Hello and welcome to another instalment of Black Library Weekly, my regular look at what’s been happening in the world of Black Library. This week has been a little quiet in terms of new content available to buy, but it’s also seen some big new titles confirmed for later in the year. Let’s get straight to it…
A new John French story is always something to celebrate, however Hounds of Wrath is more accurately described as a ‘new to standalone ebook’ story, having been previously available in various anthologies and collections. At the usual £2.49 it’s absolutely worth a read if you haven’t yet picked it up, but I would say you’d be almost certainly better off getting hold of it in one of the collections, as they’re noticeably better value. Still, it’s an excellent story…and there’s now only one Ahriman story yet to be available on its own – Fortune’s Fool.
After last week’s stark absence of Black Library news, I had high hopes for this week. And oh, were my hopes rewarded! Right on time, at the start of the month, the next set of new titles were confirmed, this time for August…and they’re looking SO good:
Black Legion by Aaron Dembski-Bowden
The long awaited follow up to The Talon of Horus, available as a limited edition to match the First Edition of ToH, as well as a standard edition with some really, really nice cover art.
Lucius: The Eternal Blade by Ian St. Martin
Hopefully the first book in a new series, and following on from the audio drama The Embrace of Pain. Also with another amazing piece of cover art.
The Horus Heresy Book 45: Tallarn by John French
The complete Tallarn arc, or at least everything that hasn’t already been included in another anthology – Executioner, Ironclad, Siren and Witness. Yep, you guessed it…more great artwork!
Agent of the Throne: Blood and Lies by John French
An audio drama tying into John’s Horusian Wars series and following closely on the heels of Resurrection. It’s very different to the others, but – once again – fantastic artwork.
So that’s four new releases, each with some of the best cover art that I’ve seen in a long time. I saw Neil Roberts’ full Tallarn cover at an event recently, and it’s full of SO much detail. Wonderful stuff.
Amusingly, Blood and Lies popped up a little while after the others…presumably because its artwork had been included in the latest Coming Soon banner…at which point Black Library presumably figured they might as well just show us the whole thing!
As usual, when one month’s new titles are announced, another month’s titles go up for pre-order – you can now order June’s titles ready for when they’re actually released. Personally I’m looking forward to all three, but Graham McNeill’s The Crimson King – book 44 in the Horus Heresy series – is presumably going to be the biggest of the June releases.
After the excitement of the week, the weekend was pretty subdued with just a single new release – the standard edition of Space Marine Legends: Azrael by Gav Thorpe. Available in hardback (£12.99) and ebook (£9.99) it’s much more attainable than the £40 limited edition (of which there are still copies available if you’d prefer the posh version), and joins the other three books in the series – Ragnar Blackmane, Cassius and Shrike – in full release.
I say the other three, but in Black Library’s latest email they’ve included David Annandale’s Lemartes in the series. My copy has the moniker Lords of the Space Marines, as opposed to Space Marine Legends, but if you take a look at the ebook of you’ll see it has the new series logo. I wonder if Arjac Rockfist and the various digital-only short stories that were previously released as Lords of the Space Marines titles will be rebadged at some point? Perhaps it’s just unnecessary speculation, but a lot of collectors (myself included) like series to be consistent. I could certainly see Black Library re-issuing Lemartes and Arjac under the new series, in the same format as the first four…
Thoughts on the week
I have a confession to make: I’m greedy. I always find myself wanting more when it comes to new Black Library releases. If I’m entirely honest with myself though, sometimes it can be hard to keep on top of the new stuff coming out, never mind tough to find the money to buy everything! So I suppose a quiet week every now and then is actually a good thing…especially when you look ahead at the tiles that have been confirmed for the next few months! There isn’t a single book or audio drama in the current crop of upcoming releases that I’m not looking forward to reading…so a bit of time to catch up is actually quite nice.
And what a selection we’ve got coming up in August! For most people I expect Black Legion will be the big news, considering how popular The Talon of Horus was and how long we’ve all had to wait for the follow up. The pressure is on Aaron with this book, with such a weight of expectation…but I’m pretty confident he’s going to deliver. I’m also really pleased that the limited edition has been designed to match the ToH First Edition, instead of using the (admittedly lovely) stylings of the latest LEs. I mentioned earlier that collectors like consistency, and Black Library haven’t always done the best job of maintaining that – I’m looking at you, Yarrick: The Pyres of Armageddon – so it’s great to see that it’s been taken into consideration. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, this should help:
It’s just worth a quick mention of Tallarn as well, as this has inevitably generated a fair bit of commentary online. If you’re not already aware, the Battle of Tallarn has been covered in the Heresy, mostly by John French, in a series of releases in various formats – short stories, audio dramas, a novella and a short novel. These were always going to end up wrapped up in a single book as part of the numbered series, but some people are (unsurprisingly) unhappy about this. For me…I’ve bought each instalment individually, including the two limited edition books, so I’ve already bought everything that’s included in this book. I completely understand that plenty of people aren’t going to want to buy things twice, or indeed wait for a collection/anthology to come out…but I think Black Library are damned if they do, damned if they don’t. Ultimately I guess it’s each person’s choice as to whether they want to buy this – I’m quite happy to fork out another £20 for a nice hardback to go on the shelf, but if you don’t want to…then don’t!
I’m giving up on trying to guess what’s going to be released as the next Digital Monday short story…but I hope it’s another good ‘un! They’ve all been excellent so far this year, so I’ve got high hopes. As for next weekend, it looks like Gav Thorpe’s Jain Zar: The Storm of Silence is going to be the big release, which is VERY exciting. If you haven’t already read Asurmen: Hand of Asuryan you’ve got a week to get it done. It’s a fabulous book, and I can’t wait for Jain Zar.
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!