Matthias Thulmann: Witch Hunter

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fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book reviews Warhammer Matthias Thulmann: Witch Hunter C.L. WernerMatthias Thulmann: Witch Hunter by C.L. Werner

I’m not into RPG’s. So I’m not always comfortable with an RPG-based book. But I’ve been to Warhammer’s Old World before — I‘ve read Fell Cargo, and a couple of Dark Blade books. And I do like the main concept of  the Warhammer storyline — a medieval world on the brink of apocalypse where a dark empire, ruled by the descendant of a god, is mankind’s only hope against the hordes of Chaos.

So I started this book ready for a sword & sorcery tale that I expected to be mildly entertaining. But, Witch Hunter was so much more. Remember when reading was new, fun, and an adventure? C. L. Werner reminds you with these grim tales.

Mr. Werner creates a gothic setting with classic horror appeal that really made me feel the characters’ dread of Old Night and what might be lurking in the shadows.

Matthias Thulmann is a bold hero, somewhat reminiscent of Robert E. Howard’s Solomon Kane, but he’s also an original and fascinating character of depth. The reader’s first impression is that of a cold-blooded zealot who enjoys the authority of his order. However, as the novels progress it’s revealed how he cleverly uses arrogance like a weapon and he’s a man of honor in a profession that’s riddled with ambitious power-seekers, fanatics, and, sometimes, enemy conspirators. As Matthias battles the minions of Chaos, a struggle with personal demons is the price of his noble campaign.

I also found Streng, Matthias’s hired-sword and torturer, to be an equally intriguing character. More a dog-of-war then a soldier-of-fortune, I picked up hints that Streng’s motivation might not always be as mercenary as what Matthias’s constant reprimands imply.

Matthias and his allies are surrounded by all manner of foes — human, vampire, mutant, undead, and otherwise — and each one is uniquely interesting. It’s profound how the most dangerous of these villains are the ones with good intentions or just don’t perceive their actions as evil.

I enjoyed the Witch Hunter novels so much that I went out and bought two more Warhammer omnibuses and A Time of Legends book. I figure if I have only half the fun with them as I did with C. L. Werner’s tales, it’s money well spent.

Matthias Thulmann: Witch Hunter — (2004-2006) by C.L. Werner. Omnibus available. Publisher: In the grim medieval Old World, the dreaded Witch Hunters are feared above all others. These tyrannical individuals are tasked with hunting out evil throughout the towns and villages, using whatever means they find necessary in order to destroy those foolish enough to ally with the Dark Powers. Counted amongst the most zealous of the Witch Hunters is Mathias Thulmann, a ruthless individual whose exploits are recounted to scare citizens of the Empire. C.L. Werner tells the action–packed tale of Mathias Thulmann as he strives to free the Empire from evil and corruption! The Witch Hunters omnibus contains a new authors introduction, the novels, Witch Hunter, Witch Finder and Witch Killer, the short stories “A choice of hatreds” and “Meat Wagon” and the brand new short story “Witch Work”.

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GREG HERSOM’S (on FanLit's staff January 2008 -- September 2012) addiction began with his first Superboy comic at age four. He moved on to the hard-stuff in his early teens after acquiring all of Burroughs’s Tarzan books and the controversial L. Sprague de Camp & Carter edited Conan series. His favorite all time author is Robert E. Howard. Greg also admits that he’s a sucker for a well-illustrated cover — the likes of a Frazetta or a Royo. Greg live with his wife, son, and daughter in a small house owned by a dog and two cats in a Charlotte, NC suburb. He retired from FanLit in Septermber 2012 after 4.5 years of faithful service but he still sends us a review every once in a while.

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