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 the highlight has been the confirmation of February’s upcoming releases, but as usual there’s plenty more to talk about. Read on…
After a couple of months of 40k and Horus Heresy stories for Digital Monday, this week was back to Age of Sigmar with Heartwood by Robbie MacNiven (£2.49 in ebook). Not actually a new story, this was previously released as part of the Sylvaneth collection – which means it’s also in the Legends of the Age of Sigmar omnibus – but that shouldn’t take away from the fact that it’s a fantastic story. I think this is the first I’ve read of the Sylvaneth, and certainly the first Age of Sigmar story from Robbie, but based on this I’m very keen to read more of both. Have a look at my review here; if you like Age of Sigmar and you haven’t read this, I would strongly suggest you check it out.
As always, the first Wednesday of the month brought with it a new set of upcoming releases, this time no less than seven titles for February 2018, two of which are getting rather tasty looking limited editions as well. Here’s a quick run-down:
The Magos by Dan Abnett
Announced a while back on the Warhammer Community site, much to everyone’s surprise and (most people’s) delight, this is a mammoth tome containing all of the Eisenhorn short stories as well as a brand new novel. Whether it’s the start of a new trilogy, or more like a Douglas Adams-esque book four in the trilogy, remains to be seen…but I suspect this is going to be very popular indeed. And look at that limited edition! What a beast.
If Black Library do the ‘buy the LE and get the ebook for half price’ offer that sometimes accompanies the limited editions, this time around I could see it being very popular – that hardback is gorgeous, but it’s huge! I can definitely see the benefit of leaving it at home and taking the ebook with you on your commute to work…
Lukas the Trickster by Josh Reynolds
If you haven’t already checked out Josh’s first two Lukas stories – the audio drama The Art of Provocation and the short story A Trick of the Light I would absolutely recommend getting hold of them. You might also want to have a read of this interview I recently did with Josh, where he talks a bit about this book. Suffice to say it doesn’t sound like this is going to be quite so humour-laden as the audio, but I can see Josh’s style working very well for Lukas. And once again, that limited edition – beautiful!
Knightsblade by Andy Clark
Andy’s previous Imperial Knights novel Kingsblade was a hugely entertaining adventure story that harked back to a simpler age of storytelling, and is very much worth reading. This is the follow-up, and if it’s more of the same then it promises to be another great fun read. I mean…who doesn’t enjoy massive robots stomping around causing carnage…?!
The Burden of Loyalty – Horus Heresy book 48
The Heresy keeps on going, getting perilously close to the big 50. This time it’s another anthology, collecting together eight previously released stories – two novellas, two short stories and the prose versions of six audio dramas. For anyone who hasn’t read Cybernetica or Wolf King this is a great opportunity to check out two great novellas, and likewise anyone who hasn’t (yet) got into audio dramas will be able to enjoy some fantastic stories in print for the first time.
A Deadly Wit by Gav Thorpe
Gav’s ever-growing body of eldar stories gets a little larger with this, a Harlequins audio drama. As far as I know it’s the first audio drama to concentrate on the enigmatic followers of Cegorach, and it’s one of not very many Harlequins stories of any sort, so this should be fascinating. As you can see from the image, this is going to be available early at the Weekender in November.
Gaunt’s Ghosts: The Saint by Dan Abnett
Following on swiftly from The Founding, the first omnibus of Gaunt’s Ghosts stories which is available in December, this collects together books four to seven in the series into one volume. That’s Honour Guard, The Guns of Tanith, Straight Silver and Sabbat Martyr. These omnibuses are always good value, and if you haven’t already read these novels this is a great way to pick them up.
The Sundering by Gav Thorpe
Another omnibus, this time in the Warhammer Chronicles series, bringing together Gav’s three classic Time of Legends novels – Malekith, Shadow King and Caledor. By my count this will be the fourth of these newly-formatted omnibuses – it’s great to see so many classic Warhammer novels being reprinted!
There wasn’t a huge amount of other news doing the rounds this week…with the exception of this:
So last week we saw that reading from Dan Abnett on Warhammer TV, but this week we get a longer video featuring with a cool interview with Dan about not just The Warmaster but a whole range of topics. Lots of interesting things in there, so do check it out!
Speaking of interviews, this week I also published the second part of my recent interview with Josh Reynolds. Last time around the focus was mostly on Age of Sigmar, but this time our attention turned to 40k and the Horus Heresy, amongst other things. Do check it out, Josh is a fascinating guy – if you’re already a fan then this will hopefully add some depth to what you already know, but if not I hope this might tempt you to give one of Josh’s stories a go.
The weekend turned out to be fairly quiet overall, with no new books coming out – but exactly as I predicted last week it brought with it a couple of new paperback editions…plus a little something extra.
The two paperbacks in question are Jain Zar: The Storm of Silence by Gav Thorpe and The Eye of Medusa by David Guymer, each available to order now for £8.99 – presumably they’ll be in stores from next weekend. I read Jain Zar just last month, and The Eye of Medusa this week, and both are worth checking out – especially for overt fans of each faction. As always it’s great to see new paperbacks, as not everyone’s going to want to read them in hardback or ebook.
Those were the only two books to be released at the weekend, but we did also get a non-book product – the Black Library Calendar 2018! It’s not exactly cheap, as calendars go – £10 is a fair amount to spend on a calendar – but if it’s been made to the same standard as the last two years’ calendars have then I feel confident saying that it’s a nicely put together product. If I’m being picky, the fact that all twelve pieces of artwork have already been seen is slightly disappointing, as previously there have been some cool new covers revealed via the calendars. Other than that, though, this looks cool – I won’t list the artwork here, but suffice to say there are some lovely pieces included!
Thoughts on the week
The first week of each month always tends to be a good one, simply because it’s always fun to find out what books are going to be coming out next – and this was no exception. It’s perhaps been a bit of a quiet week other than that, with not a massive amount of other news or releases, but everything that’s come up has been cool, in my opinion. As is often the case, that began on Monday, with yet another really great short story. I can’t overstate how much I loved Heartwood – it’s comfortably up there with my favourite Age of Sigmar stories, and once again demonstrates why Robbie has had such a successful start to his Black Library career!
February’s new releases have obviously dominated the week, and with good reason – The Magos on its own would be massive news, never mind that amazing limited edition, while the standard doesn’t dip with the rest of the releases. I’m particularly looking forward to seeing what Josh Reynolds has come up with for Lukas the Trickster, and also getting back into the story of the Imperial Knights and Adrastapol, so Knightsblade is also exciting to see.
On the topic of limited edition releases, I’ve got to say I’ve been quite pleased to see a slight drop in the number of books getting the LE treatment in the last few months of newly-announced titles. I’ve mentioned plenty of times before that I’m not going in on the Primarchs books in LE format, but I’ve generally been a bit of a sucker for everything else. I’m not planning on getting The Warmaster in LE, largely because it’s £85 and that’s just too pricey for me, so February is the next time that my wallet is going to be tested. The Magos is pretty much a no-brainer, especially considering it’s 608 pages – it’s a touch more expensive than usual at £45, but that’s fine by me. In contrast Lukas the Trickster is 288 pages, which feels a little light…but it looks gorgeous, so I suspect I’ll succumb to that as well.
Ideally I’d like Black Library to stick to this sort of schedule, releasing a limited edition or two every few months (or arguably even less frequently), otherwise I suspect I’m going to have to start cutting down on what I buy. As long as they keep designing such beautiful looking books, though…I’ll continue to be tempted!
Lastly, as usual here’s a quick list of my posts this week if you haven’t checked any of them out yet:
- Angels of Caliban by Gav Thorpe
- QUICK REVIEW: Heartwood by Robbie MacNiven
- Josh Reynolds Talks Humour, Horror and the Age of Reynolds: Part Two
- Ruinstorm by David Annandale
- The Eye of Medusa by David Guymer
Next weekend looks like a bit of a busier one overall, with two brand new releases lined up – the next Age of Sigmar novel, CL Werner’s Overlords of the Iron Dragon, and 40k Raven Guard audio drama The Geld by George Mann. I’m looking forward to checking them out!