The first Black Library story to be set in Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire, David Annandale’s short audio drama Doombound takes us deep into the twisting lanes of the Mirrored City as two Stormcast Eternals attempt to find a route back to their commander. For Errak Grimwatch, the journey becomes an illusory tangle of past and present as memories thought lost in the mists of reforging blend with his strange surroundings as something seeks to draw him off-course. Meanwhile, among the ever-changing streets of Shadespire, Errark’s visions are also shared by a warrior of Khorne.
Sixteen books and three years after The Damnation of Pythos, David Annandale’s second Horus Heresy novel is Ruinstorm, book forty-six in the series overall. Signalling the end of the Imperium Secundus arc (therefore NOT to be read before Angels of Caliban), it sees the Triumvirate of primarchs – Guilliman, Sanguinius and the Lion – setting out from Ultramar to defy the Ruinstorm and find their way to Terra. Each chooses an approach based on their own approach and inclination, but can they find a way through? Most 40k fans know the answer to that, but now we can find out just what happened and why.
Welcome to this instalment of Rapid Fire, my ongoing series of quick interviews with Black Library authors talking about their 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.
In this instalment I asked David Annandale about his new Horus Heresy novel Ruinstorm – book 46 in the series! It’s available to order now, so let’s get straight on with the interview.
Book four in Black Library’s Realmgate Wars series for Warhammer: Age of Sigmar, Call of Archaon is a collection of eight short stories by David Annandale, David Guymer, Guy Haley and Rob Sanders, each contributing towards a single wider story arc. Between them they tell the tales of three champions of Chaos, chosen to compete for the honour of joining the Varanguard and to fight beside Archaon himself. Each one the followe of a different Chaos god, they follow their own paths to the inevitable final showdown, manipulated all along by the unseen hand of Archaon’s subject, the Many-Eyed Servant.
The penultimate short story in Black Library’s Call of Archaon miniseries, and David Annandale’s second contribution, Blood and Plague brings the main story arc to a close, focusing on Ushkar Mir and Copsys Bule as they move inexorably towards a climactic final battle under Archaon’s watchful gaze. Each champion believing himself to be the worthiest, they lead their remaining forces into a brutal clash of arms and ideologies, the followers of two very different gods fighting for their patron’s supremacy as much as their own survival. Can one champion emerge triumphant and claim his place by Archaon’s side?
The fourth of Black Library’s Call of Archaon short stories, Knight of Corruption sees David Annandale take over the reins of Copsys Bule’s tale from David Guymer, continuing the story from Beneath the Black Thumb. Forging on through a new realm, Bule and what’s left of his warband stumble across a newly-raised temple to Sigmar, built atop the ruins of an older age. Hopeful at first of a quick, satisfying victory to raise the morale of his men, Bule finds himself battling a foe previously thought to be a myth, but now standing between him and his new path.
Another Blood Bowl story from Black Library, The Skeleton Key is David Annandale’s first contribution to this growing collection of highly entertaining tales. This time the story is told from the perspective of mummy Ramtut the Third, as his Champions of Death undead team take on the honest-to-a-fault Bright Crusaders in the Dungeonbowl. Unlike a standard Blood Bowl game this involves a search for both the ball and the end zones, along with traps, teleporting skeletons, interfering goblins, and even a little cross-dimensional travel. It’s a clash of heroes against monsters even while Ramtut despairs at how far he’s fallen.
A little over seventy-five minutes long and with a nine-strong voice cast, David Annandale’s Horus Heresy audio drama The Binary Succession was described at a Black Library event as ‘Brexit with Titans’. That’s not far off; it takes place on Terra and deals with the growing tensions between the High Lords of Terra and the representatives of the Martian Mechanicum, who feel mistrusted and under-appreciated by the Imperium. Ambassador Vethorel, representative of Fabricator General Kane, has the difficult job of negotiating her way to a position of strength for the Mechanicum, while endeavouring to hold together her increasingly fractious fellows.
David Annandale’s short story The Vorago Fastness, available either in the Deathwatch: Xenos Hunters anthology or as a standalone ebook, brings together Space Marines of some of the most unusual Chapters, including the Black Dragons and the Sons of Antaeus. Tasked with recovering an ancient relic from within the Vorago Fastness, a city-sized prison-turned-mining facility, the Deathwatch kill team must battle against the (at that point) still mysterious Necrons to reach their prize. Along the way they see up close what happens when a world offers up its services as a prison for hire…
The first in what will eventually be a series of eighteen short novels, David Annandale’s Roboute Guilliman: Lord of Ultramar kicks The Horus Heresy – The Primarchs off with a look at the XIIIth Legion…the Ultramarines. Set during the Great Crusade this isn’t an origin story for Guilliman, instead it sees him leading his legion against the final remnants of an ork empire on the planet Thoas. Determined to honour the legacy of its original human inhabitants, he commits his legion to battle even while he makes moves internally to shake things up and remind some of his sons of the legion’s identity.