Friday, 9 April 2010

Review - Salamander

This is a first book in the series labelled as "The Tome of Fire" written by Black Library author Nick Kyme (see his blog here).  As you might have gathered the novel follows the Salamander space marine chapter.  Or to be more specific it follows the 3rd Company of the Salamander's chapter.  There are a number of characters the novel follows, these being two sergeants of tactical squads - who bear a not so friendly rivalry - a librarian attached to the company, and the company's commander(s), along with other members of the chapter and company.. 

It begins with the death of the previous company's captain at the hands of an insidious, and mysterious traitor marines, the Dragon Warriors.  The company is then thrown into turmoil, with the selection of a new captain and are given a mission of utmost importance.  I will keep the spoilers to a minimum here, so I will not go into the rest of the story.  You'll have to read the novel, yourselves to find out what happens.

I will admit to being a bit biased towards Nick Kyme, I am an avid reader of his blog (though, he doesn't post as often) and love his previous novels.  That aside I thoroughly believe he has written a great novel.  The Salamanders are an unusual marine chapter, in their care for humanity, and this is something I think Nick got across in most of the main characters.  You truly feel at times that they genuinely care.  I found the momentum and the action to be well paced, especially as the action at times was split over a number of different characters - sometimes all in the same conflict.  Other novels I have read from Black Library have struggled sometimes, the characters seeming forced and quite cookie cutter.  Not so with the Salamander's Nick has brought to life.  Each one has their own curious personalities, and in some agendas.  All of which work alongside of each other to produce some well written characters.  I also enjoyed Nick's work on bringing out more detailed information on the inner workings of the Salamanders, their homeworld Nocturne and the 'Promethean Cult' they hold close.

I myself am eagerly awaiting the next book in the series.


  1. I just started reading this today. First chapter down. I was immediatly drawn in by the keyword...Istvan. Can't wait to find out what happens with this.

  2. Might pick it up. I've been itching to read some Warhammer stuff for ages but the compitent authors are few and far between, mostly they seem to write a couple of books and then dissappear. I was thinking about getting that Night Lords book but I guess I'll consider this one too.

  3. Jcroxford - Yeah, it does rather pip one's interest. It gets better from there.

    Ferran - I would suggest it. I find I like a lot of the BL authors, but some I agree are hit and miss. Nick Kyme has a number of novels under his belt and I hear good things from most of them. The Night Lords novel does sound interesting, I might have to look at picking that one up myself.

  4. Salamander was a pretty good book. I enjoyed it very much. There's also a short story in the latest compilation "Legends of the Space Marines" that features the cast of Salamander.

    I definitely recommend the Night Lords book as well. Soul Hunter was a very enjoyable read. I actually just wrote a short review on it the other day.


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