Following the template laid down in the the Nagash and Glottkin books, the third in the series of Warhammer End Times background books is Khaine, which unsurprisingly focuses on the fate of the elves during the End Times. A new chapter in a story thousands of years in the making, it sees the three elven races drawn back together in a battle for the soul of their combined race. The elven gods play out their own battle through mortal avatars as Malekith risks everything in an all-out assault on Ulthuan while the high elves reel from the latest daemonic assault and the wood elves reluctantly venture forth from Athel Loren to join the fray.
Another beautifully presented book, after the slight drop in quality with Glottkin this brings us right back to the standard set by the first in the series. In a similar way to Nagash, this is history being rewritten and the face of the map changing, full of huge events and some genuinely eyebrow-raising moments. We see alliances forged and broken, and some things that were assumed to be set in stone are shown to be anything but, as the End Times continue to wreak havoc with the natural order of the Warhammer world. Just how important the elves are to the world is starting to come through, both in terms of what’s to come and also what involvement they might have had in the events that have happened so far.
The standard of writing here is excellent, and the presentation is phenomenal, but what stands out is just how brave Games Workshop are being with this enormous, game-changing story. While there have been some pretty big surprises in the previous two books, the events that take place in Khaine are just massive – not only do they signal a huge change for the future of the elves, with some seriously big characters doing some genuinely unexpected things, but they also look back and shed completely new, totally unexpected light on the history of these races.
Three books in, the End Times series is proving to be genuinely well thought out, full of unexpected twists and turns in a truly epic, powerful narrative. Khaine is a wonderful addition to the series, that not only stands alone as a brilliant story but acts as a big step forward in the unfolding of the End Times. Fans of the elves will be in raptures with this, while there’s plenty to enjoy for non-partisan readers as it sets up the next stage in the End Times story to come.