- Series: Tome of Fire
- Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
- Publisher: Games Workshop; Original edition (October 26, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1849700052
- ISBN-13: 978-1849700054
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 12 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,605,633 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Firedrake (Tome of Fire) Mass Market Paperback – October 26, 2010
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About the Author
Nick Kyme is not only one of the Black Library's up and coming authors, he is also one of it's up and coming editors. Nick has successfully written fantasy and science fiction for the Black Library from his cubicle under a desk in Nottingham, UK
Top customer reviews
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While the first book was focused much more on Dak'ir and Tsu'gan, and their mutual enmity, this book takes place several years after _Salamander_ when they each have begun to adjust to their new roles in the Chapter. Tsu'gan is one of the Terminators, while Dak'ir has begun training as a Librarian. While the former further refines his combat acumen, the latter does the same with his psychic abilities. But while they are clearly pivotal to the overall arc of the trilogy, they are something like bit players in the actual narrative of this book.
The tale revolves about the rescue effort of Chaplain Elysius, who has been taken by the Dark Eldar into the webway. He possesses an irreplaceable relic of the Chapter which must be recovered to access a hidden part of their own home fortress. With recovery of the relic paramount, only the best will do, meaning the First Company, including Tsu'gan, are dispatched to affect the rescue. Their journey into the Dark Eldar zone and their quest for Elysius parallels the Chaplain's own ability to escape the Dark Eldar traps and hunters. He seeks not just escape but vengeance upon the aliens for their base treatment of him and his brothers but also for their very existence, which includes a hereditary racial hatred from ages-past conflicts.
Dak'ir and his mentor Librarian Pyriel, meanwhile, travel to a world where one of the Salamander Captains was lost decades past. Dak'ir is drawn to the world via his psychic powers, knowing that his own destiny and that of his world and Brothers are inextricably linked. The grave world has its own hazards for them to overcome, from dealing with the dead to uncovering the mystery of why their enemies were there in the first place forty years ago. What they learn has implications for the very fate of their Chapter, and for Dak'ir's destiny in particular. The manifestation of his powers, only evident as latent instincts in _Salamander_ is nice to see as something more rare in the Space Marines novels.
Like few others, Kyme delivers a wonderful mix of action, intrigue, and plot advancement all at the same time. From the brutal violence of the many battles to the quests for escape or rescue or revelation, Kyme moves the story along at all times. While there is a reliance upon the prior works (the first book and the novella in _Heroes of the Space Marines_), which would take away from the understanding of a reader who has not read them, there is character development both within this volume and over the trilogy as a whole. The only other aspect that detracted from the read was the poor editing in terms of homophones (such as using "ordinance" instead of the correct "ordnance" and similar word swaps). Otherwise, this one ranks as one of the best in the 40k novel line.
Now for the negative. For the love of god Nick, stop using this ridiculous vocabulary. I'm glad you got your 20th Doctorate in English literature but that dosen't mean you need to use every word in the English language to write a Military Sci-Fi novel. If as a college graduate and an avid reader my entire life( who comes from an extremely well educated and well read family) I have to keep dictionary.com up the whole time I'm reading a your novel, you might have missed the point. I mean I get it, these are gargantuan humanoids who do the impossible time and again, while they fight frighteningly evil creatures in a viscerally stunning world. But, if you make every skirmish out to be D-Day, the Battle of Trafalgar, and the Battle of Okinawa rolled into one A) you sound overwrought and grandiloquent B) the suspense and wonder are eviscerated leaving me feeling cheated and C) if you toned you wouldn't have to continue making everything more fantastical to keep me interested. Basically, don't spend half a book telling me what a complete badass someone or somethings are then have the main characters kill them by the truckload, then add insult to injury by giving me a 411 page vocabulary quiz on archaic language. If I was going to place this author's wordiness on a scale of Hemingway to Cormac McCarthy he would be that "It was a dark and stormy night..." sentence.