Following on from events of The Master of Mankind [SPOILER WARNING], Chris Wraight’s Horus Heresy short story Magisterium tackles the Adeptus Custodes as they regroup following the appalling losses incurred in the Webway War. It follows one of the few survivors, Samonas, as he comes to terms with the changed status of the Custodes, watching on while Constantin Valdor clashes with Rogal Dorn over their place in the war to come. Interspersed with recollections of the fighting on Prospero, it’s a powerful story of the differences between the Custodes and the Legiones Astartes, and the preparations taking place on Terra.
An appetiser before his upcoming novel The Lords of Silence, Chris Wraight’s short story Endurance takes place (mostly) on the besieged Imperial world of Lystra, where the shattered remnants of the defenders continue to battle on against the endless hordes of walking dead. The situation for the Imperials is bleak, even with a scattering of loyal Space Marines bolstering the defences, and that’s before the Death Guard arrive. Dragan, known as the Gallowsman, leads his warband on the hunt for slaughter, and Lystra is in his sights.
In their first full non-Heresy outing, the Talons of the Emperor – i.e. the Adeptus Custodes and the Sisters of Silence – take centre stage in Chris Wraight’s novel Watchers of the Throne: The Emperor’s Legion. With word from Cadia looking bleak, and crises springing up throughout the Imperium, calls grow for the Custodes to end their self-enforced seclusion and fight once more at the forefront of the Imperium’s armies. Set predominantly on Terra it deals with the events leading up to the Gathering Storm, both military and political, from the perspective of the Custodes, the Sisters of Silence, and the High Lords.
Welcome to this instalment of Rapid Fire, an ongoing series of quick interviews with Black Library authors focusing in on brand new 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.
Some of Black Library’s earliest and best-loved books tackled the mysteries of the Inquisition, away from 40k’s usual battlefields, but for a while it seemed those sorts of stories had fallen out of favour. Chris Wraight’s Vaults of Terra: The Carrion Throne offers a welcome return, featuring Inquisitor Erasmus Crowl and Interrogator Luce Spinoza as they work to root out a dangerous cult deep within the heart of the throneworld, Terra itself. As the sacred festival of Sanguinala approaches and Terra swells with countless pilgrims, can Crowl and Spinoza cut to the heart of the unfolding events in time to prevent disaster?
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.
I’ve had a copy of Chris Wraight’s Blood of Asaheim on my shelf for a few years now, but until it was revealed as the seventh book in Hachette’s Warhammer 40,000 Legends Collection I had never got around to reading it. Having two copies on the shelf and STILL not reading it just seemed wrong, so I happily rectified the situation – you can find my review here, but suffice to say I thoroughly enjoyed it!
Originally published in 2013, Chris Wraight’s Blood of Asaheim sees him return to the Space Wolves after the excellent Battle of the Fang, this time set in the current 40k era. When the returning Ingvar, back after over fifty years serving with the Deathwatch, rejoins his old pack – Járnhamar – their sense of unity and identity is challenged. Under strength and weary, Járnhamar is sent to Ras Shakeh to prepare the way for a major assault, only to find the world under attack by the Death Guard, so instead stands to defend it alongside the stoic, but wary, SIsters of Battle.
The second book in The Horus Heresy Primarchs series, Chris Wraight’s Leman Russ: The Great Wolf is, like David Annandale’s Guilliman novel, not an origin story. It does however deal with the origin of a key part of the Wolves’ background – their rivalry with the Dark Angels. During the Great Crusade, the VI Legion were tasked with the pacification of the Dulan empire, who refused compliance with the Imperium. In the final stages of the campaign Russ and his brother Lion El’Jonson famously came to blows, and now we get the story of why that happened…at least from Russ’ perspective.
Another story* originally published in the event-only Honour of the Space Marines anthology, Chris Wraight’s Fatespinner pits two ancient enemies against each other as Rune Priest Thorskir Helsturjm pursues Thousand Sons sorcerer Ramon to the world of Rigo V. Hidden deep beneath the surface is a darkness from an older time that Ramon seeks to unleash, while Thorskir leads his pack in hurried pursuit, determined to finally bring his nemesis to heel and prevent his plans from coming to fruition. As their fates converge, it becomes clear that these two warriors are linked by more than just their age-old enmity.