Nocturne by Nick Kyme – Advanced Review [Bane of Kings]


Bane of Kings reviews the third and final instalment in The Tome of Fire Trilogy, published by Black Library and will not be available in stores until November 2011. It’s written by Nick Kyme.

“An Epic Conclusion to what has been an awesome trilogy. Possibly the best Salamander novel yet.~The Founding Fields

Warning! This review contains spoilers for the previous two novels in the Trilogy.

There are some authors who I always strive to read new books by, and there are some series (or in this case, Trilogies), that I almost always buy as soon as the next novel is out. Having received a copy from Black Library, I tore into Nocturne with interest, longing to see the outcome of The Tome of Fire Trilogy, which includes the novels Salamander, Firedrake and now, at last – Nocturne.

Having set into motion at last events that began decades ago, an alliance of Dark Eldar and Chaos Renegades has been formed by a corrupt Chaos sorcerer Nihilan in order to extract revenge on the Salamanders Chapter. Why he wants revenge, well –you’re going to have to read the Tome of Fire Trilogy to find out. The Salamanders, loyal sons of Vulkan – are divided on one matter that could save or destroy them. A Prophecy, from the Tome of Fire, one of the nine artefacts left behind after the mysterious disappearance of their Primarch, Vulkan He’stan. And, everyone believes that it concerns one of the protanagists from the previous two novels, Dak’ir.

After all, it does say the following, “A Low Born, one of the Earth, will pass through the gate of fire. He will be our doom, or salvation.

And I guess Dak’ir fits all the bills. He is a Low Born, one of the Earth, and – as of Firedrake, has passed through the gate of fire. So naturally, he’s in chains, to prevent him from being the doom of the Salamanders – whilst the Chapter’s leaders decide his fate. They all believe that he is to be their doom… but then the Forgefather Vulkan He’stan raises an important question…

What if Dak’ir is the Salamander’s saviour?

Dak’ir’s rival, and the Firedrake Tsu’gan, is held captive in the Dragon Warrior’s (Nihilan’s forces), after the concluding events in Firedrake. It soon becomes all too clear that there will be a reckoning between both Dak’ir and Tsu’gan, and the outcome will decide the future of the Salamanders Chapter.

Nocturne is very much a character-focused novel, as Nick Kyme looks as both Dak’ir and Tsu’gan in almost equal measure, but does not restrict the novel to entirely just these two ‘protanagists’, for we see a glimpse of the Salamanders Seventh Company (Scouts), as well – and this provides a refreshing break to the trials that the main characters have been enduring, and gives us a look at the recruitment methods of the Salamanders as well as edging forward the plot.

Although there are indeed some things that I’m not too happy with here, in particular the eventual fate of one of the main characters, whom I’m not going to mention as I want to keep this review as spoiler-free as possible.

As much as Nocturne focuses on the characters, the novel focuses on the action as well. Kyme manages to create an equal balance between the action and characters, a thing that I haven’t seen many other novels do, particularly in Tie-In fiction such as Black Library. And, both are done pretty well.

Nocturne, in my opinion – is possibly the greatest of the Tome of Fire Trilogy, so Kyme really has saved the best ‘til last, and – part of me wishes that we could see more from the Salamanders. I’ve read pretty much everything that Kyme has written for them, including the majority of the short stories – and enjoyed them all. Top notch stuff, and if you haven’t read this trilogy, then you should by all means pick it up today.

Whereas Firedrake lacked the big, epic moment, Nocturne surely does make up for it in that regard, and believe me when I say this, you will be hooked right until the very end.

Fantastic stuff written by an author at the top of his game. Plenty of character development, plenty of action – detailed description and brilliantly paced. Kyme also manages to bring Nocturne, the homeworld of the Salamanders, to life in this epic conclusion, and we learn more about the Salamanders Chapter as a whole. Essential reading for Salamanders fans as far as I’m concerned.

Rating: 4/5

More Salamanders: Vulkan’s Shield (Exclusive Black Library Audio Short, Prequel to Salamander) Salamander, Fireborn (Audio Drama) Firedrake, and Nocturne


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. I’m a book reviewer and the owner of Beware my wonky-ness…