On the fifth day of Christmas Black Library gave to us…a Commissar Yarrick short story by David Annandale. Picking up threads from elsewhere in this growing series, Concordat sees still-young Yarrick on the hive world of Aighe Mortis, participating in a recruitment drive to replenish depleted Mortisian regiments. As some familiar faces unexpectedly appear and he’s forced into conflict with the Inquisition, he has to draw upon every weapon at his disposal to survive.
As with much of the rest of the series, it’s fun to see Yarrick as he was before Armageddon, already developing many of the skills he would put to good use in his future career. There’s plenty of action in this story, but it focuses more on his growing political and strategic awareness as he comes up against two very different strands of the Inquisition; one that he has to work with and one that he’s very much fighting against. With this series David Annandale is really showing his versatility, largely leaving behind his horror influences but continuing his trend for strong characterisation and tight plotting. With several short stories now available, the scene looks to be set for the next full Yarrick novel.