Bane of Kings reviews Black Library’s first limited edition Horus Heresy novella, Promethean Sun, written by Tome of Fire author Nick Kyme.
“At long last, the Salamanders get some Horus Heresy love. A Fantastic Novella, a fantastic legion, and a fantastic author.” ~The Founding Fields
Warning! This review contains spoilers!
A word of warning before you read this. Promethean Sun is no longer available to buy from Black Library’s website, (There are 400 copies left that will be available at various Games Workshop-run events though), and you will find that there are minor Spoilers for this novella in here, as well as even a spoiler for Salamander, also by Nick Kyme. Just bare that in mind when you read this.
At long last, my copy has arrived in the post today and I read it as soon as I got upstairs. Although Promethean Sun is a short read, admittedly with only 128 pages inside, I found it to be an enjoyable read by one of my favourite Black Library authors.
The name Nick Kyme shouldn’t be new to anyone who’s been a fan of Black Library for a while, due to mainly the popular Tome of Fire Trilogy. Also – he was responsible for editing the Tales of Heresy anthology and writing the superb Fall of Damnos Space Marine Battle Novel.
So naturally, I would pick up this novella, even if it cost £30, not including the £10 postage (which it did).
The Novella takes place on the world known as One-Five-Four-Four, being presumably the fourth world discovered by the 154th Expeditionary Fleet – which in this case, is the Eighteenth Legion, who are The Salamanders.
Although the Salamanders are not the only legions featured in this novel – sorry, Novella – and neither is Vulkan the only Primarch. You get the Iron Hands, lead by Ferrus Manus, as well as the Death Guard, commanded by their Primarch Mortarion.
And of course, most people who have been digging around for rumours on this book, and those who know their xenos, will know that the three legions are pitted against The Eldar in this novel.
Yep, you heard right. Not Daemons, not Traitor Marines – Eldar. Xenos.
For those of us who have read Forgotten Sons, (A short story in Age of Darkness), you will be pleased to find that the Salamander featured in that short, Heka’tan – makes a return, as one of the main characters in this, alongside a character from the end of the novel Salamander, who if you remember, is called Gravius. I don’t want to go into more details about Salamander here, but it’s nice to see that we get more information about these characters.
The plot of Promethean Sun is relatively simple, and involves the cleansing of One-Five-Four-Four from the Eldar. Although the main story is about Vulkan – who gets lots of ‘page time’ as Nick Kyme explores about how he was reunited with the Emperor.
I do believe this is the first time we’ve seen a detailed recount of the Primarchs reuniting with the Emperor. No, hold on – maybe the second if you include After Desh’ea, by Matthew Farrer, which features Angron and the World Eaters, although that is more about Angron and his legion rather than Angron and his Emperor.
After reading this, I can understand why not many people are happy about the whole limited edition thing – but maybe you can either pick it up at one of the many events that it will be sold at or even wait two years before it is released in a different manner.
But you probably want to wonder how good this novel is, and if the quote at the top of this review is anything to go by – then I believe that Promethean Sun is fantastic. But then, due to the nature of me being a Salamanders and Nick Kyme fan, my view may be slightly biased.
Although the plot is simple, there is a lot of description as Nick Kyme continues to flush out the eighteenth legion and I hope they will get their own Horus Heresy novel in the future, as this has only left me wanting more of Vulkan and his posse.
Due to this being a novella, there is only a bit of character development, namely in flashbacks which detail the coming of the Emperor to Nocturne, and how the people of the world react to his appearance.
In conclusion, I found Promethean Sun to be a jaw-dropping read, even if it was a very short one – and it is a must buy when next available. Although the price is a bit much for a 128 page book, it was an entertaining quick-read nonetheless.
More Horus Heresy Limited Edition Novellas: Promethean Sun by Nick Kyme, Aurelian by Aaron Dembski-Bowden
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