Aaron Dembski-Bowden

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

“What’s ‘Prince of Crows’ About?”

I keep getting asked this one.

Along with “When will we see some Night Lords stuff in the Heresy?” and “Will we get to see any pre-Heresy Curze?”

Most of all: “When will we get to see more of Sevatar?”

The answer to all of these things is “Go away and leave me alo–” Uh, I mean, “Shadows of Treachery is out in October.”


My contribution to this (which was supposed to be in The Primarchs) is Prince of Crows, which is a novella about (gasp!) Konrad Curze, Sevatar, and the Night Lords Legion after another run-in with the Dark Angels. It’s set just after ‘Savage Weapons’ and The Lion, and opens up with the VIII Legion devastated after the Dark Angels kicked their asses left and right across the Thramas Sector. The Legion lost the final battle, Curze is crippled after the Lion cut his throat, and the remaining Night Lord commanders are meeting up to decide just their options are. It also has a significant chunk of what I’d have sliced into a Night Lords novel, which is about Curze’s past and growth on Nostramo, and how he went from beggar child on the streets to their happy, happy king.

Oh, and it explains just why Sev is called the Prince of Crows. It’s really not why you think.

I kinda-wanna also add that this is a novella, not a short story. It’s about 3-6 times as long as a short story (depending on the story) and closer to 30-50% of a novel (depending on the novel). In short, it’s quite long, and took me fucking ages to do. It needed to tell a lot of backstory about Curze, show the Legion in its current state after getting mauled by the Dark Angels, and set up a future Night Lords novel which I’d obviously quite like to do in the relatively near future. But I write slowly, so hold your freaking horses on that score. I’m still doing Betrayer, then (probably?) the first Abaddon/Black Legion novel, still tentatively titled The Talon of Horus.

If any of this sounds remotely interesting, then… behold.

Black Library’s been publishing daily extracts in its newsletter all week, which I’m guessing will include today and tomorrow, too. I’m heading off to London today, and Chicago tomorrow (ooooh, such a jetsetting lad…) so I can’t link or post anything else past the first three extracts, which I was told about last night by some well-meaning soul on Facebook. But for convenience, I thought I’d spin these up here. For the rest, you’ll need to subscribe. Off you go.

Go on, now.

Go, go.

(By the way, if you’re at Games Day US on Saturday, me and Jim Swallow will see you there.)

So, without further wordjunk from Yours Truly:

July 26, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,


  1. …and having got hold of a copy early, I can confirm that Prince Of Crows is effing fantastic.

    Comment by bittermanandy | July 26, 2012 | Reply

    • Many thanks, dude.

      Comment by Aaron Dembski-Bowden | July 26, 2012 | Reply

    • may seem like a stupid question..but… is Talos in it?

      Comment by VDOG | July 26, 2012 | Reply

  2. Delightful. Just delightful.

    Comment by Khestra the Unbeheld | July 26, 2012 | Reply

  3. Looking great! Do we find out just exactly how the Night Lords get thrashed by the Dark Angels? I guess it was time that the Loyalists had a victory on their side, but poor Night Lords :< they're my favourite Chaos Legion.
    Also, do you know if John French is any good as a writer? He's handling my favourite Legion of all time in the same book.

    Comment by Dan K | July 26, 2012 | Reply

    • Guessing they are using a Xeno device they picked up in a proceeding short story.

      Comment by Bryce Undy | May 2, 2019 | Reply

  4. So you meant a lot of Curzes background was sliced out to be used in the potential Nightfall-novel or was it sliced from Nightfall and used here instead?

    Its great to see more of his background while at the same time progressing the story. So now its time for Curze to get his butt kicked by the Lion?

    Comment by Forkmaster | July 26, 2012 | Reply

    • I mean “sliced” in general Aaron-style mismanagement of lexicon, no different from “shunted” “punted” “squeezed” or “slid”.

      It wasn’t cut out of anything, and nothing was cut out from this. Prince of Crows was always going to be a more in-depth look at Curze’s life on Nostramo ( more than we ever see of most primarchs) while showing ‘current’ Heresy stuff, too.

      Comment by Aaron Dembski-Bowden | July 26, 2012 | Reply

  5. I’ve just finished a short story called the Lord of Crows. You always have to go one better don’t you, DB!

    Comment by Richard Ford | July 26, 2012 | Reply

  6. how come this wasn’t in The Primarchs? (i’m guessing Deadlines) 😛

    Comment by VDOG | July 26, 2012 | Reply

  7. So when you say it’s about half as long as most books, does that mean 50,000 words-ish?

    Comment by Worldkiller | July 26, 2012 | Reply

  8. I think you just made me have a minor heart attack of awesomness with backstory of Curze and everything and yay. *smacks self on head* To calm my rabid fanboy on the Night Lords, I’m excited for this book.

    Comment by Theodore Schiro-Miller | July 26, 2012 | Reply

  9. Having purchased an early copy at the last Doubles tournament I can confirm that Shadows of Treachery is excellent and Prince of Crows is awesome. Plus Sevatar made me laugh out loud at times. The Night Lords are surprisingly… human.

    Comment by John Mason-Paull | July 26, 2012 | Reply

  10. Awesome Night Lords and the Bearers of the Word are two of my favorite legions thanks in large part to your writing (and some of their other fluff but not a lot). Please, keep up the good work ADB i’ve read (or listened to even though i don’t much care for audio books personally) everything you’ve put out at BL and i’ve thoroughly enjoyed all of it. Thanks for your efforts and the time you spend on the forums and facebook answering questions. Looking forward to the Talon of Horus and i’m gonna be Jersey Shore fist pumping in the air the day Betrayer hits the shelves. I would hit an old lady if that’s what it took to get my hands on that book. Take care good luck with the baby.

    Comment by Nathan | July 27, 2012 | Reply

  11. I gather the actual bit regarding the Dark Angels tearing the Night Lords a new rear will be written by no one then? Because y’know.. There might be people interested in reading about that.

    Comment by WCA | July 27, 2012 | Reply

    • That may or may not be covered by Gav Thorpe if and when he returns to the Dark Angels, since he wrote The Lion which precedes Prince of Crows.

      Comment by Lysander45 | July 27, 2012 | Reply

  12. Reading those extracts makes me wonder just what whimsy you might spin when given the minimum free range of a novel (considering how one or two of your books have gone beyond the 100k mark). I now look forwards to shaking your hand (you get no say in the matter good sir) at the Black Library Weekender. Heck I may even offer to buy you a drink in the evening and then leave you alone if the mood takes me.

    Comment by Lysander45 | July 27, 2012 | Reply

  13. Prince of Crows is a fantastic novella, and Sevatar has shot up to become on of my favourite Warhammer characters. Absolutely loved the reason for his title The Prince of Crows, was not at all what I was expecting, and was very creepy.

    Will the ending of the novella play into the Night Lords heresy novel you mentioned you might write?

    Comment by Lord of the Night | July 31, 2012 | Reply

  14. Great story! One of my favorite for Heresy! Never cared much for the Night Lords or Sevatar before, now my favourite character and legion. Awesome work!

    Comment by Bryce Undy | May 2, 2019 | Reply

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