Welcome to this instalment of Rapid Fire, my ongoing series of quick interviews with Black Library authors talking about their 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.
In this instalment I asked Gav Thorpe about his new novel Rise of the Ynnari: Ghost Warrior, which is available to buy right now. Gav’s well known for his eldar stories, so this promises to be a fascinating read.
Let’s get straight on with the interview – over to Gav.
Track of Words: What’s the elevator pitch summary for Rise of the Ynnari: Ghost Warrior?
Gav Thorpe: A newly rediscovered craftworld may hold the key to Yvraine’s quest for the last Cronesword, but can the re-emerging eldar be trusted?
ToW: Without spoiling anything, who are the main characters and what do we need to know about them?
GT: This is basically Ynnari 101 so Yvraine is the principal character, the Emissary of Ynnead, the awakening aeldari god of the dead. With her is the Visarch, her self-appointed bodyguard whose own past as a deathdealer threatens to catch up with him. Joining them is Iyanna Arienal, principal spritseer of Iyanden, still coming to terms with the annihilation of her family and bloodline, and the near-destruction of her home. That’s the main triumvirate driving the story.
ToW: Where and when is it set?
GT: This is a Dark Imperium novel, I suppose you would say, set after the Great Rift appears and initially focused on the craftworld of Iyanden.
ToW: Is there anything that you’d recommend readers check out before reading this?
GT: Nothing else is necessary, but my audio Hand of Darkness works as a nice prologue.
ToW: Why this story? What made you want to write this in particular?
GT: I love the eldar and the new Ynnari faction is taking the background into some very interesting areas. The chance to develop ideas for a concept – Ynnead – that I first threw down more than fifteen years ago was too tempting to pass up.
ToW: What were your main influences when writing it? Did you draw upon any real-life experience to help you plan or write it?
GT: I can’t think of any particular influence on this book, above those that have inspired my writing all along. I suppose there are elements of classic mythology in there, in terms of the quest-like nature of the story and the interweaving of fate and the mythic cycles.
ToW: Do you need to take a different approach to writing eldari in the ‘current’ 40k timeline, compared to your previous eldar stories?
GT: Not too much, although there’s a far bit of lore-wrangling going on to work out how the new faction functions on a practical basis – dark eldar soul-thirst, for example, or how the Yncarne actually manifests.
ToW: How does the final product compare to your original concept? Has anything changed much from your first ideas?
GT: There’s a lot of depth, and as much delving into eldar mythical structure as with the Phoenix Lords, which I wasn’t necessarily expecting. But other than that, it’s as I conceived it at the outset.
ToW: How does this story compare to the rest of your work? Is it a familiar style, or a departure?
GT: It’s a bit of a different style, voice-wise. It’s almost narrated in-universe in some respects, by one of the characters in the story, although not in first-person. There’s plenty of authorial asides and jokes that add a different flavour to the text.
ToW: Do you have plans to continue any aspects of this story, or is it a standalone piece?
GT: It is book one of the Rise of the Ynnari series, which will continue next year with Wild Rider.
Huge thanks to Gav for taking the time to answer these questions. Keep an eye out for a review of Ghost Warrior coming soon! If you fancy taking a look at some other Rapid Fire interviews, just click here.