Rynn’s World by Steve Parker – Review [Lord of the Night]
Lord of the Night reviews the first Space Marines Battles novel, Rynn’s World by Steve Parker.
“An exciting novel with well-written characters at their darkest hour, Parker does not hold back on the danger or the action.”
Rynn’s World was not the first SMB novel I read, that goes to Helsreach by ADB, but it is one of my favourites because of it’s interesting subject matter and because the situations faced by the characters in the story are very different to what they normally face and their reactions and plans for the future they may not have are quite revealing.
The Orks have come to Rynn’s World. The Crimson Fists face their darkest hour as their Chapter Keep is destroyed, with less than a hundred of their battle-brothers lost across the surface of their homeworld, it’s cities under siege and it’s civilians being hunted across the plains and forests by the rampaging Orks, it is up to Pedro Kantor the Chapter Master to see his world and his brothers through this crisis. But how can he stop millions of Orks, save his chapter from extinction and save Rynn’s World and it’s people from destruction with less than twenty of his brothers at his back, and not all of whom agree with the decisions he must make in order to ensure that the Crimson Fists will have a future.
The story is a really tense one, both for the invasion and for the situation facing the Fists. Extinction. They are a Chapter that is facing the very end of it’s existance, and for the Fists that means 10,000 years of history could end here if they are not careful. This theme is present all throughout the story as the Fists must survive at all costs, but at the same time are faced with whether or not their duty can be sacrificed as well. The invasion of Rynn’s World is a really interesting piece of lore, one in which a Chapter faces the worst odds it ever has and stares it’s own death in the face, and I think Parker really captured that well with the actions of Kantor and Cortez in the story, and the attitudes of other Crimson Fists throughout.
The characters are not only interesting for who they are, but what they do in this difficult time. Pedro Kantor and Alessio Cortez are the two protagonists and each react differently to the situation, Kantor’s decision to preserve his chapter above all else, and Cortez’s decision to preserve their duty to their people even though three-quarters of their brothers are dead, and the conflict between the two as they need to decide which is the correct path for their chapter is a very good one, both making good arguments. Other characters include Drigo Alvez and Huron Grimm, both of whom have similar problems as they defend New Rynn City and must decide what is the best course of action for them to undertake, either to survival or duty.
The action is of course big, as befitting a planetary invasion story on this kind of size. The Crimson Fists are few in number and fight in quick assault battles, and the siege of New Rynn City, and each Fist makes his death count and reaps a large tally of Orks. I quite enjoyed the against-the-wall nature of the battles in the book, the Fists know that each brother lost is now virtually irreplacable and slides them ever close to the end, and so they must pick their battles carefully. And the Orks do not disappoint either, plenty of large mobs hacking through defenses, crazed mechs and the battle between the Fists and the Ork Warlords was very well written, particularly the very last fight which I felt was epic and very well-written.
The pacing is acceptable, though at some points I felt the novel slowed during the parts set in New Rynn City, particularly the scenes involving the civilian POVs. But the segments with Kantor and Cortez were very fun and a breeze to read through. I don’t think that any fan of BL or the Space Marines will have a problem reading Rynn’s World, the pace is nice and easy and the novel itself is a good 500 pages long, enough to really flesh the story and characters out which Parker does nicely by showing how the invasion started and what caused it to happen.
Now for my favourite quote, had to be this one because it made me laugh,
“Pedro, I have not lost my arm, it’s over there.”
The ending admittedly feels a little abrupt, but the epilogue follows up on it and shows the aftermath in the way that the last page before the epilogue does not. It gives a nice sense of closure to the story, showing how a few characters go on after the invasion, and how the Crimson Fists themselves are doing in the aftermath of the entire affair. I liked this choice by the author because as this book’s source material confirmed how the invasion ended long ago it was not possible for the author to pull a surprise loss or victory on us, so instead we get to see a timeskip and how things have changed for Rynn’s World and the Fists in that time and I really enjoyed that final scene for that reason.
For a good story and some really memorable characters, one in particular, and some very very good scenes that are just epic and one very heartwarming scene I give Rynn’s World a score of 7.2/10. I would suggest that any Space Marine fan could enjoy Rynn’s World but as Steve Parker has not written a lot of books I cannot say whether the writing style is for everyone. I didn’t see any problems with it but that is just me.
That’s it for this review. Hopefully my next review will be for ADB’s Betrayer. Until next time,
AVE DOMINUS NOX!