On the second day of Christmas Black Library gave to us…a Brazen Claws story by Joe Parrino. Cold Roads, so named for the vessel on which the story takes place, offers a snapshot of the chapter’s Eighth Company, deep in the Eye of Terror, battling Emperor’s Children and suffering from their long exposure to the Eye. With this and its predecessor, No Worse Sin (from the Angels of Death collection), Parrino is introducing readers to the Brazen Claws as a chapter, hinting at their shadowed history and their organisation, while setting the scene for what’s to come next in their story.
As dark and austere as befits an Iron Hands successor chapter this is essentially a horror story, seen through the augmetic eyes of the company’s Techmarine as he attempts to save the ship, and save the company. Much is hinted at but little is fully revealed, leaving the reader with as many questions as answers, but nicely whetting the appetite for more Brazen Claws action. Judging by this tale it’s a long, dark road to redemption for this particular chapter; classic Black Library grimdark from an up and coming author.