Stand Alone or Series Short Stories
Reading Time 11 days in July
In the dark universe of Warhammer 40,000, superhuman Space Marines, stubborn arbitrators, fearless pilots, secretive inquisitors and the massed ranks of the Imperial Guard stand side-by-side, each fighting their personal wars in the defence of a besieged humanity.
This was one of the first anthologies published by black library. With 11 stories you've got Space Marines, Inquisitors, Imperial Guard, Tech-Priests, Hive Gangs.
The first story is Words of Blood by Ben Counter.
This tale we follow the Black Templars in a way we aren't used to see. The Black Templars are among the most pious of all chapters going on a crusade that lasts for 10.000 years. They are a No Retreat chapter. They are what we call the brute with force and without brains. Something like that... But Commander Athellenas as another thing in his mind and puts forward a plan that goes against everything their doctrine tells them. So he must cope not only with the foe they are battling but also against their own man who think he is a coward. Excellent tale. 8.5/10.
Raptor Down by Gav Thorpe.
This tale is one of the few examples of an Imperial Air Squadron being portrayed in writing. It was written some years before Dan Abnett wrote Double Eagle. It's a good tale about a commander who must make a decision to follow the original plan or save the war effort. It's an excellent story because it reminds us of dozen of examples in real life that a person must choose to do what he was told or make a decision that probably will cost his life but at the same time save the war-effort. 8/10
Chains of Command by Graham McNeill
This is the first tale, in terms of chronology, of Uriel Ventris as he battles the Night Lords and the Chaos forces. In this tale he is still a Sergeant and follows a rather strange captain that doesn't follow the codex as the Ultramarines are known to follow. Strictly to the letter. It's probably where it all began. I am tempted to start reading his tales. 8/10
Loyalty's Reward by Simon Jowett
This was a good tale about an Hive Ganger that discovers the grim reality of faith. It's also a good tale about the inquisition and how they work. I really enjoyed the tale. It's strange that this written only wrote a couple of short stories. 9/10
Deus ex Mechanicus by Andy Chamber
We follow the Tech-Priests of Mars as they explore a Necrontyr tomb and somethnig goes wrong. It's quite good mystery tale. Andy Chambers really knows how to write. 8/10
Barathrum by Jonathan Curren
Two Inquisitions must cope with their different viewpoints to a common foe. It was a small tale but I didn't felt connected with plot or characters. 5/10
Missing in Action by Dan Abnett
I am only going to read this tale when I start reading the Eisenhorn trilogy.
Liberty by Gav Thorpe
This is a excellent tale about Kage of the Last Chancers. I probably should have read this tale after reading the first two books but it gave a good taste about him. 9/10
Ork Hunter by Dan Abnett
It was the first tale I read about Jopall Indentured Squadron as they are assigned to Armageddon Ork Hunters as "bait". It's a good tale about the full realization of war and growth. I really enjoy it. The names are not give but earned. 8/10
Business as Usual by Graham Mcneill
As I read this tale I didn't felt connected to it. I didn't enjoy it. Snowdog, a hive ganger, gets slightly more than he hoped for when a deal goes wrong in the depths of the Underhive. 5/10
Defixio by Ben Counter
Samiel is supposed to be a bad luck charm. The only survivor in a crew of a Leman Russ and his assigned to a new Exterminator tank and to a new squad who things he is jinked. Quite good tale and a good ending of a story and book. 8.5/10