This anthology definitely contains a riveting array of shorts, ranging from The Horus Heresy setting to the Time of Legends. The most startling revelation that came within these six pieces is the gem hidden inside Chris Wraight’s The March of Doom. I’ll be going over each short starting with my favorite and on down to my least.
The March of Doom follows warrior priest, Luthor Huss and his remarkably unremarkable group of zealots who fear neither pain nor death. Wraight’s story really stands out maybe for the simple fact that its characters are so much more human in nature than any of the others and the voice given to Huss feels strong and confident. I’d be interested in knowing if writing about Luthor Huss comes easier to Chris Wraight than writing about character Ludwig Schwarzhelm.
Next up is definitely a toss up, but I finally settled with Emperor’s Deliverance by Nick Kyme over C.L. Werner’s Plague Priest. Emperor’s Deliverance was over and done with way too quickly and the brief appearance of Tu’Shan only left me drooling for more Salamanders. The Marines Malevolent definitely deserve to get slapped around a bit after reading this.
Plague Priest sums up exactly what it takes to create a solid Warhammer story in my eyes. 1. A treacherous plot by the Skaven is put into action. 2. The plot goes awry when a priestess senses the poison lurking inside the grain sacks. 3. Betrayal lurks nearby and most likely the outcome gets a little messy.
I still haven’t read Dead Winter yet (which I‘m dying to), but I’m hoping to before the year is out.
Graham McNeill is one of my favorite Black Library authors; his Ambassador Chronicles might be my favorite Warhammer Fantasy novel – period. Death of a Silversmith is a solid piece even if a tad uneventful. The saving grace within this short is the significance of the pieces the Silversmith creates, otherwise this piece would be slumming it at the bottom. If you are not a fan of the Horus Heresy series this isn’t for you.
I’m grouping the final two together, Gav Thorpe’s The Curse of Shaa-Dom and Andy Chamber’s The Treasures of Biel-Tanigh are both about the Xenos Eldar and while they are both great stories they just didn’t do it for me in comparison with the other top three. Ironically everyone seems to be after the same deadly artifact and it’s doubtful that anyone comes out the victor.
Overall the quality of these shorts is once again topnotch for a Black Library product, but if you aren’t a true fan and collector it’s doubtful the $20.00 price tag on this small anthology will make you bat your eyes in its direction. (Free shipping is what sold me on it.) 7.5 out of 10 Liams for this Black Library Games Day collector’s piece.