On the twentieth day of Christmas, Black Library gave to us…an Imperial Fists short story by Rob Sanders. The Dread Sentinels of Dorn sees Captain Kontrador of 5th Company investigating the unexplained silencing of one of the Imperial Fist-manned star forts on the border of Segmentum Solar. When the fate of the star fort and its garrison becomes clear, as a tyranid hive ship threatens his own vessel, Kontrador realises that far more is at stake than just the lives of him and his warriors.
It’s always the Imperial Fists getting eaten as they try to fight their way through tyranid ships; Rob Sanders has taken what is fast becoming a 40k trope and breathed a bit of new life into it, giving these Imperial Fists sufficient teeth to hold their own against the tyranids as well as greater than usual motivation to succeed. For the most part this is an imaginative, well-written story with strong characters considering the word count, and a simple but effective plot. It inevitably falls into routine Marines-on-a-hive-ship action as things progress, but despite that remains an enjoyable read and looks to be setting up a wider story.