Review: VENGEFUL SPIRIT by Graham McNeill (Black Library)

McNeill-HH-VengefulSpiritThe Traitor Horus returns…

Once the brightest star in the Imperium and always first among his primarch brothers, Horus has dragged the Space Marine Legions into the bloodiest conflict that the galaxy has ever seen. While their allies wage war on a thousand different fronts, the XVIth Legion descend upon the Knight world of Molech – home to the ruling House Devine, and a principal stronghold of the Imperial Army. The forces loyal to the Emperor stand ready to defy the Warmaster, but just what could have drawn Horus to attack such a well defended planet, and what might he be willing to sacrifice to fulfill his own dark destiny?

With its 29th instalment, the Horus Heresy series continues to entertain and impress. McNeill is probably the most skilled of the ‘old hands’ still working on the series, and with Vengeful Spirit he brings Horus himself back into the spotlight. It’s an epic, engaging novel, with just a couple of minor niggles, but also a few welcome surprises. Continue reading

Upcoming: “Vengeful Spirit” by Graham McNeill (Black Library)

McNeill-HH-VengefulSpiritI’ve already posted the full artwork for Graham McNeill’s next Horus Heresy novel, Vengeful Spirit. Now, however, I’ve managed to dig up a synopsis, which gives me another opportunity to feature it – I’m sure everyone who reads CR is fully aware of how much I enjoy the HH series of novels and short stories. So, without further ado…

On the planet of Molech, the Titan Legions go to war against the armies of Horus.

Once the favoured son of the Emperor of Mankind, the name of Horus has become a curse to the loyal defenders of the Imperium, and a rallying call to the traitor forces tearing across the galaxy. While their allies wage war on a thousand different fronts, the XVIth Legion descend upon the Knight World of Molech – home to House Devine and their feudal levies, and a principal seat of Imperial military power. Just what could have drawn Horus to attack such a strongly defended planet, and what might he be willing to sacrifice to fulfill his own dark destiny?

I’m still not 100% sure when this is going to be released – Amazon UK has September 2014 listed as publication, but Black Library often releases things a little earlier through their own store/website. So maybe a couple months earlier? Needless to say, whenever it’s available, I can’t wait to read it.

The Horus Heresy: Horus Rising, False Gods, Galaxy in Flames, Flight of the Eisenstein, Fulgrim, Descent of Angels, Legion, Battle for the Abyss, Mechanicum, Tales of Heresy, Fallen Angels, A Thousand Sons, Nemesis, The First Heretic, Prospero Burns, Age of Darkness, The Outcast Dead, Deliverance Lost, Know No Fear, The Primarchs, Fear to Tread, Shadows of Treachery, Angel Exterminatus, Betrayer, Mark of Calth, Promethean Sun, Scorched Earth, Vulkan Lives, Scars (episodes I-III, IV-IX, X-X11), The Unremembered Empire

New Horus Heresy Artwork: “Vengeful Spirit” by Graham McNeill (Black Library)

I nabbed this piece from the Black Library blog. It is going to grace Vengeful Spirit, the next Heresy novel by Graham McNeill. Haven’t the faintest idea what it is about, specifically, but there’s an Amazon UK listing, now. The cover text states: “The Battle of Moloch” (no idea), and “The Sons of Horus reclaim their place at forefront of the galactic civil war.” It’ll certainly be nice to see the Sons of Horus back at the centre of the story – the last time was the original three novels, no?

VengefulSpirit-Art

That is one angry-looking Warmaster on the left. With a very big stick… [And what looks like a Star Destroyer up above.] Amazon also had the finished cover:

McNeill-HH-VengefulSpirit

Upcoming: “The Unremembered Empire” by Dan Abnett (Black Library)

Some more information about Black Library’s ongoing, excellent Horus Heresy series. This is looking further ahead, so there’s even less information available. But, as a Heresy junkie (I have a review of four short stories coming up, as well as the next full-length novel ready to be devoured), here is the cover art for Dan Abnett’s next novel in the series:

Abnett-HH-UnrememberedEmpire

Also, on an interview over on The Bolthole, Dan Abnett had the following mini-snippet to say about the novel:

“Next for me is The Unremembered Empire, which is a direct sequel to Know No Fear and takes the Ultramarines (the survivors) back to Macragge. Then again, Aaron’s (Dembski-Bowden) Betrayer is also a direct sequel to KNF, so KNF is a bit of a branching book. The interweaving is getting more complex and the pace is picking up.”

Here is the full art…

Abnett-HH-UnrememberedEmpire-Art

Dan Abnett is the author that kicked the series off with the truly amazing Horus Rising. The 26th novel in the series, Vulkan Lives (by Nick Kyme) will be published very soon.

UPDATE (Aug.21): Here’s the synopsis:

Believing Terra has already fallen to the Warmaster, Primarch Roboute Guilliman founds the Imperium Secundus.The unthinkable has happened – Terra has fallen to the traitor forces of Warmaster Horus! Nothing else could explain the sudden disappearance of the Astronomican’s guiding light at the heart of the Imperium, or so Roboute Guilliman would believe. Ever the pragmatist, he has drawn all his forces to Ultramar and begun construction of the new empire known as Imperium Secundus. Even with many of his primarch brothers at his side, he still faces war from without and intrigue from within – with the best of intentions, were the full truth to be known it would likely damn them all as traitors for all eternity.

… END UPDATE…

In other Horus Heresy news, I’ve dug up a little bit more for the series’s future. Major hat-tip to First Expedition for this information about other upcoming Horus Heresy fiction, which I found while searching for a synopsis of The Unremembered Empire (which still eludes me…). Here is some of what is still to come in the near future…

MACRAGGE’S HONOUR – Dan Abnett/Neil Roberts

Due for publication in November 2013

“Full colour, 100-page graphic novel, hardback to match the rest of the HH series perfectly. This will NOT be available in partwork, nor split into comics, and is being produced SOLELY by Black Library. It follows the naval duel mentioned in ‘Know No Fear’, between Marius Gage and Kor Phaeron. This will be available in time-limited edition with extra content, as well as non-limited edition later.”

VENGEFUL SPIRIT – Graham McNeill

No publication date as yet.

This is pithily described as, simply, “Novel”. Who ever said the art of brevity was dead on the internet…?

CYBERNETICA – Rob Sanders

No publication date as yet.

“Limited edition novella, which shows what is currently happening on Mars. Techno-heretics are released from imprisonment by loyalist forces fighting a rebellion war on the surface against Kelbor Hal.”

Unnamed CORAX Novella – Gav Thorpe

No publication date as yet.

“Literally, what Corax did after Deliverance Lost: attacking a forge world which had begun producing daemon engines. Also described is a ‘battle’ between two floating cities which ‘broadside’ each other for weeks while assault troops jump back and forth between them.”

In addition, two more anthologies have been announced (though, I have no idea where), titled SHATTERED LEGIONS and THE SILENT WAR. Laurie Goulding will apparently be editing both of these books.

I’ll update this information, or write new posts as-and-when more information is unveiled. Watch this space!