Aaron Dembski-Bowden

Don't worry. None of this blood is mine.

Blood Reaver Cover

Tomorrow will see me actually type something here, rather than just link stuff. For now, I give you this:

Honestly, I don't think those Red Corsairs are going to make it home to their kids.

Jon Sullivan – now there’s an ass that I’ve kissed a lot in the last 18 months, and with very good reason – recently assured his continued survival by doing this as the Blood Reaver cover. Pleasing me has earned him the right not to be kicked in the balls at a signing, and honestly, I’m pretty damn pleased right here. Talos and Lucoryphus (you can just about see him in the background) doing what they do best: intense, thoughtful character development, while betraying other Chaos Astartes.

Hm. Now I just need to finish the novel. I’m at the part where Uzas goes [Deleted] and Talos is like [Deleted], and the Red Corsairs are there, so it’s prettyΒ [Deleted], really.

As you can see, any lingering doubts on the title are now banished to the aether. It’s not called Birthright (which is what I wanted to call it), but nor is it called Soul Hunter II: When Navigators Suck, which is what the Word.doc for Blood Reaver is actually called on my desktop.

Also, thanks to Yogi at the B&C, for making me giggle with this bad boy:

The X makes it cool for today's youth.

Although, dude, that’s totally not how you spell my name. If only it was, like, on the cover of a book somewhere, so you could easily check it…

It is how you say it, though. It’s a silent “B” in Dembski.

No, really.

It occurs to me, as I look at every cover I’ve got, that I’d quite like one where the protagonist isn’t actually, y’know, killing someone.

Expect sales to skydive the moment I pitch that idea.

August 9, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | ,


  1. Hot damn dude! That cover looks awful nice! The first one sux though. πŸ˜› I would much prefer the second one. lol Hey, shoot me an email, i want to talk about doing a feature. πŸ™‚


    Comment by Commissar Ploss | August 9, 2010 | Reply

  2. I love the subtlety in your titles.

    I’ll be sure to pick it up, adored Soul Hunter although it lacked manly cuddling. ^^

    Comment by Sam Vanroy | August 9, 2010 | Reply

    • I sort of wonder how sales might have changed had Soul Reaver and Blood Reaver really been called In Midnight Clad and Birthright, after all.

      But I’ll be sure to include more manly cuddling in this one.

      Comment by aarondembskibowden | August 9, 2010 | Reply

      • “In Midnight Clad” is an awesome title!!! You really should use it, either as a chapter title or a title for a Night Lords/Talos mini-story. It would have made an evocative novel title too.

        “Birthright” would be better for a short story or chapter title, on it’s own I don’t think it’s ‘powerful’ enough for a novel title…

        Just my two-pennies worth.

        Comment by Danny | August 10, 2010 | Reply

  3. I always forget that the lightning on the Night Lords isn’t just painted on their armour.

    They’ve definitely come a long way from the Hammer House of Chaos Marines miniatures they’ve got. What are the chances of them getting re-done? I mean, those figures pre-date the entire Tau range, don’t they?

    It would be good to see Talos with his helm off on the cover, too. Actually see the face of a 10,000 year old murderer.

    Comment by G | August 9, 2010 | Reply

    • I “forget” to write about the lightning being real lightning. I “forget”, which is a shame, because “it’s really cool”.


      Comment by aarondembskibowden | August 9, 2010 | Reply

  4. i prefer the second one. but im guessing BL may shit a brick

    Comment by John Lyons | August 9, 2010 | Reply

  5. Holy Emperor!! That cover is AWESOME!!! I like the change in colour too, took a few minutes to sink in as I thought it was going to be the same as Throne Of Lies/Soul Hunter with that sexy blue hue, but I can feel the fiery glow theme… I wait with sweaty fan-boy anticipation (despite being 34yrs old) to read some snippets in the (very near, pleeeeeeease) future!!

    Also, I was unable to get a copy of the BL Chapbook that contained the Night Lords story. You mentioned something about an omnibus for the Soul Hunters… Will it include that story, because I desperately want to read it and unfortunately Β£35 for a copy on eBay is testing my finances when I only get Β£150 per fortnight…

    I am looking forward to seeing the relationship dynamics between Septimus and Talos explored more in Blood Reaver, as I feel it was a genius angle to use!!

    Keep up the good work Lore-Lord!!

    Comment by Danny | August 9, 2010 | Reply

    • It’s an eventual thing, I reckon. Like, in 3-4 years, there’ll probably be a Night Lords omnibus. When that comes around, there’s a short story I already want to do that I’m saving for that (Talos as an Apothecary at the Siege of Terra), and I’d want Shadow Knight, the chapbook story, to be the prologue to the whole omnibus. I’m very proud of that thing – I think it’s the best short story I’ve ever done.

      Comment by aarondembskibowden | August 9, 2010 | Reply

      • Omnibus with short stories, I hope it comes out soon after the third book.

        Comment by DarkMechanicum | August 9, 2010 | Reply

      • Talos at the siege of Terra, your imagination is fucking awesome!! That will be some story for sure!! I can’t wait for that baby to come out!!

        You’ve really done the Night Lords justice, and I liked the way you mentioned the Talonmaster Tso Sahaal(?) from Lord Of The Night, that was neat. The dark sarcasm in Soul Hunter had me chuckling sinisterly, and when I read the part that I found amusing to my (ex)partner (who was lying in bed next to me at the time) she gave me a shocked look, that I would find humour in such brutal, homicidal scenes!

        And God Damn it!! Why did you have to say Shadow Night was the best story you had ever done!? Because now I REALLY do have to read it, which means paying that bastard on eBay Β£35!! He must have bought up all the stock at BL Live or something, because he had at least 15 copies when I first saw the auction! Use your menacing demeanour Aaron please, force Black Library to do another print run or threaten to release The First Heretic in PDF format for FREE!!! That should work, because that book is pretty guaranteed to be the best selling HH novel yet!

        Anyway, thanks for taking the time to reply. Did you get the MASK video on YouTube I posted for you? Take care of yourself, and keep up the good work!!

        Comment by Danny | August 10, 2010 | Reply

  6. Real men don’t edit/verify/check!

    Man that is what I get for sounding words out.

    Honoured to be on your mighty blog.

    Comment by Yogi | August 9, 2010 | Reply

    • Do a webcomic.

      I’m getting sick of telling you. You obey me even less than my cat.

      Comment by aarondembskibowden | August 9, 2010 | Reply

      • Something called Loken, (if that is really your cats name) obeys no one but Dan.

        Since my name is not Loken I guess I will have to go do that webcomic now..

        Comment by Yogi | August 9, 2010 | Reply

  7. That cover is epic. I HAVE to have it, I can’t wait till April.

    Comment by Lord of the Night | August 9, 2010 | Reply

  8. Yeah that rocks. The red hue was a wonderful choice, and the dead corsairs has me really looking forward to this.


    (this message brought to you by a Sober Dan)

    Comment by Dan theDman | August 9, 2010 | Reply

  9. wow, that just looks great. Dead corsairs, mighty Night Lords, and after listening to Throne of Lies about 10 times now, I shall have to say that you have taken the Night Lords and made them your own. Can’t wait till November and can’t wait till May.

    Comment by DarkMechanicum | August 9, 2010 | Reply

  10. ‘In Midnight Clad’ would have been a much cooler name, damn marketing types.

    Comment by Phillip | August 9, 2010 | Reply

  11. In the midnight hour she cried “more more more”

    Comment by Worldeater XII | August 10, 2010 | Reply

  12. This is like an beaming smileburger with winsauce.

    I love it.

    Plus Talos gets to be at the front for a change, which I’m sure all the others are -super- happy about… πŸ˜›

    I want to know more about this ‘Talos as an apothecary at the siege of Terra’ business. I am so converting that for my army.


    Comment by Rachel | August 10, 2010 | Reply

    • lol@”smileburger with winsauce!” That made me spit my coffee!! Hilarious!! And my eyebrows raised in hawk-like attentiveness at the mention of a) a conversion of a Night Lords character (b) a Night Lords army and the fact that (c) crafted/painted by a woman- which as you probably know is something of a rare gem in this hobby!! And 90% of the time, mini’s painted/converted by women are so amazing!! If you have any pics, or a link to a blog or whatever, could you let me know please. Good luck with the project!!

      Ave Dominus Nox!!

      Comment by Danny | August 10, 2010 | Reply

  13. First blue, second red, third…?
    What colour will be the third book?

    Comment by Artein | August 11, 2010 | Reply

    • pink.

      what? it’s obvious.

      Comment by viktor | August 11, 2010 | Reply

  14. See Aaron! It’s not just me who thinks ‘In Midnight Clad’ was a fucking amazing title! Although, if it ends up being a huge series ala “Gaunt’s Ghosts”…’In Midnight Clad’ might not be a bad idea to call the first cycle, now would it?

    Comment by Nick Risley | August 11, 2010 | Reply

  15. “Expect sales to skydive the moment I pitch that idea.”

    I don’t think so…if its got your name on it, I’d buy it πŸ˜›

    Seriously, I really enjoy reading your books. Pretty soon you’ll likely have some new BL writer coming over to you and saying “Hi, Aaron Dembski-Bowden!” over and over again πŸ˜›

    And that artwork is amazing – which it should be πŸ˜€

    Comment by JCC | August 12, 2010 | Reply

  16. Bloody nice cover there mate! I finished Soul Hunter in less than 2 days, I just simply loved that book. Somehow I get alittle pre-heresy Loken feeling on Talos, like keeping it to the big man and how he wants it (Emperor in HH/Night Haunter in SH) and its always the big baddi (Abaddon in both cases) trying to turn them over to the “dark side”.

    Now I fell off my point. What I meants was I like how these Night Lords are Chaos Space Marines, traitors, but they still have values like pre-heresy Marines never going corrpted and like that.

    Comment by Forkmaster | August 12, 2010 | Reply

  17. First off, well done on your novels. I can only hope Blood Reaver will be as good as Soul Hunter.

    What I’m looking forward to is the inevitable three way between the Exalted, Talos, and (eventually) Krieg Acerbus.

    The Exalted took a mighty blow in his pride after the events on Crythe, but his daemonic pride will assert itself at one point, setting in course machinations that will try to bring ruin to Talos.

    On the other hand, if Talos’s ever-dwindling squad continues to do what they do best and gain notoriety, they may draw support from like-minded Night Lords, however few of them there still may be. I recall you saying, on some forum ages ago, that Zso would most likely not make a cameo appearance, which makes sense. Talos and Zso hold fast to their different interpretations of the Night Lord’s teachings, but that leads me to Krieg.

    He’s the prototypical Chaos sellout, representing the corruption (literally) that has befallen the Night Lords. He also has the largest warband of Night Lords, and we can assume that many of the actions committed by the Night Lords, i.e. slaughtering worlds for daemonic rituals, serving as Abbadon’s cronies, derived from his warband or warbands affiliated from him.

    So here are my thoughts.

    Will the Exalted lose control of his daemonic half, and will that half try and form a deal with Krieg in order to take back the 10th company/achieve another aim? As there’s certain to be another force in opposition to the Night Lords, how will Talos and the rest of First Claw deal with threats within and threats without? *Insert Ulthwe Eldar here, they always seem to meddle in everything*

    In the face of extinction, will First Claw go out in a blaze of glory, or will they persist on? What will happen to the human servants in time? If First Claw perishes, are they bound to as well? Will the betrayal of the Red Corsairs earn the emnity of yet another powerful figure, Huron Blackheart? Exactly how many bridges can be burnt by Talos in the name of principle before they find themselves without an ally?

    How much of the upcoming story will parallel the events in the Fall of Vilamus? There’s creative freedom to twist events within, but I’m wondering what was the deal struck to gain the Night Lord’s assistance? What exactly did the Marines Errant do to the Night Lords to earn such an untimely demise? It usually relates to the Night Haunter, but there’s the possibility of a personal feud.

    I guess these three questions will be answered in Blood Reaver, but it’s food for thought.

    On a side note, I wish there was some physical copy of Throne of Lies that I can read. Also, a question about writing. What accounts for the relative lack of books related to non-Imperium/Space Marine sources? Tyranids and Necrons don’t speak, a book written from an Ork’s point of view would be interesting, so all that’s left are Tau, Dark Eldar/Eldar/Harlequins, and advanced civilizations left in the dust or forgotten. Is it harder as a writer to take an interest in philosophies/ideals/traits that are unhuman and write from their point of view? Or is there another reason for the scarcity of other viewpoints?

    Comment by Glycine | August 16, 2010 | Reply

  18. “In Midnight Clad” Would of been a epic title for a night lords book. I can’t say enough good things about your writing. Keep doing what your doing and we will keep buying your books.

    PS Crimnson Guards are the bomb. Who wants to be a random viper when you can be a CG? COBRAAA!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by FabricatorGeneralMike | October 3, 2010 | Reply

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