Well I certainly feel a little silly now. I started the Sister Augusta series out of order, starting with Da Big Mouf, and remarked how symmetrical the sisters and orks were. Had I started with Mercy, as the Emperor intended, I would have realized just how symmetrical it was. Ah well, here we are! Mercy, by Danie Ware introduces readers to Sister Superior Augusta and her band of merry murderesses. And boy oh boy am I HERE for them!
Faith and Fury
My favorite internet name for the Adepta Sororitas has always been “nuns with guns.” The very best Sororitas stories highlight the benevolent beauty of the sisters’ faith, and this is no different. Sister Superior Augusta and her crew are the faithful women you would expect. Danie Ware does a fantastic job of not leaning into the more zealous side of the sisters, and so far she’s avoiding the trap of “woe is I.” These are not the sisters consumed with whether or not they are worthy. These women know they’re worthy—they would 100% make Thor nervous.
The sisters have been called to a wayward planet by a representative of the Ecclesiarchy. A “sign” of the Emperor has been seen, and it’s up to the sisters to determine if it’s good or bad. One thing that is often mentioned but rarely touched upon in the WH40k universe on the whole is the concept of “false” saints. Is it a saint reborn? Or a really, really powerful psyker up to no good? These are the questions the Sororitas must answer. With bolters. That is not explored in this story, because it turns out, there was never a “sign.”
Just a reminder: Orks are terrifying
On the heels of Da Big Mouf, it’s easy to forget the orks are utterly terrifying. The Space Soccer Hooligans are one of the funniest factions in the universe, but they’re also unstoppable killing machines. When faced with a rushing horde, the handful of Sororitas do not back down. They merely assess and make a stand. Of course something is rotten (aside from ork breath) in this tale, and not all is at it seems. The sisters were lured here under false pretenses, and Augusta is having none of it.
The end pages are where Mercy really shines. As it is revealed that someone was not entirely honest, Sister Superior Augusta is forced to make a decision. Does she bring this person back to the Sororitas and Ecclisiarchy for judgement? Or does she take matters into her own hands? Her final decision is not only telling of her character, it is telling of her squad. Each member reacts in their own way, speaking volumes for their character.
As far as introductory stories go, Mercy is spot-on. In a handful of pages Danie Ware introduces her protagonist and supporters with subtle flair. I’m excited to see them expanded upon as the series continues. That’s 2/9 down for me! If you haven’t read Mercy by Danie Ware, pick it up and join me, won’t you?