As you may no doubt have noticed on the blog recently, I’ve been picking up the threads of my Black Library reading, first with the Beast Arises series and then with some other stuff the reviews for which will be going up in the coming days. Back in the day, sometime around 2014, I was very much immersed in the publisher’s output, having been a fan for eleven-plus years at that point, but then I dropped off and my reading was rather fragmentary. Now, the ride back has been pretty awesome and intense, and all the upcoming material for the next three months that we’ve been shown has gotten me excited all over again.
Check after the break to see what novels and short stories and audio dramas and more Black Library has coming up in the next few months! This is a curated list of products that I can very well see myself picking up and going through.
As the War for the Realm of Life continues, Lord-Castellant Lorrus Grymn leads the battered remnants of the Steel Souls warrior chamber against the sargasso-citadels of the Verdant Bay. The Hallowed Knights claim victory, but at a terrible cost – Grymn is lost to Realm of Chaos. Now Gardus, newly-reforged and fresh from the destruction of the Scabrous Sprawl, must lead his warriors into the foetid heart of Nurgle’s realm in search of the Lord-Castellant, where they must once more brave the horrors of the Realm of Decay…
This is the first novel in the Hallowed Knights series by Josh Reynolds, who established himself in the precursor to the Age of Sigmar, the Old World of Warhammer Fantasy Battles with some superlative books such as Neferata and Gotrek & Felix: Road of Skulls. From what I’ve seen of the Age of Sigmar published material, he’s also a regular contributor, and now that I’m delving back fully into Black Library’s many works, I’m once again intrigued by the Age of Sigmar novels, of which I’ve read a couple or so. Interesting setting, though sometimes it does feel too much like a fantasy version of Warhammer 40,000. Either way, the story sounds fun, and given that I love Josh’s work, I’ll definitely be checking this out.
Preorder “Plague Garden” | Releasing in June
More Josh Reynolds:
- End Times: The Return of Nagash (Review)
- Gotrek & Felix: Road of Skulls (Review)
- Gotrek & Felix: The Serpent Queen (Review)
- Knight of the Blazing Sun (Review)
- Zavant Konniger: The Riddle of Scorpions (Review)
- Blood of Nagash #1: Neferata (Review)
- Guest Post: “The Little Black Book of Names”
The Elysian Drop Troops are famed throughout the Astra Militarum for their rapid deployment tactics, utter fearlessness and expertise at grav-chute assaults. The 158th Elysian are once such regiment, ordered to pacify piratical warbands at large in their native system. But as the campaign commences, disaster strikes, the regiment’s inexperienced and arrogant captain the cause. Only through the ingenuity of Sergeant Zachariah is a victory salvaged, but at a terrible cost.
Running time: 57 minutes
Narrated by: John Banks
Most Imperial Guard players for the tabletop Warhammer 40,000 game will tell you, when asked, that they’ve always wanted to play an army of Elysian Drop Troops. And if I’m not mistaken then at least one Imperial Armour book from Forge World has provided the basis for army lists and unit types and sufficient lore for them as well. They are among the more flavourful of all Imperial Guard regiments, and to finally get an audio featuring them, from the excellent John Banks no less, is definitely a very exciting prospect!
Preorder “Scions of Elysia” | Releasing in June
War rages in the Caradryad Sector. Worlds are falling to madness and rebellion, and the great war machine of the Imperium is moving to counter the threat. Amongst its agents is Inquisitor Covenant. Puritan, psyker, expert swordsman, he reserves an especial hatred for those of his order who would seek to harness the power of Ruin as a weapon. Summoned to an inquisitorial conclave, Covenant believes he has uncovered such a misguided agent and prepares to denounce the heretic Talicto before his fellows. But when the gathering is attacked and many left dead in its wake, Covenant vows to hunt down Talicto and discover the truth behind the mysterious cult apparently at the heart of the massacre, the Renewed. In the murky plot into which he is drawn, Covenant knows only one thing for certain: trust no one.
John French is currently one of the best writers at Black Library and has delivered some really good hits over the years. Working in both the M41 era and in the Horus Heresy, he certainly has a very good range in his work, and it seems that he is expanding that with this new novel which is Inquisition focused. Given the recent Carrion Throne by Chris Wraight, it seems that Black Library is finally dipping back into the wonderful world of the Holy Ordos and I’m certainly on-board for that as I loved the old Inquisition books by Dan Abnett.
Preorder “Resurrection” | Releasing in July
More John French:
- Horus Heresy: Grey Angel (Review)
- Horus Heresy: Templar (Review)
- Horus Heresy: Warmaster (Review)
- Horus Heresy: Athame (Review)
- Space Marine Battles: Fateweaver (Review)
The tau are a mysterious alien race, diametrically opposed to the Imperium of Man in every possible way – in their mastery of technology, methods of warfare and social structure. Yet in galactic terms they are a young race, and naive when it comes to the manipulations of Chaos. When promising young Commander Farsight is promoted to lead a crusade across the Damocles Gulf to reclaim the tau’s lost colonies from mankind, the mood is one of optimism. With their mighty fleet, and superior weapons and machines, how can their endeavour possibly fail? However, despite a parade of early successes, Commander Farsight soon faces enemies he wasn’t anticipating, and finds not only his courage but also his soul tested to the very limit.
There have been a few stories over the last few years that have focused on the Tau, whether tangentially such as Andy Hoare’s Rogue Trader trilogy or directly such as Shadowsun: The Last of Kiru’s Line by Braden Campbell. I can’t say exactly that I enjoyed these stories all that much, but there does seem to be a lot of output focusing on the Tau in the last three years or so, and this seems to be more along the same lines, focusing on one of the most well-known Tau characters in the lore. This one has me certainly very curious.
Preorder “Farsight: Crisis of Faith” | Releasing in July
Born to a life of political conflict, Perturabo was always considered a child prodigy among the people of Olympia – indeed, his philosophical and scientific works were beyond compare. But then, after his rediscovery by the Emperor and decades of thankless military campaigning on the Great Crusade, the primarch begins to resent his Legion’s place in the Imperium. When word reaches him of turmoil on his adoptive home world, he orders the Iron Warriors to abandon their campaign against the alien hrud and crush this emerging rebellion by any means necessary…
One of the “innovations” in the Horus Heresy series that I seem to have missed out on during my time away from Warhammer is the Primarchs sub-series which focuses on a particular Primarch for each installment. Ostensibly not directly a part of the main numbering of the series, these do seem to be popular books and I’ve heard good things about them in the main. This one focuses on Perturabo of the Iron Warriors, who is perhaps one of the most secretive of all the Traitor Primarchs, and given that this is by Guy Haley, who currently ranks as one of the best writers at Black Library for me, I’m definitely going to give this a read. And I’m always up for learning more about the Primarchs before they the Heresy.
Preorder “Perturabo: The Hammer of Olympia” | Releasing in July
More Guy Haley:
- Beast Arises#5: Throneworld (Review)
- Warhammer 40,000: Baneblade (Review)
- Angels of Death: Final Journey (Review)
- Space Marine Terminators: The Black Pilgrims (Review)
- Third War For Armageddon: The Eternal Crusader (Review)
- Horus Heresy: Strike and Fade (Review)
- Richards and Klein #1: Reality 36 (Review)
- Richards and Klein#2: Omega Point (Review)
- Champion of Mars (Review)
- Crash (Review)
- Guest Post: Using Names In Fiction
For more than two hundred years, the armies of the Emperor of Mankind fought to reconquer the galaxy – led by the superhuman primarchs, the Space Marine Legions brought countless worlds back under the rule of ancient Terra. Now Horus, once honoured Warmaster and favoured son of the Emperor, has been corrupted by the whispered promises of Chaos. At his command the Imperium is torn apart by a terrible and bloody civil war, the likes of which the galaxy has never seen… As Horus’s rebellion gains momentum, more and more worlds flock to his banner. For some, it is through fear of annihilation; for others, it is out of malicious desire. Any that consider resistance are given one chance to swear fealty. To do anything other is to court disaster and worse. Accazzar-Beta is one such defier, but in bringing this heavily-fortified Mechanicum world to heel, just how far is the Warmaster willing to go and what truly is the meaning of a dark compliance? As two fleets engage across the gulf of the void, Accazzar-Beta will find out.
Another John French offering, this time in audio form. Warmaster Horus in-person? Sign me up. That’s all that needs to be said about this!
Preorder “Dark Compliance” | Releasing in July
He is Fulgrim’s champion, the Soulthief, and the Scion of Chemos. His name is whispered and cursed across both time and space, a peerless blademaster who even death cannot threaten. He is Lucius the Eternal, blessed by Slaanesh and the greatest swordsman of all the fell Legions imprisoned within the Eye of Terror. With his armies exhausted by unending war and consumed by their own twisted iniquities, Lucius turns to an erstwhile brother of the Emperor’s Children to rebuild his strength. Faced with betrayal from without and even from within his own flesh, will Lucius discover something that even one who cannot know death should fear?
Lucius is one of the most despicable yet fascinating characters from the Horus Heresy and from old tabletop lore. Which speaks to how well he is written. I’m not familiar with Ian St. Martin’s previous work, but this one is sufficiently intriguing that I will for sure be picking it up.
Preorder “Lucius: The Faultless Blade” | Releasing in July
Ezekyle Abaddon and his warlords strive to bind the newborn Black Legion together under threat of destruction. Now Khayon, as Abaddon’s most-trusted assassin, is tasked with ending the threat of Thagus Daravek, the self-proclaimed Lord of Hosts – a rival to the Ezekyle’s final fate. Fighting the vile whispers of the Dark Gods within his mind, Abaddon turns a fevered gaze back to the Imperium, where his destiny awaits. Yet the Emperor’s Champion and his Black Templars stand guard at the gates of Hell, and Sigismund has waited centuries to face Abaddon in battle.
Continuing the Chaos Space Marine theme, we have the second novel in Aaron Dembski-Bowden’s Black Legion series which began with Talon of Horus some years ago. I have yet to read that novel, though it has been on the backburner since it was released. For me, while Aaron has written some really great novels like The First Heretic and Soul Hunter, he has written some not-so-good ones as well. The fact remains that he is rather prolific and has a strong range of work similar to John French. And with the release of this novel impending in a couple months, I’ll finally be getting on with the trilogy and look forward to reading this one as well.
Preorder “Black Legion” | Releasing in August
More Aaron Dembski-Bowden:
- Horus Heresy: Butcher’s Nails (Review)
- Horus Heresy: Prince of Crows (Review)
- Horus Heresy: The Underworld War (Review)
- Grey Knights: The Emperor’s Gift (Review)
- Night Lords #1: Soul Hunter (Review)
- Night Lords #1.5: Throne of Lies (Review)
As the Warmaster’s campaign of galactic domination continues, his generals seek out fresh battlefields to conquer. After leaving the Crone World of Iydris behind, Perturabo strikes for Tallarn. A bitter, vengeful primarch, the lord of the Iron Warriors unleashes a deadly bombardment against the world, killing millions but entrenching the survivors. A brutal, all-consuming armoured conflict ensues, the greatest of the war, and one that grinds down all combatants over more than a year of relentless battles. But Perturabo’s reasons for the attack are about more than unleashing punitive destruction against the Imperium – he has an entirely darker purpose in mind.
More John French! I swear, that man is a wordsmithing machine like few I’ve seen in all my years as a fan of speculative fiction. Returning to the Horus Heresy once again, what we have here is the collected edition of John’s novella Tallarn: Executioner, the novel Tallarn: Ironclad and the two short stories Tallarn: Siren and Tallarn: Witness. The Battle of Tallarn is one of the most defining tank battles in the Horus Heresy and while I haven’t been able to read any of John’s takes on it previously, the reprinting as an “omnibus” is definitely the motivation to do so and I eagerly await this release.
Preorder “Tallarn” | Releasing in August
For Ianthe, war is all too familiar. A former soldier in the Astra Militarum, she now serves Inquisitor Covenant as an agent of the Throne. Her first mission sees her investigating a cult called the Children of Eternity. Falling foul of the local Enforcers, Ianthe soon learns that war in the shadows is seldom straightforward and that the local, angry law-keepers are the least of her troubles.
Yet more John French this time, and audio to boot, and more Inquisition on top of all that! I like this. Stories of the Inquisition are not necessarily the stories of just the feared Inquisitors and this one seems to focus on a retainer, which is an angle that I definitely appreciate and want more of in Warhammer 40,000. This one hits the nail on the head and should be really good. Plus it is part of John’s Inquisition series featuring Inquisitor Covenant as per Resurrection above, so more backstory is always good.
Preorder “Agent of the Throne: Blood and Lies” | Releasing in August