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Soul Wars

Warhammer Age of Sigmar, Book 1
Narrated by: Andrew Wincott
Length: 16 hrs and 49 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (182 ratings)

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Summary

It is said that all who live belong ultimately to the Undying King. In the shadowy lands of Shyish, Nagash, God of Death, calls forth his soulless legions to reassert his dominion. His dread advance begins with the free city of Glymmsforge, bastion of Azyr in the Realm of Death. 

Standing between Nagash and his prize are the brooding Anvils of the Heldenhammer, an ancient host of Stormcast Eternals, and Lord-Castellant Pharus Thaum, guardian of the Ten Thousand Tombs. 

As battles between the living and the dead rage throughout the Mortal Realms, the War of Heaven and Death begins anew. But even Sigmar’s chosen may not be enough to cease the onslaught. For how does one destroy what is already dead?

©2018 Games Workshop Limited (P)2018 Games Workshop Limited

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Immerses you in the lore of Soul Wars

Tomes from the Black Library are probably best enjoyed when you’re actually part of the world of Warhammer i.e. you’re a table top gamer. There’s something about taking part in the narrative play and painting the miniatures that brings you close to the characters and the world (or in this case realms) they live in. That’s not to say this book can’t be appreciated without playing Age of Sigmar, but it certainly helps. As to the story; well, I’d say it was pretty good. Some reviewers have commented that it seems to consist of many dramatic characters and demi-gods making grand, doom-filled speeches, and this is true. But if you’re Nagash, Lord of the Undead, used to whiling your time for centuries regenerating your body and inner energy, then what else have you got left to do? Andrew Wincott’s narration is superb in this respect, and his narration of the different Nighthaunt characters is immensely entertaining. Who knew there were so many ways to speak in the voices of the undead? In places the story is a bit repetitive. I lost count of the number of times that someone said ‘... all are one in Nagash’. There’s also no trace of romance or development of ‘relationships’ if you”re looking for those elements. This is probably the ethos of Warhammer, and aficionados won’t miss this, but it does tend to make you not care as much for the characters if you don’t think they have much to lose. It also doesn’t help knowing that you can always be reforged by Sigmar or recast by Nagash if you happen to fall by the Lord Executioner’s axe or mashed by a stormsmite maul. But overall I enjoyed this story and it will certainly colour my perceptions when launching my Nighthaunts in future battles!

1 person found this helpful

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fantastic read

the first audiobook for AoS I have listened to and I enjoyed it more than I expected. great selection of heros and villains. Does feel a little rushed towards then end however, but I was certainly left wanting more.

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Good bit of fluff fun

This is a fun listen, it weaves together a few narratives and has a satisfying conclusion - bit hard to follow if you're not familiar with the AoS fluff but it's not super heavy.

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Well handled and performed melodrama.

Fantastic narration and performance elevates the fun, pulpy, cosmic melodrama. I was only half interested in this AoS book initially, but it turned out to be one of the more enjoyable ones that I have read or listened too. Even though it's fairly predictable stuff, it's entertaining. Andrew Wincott's performance is fantastic.

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Interesting

I really enjoyed the plot, it kept me asking questions along the way.

You get a deeper understanding of Nagash, Sigmar and how the stormcast eternals work, and a deeper look into the sacrosanct chamber and "The Anvils of the Heldenhammer.

The Narrator was pleasing to listen to.

For fans of Warhammer, i can only recommend it highly.

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Excellent introduction to the world

I came across this book while trying to get back into the new “age of Sigmar” setting after a few years away. As it has the same title as a starter set, I thought it would be good.

I really enjoyed it! A cool, gothic story, good battle scenes and lots of background into the world without being too heavy.

The acting is good, sometimes great. The narrator does lots of fun “undead” voices, and some regional accents too.

Would recommend for people who fancy a good fantasy romp, even if you are not a fan of the war games.

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What happened!?

I Love stormcast and loved the story, however... what happened to glymmsforge and the young Lt?

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Great characters and performance

loved learning more about Nagash and Arkham. It also gives subtle hints to the old Warhammer world with those old characters and Balthas (who is basically bathsasar gelt). Good development and cast of characters and it sets of a bigger story to come.

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amazing book worth it

storyline is so good and the narrator is amazzing worth every penny. i would highly recommend this book.

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And now I feel invested in Age of Sigmar

I hadn't really gotten into learning the lore of Age of Sigmar before now, still being a diehard fan of Warhammer Fantasy Battles, however this book has drawn me in quite well, I have a firmer grip on the new setting and feel invested in the struggles of a new age!

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  • Stålfors
  • 19-11-19

Good story, good narrator, terrible female voices

This is a good narrator with an acceptable range of voices to the different characters. I am just CONFOUNDED with how he seems to think that all females talk in whispers with raspy voices. You really have to hear it to understand. It grinds my gears to no end and completely pulls me out of the story everytime one talks. All of the women in this audiobook are basically Ralph Fiennes' Voldemort. You have been warned.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Quentin Westcott
  • 19-11-19

Boring

I never thought a massive battle with the dead could be so boring.

I got this because I wanted to know more about the Necroquake. It promised fantastic battles and a deeper looking into the battle of Shiesh (spelling?). I got a little of that.

What I got a lot of was a whole lotta long winded speeches and pointless posturing. Over and over and over again. None of the Sigmarite characters made me want to care about them, and it was only marginally better with the undead. Granted the undead were better after all, but still too much pointless internal strife that added nothing to the overall story. Ugh.

The battle wasn't very compelling. It's like looking a picture of a burger in a menu and thinking "oh that's big! Nice!" But what you get is drastically different than what you were hoping for.

It's ok. It was better than listening to nothing I guess.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-05-19

Top notch

Probably the best Age of Sigmar novel yet. well developed characters with a compelling story that keeps you hooked. Excellent listen!

1 person found this helpful

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  • TellyDad
  • 25-04-19

Great, Worthwhile book.

Well written. I cannot express how well narrated this story was. Incredible performance. highly recommend.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Reed Kaufmann
  • 27-02-19

Good Story, Great Characters

Yeah, Nagash is a bit of a bore, but that's the only minor criticism that I could throw at the book. I do think that is a bit on purpose though, as he is meant to be a foil to Sigmar.

I am continually impressed at the caliber of writing within the Age of Sigmar, Black Library. If you are interested in how the story is progressing, and (if like me) you are interested in seeing what Stormcasts are like as people (not quite humans), then this is a definite read.

The main story arc is entertaining and has its twists and turns and surprisingly good character development. What is even more interesting is that even the minor characters have well written and portrayed threads throughout the novel.

Good read, great characters. Highly recommend.

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  • Christopher
  • 08-02-19

One of the best AoS books so far

Incredibly engaging. Love Balthas and the other characters. Really well written. Hands down the best book in the AoS library thus far

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Brentwood
  • 28-10-18

Was glad I bought it on a whim.

The author did a good job of writing this more in line with a compelling story versus a narrative of a game experience which I find to plague D&D books. This was my first experience with an AoS book and I'm glad I bought it. the narrator did an amazing job and the only negative I have is it would have been nice to have some more voice differences. He did have a decent amount of change but just not enough to get that top tier narration, but his actual narration voice was what I would say is at level with the best in audible. I would recommend this book and I will go back through the Realm Gate series to enjoy the beginning of AoS books.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Shawn Carter
  • 24-12-18

Unbearable Drag

Plus:

The setting is fantastically described and paints a great picture (when you understand it).


Negatives:

The God characters are so insufferable. They often go on these long annoying monologues that seem to drag on until it sends the reader into a slumber. They are completely unlikable and un-relatable. I realize they are Gods, but I prefer the characters in my books to be interesting.

The book often has boring sections of dialogue that seem to be entirely pointless filler. Most of the book is just people
standing around and talking.

The narrator isn't great at female voices.

I am just a reader of fantasy (not a Warhammer tabletop fan), so I don't know if this problem is relevant for most of this book's audience. I have no idea what any of the rankings, locations, and mythologies are. So most of the time I am in the dark. The author goes out of his way to set up these really cool war scenes that are absolutely meaningless to me because I don't know what any of the titles mean.

Most of the main characters are members of the same religious order. So I often forget who is who, since they all have the same zealot-like personality.

Speaking of characters, there are tons of side characters that just seem to be entirely pointless to the main plot. I just don't care about them when the author decides to visit them. Maybe characters like the girl who lords over the cats, for example, will pay off eventually, but I just don't care about her right now. It's absolutely painful to follow her around. Imagine all the movies with kids in it that were uninteresting and annoying, its like that.

I don't know if I am going to be able to finish this, I am over half-way through and it's getting difficult to even pay attention.


Overall:
If you are a huge fan of the Warhammer universe, maybe you will get something out of this. I still wouldn't recommend it, due to the slow pace and filler. This book is a horrible chore. Maybe since I just got into Warhammer books, I just don't get it, but I just want something exciting with fleshed characters and real personalities. This book simply fails to meet that need.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Poe's Raven
  • 24-05-20

Slow at times, but worth a listen

I enjoyed the story overall, though a few parts are a bit slow and I stopped/ started at multiple points, but that's probably just my own difficulty with focusing. Don't expect constant action, as the story is far more symbolic than you might expect, with a large focus on dialogue and dualism. The characters are the focus here, as they are all tied together, and their relationships are hugely important to the story.

The narration was overall well done, at least for the male characters. The female voices were a bit lackluster, but to be fair, the narrator's voice simply isn't well suited to a higher pitch. It's a good listen as long as you appreciate a story with lots of meaningful dialogue and internal monologues, rather than one purely focused on action.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon-O
  • 08-12-19

Just blah

Couldn’t get into the story at all. Seemed to ramble on without any real drive or energy behind it. I’d ask for refund if I could.