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.
The final instalment of Black Library’s 2016 Advent Calendar, Chris Wraight’s Horus Heresy short story The Last Son of Prospero follows on from The Path of Heaven with Revuel Arvida finally having succumbed to the flesh change after guiding the White Scars back to Terra. While one war is fought deep within Terra, Malcador the Sigillite battles to save Arvida from his legion’s curse at the request of Jaghatai Khan. While the White Scars primarch feels honour-bound to help the Thousand Sons legionary, Malcador’s aims and motivations remain obscure, as ever.
On the ninth day of Black Library’s 2016 Advent Calendar we get another Horus Heresy audio drama, Chris Wraight’s The Soul, Severed, which sees Lord Commander Eidolon of the Emperor’s Children, much-altered since his first appearance in Horus Rising, leading part of his Legion in Fulgrim’s absence. Warped and twisted in the likeness of their commander, Eidolon’s warriors – the Kakophoni – are a powerful force indeed. When faced with opposition from a fellow officer as to the leadership of the Legion, Eidolon unleashes the Kakophoni to spectacular, if unexpected, effect against his fellow Emperor’s Children.