The review blogsphere’s first Blood Reaver review (from the mighty Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review) is in.
I had to read this one twice, because it said 10 out of 10, which makes it my highest rating on GFBR.
I admit, I’m starting to feel a little less terrified about how this novel will be received. Review ratings like that certainly help.
Oh, my. And it’s a doozy, with no spoilers.
Tomorrow will see me actually type something here, rather than just link stuff. For now, I give you this:
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 pretty [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:
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.
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.
I got mail today asking about the Night Lords story in Fear the Alien, regarding why “it’s so weird”. That’s a quote, like. Hence the quotation marks.
Allow me to explain.
The story, called ‘The Core’, was sort of part-experiment, part-risk, part-gimmick. It was a gimmick in the sense that it links to another story in the anthology, and it was a gimmick in the sense that it’s set after Blood Reaver, meaning it has spoilers for what happens in the next Night Lords novel. Apparently, and I’m quoting, “This is a bit too weird.”
I’m not going to argue that point. It is pretty weird. I also wanted to try to write a short story tied into another story’s plot (which was a struggle, actually) and I wanted to do a story that – for once – wasn’t clever or twisty, and was just a solid A to B situation, showing familiar characters and basically helping people get to know them a little better. But what matters here are the spoilers, so let’s deal with those.
Blood Reaver will have some pretty massive and story-changing revelations. Soul Hunter set First Claw and co. up, and in true, classic second-act style, everything is going to go to Hell in Blood Reaver. The opening trilogy is essentially about the Night Lords doing all they can to get back to the Eye of Terror, and survive well enough to make existence, and vengeance, worthwhile. Soul Hunter showed that they were in pretty dire straits where that was concerned. In Blood Reaver, everything gets worse. They have to fight harder, take a long look at just how corrupt they may or may not be, consider the Legion’s future, and weigh up the merits of betraying before they are betrayed.
Add to that, the fact that it’s based around the Fall of Vilamus – when the Red Corsairs and Night Lords lay siege to the fortress-monastery of the Marines Errant – and you can probably guess that things are going to get a bit nasty.
Now, seeing as I knew all of this beforehand, I was careful with the stuff I showed in ‘The Core’. The “spoilers” that were “too weird” in the Fear the Alien story are all basically things I would (and will) say when it comes time to discuss the novel, anyway. Reading ‘The Core’ will show some pretty significant changes have occurred, but none of the major revelations from Blood Reaver are spoiled. I’m not that mental.
Incidentally, ‘The Core’ won’t be in any future Night Lord anthology. It was a very fun gimmick, but I’d rather the anthology stories answered the really tricky questions, like the kind of training Talos went through (as in ‘Shadow Knight’); what happened to Secondus; or how Talos stole the Blade of Angels. In short, the really inspired stuff. For the rumoured Favourite Recipes of the Space Marines, I’m thinking of doing something that I get a lot of mail about – like the aforementioned Blade of Angels scenario.
I have the Blood Reaver cover, by the way. It’s even better than Soul Hunter.