Monday, June 6, 2011

Book Review: Battle of the Fang

One of the best things about having the nook is that when things go up for pre-order on the Black Library website, you are able to download the ebook. That means I have bought and read Battle of the Fang before it is even available in paperback.

But that of course really has no effect on how good the book is.

The book is awesome! It really feels like the last book in the trilogy that started with A Thousand Suns and Prospero Burns, but this book takes place in M32, a thousand years after the Horus Heresy. I am tempted to say that this book is better than Prospero Burns, but I think that would be a bad comparison. Prospero Burns has a "grand feel" to it. It is full of intrigue and diplomocy, and only at the end, do we see the true combat.

In contrast, Battle of the Fang focuses on one battle, and therefore the book is very combat oriented. Chris Wraight, the author, does an excellent job with the combat with what I believe is her first foray into the 40k universe. This book really does a good job being a bridge between the Heresy and the what we see in the 5th ed. codex. There are some good references from the codex and most of the units are represented, and represented well.

One thing that I found really interesting was the fact that these Space Wolves that we see are pretty much the first generation that does not have the leadership of someone that was alive during the Heresy, and they are struggling to find a way, and a purpose.

Another thing I really liked is that, although Bjorn is a major character, this book does not revolve around him. There are many characters we follow from a Blood Claw, to a scout to a Rune Priest and Wolf Priest to a Wolf Lord and even the Great Wolf himself.

In the end, the Space Wolves do defend the Fang, although I'm sure everyone saw that coming, but what I really think Wraight does well is to lead us to believe that Magnus wasn't really trying to destroy the Fang, he is playing a longer game that these Space Wolves don't see, and I am left wondering whether, eight thousand years later, Magnus' gambit has played out or not.

In the end, I give Battle of the Fang five Wolf Pelts out of five.

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