- 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: #260,210 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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"Salamander is an entertaining read and serves as a good primer for the Warhammer 40K universe." - SFF World "Perfect pacing; gripping and gory action; characters you care about" - SF Signal on Thunder from Fenris. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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
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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.
The book takes up with the Forge master returning after a long time hunting for important items to the chapter. The antagonists in the story are the evil group of Space Marines intent on destroying the salamanders. For me anyway, the first part where the hero is becoming a librarian was a bit tedious. After that though, the battles and everything else were very entertaining. The other couple of different subplots all going at the same time as is the norm for Warhammer books. The main stories focused between the evil Space Marines, their hero and his Library and teacher on a tomb world, and a chaplain who is engaged in a battle with the Dark Eldar allies of the enemy marines.
Without giving too much away, but chaplain ends up in a perilous situation that the extreme odds against him and the Forge master and his entourage must find and save him or at least an icon that he carries. During the book new allies are found, betrayal takes place, and our hero ends up in a very unenviable situation. When I think back on the book very little actually happened, when you really get down to it, but at the same time it was very entertaining and did an excellent job of furthering the story started in the first book.
Since I read my first salamander book, I've read a lot of other Warhammer books. The series isn't necessarily the best I've ever read, but it's definitely in the top half of them or maybe top third. I'd highly recommend this book, and Long should plan to get the first and third books as well. If you can only get one book, getting the middle book in the series doesn't make much sense.