When is a Primarchs story not a primarchs story? How about when it focuses on Malcador the Sigillite, as in LJ Goulding’s audio drama First Lord of the Imperium. It might not directly feature any primarchs, but if anyone knows their secrets it’s Malcador, and when he’s called to the bedside of an old friend to witness her final moments he comforts her with talk of the primarchs’ purpose and the grand plan he and the Emperor hold for mankind. Even under these circumstances, however, is it possible to sift Malcador’s words for the actual truth?
Nick Kyme’s Horus Heresy story Dreams of Unity shines a bleak light on some forgotten heroes of the Imperium. In the poverty-stricken underbelly of the Imperial Palace, a handful of surviving Thunder Warriors – the tattered remnants of the proto-Astartes legions with whose help the Emperor unified Terra – eke out a brutal existence as gladiators despite their ageing bodies and troubled minds, forever defined by their loyalty to an old notion. As Horus nears the Throneworld, even these abandoned warriors are affected by the approaching conflict.
A quiet, measured short story that could only have come from John French, Now Peals Midnight is the calm before the storm, in which Rogal Dorn and the loyal defenders of Terra take a last, deep breath before the Siege of Terra begins. As the ever-present unrest in the Sol system fades away leaving an eerie sense of quiet, Dorn orders the final preparations knowing that Horus is only hours away. Across the breadth of the Imperial Palace, defenders wait…from conscripts huddled in the darkness to Primarchs standing proud on the walls. At last, the wait is almost over.
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.
The worst part is the waiting…right? In his Horus Heresy short story Duty Waits, Guy Haley explores the effect on Dorn’s Imperial Fists of the interminable waiting as they man the walls of the Imperial Palace in expectation of Horus’ armies reaching Terra. With security tighter than ever after the Alpha Legion’s infiltration of Terra (you’ve read Praetorian of Dorn, right?), and civilians suffering the side-effects of a total focus on war, tensions are high and an outlet is going to be needed, sooner or later. For Captain Maximus Thane (sound familiar?) the enemy can’t come soon enough.
The first audio drama in the Horus Heresy Primarchs series, Robbie MacNiven’s Perturabo: Stone and Iron sees the Hammer of Olympia leading the inexperienced 33rd Grand Battalion of the Iron Warriors into battle. Fighting against greenskins in support of their Imperial Fists cousins, the Iron Warriors are under close scrutiny by their primarch even as they follow his orders. Though his officers seem leery of the VIIth Legion’s efforts, Perturabo sees an opportunity to impart an important lesson to his sons using the Fists as his example.
Nick Kyme’s third full-length Horus Heresy novel, Old Earth is book 47 (!) in the series, and the third and final book in the Salamanders arc that began with Vulkan Lives. If you haven’t yet read Deathfire, be warned – spoilers abound. The main thrust of the novel is the journey from Nocturne to Terra made by the reborn Vulkan, accompanied by just three Salamanders, his Draaksward. Meanwhile Shadrak Meduson tries to hold his Shattered Legions together in the fight against the Sons of Horus, while Eldrad Ulthran pulls strings (as usual) working towards his own hidden goals.
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 spoke to Nick Kyme about his new novel Old Earth, book 47 in the epic Horus Heresy series, which is available to buy now. I was lucky enough to pick up a copy at the Black Library Weekender – once you’ve read this interview, check out my review by clicking on the link at the bottom.
At the recent Black Library Weekender, the final session included a rundown of some of the titles coming soon from Black Library. Editor Nick Kyme and audio producer Matt Renshaw talked us through a whole host of new books and audio dramas, some of which had covers and some didn’t – I’ve gathered everything together here, with photos where I have them and a few snippets of info for the titles without covers. Keep reading…
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.