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: Lost Hope – Justin D. Hill

One of three Ursarkar E. Creed short stories by Justin D. Hill, and the second to be released as a standalone e-short, Lost Hope sees Creed looking for a new way to win the war he’s embroiled in, desperate to return to Cadia. When he and Sergeant Kell head to the ice world of Lost Hope in order to conscript its population of penal workers, what appeared to be a straightforward mission quickly becomes far more dangerous as they stumble upon evidence that the enemy is already ahead of them.

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RAPID FIRE: Chris Wraight talks Watchers of the Throne: The Emperor’s Legion

Welcome to this instalment of Rapid Fire, an ongoing series of quick interviews with Black Library authors focusing in on brand 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 it.

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30 Years of Warhammer 40,000 – Commentary on the choice of books

You may have spotted that Black Library have released an ebook-only collection of novels to celebrate thirty years of Warhammer 40,000. Priced at £166.80, which works out as £5.56 per book, it’s actually pretty good value overall – as long as you’re prepared to fork out that much all in one go! Pricing aside, however, I thought it might be interesting to take a look at the thirty novels that are included, and have a think about how well each one fits into the collection.

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Vaults of Terra: The Carrion Throne – Chris Wraight

Some of Black Library’s earliest and best-loved books tackled the mysteries of the Inquisition, away from 40k’s usual battlefields, but for a while it seemed those sorts of stories had fallen out of favour. Chris Wraight’s Vaults of Terra: The Carrion Throne offers a welcome return, featuring Inquisitor Erasmus Crowl and Interrogator Luce Spinoza as they work to root out a dangerous cult deep within the heart of the throneworld, Terra itself. As the sacred festival of Sanguinala approaches and Terra swells with countless pilgrims, can Crowl and Spinoza cut to the heart of the unfolding events in time to prevent disaster?

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QUICK REVIEW: The Flesh Tithe – Miles A. Drake

The Flesh Tithe represents the Black Library debut of Miles A. Drake, a dark and powerful short story which pits Sister Hospitaller Lucia against the horrors of an invading necron army. In the dark reaches of the Ghoul Stars, the Imperial world of Sygera is rapidly falling to ruin as its defenders are scattered and massacred. As guardian of her city’s cathedral, Sister Lucia rallies a few surviving soldiers in a desperate attempt to hold out as long as possible in the midst of the chaos, although even with some unexpected allies there appears to be little hope of survival.

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Black Library Weekly – W/C 04/09/17

Hello and welcome to another instalment of Black Library Weekly, my regular look at what’s been happening in the world of Black Library. It’s been the first full week of September, which means another month’s forthcoming releases were confirmed, along with the usual set of releases for the week, so there’s plenty to look at…

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The Furthest Station – Ben Aaronovitch

Thanks to Subterranean Press and Netgalley for the digital advance copy in exchange for this review.

The first novella-length story to be published in Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London series, The Furthest Station sits somewhere between Foxglove Summer and The Hanging Tree in terms of the series’ timeline. As with the various graphic novels, it deals with a story that runs at a tangent to the series’ main arc, in this case taking a closer look at how Peter’s cousin Abigail is fitting in with things. After a rash of sightings on the Metropolitan Line, Peter, Jaget and Abigail head off up the line to find out what’s causing ghosts to start joining the rush hour commute into London.

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Lucius: The Faultless Blade – Ian St. Martin

If you’d like to read more about Lucius: The Faultless blade, check out this quick interview with the author Ian St. Martin.

As the title suggests, Lucius: The Faultless Blade by Ian St. Martin features Lucius the Eternal, Champion of Slaanesh, in a surprisingly rare non-Heresy outing for such a well-known 40k character. Set at an unspecified point pre-Gathering Storm, it sees Lucius and his dwindling warband – the Cohors Nasicae – at low ebb, much reduced from their glory days and forced into making decisions and alliances they would normally prefer not to make. Lucius himself is plagued by the voices of those whose bodies he’s usurped after having perished at their hands, struggling to maintain a grip on his mind and his warband.

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A Darker Shade of Magic – V.E. Schwab

Book one in the Shades of Magic series, V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic is a delightful, instantly engaging adventure story in a fantasy setting of linked worlds and blood magic. Each world is unique, but connected by a common factor – they each contain a city called London on the same spot, cities which were once linked freely but can now only be moved between by a tiny handful of individuals known as Antari. Kell, one of the last remaining Antari, is a risk taker – when luck catches up with him he finds himself trapped in the only London without magic of its own.

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