Book Review: Tales from the Dark Millennium (Anthology)

Book : Tales from the Dark Millennium
Editor : Marc Gascoigne and Christian Dunn
Pages : 253

The Pyrus Reach Sector is under attack from the vast hordes of Chaos, Orks and Eldar and it falls to the brave defenders of humanity to stem the tide. Many will be called upon to give their lives in the name of the Emperor, but pay it they must! Featuring action-packed short stories based on Sabertooth Games' Dark Millennium CCG, this collection features work from best-selling authors such as Dan Abnett and CS Goto, along with an array of hot new talent. These short stories showcase the Warhammer 40,000 universe in its most dark and brutal glory.

This is compilation of 8 stories. There are several know authors like Dan Abnett (Eisenhor, Gaunt Ghost & Double Eagle & Malus Darkblade etc), CS Goto (Fire Warrior & Dawn of War series), Graham McNeill (Ultramarines & Storm of Iron), Mike Lee - Malus Darkblade Series), and others not so know like Steve Parker, Darren-Jon Ashmore and Matt Keefe (Outlander To Be Release in December)

Well, for those who do not know Sabertooth Games' Dark Millennium CCG, only got 4 factions. The Armies of the Imperium with Daemonhunters, Imperial Guard and Dark Angels. The Eldar with the craftworld Ulthwe, Biel-Tan and Saim-Hann. The Forces of Chaos with Word Bearers, WorldEaters, Deathguard. And the Orks with Goffs, Evil-Suns, Bad-Moons.

First we've got The falls of Marakross by Steve Parker with 43 pages. This is a Dark Angels story. This is a story where a planet is being besiege by cultists. With the situation being almost beyond chaotic dark angels appear. They help the city and strike the heart of the problem but they do that only because it is in the way of their agenda. This is a good story to begin with because here we see the conflict between the dark angels and the inquisition and their agendas.

The second story it's called Vindicare and it's by CS Goto. This is a story about Nyjia an Inquisition assassin as the title of the book says. This is rather a small story with only 14 pages. The all story it's told by her view point but never in the first person. It is accomplished succefully and I must say it was one of my favourite characters in the all book, even if the story was not my favourite. In the end we see a conflict by eldar from Biel-Tan and the hive city Orphean Trine in Pious IV. At the moment of attack the Dark Angels fall from the sky and try to interrupt the attack from the Eldar but they are all dead. This battle is well displayed and could inspire people making it a good scenario. The story gives good detail of the background and the story flows smoothly. The end was ... strange. I am going to write the spoilers. She kills the leader of the eldar and they flee. Well for me it's kind of odd that situation but...

The Prisoner by Graham Mcneill with 46 pages was one of my favourite. For the first time in this book but not the last we are confronted with Erebus. In this story unfolds in a jail in a dying planet Orina Septimus. The story rounds about a prisioner that was appreendehed while coming to the jail, normaly they try to get out. As he was not a normal prisioner and Lord Osorkon of the Inquisition is called. Then the plot begans to unfold quickly. The Inquisition tries to move him out of the cell and in the same time not one but two problems appear. First a rebellion of the prisioners made by Finn (a prisioner who dreamt of men in red) and then the coming of the Word Bearers (the blood-red painted chaos space marines). As soon as the rebellion starts the prisioners start to kill eachothers (the rival gangs) and at the same time the guards. The Word Beares move after killing all that had survived. The retinue of Lord Osorkon and his Grey Knights prepare to defend themselves from the invaders but are overwhelmed by sheer numbers. In the end Erebus with his Word Bearers take Finn away from the carnage fullfiling the dream. I must say I like everything in this story. The characters even if not fully devolpment (as normal in a short story) make us enjoy the story and as soon as you start reading you realized that is over.

With Mr Dan Abnett comes the fourth story intitled The Invitation. This is the smallest in the short stories with only 13 pages. This story moves around a renegade battle-sister of the Order of Martyred Lady. I must say I was a bit (only a bit) dissapointed with this story. I am used reading Dan Abnett masterpieces and so this small story it's dulled. I don't know why. Spoliers. An hunter it's sent to catch a woman which we learn it's a battle sister but it's captured and used as bait as three battle sisters come to captured her. (if this is your first book from Black Library don't think that Dan Abnett is not a good writer. Read Eisenhorn, if you want Warhammer 40k or Riders of the Dead or Malus Darkblade series in Warhammer Fantasy.

The fifth story it's Balance of Faith by the Darren-Jon Ashmore. With 17 pages is a story a story again with a battle sister and what faitth can do the men who are desperate and battling for survival. I like the theme and the story as well. The few number of pages didn't helped mainly in the end who was a bit harsh to a conclusion. I wonder what could he've done with more pages.

The next story was perhaps the one I was eagerly awaiting. Not because of the theme or the story itself but the person who were writing, Mike Lee. I like very much the Malus Darkblade serie. And because I knew the work of Dan Abnett I wanted to read something of Mike Lee solo. He brings us Gate of Souls with 19 pages. Again this is a story with WordBeares and Erebus. The plot itself it's simple but flows well. Sometimes I read some short stories then go back to others (depend on writer or main theme/race) but in this book this is not adviced. I don't have enough to say if I prefer Mike Lee writing Warhammer 40k or Warhammer Fantasy. But I love the way he writes in DarkBlade and so I would choose Fantasy. (in it matters it's my favourtie genre but Warhammer 40k it's much richier.

The we've got Fate's Masters, Destiny's Servents by Matt Keefe with 35 pages. Well this is a story by Ultramaries who receive a distress call and go answered. Upon arrival they are confronted with a small fort with ultramarines symbols (some of them strange to them). There are none Ultramarines only servants but with their tongues cut. They try to check the distress call and what happened there. Well I must say I was dissapointeed with this story in the suspense part. By half of the story I would know the ending (but not why was that). There was something troubling my reading. They prayed a lot. The main character was always reflecting and praying. But okay. The writing was too pormenerized and sometimes was boring. But in the end it was as I expected and I knew why. I must say one thing, I like all armies, but the Eldar have something appealing to me. I think it's because of their doom. The always-in-their-mind doom.

The last book was the pearl of the book with another story by CS Goto with 50 pages (the biggest) Tears of Blood.
This story is something out of the ordinary. In another book I tried to read a story by the eldar and I was confused and didn't read it at all. I tried this one and still that same feeling didn't dissapaered but I read it all and understood the plot. I think the eldar are the true alien of the warhammer world. even the stories are somewhat alien. I wish someone read it and told me but I guess I will never know that. I love the eldar society and I must say there craftworlds intrigue me. The story is about a shrine world fallen to despair as her doom approaches. As the God Empreror didn't help nor ackowledeged their existensce they fell and by the grace of fallen Dark Angel they start worshipping the Chaos Gods. Well the story as several point of views but the most important is the seer-child, the ehveline of Kaelor - Ela'Ashbel. Another view is the dark apostle, Farseer Ahearn and Maeveh.

Well in the overal there are other anthologies I liked best but this is not a waste of time. It's a way to know better the Dark Angles, Word Bearers and the Eldar Society. If you want a Tyrannid, Dark Eldar, other chapters of space marines, Tau or Necron you can look in other books.
1 comment

Popular Posts