I am in the home stretch of the Horus Heresy. I’m so close to the end, I can taste it. At the same time, for the love of the God-Emperor, why does it have to be such a struggle? Deathfire by Nick Kyme isn’t a bad book by any means, but it felt as stretched out and padded as the series itself. In addition, it somehow produced both a satisfactory and unsatisfactory ending at the same time.
It’s like Homer’s Odyssey, get it? Eh? Eh? Eh?
It was bad enough the Salamanders’ ship was named the Charybdis—is that really a good name, a monster of Grecian myth that sucked down ships whole? Not to mention, the whole story is about the Salamanders going home. But then to name the shipmaster Adyssian? The Navigator, Circe? Little daemon girls leading people to their deaths, the sirens? We often joke on the podcast that Games Workshop has all the subtlety of a two-by-four, but this was overkill for even its standards.
Just having the shipmaster as Adyssian would have done the trick, even though unlike Odysseus, Adyssian never made it home. The parallel would have been drawn nicely without beating the reader over the head with the pencil.
Then again, this is Games Workshop/Black Library, so I’m not sure why I expected anything else.
Left with so many questions
And no, I’m not talking about Numeon sacrificing himself to Nocturne to bring back Vulkan. That seemed very Blood Angels of him, and it was the unsatisfactory part of the ending, but I don’t have any questions about it. Magical planet ate man, revived Vulkan from the fire. Makes complete sense to me.
I’m talking about Narek. Yes, obviously a Grey Knight kidnapped him, although I don’t remember a short story or a Garro audio drama that tells the tale. It makes sense he’d have to be mind-wiped for anyone to trust the former Word Bearer. It was just the last Nick Kyme Salamanders book that had Narek hunting Numeon for vengeance. Not to mention that the Ultramarines captured him for killing Vulkan on Macragge. Narek has made enemies with the Salamanders, the Word Bearers, and the Ultramarines. He definitely needs a new identity.
However, what happened to him at the end? He killed Degat and didn’t kill Xathen and then just disappeared. No mention of him when the Charybdis went boom. Then there’s this paragraph at the end of chapter 63:
A second vessel had made landfall [on Nocturne] after the Salamanders gunship. It was conical in shape,, and had no weapons. It’s trajectory was largely predetermined before launch but by sheer luck or something more divisive, it had delivered its sole occupant on Nocturne.
AND THEN THE BOOK NEVER MENTIONS THE SHIP AGAIN. We never find out who is on it. Is it Narek? I’m fairly certain that neither the Death Guard nor the Word Bearers would risk touching down on Nocturne in an unarmed ship.
It better not be John Grammaticus or another Throne-damned perpetual. I can already feel my blood boiling in anticipation.
I’ll be even more disappointed if this mystery person isn’t revealed in at least another short story. Considering the next “book” in this series is yet another short story collection, it better be in there.
Either way, CHEKOV IS DISAPPOINT, Mr. Kyme.
Thirty-two books down, 22 books to go.
Horus Hearsay is dedicated to Keri’s journey through the Horus Heresy saga. The chronicling of the Horus Heresy began over ten years ago, with currently 54 books in total, not counting The Primarchs series or the various short stories. Horus Hearsay will only cover the main novels.