When the ork hordes of Warlord Snagrod lay waste to the planet of Badlanding and wipe out the Crimson Fists sent to stop them, Chapter Master Kantor prepare a hasty line of defence on the Fists home planet of Rynn's World. Tragedy strikes when an errant missile destroys the Space Marine's Chapter monastery, killing most of their warriors. With a handful of Crimson Fists left, Kantor must fight the campaign of his life, to defeat Snagrod's orks and prevent his Chapter's annihilation.
The book like many of the recent novels is split into multiple parts. In this case its split in to three parts. The first part sees the lead up to the invasion with details of invasions elsewhere, warp news and the Librarium all making an appearance. Then it moves on to look at the invasion itself and most importantly the catastrophe that strikes the chapter.
The second part follows the defence of New Rynn City and the brave defenders holding at all costs. It also examines the trek of Chapter Master Pedro Kantor to New Rynn City along with his bunch of survivors, both marine and civilian. The final part details the retaking of the New Rynn City Spaceport and ends as the liberation begins, but doesn’t detail any of the retaking of Rynn’s world.
This was an excellent book that I felt looked at one of the most interesting and devastating events that could impact a Chapter, however despite been excellent I’m afraid it could have been better. The book was fast paced and I managed to get through it extremely quickly, without missing any of the action or wondering what was happening at any point, the book was just so well laid out that it moved on with little pause.
The language used was simple, if sometimes overly so, but on a whole read well. I did find parts of it to be a little over the top and did notice one or two mistakes in the tense used in the novel.
One thing that I did like that despite the loss, anger and in some cases just plain rage there were some nice humorous sections, almost grave digger style humour but it worked and helped portrait the marines as something other than automatons, however for the most part they did stay true to character as it were.
The book also had some nice little features like the 4 colour pages in the centre with maps of the planet, continents and cities. This single little touch really helped finish the book and really makes it stand out as something different to the normal warhammer 40000 novels out there.
The things that I felt could have made the book better were little things that if I hadn’t played 40k for so long I wouldn’t have noticed. For example Cortez, in current fluff he’s a survivor and has no problems, however in the book despite surviving and theoretically being fit for duty there is a major change to established fluff.
As pointed out by a number of other reviews the story of the Land Raider Rynn's Might (remember the land raiders shown on the Land Raider poster in White Dwarf and written up in issue 256) this almost pivotal component of the siege was missed and was actually disappointing not to see.
My final gripe and one that I though could have made the book an outstanding pinnacle of Black Library fiction was the liberation, or in this case lack of one. Whilst the planets liberated and we know this, what we don’t know is how or who by. To me adding a few more chapters covering this and all the forces involved would have really finished the novel off and would for me as a gamer opened up some interesting avenues for modelling and army building.
An excellent book and as the opening salvo in the Space Marines Battle Series was an excellent read and was well written and true (for the most part) to accepted cannon, it was nice for the writer not to reinvent things, and helped detail something many gamers have read about in brief but haven’t had the chance to explore in detail.
Well done Mr Parker and let’s hope that the second book in the series, another Imperial Fists Successor novel in the guise of the Black Templars, holds up to the standard set by this novel.
With all that in mind though Rynns World is an excellent read and is well worth of a 5 out of 5.
Rynn's World - Steve Parker
softback, 416pp • ISBN 9781844168026