Friday, 24 December 2010

Review - Firedrake by Nick Kyme

It has been a while since I have had a new Black Library novel to read, but I knew that when I did get one I wanted Firedrake to be one of those I read.  After reading the first novel Salamander (review can be found here), I knew I had to read the next in the series. 

The review will be after the cut.

This is the second novel in the Salamander series "Tome of Fire" by Nick Kyme.  It picks up partly where the end of the last one left us, with the main characters both taking different paths.  One is raised to the ranks of the First Company (the Firedrakes), the other takes the path of the Librarian.  I will not spoil things, as much as I can - if you have read Salamander then you will know who goes which way, if not - GO READ IT!! 

However, parts of the book do not follow them, but rather it follows the events of the war/campaign that the 3rd Company are involved in against the Dark Eldar.  In this war a number of marines are captured by the eldar and are hunted for fun.  At the same time, some of the Friredrakes led by Forgefather Vulkan He'Stan are chasing after their lost brothers.  There are some twists in the book that you will find interesting, the major twist I did see coming, but it is quite interesting.  I like the build up of the Dragon Warriors plans, without the actual details being giving.  It leaves you wanting more.  I did like how Nick managed to handle the multiple aspects of the characters and not have it disjointed, as some novels I have read can be. 

I make no attempts to hide it, but I love Nick Kyme's writing.  Ever since he wrote the Dwarf novels I have found him to be a great writer.  Firedrake has the same hallmarks of his hand upon the page.  The battle scenes I found to be well placed and quite fluid with the action, with the space marines coming across as being super human, but also being vulnerable.  One thing I would like to accredit Mr Kyme with, is selecting to write a novel about one of the near 'unsung heroes' of the Space Marines.  Salamanders are one of those chapters that are different enough to be interesting.  They are not mouth-frothing butchers or uncaring giants, but rather the Salamanders are practically humanitarians.  They put human life above most things, themselves included.  This I found to be a really interesting view of the marines, it is nice to see that marines can be different and while there is a gulf of changes between them and  humans, it is quite cool to see that some retain a bit of humanity.

I look forward to the next one.

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