So I finally finished the second book of the Malus Darkblade series. The problem was that so many other good books came out that I kept putting it off and reading other stuff.
That is not to say that this isn't a good book. It is a very fun read, even for an avowed goodie goodie like me. Abnett and Lee do a good job of getting you to root for the bad guy! This book takes place not too long after the first one finishes. Malus is at the gates of Hag Graaf after returning from the Chaos Wastes, so he steps up to the gates he is set upon yet again, will the guards help him, or will they wait until he is dead, chase off his attackers and then loot his body.
I'll give you a hint, he doesn't die. In fact, Malus, with the "help" of the daemon Tz'arkan not only survive, but thrive. Mainly because of the slick dealings of Malus.
One of the things that turns me off of the Dark Eldar in 40k is the just down right degenerateness of their views on life and death. I was afraid of the same thing with the Dark Elves. But that's not the case, now don't get me wrong, they care very little for the lives of those they see as "below" them, or those that they see are, "in their way," but there doesn't seem to be the randomness or wanton passion for pain and torture that I see with the Dark Eldar. Malus has an agenda and he is ruthless in his agenda for achieving those goals, but those goals aren't just pain and torture.
The authors do a fine job of blending some humor into the story. The best, in my opinion is just the way that Malus deals with his peers/advisaries. No sooner will he make a pact to deal with one person, then he will make a deal with someone else to kill the first person. And this goes on three or four levels deep. The trouble that Malus gets himself into, and the way he is able to get himself out of it (perhaps by digging an even deeper hole for himself in the process) is what I find entertaining about the Malus stories.
And in the end, while not all of his adversaries lie dead, many of them do end up that way, and Malus has found himself yet another of the artifacts that Tz'arkan demands of him.
I give this book four captured corsair ships out of five.