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Thursday, November 17, 2016

“Lord of the Night”, by Simon Spurrier

416 pages, The Black Library, ISBN-13: 978-1844161577

Lord of the Night is set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe and is the tale of Zso Sahaal, a captain of the Night Lords traitor space marines who is on a quest to recover a stolen artifact. The theme of this book is all about instilling fear into your enemy, the modus operandi of the Night Lords; naturally, there is lots of action and gore, but the book is also very vivid and there is a good deal of actual character development. As the book alternates between the points of view of the two main protagonists, there are times when it can be a little confusing if you do not realize whose perspective the author is describing. Once you get past this, however, the story develops just fine. It is basically a tale of two diametrically opposed individuals whose paths intersect and, through introspective journeys, each one discovers their own place in the 40k universe (hint: it is different from what they believe it to be in the beginning of the novel). This all unfolds against the squalor, violence, intrigue, and corruption of an Imperial Hive. Many subplots are revealed as the story progresses, and what initially begins as the story of a rampaging Chaos Marine develops into an orchestrated series of manipulations that culminate in a conclusion that has little meaning to those swept away in the resulting carnage and cruel revelations. The aftermath alluded to in the novel’s epilogue is somewhat anticipated, but is no less poignant. Everybody is entitled to their opinion and if they choose to focus on aspects of this story they disliked, then let us mourn their lost time; for me, this novel was yet another fine example of Simon Spurrier’s talent as a storyteller.

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