The Walrus & the Warwolf (Trade Paperback)

3.80/5 (based on 6 ratings)

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by Hugh Cook, with an introduction by China Miéville

A boy of sixteen, swordsmith’s apprentice Drake Douay loves nothing more than booze, loose women, and causing endless amounts of trouble. Yet when he’s sentenced to death by the merciless ogre king of his homeland, Drake has no choice but to sign on with two warring and ragtag gangs of pirates. Thus begins a life of adventure, treachery, and debauchery as Drake sails a strange world of high magic and forgotten technology, driven ever onward by his unrequited lust for the red-skinned priestess Zanya. Yet even the monstrous, insectile Swarms of the south are nothing compared to the trouble Drake finds when he returns home to discover that his former master has become the head of a new religion. And killing Drake is its first commandment...

Never before published in a North American edition, The Walrus & the Warwolf blends fierce sword and sorcery with vivid world building to create a classic of modern fantasy. This edition also comes complete with never-before-seen illustrations and an insightful introduction by award-winning fantasy author China Miéville (Perdido Street Station, The Scar).

Read China Miéville's introduction to the book in its entirety here.

464-page softcover trade paperback ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-214-2

Due to a printing error, three pages are missing from the book, and are available here (40 KB zip/PDF) as a free PDF.

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3.80/5 (based on 6 ratings)

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Not for me


I'd like to tell you what this book is about but I really can't. In the interest of full disclosure, I could not bring myself to even finish it. The story follows the exploits of Drake Douay as he leaps from one debauched adventure to another. No character is remotely appealing or even intriguing. The slight mention of incest was less jarring than it was expected... again, no character is appealing. But when the author's use of rape left me cold and put the book down.

Extremely disappointing is the best I can say.

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The 8th Dwarf wrote:

The book came out in the late 80's I remember reading them in my last years of High school - how far back in time do you think paizo should explore?

I don't understand your reference to British slang Cook was from New Zealand?

Sorry, I only realised that Cook was from NZ when I reached the end of the book, no offence meant to American authors but the book read more "British" to me. I may even have spotted some British English spelling every now and then. :)

"How far back in time?" I would vote for late 70s as the most recent. Sure, I have enjoyed "Template" and some stories from "Before They Were Giants" so I would have missed these, but what I meant was that the title of the line and the retro art, to me call for novels and short-stories from the 50s or 60s era.

As for "The Walrus & The Warwolf", well, it was "a bit meh..." as Bart Simpson would say, but I have read worse ("Baldur's Gate" the novel, yes, I am ashamed...). I just felt like siding with Elf_NFB because he appeared to be one of the few out there whose opinion about the book I felt closest to.

I could complain that the first book I did not like in the series was the thickest, which is not fair, but that would make me look like an idiot! :)

Sovereign Court

The 8th Dwarf wrote:

So does your sense of taste or Elf's sense of taste invalidate it as a book loved by others I think not.

Absolutely not. If someone enjoys this book, so much the better for them. But I found the writing style and subject matter childish and objectionable, respectively. i was excited to get this book and was disappointed. I felt, given the high praise, another opinion should be voiced. And we all know what the say about opinions. :)

I said my piece and hope it gives the inquisitive a more informed opinion. I just wish I could have sold my copy at GenCon. A third of the cover price at the auction store and no takers.... <sigh>

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Yes you can go back.

I read these novels back in the day and I was intrigued to see this book being republished.
I remembered them fondly but wondered if they would survive a re-reading. Time has move on, I've changed and the state of the art has changed.
Sometimes its better to keep the memories rather than be disappointed.

I decided to chance it.

Being cheap I got a copy out of the local library.

And it was good!

Complex characters, that are sometimes good and sometimes bad and have more than one motivation. Set in a gritty realism of life in a low tech world. Wrapped up in a complex story.

Be warned though, if you get squeamish reading dark-age/medieval history - or even some 20th century history - books this book is not for you.

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Kata. the ..... wrote:
Mothman wrote:
For the most part you can probably read them in any order. I’ll give some more detail below spoilers for the sensitive: ** spoiler omitted **...

Thanks Mothman, that was the information I was really looking for. Elf_NFB and jmidd, I understand what you are saying. I never really cared for Drake throughout the book, but I did enjoy some aspects of it.

And I hope most of the other first 4 (mentioned by Mothman in his spoilers) are not as psychopathic as Drake.

I just finished Book 1 "The Wizards and the Warriors". I enjoyed it a lot more than Paizo's choice. I will probably start "The Wordsmiths and the Warguild" before the end of the year.

SPOILERS may follow.

The Wizards and the Warriors follow a foursome (one of which is Miphon), the only one you really care about is Blackwood as they traipse across Argan trying to do right (and often failing). It has the similar problem of The Walrus and the Warwolf of an anti-climatic climax and then 20-30 pages of ending the book.

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