Book Review: Crucible of War - Anthology


Title - Crucible of War
Author - Anthology 
Year - 2003
Stand Alone or Series - 40K anthology (10 short stories)
Pages - 283
Reading Time - February 2012

"All of creation suffers, young ones. Only in accepting our own mortality can we make a difference. Only in bearing the burden of our failures can we find the strength to go on. Only in detachment from glory, or honour, or jealousy... from life itself can we hope to spare others from grief. We are Doom Eagles. And we are dead already." -- Librarian Secundus Thryn of the Doom Eagles


So here we go again. Another review about a book that nobody reads.  With 10 short stories it was a good anthology. One or two weak stories but the rest were quite good. 

My favourite story set on 40k is here. No doubt about it. I would reccommend this book for that tale alone. Elphaba probably it's going to be the first story I will make you read in english ;) 

Liberation Day - Matthew Farrer & Edward Rusk - Great tale about liberty as value of morale. And sometimes that word means slavery. This tale as a good twist in the end and as I said before sometimes the Liberation day is not what you would expect. 6.5/10 

The Curiosity - Dan Abnett - A beautiful crafted story by the best writer in 40k (imho). After seven years cataloging the fauna of his world Magos Biologis Drusher is finally done but the rumour of a new animal on the country side makes him curious. A predator for that matter, that he never seen before makes all his work unreliable so he must search and catalog it. As he arrives at the town he learns that this beast is unlike all native fauna he knows. So he must do anything to quench is curiosity and ultimately save the village and his life. It was one of those tales that you felt right at home. Beautifully written as all the tales by Abnett are. Great characters and a gem. If not by "On Mournful Wings" this would be my favourite. 9.5/10 

Payback - Graham McNeill - It's a tale in a world where mutants have their own part of the city (of course slums) and a criminal wants to make a quick cash but other crimelords are not that happy. This is another story that could have fit anywhere. Few references that's a 40k world. One of the weakest in my opinion of this anthology. It's strange since I usually enjoy McNeill stories. 4/10 

The Emperor's Will - David Charters - is one of those story about Space Marines that made me think of them not as of blind crusaders but as a resourseful guys who know there's a time for brute force and a time to "negotiate". Excelent story. Another great perpective. Strangely enough this writter never wrote anything else for BL. 7.5/10 


Fight or Flight - Sandy Mitchell (Ciaphas Cain story) - This was the tale about Ciaphas Cain first taste of battle and Jurgen smell (eheh). A nice tale and one that should make anyone interested in reading more of his tales. Sandy Mitchell created here a nice "hero" and a kind-of comic vision of 40k. 8.5/10 


On Mournful Wings - Si Spurrier - This is one of those tales that I try to read every year. Sometimes even more. It's one of those tales that you read and you know "ok this will belong to me until a I die. I identify with this and I will cherish forever". It's not the best written story in the world, nor is going to win a Pullitzer but the characters, the adversarity, the quest, the space marines. Everything makes sense. Doom Eagles are the most intriguing chapter on 40k. There is no doubt in my mind. One of the best stories I've ever read in my life. A story that make me think and really changed me. We are Doom Eagles and We are already dead. 11/10 

Backcloth for a Crown Additional - Dan Abnett (A Eisenhorn Tale) - I didn't read the story because I only want to read after starting to read the Eisenhorn trilogy. 

Firestarter - Jonathan Green - A tale that reminds me of a tale I read in a Necromunda anthology. A mutant (?) that gets it's power because of a procedure that went wrong. As the title suggests he can ignite things with his mind. Nice tale but nothing spectacular. Greene sure loves mercenaries. 5/10 

Warp Spawn - Matt Ralphs - Almost in all books with vessels we learn that the Warp is dangerous but I never read what can it do. This tale exemplifies it. Nothing spectacular or great about it. 6/10 

Leviathan - Graham McNeill (A Ultramarines Tale) I didn't read the story because I only want to read after starting to read the Uriel Ventris saga

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