Tyrion & Teclis Trilogy by William King (Book Review)

When William King returned to the Black Library some years ago after taking a long break writing various Warhammer fiction, his first trilogy for the fantasy arm was the Tyrion & Teclis trilogy that told the origin story and the adventures of two of the most famous High Elves of the Old World, the twins Tyrion and Teclis, one a warrior and the other a mage. In the High Elven lore, they are both great champions and much has been written of them, but this was the first time we got up close and personal. And it proved to be a decent enough experience as a reader, although there were definitely moments where I felt that the story and characters missed their mark.

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Garro by James Swallow (Book Review)

I started listening to the Black Library audio dramas back in September 2011, well after they’d been established as an important by the publisher. Ranging from stories set in Warhammer Fantasy Battles or the various shades of Warhammer 40,000 the audio drama series have definitely carved for themselves a niche among Black Library’s many products. None however have been as enjoyable as James Swallow’s stories featuring Nathaniel Garro, once a captain of the Death Guard legion and then a Knight-Errant for Imperial Regent Malcador following the Isstvan III treachery. Garro is the collected edition of all these audio dramas and also includes a brand-new novel, telling the story of Garro’s journey from being a legionnaire to a legion of one.

Note: This review contains some spoilers.

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Angel Exterminatus by Graham McNeill (Book Review)

This review was originally posted on The Founding Fields, here, where I got my true start as a reviewer. I read the novel back in early 2013, which was also the exact time that Black Library controversially changed how it was going to be publishing these novels. The novel itself was a decent read, packed full of some defining moments of the Horus Heresy. Enjoy!

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Butcher’s Nails by Aaron Dembski-Bowden (Audio Review)

This review was originally posted on The Founding Fields, here, where I got my true start as a reviewer. I’d been lucky enough to get an advance copy of this audio and it was a blast to listen to. I’ve preserved the original format and text of the review in this repost as there were some events prior to writing it that formed part of the context. Hope you enjoy!

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Legacies of Betrayal (Book Review)

For someone who was once as invested in the Horus Heresy as I was before I took a break from all reading, coming back to such a vast trove of stories is made easier when you have an anthology the likes of Legacies of Betrayal to ease you back in. Full of reprints of short stories, micro-short srories and audio dramas and novellas, Legacies covers the length and breadth of the ongoing Horus Heresy, giving you a great snapshot of what terrors are being wrought across the Imperium and the futile-seeming efforts of the heroes to stave off the worst. Highly recommended, especially if you need to ground yourself in the hows and whens and whats.

Note: This is a longer review than usual since there are nineteen stories of varying length in the anthology. Settle in for a long ride.

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The Eye of Medusa by David Guymer (Book Review)

The Iron Hands are one of the most enigmatic of all the Space Marine Chapters. Jonathan Green gave us Iron Hands back in the depths of time when the Warhammer 40,000 setting was still pretty new but ever since we have seen very little of them outside of the Horus Heresy. That has now changed with David Guymer’s new series which takes a very comprehensive look at the modern Iron Hands and explores the rise to fame of one of their defining characters in M41. It suffers, ironically, from the cold and unfeelingly-brutal nature of the Chapter itself, but still provides some interesting insights into one of the First Founding Chapters.

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The Carrion Throne by Chris Wraight (Book Review)

It has been some time since I’ve read anything from Chris Wraight, whom I consider to be one of the most careful and intentioned world-builders within the ranks of Black Library’s authors. Over the years, he has given us some gems like Scars and Battle of the Fang among others. His latest for the M41 era is the first novel in the Vaults of Terra series, The Carrion Throne, which explores the machinations of the Inquisition on Terra itself and paints one of the most vivid pictures of the throneworld in the current era. An absolute joy from start to finish, the novel takes some big risks and justifies them in the end.

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Ragnar Blackmane by Aaron Dembski-Bowden (Book Review)

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.

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The Crimson King by Graham McNeill (Book Review)

It has been ages since I last read something from the Horus Heresy series. Coincidentally, that happened to be Graham McNeill’s The Vengeful Spirit. And now finally, after a gap of some three years, I’m returning to the series that I fell in love with almost ten years ago. After catching myself back up with the Legacies of Betrayal anthology, I dived head-on into the latest release, The Crimson King by Graham McNeill, which carries on from A Thousand Sons, finally continuing a story almost five years old. The Crimson King does a lot to flesh out how the Thousand Sons legion fully turned away from the Emperor and how it “healed” itself after the terrible fall of Prospero. For any fan of the XVth Legion, this novel is a must-read.

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