I just returned from an absolutely awesome weekend with my family in Tennessee. Before I got on the plane however I needed something to read since my girlfriend ported one of Robert Jordan's books to her ipod and had planned on listening to it while we flew. So we went to Borders on Thursday and I picked up 3 books; Rynn's World, Helsreach and Brunner the Bounty Hunter. Games Workshop has a production they call "The Black Library" which they house all of their fiction generated for Warhammer and Warhammer 40k. It's a brilliant concept since players will buy the fiction and then be inspired to build an army around the characters or concepts divined from these novels.
Example: Reuben has a "Blood Pact" army that he was inspired to create after reading the brilliant literature of Dan Abnett. His blog "Pick a damn army!" (located on my blog links to the right) shows his entire journey of creating a 1500 point army based upon the chaos traitor guard described in those books.
Rynn's World and Helsreach have inspired me to rebuild my Space Marine armies. I will be creating a Crimson Fist army (after my Beastman army) based on the heroics of the chapter in Rynn's World. I will also be redesigning my Black Templar army list to revolve around a Reclussiarch that functions much the same way Grimaldus did in Helsreach.
The fiction that is generated by Games Workshop authors is also very well written and I love it. Up to this point I had only read 40k fiction since I hadn't really found anything that appealed to me fiction wise in the Warhammer Fantasy universe. The High Elf trilogy looked neat but I didn't really have a burning need to read about High Elves and Dark Elves. I saw an omnibus called Brunner the Bounty Hunter and a little voice inside my head said "MINE!". After reading the first chapter I was hooked, much like I was after reading the other two books I mentioned earlier. Such fantastic writing and characters! It almost makes me want to make a human army in fantasy - hahaha I know right? I've always been a fan of the Bounty Hunter/Ranger/Huntsman/Fallen Hero/Elf type character and I have to say Brunner has jumped up into my top 5 favorite characters of all time and that says a lot since I have read a metric ton of fantasy books in my time. The 40 boxes of books in the garage will attest to this claim!
It took a while for the overall scheme that Games Workshop has devised to hit me but now that I have read enough books and really gotten into their products, I can see that their fiction line is just another way for fans to involve themselves deeper into their hobby line. It's brilliant really. Worked on me!
I strongly recommend all three of these books to any Warhammer or Warhammer 40k fan.