QUICK REVIEW: Ghosts Speak Not – James Swallow

Available either within the anthology The Silent War or alongside Patience as an ebook double header, James Swallow’s novelette (i.e. long short story) Ghosts Speak Not fits into the wider narrative of Malcador’s Chosen but features Amendera Kendel instead of the usual Nathaniel Garro. It sees the former Sister of Silence, now Malcador’s Agentia Tertius, tasked with investigating the possibility that Horus has his seeded spies in a system close to Terra. Kendel looks to Garro’s fellow Death Guard from the Eisenstein to help her as she attempts to root out the truth in the Proxima Centauri system.

Picking up the threads of Kendel and ‘The Seventy’, the remaining loyal Death Guard, Swallow nicely combines them in an entertaining story that turns out a little less straightforward than it looks like at first. Kendel has moved on since we last saw her in The Voice; she’s growing into her new role and adapting her old skills, though she and her new companions are still learning how to find their place in the changing galaxy. It’s a story about loyalty and duty, how they change and how perspective can alter them, and it suggests we’ll see more of Kendel and co. in future.

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