One of the great mysteries of William King’s Space Wolves series was how the young Blood Claw Ragnar Blackmane, the protagonist of the series, became an elite of the Wolf Guard without ever attaining the rank of Grey Hunter, a seasoned warrior, in Wolf Lord Berek Thunderfist’s Great Company. This was especially teased in the novel Grey Hunter when in the prologue one of Ragnar’s warriors calls him out on it and the young Wolf Lord dissembles. While Aaron Dembski-Bowden’s Ragnar Blackmane doesn’t answer that burning question (when will it happen!!??) what it does give us is a very thoughtful and introspective look at Ragnar when he was still new to the Wolf Guard and still making a name for himself in his Lord’s company. While not the finest of Aaron’s work nor his most subtle, it does come close and is a damn fine read.
In the wake of Black Library switching and changing the printing schedules and formats of its flagship Horus Heresy series back in late 2012, I fell off with the series in early 2013. Where before I read the publisher’s novels pretty much as soon as they were released or just prior, months went by before I read anything, and this applied more so to Horus Heresy since I preferred to wait for the regular paperback editions. As such, I am significantly behind in my reading, though the experience of catching up has been fairly delightful thus far, especially with their various audio dramas. I got back on track back in May with Nick Kyme’s Vulkan Lives, and that reignited my interest in the series, though I haven’t been able to read another Heresy novel until just a few days prior.
Mark of Calth is the twenty-fifth novel in the series and to read this one, there isn’t a lot that someone needs to have read already, which is great really. The anthology kicks off from Dan Abnett’s fairly amazing Know No Fear from 2012 and it expands upon a lot of the minor arcs in that novel, as well as setting the stage for more future stories. Guy Haley, David Annandale, Graham McNeill and Anthony Reynolds deliver some really good stories, with lots of action packed in, while the stories by Aaron Dembski-Bowden, Dan Abnett, Rob Sanders and John French are good but do miss the mark in some ways.
Well, I’ve read the 22nd novel in the series by now, the Shadows of Treachery, and it has sparked off more stuff that I think could feasibly turn into a part 4 for this series. Anyhow, last time I talked about this topic, I covered Dan Abnett, Graham McNeill, Ben Counter and James Swallow. This time its going to be Aaron Dembski-Bowden, Gav Thorpe, John French, and Rob Sanders.
And so little time. *sighs*
Two weeks on since my last post, and things have been extremely hectic. And that is an understatement since I am totally bogged down with work. Not my day job of course, but with what I call my night job: writing.
So, lots of good stuff coming out of cyberspace today. Especially lots of good news from the universe of Warhammer 40,000.
The Black Library today reached 20,000 likes on its Facebook page. As a reward, they have given us something very very exciting to go crazy over! Head over there to check it out. Its an awesome preview of star-author Aaron Dembski-Bowden’s upcoming limited edition novella about Lorgar.
And its April now so don’t forget to pick up your copies of the Fall of Damnos [Ultramarines Second Captain under Sicarius and Tigurius against Necrons], the Victories of the Space Marines anthology, the Garro: Legion of One audio drama [seriously, the audio extract alone is worth every cent], or Knights of Bretonnia. The reviews for the first two books have been great and Nick Kyme is especially being praised for his work with the Necrons, including a refreshing take on how the Lords and their minions interact.
Games Workshop has launched the Grey Knights today! Strike Squads, Interceptor Squads, Purifier Squads, Paladins, Nemesis Dreadknights, Grand Master Draigo all await to begin a holy crusade against the filthy and gibbering Daemons of Chaos.