Hello and welcome to this instalment of Black Library Weekly, my weekly look through what’s been happening in the world of Black Library. This week has only seen two new Black Library releases, but it’s also seen some new titles confirmed as coming up in – which is always a treat. As usual, let’s start at the beginning and work our way through the week…
After a new Blood Bowl story last Monday, I didn’t think this week’s Digital Monday short story could possibly get me as excited…but I was wrong. The first new Horus Heresy short story of 2017, John French’s Ordo Sinister (£2.49 in ebook) is the first Black Library story to feature a Psi-Titan! That’s right, a psychic Titan. Fans of Forge World’s excellent Horus Heresy books may have already picked up Inferno, which features rules for these Titans in the Heresy game, but if you fancy a look at how they’re controlled and who controls them, you should DEFINITELY pick this story up. I’ve seen criticism of it for not ‘moving the narrative forward’, but in my opinion not every story has to be about taking us one step closer to the Siege of Terra. For me, it was a joy to read this story and see another part of the Heresy universe fleshed out.
After the slight disappointment of last week, when basically nothing happened during the week, it’s back to the usual plan now with the reveal of June’s upcoming titles on the Coming Soon page. Only three (so far) this time, but they’re looking rather interesting; as there are so few this time, I thought I’d take a quick look at them individually:
Horus Heresy Book 44: The Crimson King by Graham McNeill
If like me you’ve been following the Heresy series for a while now, you’ve probably been waiting for this one. The follow-up to Graham’s A Thousand Sons, we’ve had to wait over thirty books to get this – ATS was book 12 if you can believe it. In that time we’ve had some amazing insights into Magnus and Ahriman in John French’s Ahriman trilogy, and we’ve seen Magnus return to 40k, so it’s high time we get a look at what happened immediately after Prospero. Here’s a snippet of the blurb to get you excited:
“…with [Magnus’] power and personality fracturing, drastic action is needed by the Legion if they are to avoid losing their gene-father forever.”
Hallowed Knights: Plague Garden by Josh Reynolds
One of only two Age of Sigmar novels to be released so far since the conclusion of the ten-part Realmgate Wars series, this one sees Josh continue the story of the Hallowed Knights that he started in The Gates of Dawn (from War Storm). It’s apparently going to feature the first overt depiction of female Stormcast, and will see the Hallowed Knights taking the fight to Chaos…from within the Garden of Nurgle! Sounds interesting.Scions of Elysia by Chris Dows
The only 40k title confirmed so far for June, this is an audio drama featuring the Elysian Drop Troops that follows on from two short stories by the same author:The Mouth of Chaos and Monolith. Both are excellent stories that are quite distinct from the usual Imperial Guard style, largely because of the aerial methods of the Elysians, and the idea of a similar story told in the audio medium sounds like an excellent idea. This one should be loads of fun.
I should also point out that with June’s titles now displaying, April’s titles are now available to pre-order. Here’s a quick list:
- Horus Heresy Book 43: Shattered Legions
- Perturabo: Hammer of Olympia by Guy Haley (The Primarchs series)
- Warlord: Fury of the God-Machine by David Annandale (incl. LE hardback)
- Cult of the Warmason by CL Werner
- Scythes of the Emperor: Daedalus by LJ Goulding (audio drama)
I’m cheating slightly here by including Friday’s new release in the Weekend section – Dante by Guy Haley. I still can’t get my head around why some books are released on Fridays and others on Saturdays – it seems mostly to be the bigger titles, the ones with lavish Limited Edition versions, but there doesn’t appear to be a hard and fast rule. Either way, Dante was released in four different versions – Limited Edition hardback (£40), standard hardback (£18), ebook (£9.99) and MP3 (£19.99). If you’re not sure whether to pick this one up, check out Guy’s article on the Warhammer Community website which might just convince you! Also, the LE hardback is down to less than 400 copies from 1,250 in total, so you’d better be quick if you still want a copy!
In terms of Black Library, that was it for the weekend – no paperbacks or anything else released. If you’re a wider 40k fan though, Saturday also saw the third and final Gathering Storm background book go up for pre-order from Games Workshop – Rise of the Primarch. As per the first two, you can get it in various formats – hardback (£30), ebook (£21.99) and enhanced ebook (£29.99), and now you can also buy a set of all three books either in hardback (£90) or ebook (£52.99). Lastly, The Gathering Storm Companion is up for pre-order as well, once again in hardback (£25) and ebook (£19.99) formats – a look at the design and painting of the new miniatures.
Thoughts on the week
So it’s been a bit of a weird week, all told. Not a huge amount of new stuff for dedicated Black Library fans, although the two new titles are both very interesting…at least if you’re into a wide range of topics. The new titles announced for June are all looking very cool as well – I was perhaps hoping for more than just three to be announced, but hopefully that means we’ll either get more announced closer to the time, or there are some surprises waiting for us.
It’s not often that I get excited about a Games Workshop background book these days, but I have a feeling that Rise of the Primarch is going to be quite spectacular. It’s not every day that a primarch returns to 40k, after all! If you haven’t been following what’s been going on with the Gathering Storm books then I’d definitely suggest checking out the first two (even though book one is a little overblown and over-grandiose in its writing style) before picking the new one up. Only time will tell if it’s going to live up to expectation, but one way or another I think we can expect some interesting stuff to be coming out of both GW and BL in the coming months!
The last thing to mention for this week is that it’s seen the 500th post on Track of Words! Yep, this is post number 501, and hopefully the first of another 500! Thanks to everyone who’s taken the time to read one of my posts, I hope they have been useful, interesting or otherwise worthwhile.
After a new Blood Bowl story and a Heresy story featuring a Psi-Titan, I’m not even going to try to predict what next week’s Digital Monday short story is going to be! It’s going to be hard to top those two, though. As for the weekend’s release(s) it doesn’t look like there’s anything listed on the Black Library website at the moment, in which case I’m going to go out on a limb and say that I think the next Space Marine Legends book is going to get a standard hardback release – in this case Shrike by George Mann. We’ll have to wait and see if I’m right!
As always, if you’ve got any thoughts on the week’s news and releases please do give me a shout to let me know!