Saturday, February 11, 2012

Book Review: Legion of the Damned

I recently completed reading this book on my nook. I believe it will be out in paperback later this month. Firstly, this book is mostly about the Excoriator Space Marines, a second chapter founding from the Imperial Fist. The Legion of the Damned do show up at the end though so the title is not completely a misrepresentation. Once this fact is accepted, then you can relax and enjoy the book, and in my opinion, one of the better read from the Black Library.

The main character is the Scourge, equivalent to a chapter champion, who is seeking to to redeem himself for a previous failure against the Alpha Legion (they are everywhere don't you know). He is tempted to wallow in his own despair but instead is forced to duty with men who loath him. There is nice juxtaposition here not just between despair and action, but also command and service, honor to self and honor to his chapter. And only the periphery of his awareness he is watched but his own personal demon. The character development is good for the Scourge, as well as others about him. There are the Ecclesiarch he is forced to serve, and the humans who serve as his attendants. There are also Sisters of Battle and Chaos Space Marines.

The writing is crisp and well paced. The plot unfold with some nice twist and surprises; stereotypes are present (perhaps more as archetypes) but not indulged. There are no superlatives and in large part, believable, yes believable even though 40k. Though the writing is mostly from the Scourge perspective, there are sufficient little vignettes to provide a 360 view of the event.

This is the first book by Rib Sanders I have read and I am rather pleased. Along with Aaron Dembski-Bowden he is an author to read for 40k. I look forward to his next book.

Update: Rob Sander just announced he is writing a novella for the upcoming Horus Heresy compilation here. This is most excellent. One of my favorite Black Library author writing about my favorite chaos marines legion.