Black Library Weekly – W/C 07/08/17

Hello and welcome to another instalment of Black Library Weekly, my regular look at what’s been happening in the world of Black Library. August is rapidly progressing, but after an exciting week last time around things have calmed down a bit – which is good for the wallet, albeit a bit less interesting. Let’s take a look at what’s been going on, though…

Monday
As always the week kicked off with a Digital Monday short story, which this week was Old Scars by George Mann (£2.49 in ebook), a Brazen Minotaurs story. Mann is predominantly known for his Raven Guard stories in 40k, and if you’ve followed those stories then you may have already ready this as it’s included in the Legends of the Dark Millennium: Sons of Corax anthology. If it sounds odd for a Brazen Minotaurs story to be included in a Raven Guard anthology it’s because two of Mann’s other Raven Guard tales – Labyrinth of Sorrows and The Unkindness of Ravens – both feature these guys alongside the Raven Guard. You can read my review here, but while it’s an entertaining enough story I’d caution that it’s not the type of story to really add much more depth to this lesser-known chapter…sadly.

Midweek
As is often the case in these in-between weeks, after last week’s confirmation of cool new titles there wasn’t a lot going on during the week. The one thing I spotted which I think happened this week (although it’s hard to keep track of, so I’m not 100% ) was an extract of Josh Reynolds’ upcoming Horus Heresy audio drama Blackshields: The False War going up on the Black Library website. As far as I’m aware this wasn’t there when the listing first went up on the website – so if you fancy a sneak preview of this audio then you can go and check it out now.

That’s all I spotted – do let me know if you found anything else happening during the week!

Weekend
After last week’s surprise pre-order for Aaron Dembski-Bowden’s Black Legion (just in case you didn’t know, the general assumption was that it would be released last week, not up for pre-order – click here for more info), I feel the first thing to say here is that the ebook is now available to download via Black Library’s website. It’s already getting pretty good ratings and reviews so far – it’s rated at 4 out of 5 on Goodreads – and I’m sure there’s going to be lots of discussion about this book in the coming weeks. If, like me, you’ve ordered the limited edition then you should hopefully see it being dispatched from next week – fingers crossed we don’t have long to wait.

On the subject of the Black Legion limited edition it’s interesting to note that there are still plenty of copies available – the Black Library website currently has a ‘fewer than 1,000’ banner, which considering how fast Aaron’s previous LEs have sold is rather revealing. Aaron’s authorial stock is as high as it’s ever been so I suspect the issue here is the saturation of expensive limited editions – when they were still a rare occurrence they would always sell out straight away, but in case anyone needed further proof I would say this demonstrates once and for all that there have just been too many of them. Don’t get me wrong, I like them a lot myself – but the hype and excitement around them has faded considerably.Although, I did point out last week that there was pretty much zero marketing done to support this release, which can’t have helped…

Anyway, on to the rest of the releases and this week we didn’t get anything in the way of brand new titles. Instead we got two paperbacks, one for a Horus Heresy novel originally released back at the tail end of 2016 and one for a 40k novel first published in January 2017. First up is the Heresy novel – Chris Wraight’s The Path of Heaven – which is out in mass market paperback (i.e. the small format that only the Heresy are released in any more) for £7.99. It’s the sequel to the incredible Scars and is without doubt one of the most powerful Heresy novels in the series. Here’s my review if you fancy checking it out.

The Path of Heaven

Secondly we have Kingsblade by Andy Clark, the first ever full novel to be written specifically about the Imperial Knights faction – this one’s available in the standard paperback format (what I would have called a Quality Paperback back when I was working as a bookseller) for £8.99. I really enjoyed this one, as I’ve enjoyed all of Andy Clark’s writing so far – here’s the review, and I’d definitely recommend picking it up if you’re after a great adventure story complete with big stompy/shooty robots.

Thoughts on the week
Compared to last week it’s definitely been a lot quieter, both in terms of news and releases, but then that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I was slightly disappointed by the short story on Monday, and a little surprised that the weekend only brought new paperbacks (although I’m always pleased to see new paperbacks), so on the one hand it’s felt a touch underwhelming. On the other hand, it can’t always be massive excitement every week, and it’s ABOUT DAMN TIME Path of Heaven came out in its final format ready for anyone who hasn’t read it yet to experience the highs and lows of that particular tale!

It’s not Black Library-related (yet), however there’s one other piece of news this week which has got me VERY excited – the return of Necromunda! If you haven’t already, stop reading this (yep, seriously) and go click that link to read the Warhammer Community article about Necromunda – read it, then come back here. I mean…this is Necromunda, we’re talking about – one of the greatest games Games Workshop have ever made! Still not convinced? Have a read of this article, and check out some of these pictures of the boards people play this game on.

If you’ve spent much time on Track of Words then you’ll know how much I love Blood Bowl – well Necromunda comes a close second in my all time favourite GW games list, and I CANNOT WAIT to pick the game and the new models up and start playing. I’m assuming – hoping – as well that this is going to see some new Black Library fiction released to tie in with the new game. We got a full dozen new Blood Bowl short stories, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for something similar with Necromunda. Please, Black Library – make it so!

Coming up…
Next week is looking pretty good on the releases front, with two new titles listed on the Black Library website – John French’s audio drama Agent of the Throne: Blood and Lies and Ian St. Martin’s novel Lucius: The Faultless Blade. I’ll try to get a review of Blood and Lies up during the week, as I picked the audio drama up at Warhammer Fest, and I’ll probably buy Lucius straight away so I’ll hopefully get that read and reviewed soon. Lots to look forward to!

As always, if you’ve got any thoughts or comments on the week’s news and releases please do get in touch via the comments section below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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