Grand master Sammael, Brother Annael,
Ravenwing is the brand new book from Warhammer 40k writer Gav Thorpe and is the first of a new three book series called The Legacy of Caliban Trilogy. The book is also a sort-of sequel to the other Warhammer 40k book, The Purging of Kadillus that I reviewed a few weeks ago. In this novel we follow Brother Annael; a new recruit to the Ravenwing. The Ravenwing are a group of Dark Angels that are above the usual Space Marine. They ride around on giant motorcycles and land speeders and are usually used as reconnaissance for the Dark Angels when they are fighting battles or chasing down their foes. However, unknown to Annael until his acceptance into the Ravenwing, they are also used to hunt the Fallen, the evil Space Marines who turned on the Emperor during the Horus Heresy and killed their own Patriarch- Lion El’Johnson.
When a distressing signal is received from the planet of Piscina IV, the Ravenwing are sent on the hunt for a powerful Fallen Librarian. The Librarian manages to ‘turn’ the leader of the Dark Angels on Piscina IV, Grand Master Belial, (from The Purging of Kadillus!) and makes him doubt his faith in the Dark Angels, forcing him to kill himself and his brothers. However before his death, Belial leaves the leader of the Ravenwing, Grand Master Sammael, a message directing him to the infamous pirate Space-Port of Port Imperial. When the Ravenwing arrive at the Port, they find that the pirates have formed a cult around the Fallen Librarian and fight a fierce battle to protect him from the justice of the Dark Angel Inquisitors as he manages to flee. However, the trail is not lost and the hunt is still on as the Ravenwing follow the mysterious Librarian to his lair where more of his loyal and corrupt followers fight to the death to defend him.
This was another good book from Gav Thorpe but I honestly didn’t enjoy it as much as The Purging of Kadillus. I don’t know why this was, I think it might be to do with the fact that The Purging is a Space Marines Battle Novel and was really fast paced, full of battles, action and all in all, for someone like me, a great book to get into the Warhammer 40K literary world. Ravenwing on the other hand, is the first book in a series so perhaps was not going to be as fast paced as the one-off Space Marine Battle Novel. I also didn’t enjoy the characters as much as I thought I would. I think that this might be because I’m not that big off a fan of the Ravenwing as a unit anyway- which probably explains why Telemenus was my favourite character!
Nevertheless, saying that the novel wasn’t fast paced and then reading it in 3-4 days might seem a bit contradictory. Don’t get me wrong I did enjoy the book but not as much as The Purging and I’d suggest that you read that book before you read Ravenwing. Nevertheless, I am looking forward to the next book in the series Master of Sanctity!
For author's official website click here.