Aaron Dembski-Bowden

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

Prince of Crows Review & New Talos Artwork

Oh, man, just when I was thinking I’d have to kill someone with my replica Gears of War Lancer in order to actually have something to  post this week, this bad boy drops into my lap.

Ladies and gentlemen: Talos on the bridge of the Echo of Damnation, circa the beginning of Void Stalker, when he’s… ah, ‘communing’ with Ruven.

It’s by David Sondered (whom many of y’all will know from his Colrouphobia blog and his Deviantart site), and was commissioned by Ash Timms.

Um.

So.

What, exactly, am I supposed to say to this? It’s fucking breathtaking. You can see that. What is there for me to say except “SSSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII—–” which is more or less what I said when I first saw it?

C’est incredible. 

And in much less thrilling news, to answer some of the endless questions I’ve been getting about ‘Prince of Crows’ in Shadows of Treachery, here’s a review up at the lovely Civilian Reader:

“Prince of Crows” by Aaron Dembski-Bowden

Night Lords! During the Horus Heresy! Written by Aaron Dembski-Bowden! There was really very little chance I wasn’t going to thoroughly enjoy this story, and thankfully the author does not disappoint.

“Prince of Crows” is set shortly after his previous Heresy short story – Lion el Johnson has just beaten Curze in single combat, inflicting horrific wounds on his brother, leaving the Night Haunter stuck in the apothecarium on board a Night Lords’ ship, their doctors and specialists at a loss for how to fix their Primarch. As their Primarch slowly (oh-so slowly) recovers from his wounds, the power/leadership vacuum leads the remaining members of the Kyroptera (the Night Lords’ leadership council) to squabble over the Legion’s next moves. Sevatar, the insouciant First Captain, puts his foot down and basically appoints himself head of the Legion until Curze recovers, dealing with dissent in a very… final manner. He’s condescending and infuriating towards his fellow captains, as well as his Primarch, which makes him very fun to read about and one of the most engaging characters in the whole series. He spouts plenty of quips throughout the story that made me chuckle. Despite the fact that he is an absolute sociopath – Dembski-Bowden actually uses the character’s inability to relate to others very well, creating an almost-outside-observer perspective.

As the traitor Legion least wedded to Horus’s cause, Sevatar isn’t remotely concerned about voicing his dissent and distaste for the Warmaster’s plans and the overall rebellion to begin with. The Night Lords will do what is necessary, and no more.

“Do I look like I care what the Warmaster wants of me?” Sevatar’s skullish faceplate stared with its red eye-lenses. “We never cared what the Emperor wanted of us. Why should we waste our lives out here in the back end of the galaxy, dancing to the Warmaster’s tune? … He has leashed us for three years. I am done with obedience. To the abyss with Horus and his arrogant whims. He is no better than the Emperor.”

The story also contains some more background on Konrad Curze, through his memories of his arrival and bloody rise to power on Nostramo. Sevatar is, however, absolutely the central focus of the story, and the author really pulls out all the stops for the story finale, which has some almost Avengers-esque action, and a brilliant (if also potentially stupid) gambit from our protagonist – all of which builds to a ferocious, awe-inspiring climax. And then a bit of a cliff-hanging end, which suggests there should be more to come.

And I really do hope we get some more Night Lords Heresy fiction, and especially stories written by Aaron Dembski-Bowden. No author has done a better job of fleshing out and realising any of the original Legions than this author, and that he’s done it with two traitor Legions (the Night Lords and Word Bearers) that could so easily have just been caricatures of Chaotic madness and excess… It’s pure genius.

I was a little confused by the inclusion of one character who was, as far as I’m aware, wholly new and sticks out a bit like a sore thumb: Alastor Rushel, the Raven? Who is he, and where did he come from? I have no memory of reading about him in any other Heresy fiction. Anybody else know? His presence offers up a whole host of questions, some of which could form the basis of really interesting fiction in the future.

The writing is superb, the characterisation the best in the book. The pacing is fluid, and the story expertly executed. A brilliant chapter to close this anthology.”

August 30, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,

17 Comments »

  1. Like, whaaaaaaat. Do want.

    Comment by S.A. Grisom | August 30, 2012 | Reply

  2. Yeah, that artwork is epic. And I really didn’t need to read that review *sigh* the waiting……

    Comment by Mr Grymm (@mrgrymm) | August 30, 2012 | Reply

  3. I’ve been re-reading the Soul Hunter trilogy, and noticed Octavia/Cyrion mention a legend that claims Sevatar is still alive.

    I MUST KNOW IF THIS IS TRUE.

    Comment by bittermanandy | August 30, 2012 | Reply

  4. Reblogged this on Studio Colrouphobia and commented:
    Aaron Dembski-Bowden just saw my last piece of art (featured in the previous blogpost http://studiocolrouphobia.net/2012/08/30/evil-by-proxy/ )…
    Here is what he had to say:

    Comment by davidsondered | August 30, 2012 | Reply

  5. This picture gave me sensations that previously were only known to Slaanesh. Chills, man. Epic chills.

    Comment by Aron Hoskins | August 30, 2012 | Reply

  6. Oh nice. I’ll have to check this out. So many books to read! But now I HAVE to jump on this one. 🙂

    And love the art. It would be incredible if more Night Lords art like this sprung up. Actually, it would be cool if art of this quality was found in the books. 🙂

    Comment by theredrenegade | August 30, 2012 | Reply

  7. Oh, I see. That was when he was chained to this throne in “Void Stalker”. Didn’t catch that when I first saw it on DA. Can’t wait for “Shadows”. I’ve been patiently biding my time until pay day so that I can download “Fear to Tread”. I have to confess that since “Know No Fear” I’ve consumed my Horus Heresy books by audio only. Can’t wait for more!

    Comment by dethmunky | August 30, 2012 | Reply

    • Oh, and that must be the apparition of Ruven!

      Comment by dethmunky | August 30, 2012 | Reply

  8. Hey its Darth Talos! Hehe, seriously anyone else getting a Darth Vadery vibe from him there?

    LotN

    Comment by Lord of the Night | August 30, 2012 | Reply

  9. Just had a thought, this art is so good that it should be the cover of the Night Lords omnibus.

    LotN

    Comment by Lord of the Night | August 30, 2012 | Reply

  10. I’m hoping that at Pax there is a copy for me to get.

    Comment by Dark Mechanicum | August 30, 2012 | Reply

  11. I hope he meant Sevatar with this passage and not ADB…

    ‘Despite the fact that he is an absolute sociopath – Dembski-Bowden actually uses the character’s inability to relate to others very well, creating an almost-outside-observer perspective.’

    Comment by AC | August 31, 2012 | Reply

  12. I really love the piece, was so worth me commissioning it. I’m glad you like it Aaron, the version you put up is the unedited version though. I can send you the full size finished one if you like.

    Comment by Ash Timms | August 31, 2012 | Reply

  13. Hi Aaron!

    I’d love this picture if it featured more Tyranid slaying Commissars :P. Also – I’m glad your reviews are going well… I’m on this blog thing now – please follow my reviews of Natural History documentaries (among other things – like adventures through the PhD process…).

    Cheers,

    Kylee

    Comment by Cranes and Trains | September 3, 2012 | Reply

  14. Just finised reading Prince of Crows (early pick up from PAX) and just wow, Sevatar has become one of my new favorite characters and the early life of the Primarch was also in depth and visual. I am definetly loving how the Night Lords are being slowly shown through short story and novella and I wonder if they do get a novel what would happen then.

    Comment by DarkMechanicum | September 4, 2012 | Reply

  15. […] Studio Colrouphobia) ‘s freaking killer version of Konrad Curze. You might also remember his Talos, from a little while […]

    Pingback by The Weekender Arrives (plus, some Hallowe’en Curze Art) « Aaron Dembski-Bowden | October 31, 2013 | Reply

  16. this is amazing, except for those puny wings on his back 🙂

    Comment by Palom | November 2, 2013 | Reply


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