The latest in the Tales of Panithor series of books based on Mantic Games Kings of War game seems to be taking a stealth marketing plan. I like to check the blurb description to see what I can talk about without spoiling anything. Well the entirety of the blurb is
This is the tale of the rise of the Goblin King in the world of Pannithor. Goblins are a major faction in the world of Pannithor and their control under the rule of the Goblin king. Wielding great power did not come easy and the road there was studded with obstacles, But a goblin never gives up. This is the definitive tale of the Goblin king's path to power.
So with that it effectively spoils nothing. This is about as non-committal and uninformative as it can get, so I'll try not to spoil too much.
This is a fairly straight forward adventure story, telling how a lowly goblin scout gradually maneuvers his way to power. Grogger is, like the vast majority of goblins, a coward typically looking simply for how to survive. Through a few misadventures actually starts to gain both confidence and a small amount of power. Whether the it is the prophesy of the a goblin wiz that says he will become the King of the Goblins, or the sword empowered with the power of the Abyss that gives him the new found courage to begin to lead his small band of followers, growing with each small victory.
The third edition Kings of War rulebook gives Grogger a callout paragraph, so this is finally going much deeper into his story. It is also fun to actually read about one of the Kings of War Living Legends, as he encounters the legendary Magwa and Jo'os. Finding ways to incorporate pieces and parts from the game naturally into a story is done very smoothly (I especially like when they find the gadjit town and the Wingit later joins in a battle (and the bangit throwing explosives from it)).
This isn't a deep morality play, and Grogger, while the protagonist of the story, is not a good person. The antagonist in the book are the 'good' guys and the 'bad' guys win. It is interesting to have the normal hero's journey paradigm flipped, and the story of each step that Grogger takes to fulfill his destiny flows smoothly.
Grogger is far from being a King at the end, just beginning his journey, and I definitely would like to see this story continue and eventually tie into the already written lore.
Because it is all fun and games . .