QUICK REVIEW: Restorer – Chris Wraight

Day Seven of 2017’s Black Library Summer of Reading campaign

Chris Wraight’s White Scars stories are rightly acknowledged as some of the best in the Horus Heresy, but if you thought that arc was over after The Path of Heaven, the short story Restorer is a reminder that their story isn’t finished. Entirely spoilerific if you’re not up to speed with events – be warned – it sees Shiban Khan back on Terra, attempting to recover both physically and psychologically from the various traumas he’s suffered since Prospero. Taking in the corridors of the Imperial Palace and the wilds of pre-Siege Terra, it’s a story of reflection and atmosphere as much as action.

It’s a rare Space Marines story that’s quite so far from the battlefield, although the point is clear that it really won’t be long before Terra will become the battlefield. There’s a poignant sense of renewal to Shiban’s character, physically and emotionally, as if one part of his life is ending and another beginning. That’s the focus of the story, but it also provides an interesting perspective on how the human citizens of Terra are coping, and the foreseen future of Terra itself. It’s hard not to hope for more White Scars from Wraight, but if this is his last Scars story it’s a powerful one to finish with.

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