Ahriman : Hand of Dust

QUICK REVIEW – Ahriman : Hand Of Dust – John French

Hand of Dust, the second in John French’s Voices of Fate arc, sits between Sorcerer and Unchanged in the wider Ahriman series and sees Ahriman in reflective mood. Standing among the ashes of his Legion on long-dead Prospero, he reflects on memories of events that have seen him on the path to what he believes will be redemption. His first, horrifying glimpse of the flesh change, the moments immediately after his banishment at the hands of his father Magnus, these are the memories that he returns to before he bends his will to the next great stage in his plans.

Another short but perfectly formed story from John French, like All Is Dust, this is heavily laden with sadness at what has happened to bring Ahriman to this point, with a hint of hope towards the end that just adds to the overriding sense of tragedy. It offers tantalising glimpses of Ahriman’s life before the events of Exile, with just enough detail to feel substantial and characterful without really revealing much. After all the purpose of this sort of story is not to fill in all of the blanks but just to hint at enough to imply a wider sense of context, and that’s exactly what this does. There’s barely a bolter fired, but if you’re after an evocative slice of melancholy then this is for you.

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