Day four of Black Library’s Advent Calendar sees the first Age of Sigmar story, in the shape of The Road of Blades by Josh Reynolds. Tying in loosely with his Black Rift novel and setting things up for the upcoming The Eight Lamentations, it follows Ahazian Kel, Deathbringer of Khorne, as he searches for the Road of Blades that will lead him further on his path to claiming ever more powerful weapons. Constantly being tested as he strives to prove himself in the eyes of the Blood God, he uses both his strength and his wits on the perilous journey.
Essentially a straightforward quest story, with Ahazian facing and overcoming various different challenges, the relatively simple narrative gives Reynolds the space to nicely set up the character of this particular Deathbringer. Champions of Khorne aren’t always the subtlest of characters but Ahazian uses his head as well as his weapons, and is unusually (and entertainingly) self aware. There’s plenty of fighting to satisfy the more bloodthirsty readers, but it’s the world building and scene setting that lift this story, giving it a sense of scope and freedom that a lot of the Age of Sigmar stories simply haven’t had. It’s well worth a read, and bodes well for The Eight Lamentations when that’s released.