Getting Started with Black Library – Warhammer 40,000

EDITED 24th June 2017 with the inclusion of 40k 8th Edition

Someone asked me on Twitter recently if I’d written anything about where to get started with reading Black Library books, for someone just getting into Warhammer 40,000. That’s actually a really interesting question which I thought deserved more of an answer than I could give on Twitter, so here I’m going to have a go at answering it in a bit more detail.
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QUICK REVIEW: Scar Crossed – Nick Kyme

Nick Kyme’s tongue-in-cheek Necromunda short story Scar Crossed borrows heavily, as you might have gathered from the title, from Romeo and Juliet, as a drunk named Bharde tells a tale of forbidden love in the underhive…to save his own skin. It follows two juves, Rom – a Goliath – and Juli – an Escher – as they make an ill-fated bid to forge a bright future together despite the ill-will of their respective Houses. When true love is at stake, what could stop them being together…aside from two gangs of violent, armed-to-the-teeth underhivers and an untrustworthy bounty hunter?

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RAPID FIRE: Gav Thorpe Talks Ashes of Prospero

Welcome to this instalment of Rapid Fire, my ongoing series of quick interviews with Black Library authors talking about their new releases. These are short and sweet interviews, with the idea being that each author will answer (more or less) the same questions – by the end of each interview I hope you will have a good idea of what the new book (or audio drama) is about, what inspired it and why you might want to read or listen to it.

In this instalment I spoke to Gav Thorpe about his latest 40k novel – Ashes of Prospero, the second book in the new Space Marine Conquests series. It’s available to order as of tomorrow, in paperback or ebook.

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QUICK REVIEW: Emp-Rah’s Eye – Guy Haley

A story within a story, Guy Haley’s Emp-Rah’s Eye delves into the oral traditions of the ratskins, and the initiation rites required for a young brave to become the story singer of the Five Eyes tribe. Two Tails, the current incumbent, knows that he’s dying. With five braves before him, one of whom will take his place, he tells the tale of Kopa, who made the perilous journey from Five Eyes territory all the way to the surface of the hive, to look up to the Emp-Rah’s watchful eye and tell Him that the Five Eyes tribe still lives.

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QUICK REVIEW: Burned – Darius Hinks

A blackly funny tale of betrayal and manipulation, Darius Hinks’ Necromunda short story Burned sees a long-dead Goliath ganger return to haunt his former partners. Told in first person by an unnamed narrator, it takes place many years after three Goliaths’ attempt to steal a priceless artifact led to their partnership ending in betrayal and the death of one of their number at our narrator’s hands. Now Thornax has returned out of the blue, so the narrator sets out to locate the third of their group and find a way to not just survive but profit from the unexpected situation.

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QUICK REVIEW: Death’s Head – Josh Reynolds

The first new Necromunda story from Black Library for over a decade, Josh Reynolds’ Death’s Head tells the tale of Topek Greel, an unusually literate young Goliath ganger sent on a dangerous initiation mission. Muscling his way to the dirty streets of Down Town, Greel is on the hunt for the legendarily lethal hired gun Lothar Hex – the Widwomaker – with instructions from his boss to return with Hex or not at all. Greel is savvier than most Goliaths, and he’s going to need all of his brawn and brains if he’s to survive his mission to find the Widowmaker.

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Embers of War – Gareth L. Powell

This was first posted on the British Fantasy Society website. Click here to check out more fantasy, sci-fi and horror reviews.

Book one in a new trilogy, Gareth L. Powell’s Embers of War is the first instalment of an instantly familiar-feeling sci-fi story, a tale of sentient ships and down-at-heel characters in the aftermath of a terrible war. Captain Sal Konstanz and the crew of the Trouble Dog race to the site of a downed ship, among whose passengers is someone of surprising importance to both sides of the war. Members of the humanitarian House of Reclamation, the Trouble Dog and its crew are on a rescue mission, but they soon find themselves tangled in something much more complex and dangerous.

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Wolfsbane – Guy Haley

Book 49 in the Horus Heresy series, Wolfsbane is a pretty-much-direct sequel to Vengeful Spirit and Wolf King, and also a lead-in to Weregeld from the Corax anthology. The Vlka Fenryka have returned to Terra, but are champing at the bit to take the fight to Horus. Sanguinius’ arrival in the Sol system prompts Leman Russ, against his brothers’ wishes, to take his battered and bloodied legion back to Fenris in an attempt to divine Horus’ weakness. Meanwhile in the Trisolian system, gateway to Beta-Garmon, a young and disruptive tech adept named Belisarius Cawl finds himself under unwelcome scrutiny from his superiors.

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QUICK REVIEW: Shattered Crucible – David Annandale

One of two David Annandale short stories first published in the Legends of the Age of Sigmar: Fyreslayers anthology, Shattered Crucible follows the Krelstrag Lodge as, guided by a vision of victory and an ancient oath, its armies set out on a perilous journey to bring their wrath to whatever enemies await. Leaving their isolated lodge and crossing molten ocean and Chaos-warped land in search of long-forgotten kin, the Fyreslayers are horrified at the decay and corruption they find all around as they’re tested in both body and spirit.

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Black Library Weekly – W/C 12/02/18

Hello and welcome to the latest instalment of Black Library Weekly, my regular look at what’s been happening in the world of Black Library. It’s not long until the big Black Library Celebration on the 24th, so this week’s been understandably a little low key. That’s not to say there hasn’t been some interesting stuff to talk about though, so let’s take a look from the top.

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Sons of the Emperor – Anthology

First released at the Horus Heresy & Necromunda Weekender in February 2018, Sons of the Emperor is a Horus Heresy Primarchs anthology comprising eight brand new short stories, one each from Dan Abnett, Aaron Dembski-Bowden, John French, LJ Goulding, Guy Haley, Nick Kyme, Graham McNeill and Gav Thorpe. These tales range from the earliest days of the Great Crusade to long after the end of the Heresy, each taking a different approach to representing one (or more) of the primarchs and their legionary sons. Featuring eleven primarchs and even the Emperor, chances are there’s a story here for every Heresy fan.

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