Today was the shortest day of the year, we were snowed up the ying-yang, and the winter solstice's full moon was marked by the first total eclipse since 1638. No better time, then, to spare a thought for the Sixth Legion Astartes.
There was probably no one waiting more eagerly for the publication of Prospero Burns than Buff (formally “Big”) Steve Bissett, friend of this parish. Earlier this week, Steve very kindly sent me a review of the book, which I would like to publish here in its entirety. If you are easily alarmed by such phrases as “cock-spankingly great”, look away now.
“Lets have this out straight now this is an excellent book. This book goes above and beyond the call of duty. It would be wrong of you to assume that this Account of events leading to the Fall of Prospero is an exact and opposite retelling of Graham McNeill’s Thousand Sons..it’s not. The telling of this saga starts out with roots like a great Fenrisian oak and ends up blossoming into full on 30k warfare, brought to you as only Dan Abnett and the Sixth Legion Astartes can. When I heard Dan was going to cast his lot with The Wolves I thought HELL YES! It would be fair to say that Dan had some concerns when approaching this subject matter: the Space Wolves of 40K can seem extraordinarily larger than life, sometimes more comic characters than Astartes. Dan’s worries about “Vikings in Space” were wholly justified, even the name “Space Wolves” in my eyes has always seemed a little jovial. With this in mind, and the added weight of responsibility to the dedicated and very loud and verbal Space Wolf fans, Dan sunk his Fangs into this challenge.
But trust in Dan! He has taken the Wolves and grounded them in his own particular way. He has rebuilt this legion from the ground up, his research has been impeccable. They are the Wolves we know but different, professional but different, darker, more sinister, cunning and, dare I say it... Scary! Yes, they are scary, all right, the kind of scary that worries even the Custodes and other Astartes. He has taken them and turned them ...well, Gothic. Even the Fang and its architecture is darker and more foreboding more like a Wolf’s lair, beautiful still, a miracle of engineering yes...just darker, we are talking.
The plot is intense. This book should come with a warning: many threads are sown in this book, and many are cut (LOL). Do not expect it to give you all its answers straight away. Like Dan said, stand with it and all will unfold to you in time. Dan has played to one of his greatest strengths: he has taken a story which could have been basically a 350 page book of drinking and bloodletting, and turned it into a story of conspiracy, intelligence, counter-intelligence, what you see you can’t see, what you know you don’t know. You would be just at home reading Eisenhorn or Ravenor when reading this account. Still it is an Account of the Wolves so there is still plenty of warfare: battle, stealth, vicious violence and slaughter in the way only the Wolves can do it and Dan Abnett can write it.
Of Primarchs and Legions, the Sixth, have now officially been given their place in the game. Questions have been asked and answered, and more have arisen. Leman Russ is ferocity and aggression personified. All Primarch’s are strategical and tactical geniuses: Russ’s place in the rankings has now been given and it is exceptional. He is lethal, loyal and he is FEARED! This is a curse as much as it is a blessing and there is a certain sadness about it, as he and his brothers know his place in the pantheon of Primarchs. Dan has really put himself into the mindset of the Wolves and things have now changed forever. So to all my Wolf Brothers (and Sisters) out there it’s time to take our place in the Hunt and, though it may alienate us, The Rout never wavers! We are sanction, and sanction must come to PROSPERO! HHHOOOWWWWWWWLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL”
It is my understanding that Steve liked it a lot. Thanks, Steve.
I’d like to leave you today in the embrace of Gideon Ravenor, with this picture of the ”The Chair” by the peerless Nic Giacondino. Merry Winter Solstice, one and all.