Hammer & Bolter issue 11 – Review

Commissar Ploss here reporting in onthe latest issue of Hammer & Bolter from Black Library! Issue 11is jam-packed with some great stories. Lets kick things off shall we?
Another grand installment of the Hammer & Bolter magazine. Awesome.
~The Founding Fields

The Carrion Anthem byDavid Annandale
Ligeta. Artisticsoul of the Imperium. It’s a world so far behind the lines ofconflict, that a posting there is considered to be more of avacation. Corvus Parthamen sits brooding on bitter thoughts of gloryas he waits for his brother Gurges to grace the stage for the nightsperformance. The word is, that Guges has returned to Ligeta, after ayear abroad, with a masterpiece of wonderment and entertainment thatis sure to wow the audience. However, Corvus doesn’t have an ear formusic, he never has… That may just be saving grace…
EnterTyphus, and his daemon ship Terminus Est.Once the Carrion Lord descends upon you, there can be no escape.Drawn to Ligeta by a chance encounter amongst the starts, things areabout to get… musical?!
This story iswonderfully written by new author David Annandale. It really helps toshow how futile resistance is against the Carrion Lord and his grandpoisoning Anthem. The story moves about quite fast, but it’s allpart of the natural flow of things. You can really feel the authorknew how to write in the urgency and panic necessary for this story.
Will Corvus findthat glory which he so desires? Or will Typhus and his Carrion Anthembe the final refrain? You’ll have to find out for yourself.
Rating:8.5/10solid.
Reason: it’s awonderfully written story that’s fast paced and well maneuvered.However, I found myself confused at certain sections of the story. Itfelt it could have done with a bit longer page length. All waseventually made clear, but the story could have avoided some of theconfusion with a few more pages.
The Gods Demandby Josh Reynolds
Gorthor the Beastlord stands poised to crush the city of Hergig inthe name of his gods. But the one man who stands in his way is MikaelLudenhorf, Elector of Hochland. As much as Gorthor is a stubbornbeast, so too is Ludenhorf a stubborn human! He will see all of hisblood spilled before he surrenders his city to the likes of thebeastmen.
Joshhas written a very interesting story regarding interactions betweenthe beastmen as a “race.” This tribal nature has only beenexplored so heavily in a few previous works, most recently, BrokenHonourby Robert Earl. This feels very much like that book, only shortened.Which is a good thing! To be able to pull off a novel-esque feel in ashort story is a grand skill to have. It’s engaging and really helpspull the reader in. The only disappointment I had was that the storyhad to stop! I really would like to read more of the characters inthis story, so Josh, if you’re reading this, feel free to give mesome prequels. Haha
Rating:solid 9/10.
Interview withGraham McNeil
Watch as the Inquisition peels back the layers of Graham’s psyche andpulls forth information on his upcoming projects.
Most notable mentions:
The IronWithout
The Beast ofCalth
Some other interesting topics include:
Writing aboutAdeptus Mechanicus,
Favoriteauthors and inspirations,
Titles he’scurrenly reading!
BL/non-BLbooks he wished he’d written.
A very interesting conversation covering a whole host of topics,definitely worth reading!
Phalanx (Chapter 12) byBen Counter
Ialways eagerly await the next chapter of Phalanxin each issue. It’s really a well written novel so far and thischapter is no exception. The voices of the characters really standout during their hardest trials. In chapter 12 we see the SoulDrinkers and the Imperial Fists warily join forces to decimate thegreater threat to both of their Chapters. Abraxes and his hordes ofchaos daemons stand to crush the Astartes and the Phalanx itself.
As the battle progresses we see the appearance of not one, but twoGreater Daemons of Chaos!
The chapter gets going right from the start, kicking off with somefantastic action. I have to give Ben Counter a lot of credit forwriting some really kick-butt action scenes in this one. Each bunchgets their own time to shine. From Chapter Master Vladimir andCaptain Lysander, even to Inquisitor Kolgo and his Battle Sisters. It really is a rousing read.
At the end of the chapter, in an attempt to shatter Abraxes’reinforcements, a retinue of Soul Drinkers volunteers to undertake amission down the Path of the Lost to make a strike against asuspected Warp Gate that Abraxes may have constructed. It will be arough go, and one that that Soul Drinkers need to accomplish if theyare to gain any modicum of favor back in the eyes of the ImperialFists. As such a small band of Imperial Fists and Sisters of Battleare attached to them for the journey.
Overall it’s a wonderful chapter, and I can’t wait to get reading thenext one.
Rating:8/10
ShadowKnightby Aaron Dembski-Bowden
It’sbeen stated in a couple of different forum conversations as well asposted on the Black Library website that ShadowKnightwas to be a prequel short story to Soul Hunter, and if memory serves,it can be found in a short story compilation already in print. Thoughdon’t quote me on that. Haha. It’s an interesting look at thefragments of Talos’s memory as he progresses his way through tobecome a full-fledged Astartes. From his first killing as a smallchild, we see how the ways of deceit and murder shaped Talos into thebeing that he is now.
Ashe progresses through his training as what would amount to a Scoutclass Astartes to the VIII Legion, you see the skill he alreadynaturally possesses. Then onto some of his first undertakings as amember of Tenth Company, we see how he already doesn’t feelthebattle cries he blares outwards from his helmet speakers. ForThe Emperor. He already knows it feels wrong. His intuition is strong.
On to the cleansing of a world rebellious to the Imperium, we seethat even though the inhabitants have surrendered and pledged loyaltyto the Imperium after much bloodshed, the VIII Legion fights onward,bent on eradication anyways. It’s some of the first signs of taintamongst the Legion.
Andonward until we reach the beginning of Soul Hunter. The theme isrecurring. It’s a look into the mind of Talos as his Legion fallsinto hatred for the Emperor and the Imperial Way. A very interestinglook, fragmented and imprecise. But that’s the point, isn’t it? Tosee the recollections through the eyes of the one who experiencedthem, to see the bias born through experience. An exceptional piece.One that has me already grabbing SoulHunteroff my shelf to read it again.
Rating:9/10
And thus, we have concluded Hammer and Bolter, issue 11. A wonderfulvolume filled with some very very interesting stories. It followsalong with the other 10 issues we’ve had so far in raking as some ofthe top stories to come out of Black Library this year. I eagerlyawait Issue 12.
Overallrating: 9/10Awesome!
Should you buy this one? oh yeah, Hammer and Bolter is always worth the few pounds they ask. :) Win.
Signing off,
Commissar David Ploss

I’m a bit of an awesome person. :) I’m a semi-famous 40k Intellect and the Business Manager of Chique Geek Entertainment, LLC. www.chiquegeek.com. I’m a book reviewer and the owner of www.TheFoundingFields.com. Beware my wonky-ness…

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