Thursday, June 16, 2011

Age of Darkness - Book Review

Age of Darkness edited by Christian Dunn

After the betrayal at Isstvan, Horus begins his campaign against the Emperor, a galaxy-wide war that can lead only to Terra. But the road to the final confrontation between father and son is a long one – seven years filled with secrecy and silence, plans and foundations being formed across distant stars. An unknown history is about to be unveiled as light is shed on the darkest years of the Horus Heresy, and revelations will surface that will shake the Imperium to its very foundation...

•Rules of Engagement by Graham McNeill
•Liar's Due by James Swallow
•Forgotten Sons by Nick Kyme
•The Last Remembrancer by John French
•Rebirth by Chris Wraight
•The Face of Treachery by Gav Thorpe
•Little Horus by Dan Abnett
•The Iron Within by Rob Sanders
•Savage Weapons by Aaron Dembski-Bowden

Age Of Darkness is the latest book in the Horus Heresy series and is the first compilation of stories, this collection was edited by Christian Dunn and seems to have worked well. This book is an compilation of 9 short stories set during the Heresy itself and attempts to bridge the gap between the initial phase of the Horus Heresy and the next stage of novels in the series and take a different approach to the schisms within chapters, something merely hinted at in the past.

This book features stories from a wide range of authors, chiefly the Black Library big guns such as Graham McNeill and Dan Abnett, as well as the established authors such as Nick Kyme and Aaron Dembski-Bowden and relative newcomers such are included too. As such, the stories vary in quality and content but they are generally of a very good standard.

A great thing about this compilation is that the shortness of the stories make this book quite accessible to on journeys or lunch breaks. However, the shortness of the stories does have the downside that there is a lack of major developments in regards to the Horus Heresy as a whole but the flipside is that many legions or individuals do get some nice development over the course of the book.

Overall, this is a solid anthology that does add to the Horus Heresy Series and does explain to a certain degree some of the events between the betrayal at Istvan V and the upcoming assault on Terra. However, I personally don’t want to give too much away on this book so won’t be going in to each story. The book works well and there as mentioned are some very interesting spins on things, be it the mood and events within a Legion or the preparations taking place by legions on both sides to prepare for the upcoming assaults.

Personally as the stories are so different from one another and to a degree from the Black Library standard so far they really stand out and make for a great addition to the series. For me it’s a solid 5 stars, not necessarily for the quality of writing (though this is high) or for the development but for the different nature of many of the stories, prime examples being the ultramarines story. A great set of stories and a definite add to the collection.

Available from:

Age of Darkness edited by Christian Dunn
Softback, 416 pages • ISBN 9781849700368


The GunGrave said...

I really enjoyed this book, and the stories were ace! (appart from the Nick Kyme one, which was trash!)

I think that it places in my top 3 Horus Heresy books!

Millest said...

:O how dare you slate little nicky lol. actually to be fair it wasnt great, he does sallies well but throw other stuff in there and its a bit hit and miss.

as for the rest of them they were really good, i really really liked the ultrasmurfs one, it was a nice twist in it.

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