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Review: Neferata (Time of Legends) / Author: Josh Reynolds / Publisher: The Black Library / Release Date: Out Now

The Time of Legends series tells the backstory of the Warhammer Fantasy world. Given that the franchise has lovingly detailed many of the playable factions from the table top game, this is quite an extensive and colourful string of books. Neferata is the tale of a vampire queen and her minions, and as such is filled with intrigue and bloody violence.

Josh Reynolds creates a surprisingly engaging and interesting character in the titular Neferata. Though we never exactly take her to our hearts (she is, after all, an immortal bloodsucking villain), it's very easy to root for her, even when (or especially when) she's backstabbing and murdering. The supporting cast of scheming monsters works well – an entourage of savage bodyguards, blindly loyal handmaidens and despicable dwarves, most of whom come to sticky ends in ways that it is fun to anticipate. But really this is all about the queen, who stands out for dastardliness even among that crowd.

The frequent battle scenes are suitably gory. These aren’t the tame vampires of the Twilight generation, but rather the bloody horrors of myth. Visceral and explicit, the action never quite crosses the line of good taste, but does deliver the sort thrills that fans of fangy violence will enjoy.

One of the novel's flaws is that it is perhaps too steeped in its own lore. Casual fans or complete strangers to the setting may get lost at points, as there are a lot of peculiarly named beings, things and places to get your head around. This isn’t Reynolds' fault, though, and those looking for a good tale of vampiric nefariousness in a fantasy setting should definitely add this to the list.

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