Divine Will

QUICK REVIEW : Divine Will – Andy Smillie

The first story in Black Library’s 2015 Advent Calendar is Divine Will by Andy Smillie, a micro-short featuring a Vindicare assassin, an Inquisitor and an extremely risky trick shot. It takes place on the world of Drex, whose population has been swayed by a dangerous, heretic cult. To bring them back into line and re-instil the appropriate fear of the Emperor into them, Inquisitor Gerhart plans to make a public, visible demonstration of the Emperor’s divine will, but to do so he requires the particular skills of a master marksman.

As with most Black Library micro-shorts (i.e 1000 words or so) this is a vignette more than anything, a focused and streamlined story that captures a single snapshot of a wider issue. It’s an illustration of one of the many ways in which the Imperium reinforces its will, in this case through a mixture of deception, religious oppression and the judicious application of precise force. Smillie does an excellent job of stripping the story down to its bare essentials, structuring the brief narrative to make the whole thing fit together and feel like a complete story despite its brevity, and managing to give both the Inquisitor and the Vindicare enough character to feel solid and three-dimensional. A good, if short, start to the Advent Calendar.

Click here to go to the main Black Library Advent Calendar post and see the other reviews.

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