Black Library Book Review: Dominion (2021)

Dominion is an Age of Sigmar Black Library novel, written by Darius Hinks, that tied in with the release of the new Dominion box set. We get thrown into the realm of Ghur, home to all manner of monstrous beasts that prey on anything they come across. The city of Excelsis sits in these deadly surroundings, offering shelter to its inhabitants under the protection of Sigmar’s chosen Stormcast Eternals. To leave the city is to face certain death at the hand’s (or talons, teeth or other appendages) of the beasts of Ghur. But with the realm itself seemingly seeking to devour the city time and options may be running out.

The narrative of Dominion focuses on the story of Niksar, a sellsword of somewhat dubious morals who seeks to find his fortune in Excelsis. When someone close to him becomes embroiled in a crusade into Ghur Niksar must make the decision between loyalty to those he cares about and his instinct for self-preservation.

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Hinks does a great job painting a picture of the hideously unwelcoming realm of Ghur. Depictions of violent, often painful deaths at the hands of Ghur’s creatures are littered through the book. There was more than a few of them that almost made my skin crawl as I read the descriptions. Hinks’ writing captures the grim reality of life in (and around) the Cities of Sigmar, and the daily struggles for survival. While obviously the book sees the protagonist face danger on his adventures it also manages to weave an impending sense of doom throughout, putting the characters in a ‘dead if you do, dead if you don’t’ situation.

While the seemingly invincible Stormcast’s provide protection to the citizens of Excelsis (and Dominion gives great insight into what life is like living in the Cities of Sigmar) there are enemies emerging from Ghur that threaten even them. If you’re familiar with the Dominion box-set release you’ll know about the Kruleboyz – a new Orruk faction found in Ghur. Whilst Dominion gives some idea of how they operate they get introduced quite late in the story and the book could have been improved by possibly having more narrative about the Kruleboyz. I think a lot of Warhammer fans would have loved details about them, as it has to be said they feel more like a ‘big bad’ to challenge the poster boy Stormcast’s, rather than an established faction there to bring destruction to Ghur.

Dominion is a solid book, and a good way to learn more about life in the Cities of Sigmar, the dangers and struggles of living in Ghur and a chance to learn about the new Stormcast units and the Kruleboyz – however it definitely leans towards one of those factions. It was the first Age of Sigmar novel I’ve read, and I think it’s a good place to start, but it’s not particularly ground breaking in its narrative.

We rate Dominion:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Let us know what you thought of the book down in the comments!

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