Monday, August 8, 2011

Review: Liber Chaotica I (Khorne)

The Liber Chaotica books draw from the classic Realms of Chaos books (Slaves to Darkness and The Lost and the Damned), including a series of direct quotations and tangents that old timers such as myself will be quite familiar with ("the eyes the flies...." etc.).  All of them are presented from the point of view of a certain Richter Kless -- an individual from the Warhammer Fantasy world who journeys through the daemonic lands and risks insanity along the way.

The first volume in the Liber Chaotica series of books is Khorne.  This is probably one of the easier books to write, as it is possible to have an intuitive understanding of what Khorne is all about: blood, skulls ... and death in general.  The book starts out with an in-depth treatment of old tribes (Norse, Tong, Kurgan, Hung) which didn't do too much for me personally.  The warriors of Khorne and their armaments get more interesting, but it isn't until the daemons are reached that the treatment peaks for me.  Combined with hazy visions of the 40k berzerkers, this last part entices more than the preluding bits.

One aspect that I felt was somewhat missing from this book though was the more subtle aspects.  For instance, in Slaves to Darkness, it is noted that even the most valiant and noble-minded Empire warrior can unknowing serve Khorne.  For, what is a soldier, but an unwitting agent of Khorne? Blood is shed by them and some may learn to enjoy and revel in the bloodlust.  Thus, the insidious nature of Khorne was over-looked, at least for me personally.

The good parts were all the commented fields alongside the main body of the text -- annotations by the "editors" of Kless' deranged visions and worries about their own futures.  Combined with the nods to Slaves to Darkness (e.g. the artwork, the Liber Malific / Book of Hated Khorne references, the Tree of Souls), what was a weaker start for me climaxes to a strong finish.

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