Lord of the Night by Simon Spurrier – Book Review [Bane of Kings]
Bane of Kings Reviews Lord of the Night, Simon Spurrier’s Night Lords novel that is currently available on Print on Demand (direct exclusive), published by Black Library.
“A fantastic read that will have you flipping through the pages. Essential reading for all Black Library fans.” ~The Founding Fields
Lord of the Night was one of the few purchases that I made at Black Library Live 2012, and I enjoyed it so much that I devoured it on the homecoming journey. Written by Simon Spurrier, you may recall that it was released several years ago as an original novel, with a different cover art that will be shown below. Unfortunately, I was yet to discover Black Library books back then, and this is why I seized the opportunity to pick up Lord of the Night from among the many Print on Demand titles that they had there, ranging from The Gothic War to the Kal Jericho Omnibus. And, was it worth the £13 that I paid for it?
Yes. A million times yes. I loved Lord of the Night, and I can see why it is the namesake of fellow TFF member, Lord of the Night. In fact, and I’m probably going to get viscously beaten to a pulp for saying this, but I believe Lord of the Night outclasses Aaron Dembski-Bowden’s Soul Hunter and Blood Reaver (Although Void Stalker may change things.), for several reasons, which will be explained below. But, before I do that, you’re probably wanting to know what happens in Lord of the Night, so here’s a brief blurb for you. There’s no spoilers, as it’s exactly the same summary as what you’ll get from Black Library’s page for the Print-On-Demand Title:
Young Interrogator Mita Ashyn struggles to prove herself worthy to her master despite her growing feelings of unease at the hypocrisy within the Inquisition. When they visit the remote and sunless hive-world of Equixus, she suspects nothing more than minor corruption and heresy.
Night Lords Commander Sahaal has been in exile for ten thousand years, plotting to defeat his treacherous rival Acerbus and once again rule over his dark army. To do this he must find an ancient artefact that was stolen from him, and nothing – not even the Inquisition – will stand in his way.
The full horror of the Night Lords Chaos Space Marines is revealed in this pulse-pounding SF thriller from author Simon Spurrier.
The last thing by Simon Spurrier that I read was The Culled, published by Abaddon Books and part of The Afterblight Chronicles, a multi-author series of which the review (For three books), can be found here. I enjoyed The Culled, but like Aaron Dembski-Bowden’s titles, I found Lord of the Night to be a cut above that as well.
One of the book’s strength is its characters. With Mita Ashyn and Zso Sahaal are strong, and develop throughout the novel, to the point where neither can be described as simply the ‘good girl’ or the ‘bad guy’, as they both have positive and negative aspects about them. Both get roughly the same amount of page-time, with different chapters alternating between different points of view. Whilst in some books that I’ve read, I find that having two different perspectives running throughout the whole novel can slow down the pace a bit, it doesn’t here. In Lord of the Night, the pace is constantly fast moving throughout the novel, and there is no slow moment in the entire book.
Ashyn is a very strong female character, and is perhaps one of the strongest that I’ve read in science fiction and fantasy, and she’s just as much a key player to the story as Sahaal.
The novel itself is defiantly one of the better Warhammer 40,000 novels out there, despite the somewhat hefty £13 pricetag that is slapped on the Print on Demand edition. After all, this novel only has the same length as your average Black Library book. However, the quality of Lord of the Night makes up for it, as I couldn’t find any negative thing in the book.
The action scenes in this novel are many, and are well-written. Gory, bloody battle scenes are another one of the novel’s strengths, and I’d say this is as close to a Horror novel that we’ve seen published from Black Library (unless I’ve missed something). In fact, this novel is actually pretty different to any Black Library novel that I’ve read before, in particular the language used. Spurrier has created something that is not what a regular Black Library fan is used to, but nonetheless – it is a joy to read. I loved every minute of it.
This book has described as being similar to the Hannibal Lector novels, and although I haven’t read any of them yet so I can’t make a comparison myself, if they’re anywhere near as good as Lord of the Night was, but I defiantly now want to go and find out more about them.
In conclusion, a must read for all Warhammer 40k fans, and even non 40k fans may enjoy this book. It’s a character driven, intruging novel that is extremely awesome.
More Night Lords Action: The Night Lords Series by Aaron Dembski-Bowden: Soul Hunter, Throne of Lies (Audio-drama) Blood Reaver, Void Stalker (May 2012)