed her tone of voice. sometimes it was the same voice, other time it was an actual character. I would preffer a deeper toned voice, than this narriator honestly.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-06-21

A classic story told well

Although the twist at the end was rather predictable, the Journey to the End was a treat. the voice actress was enjoyable. I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for a great book from the Warhammer fantasy genre!

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  • Ryan
  • 06-06-21

somewhat predictable, but very enjoyable

somewhat predictable but, I can't say that I didn't enjoy it. it does have an issue where there are like 15 different characters and keeping track of them all can be kind of difficult with all their names being... well warhammer-ized. But it's not super important as long as you can track the main few.