Release Date: 18/04/14
Publisher: Black Library
Yarrick: the very name carries the weight of legend, of great deeds and of wars won for the Imperium. But Sebastian Yarrick, who fought on Armageddon, who Space Marine Chapter Masters show their fealty to on bended knee, was not always Lord Commissar. He was once just a man, a newly minted officer from the ranks of the schola progenium.
His first mission under the tutelage of Lord Commissar Rasp was on Mistral. Here, an uprising of barons had upset the delicate balance of power. But, as Yarrick was soon forced to learn, Mistral and Imperial politics are often murky, the truth seldom clear cut. As war engulfs the world, a plot unravels that pits old friends against one another and fashions unusual alliances. Chaos cults, the fanatical Adepta Sororitas and clandestine inquisitors all stand between Yarrick and his mission. Here is where the legend began. In this crucible was Lord Commissar Sebastian Yarrick forged in blood.
I’m a huge fan of the 40K world and whilst its been a while since I dipped into it, I thought that it was about time I returned with, in my opinion, one of the best Commissar’s out there, Commissar Yarrick. As you’d expect from a Yarrick story, it hits hard, has some great action sequences and douses the pages with Imperial Zeal washing planets clean in the blood of their foes.
It’s a great piece of writing and for me, one of my highlights of Sci-Fi for the year, although the one thing that always niggles me with prequel stories is that you know damn well that there’s never any serious threat to the principle character as their timeline is already written. Don’t get me wrong, it does what you want, but when you know that there’s no real threat of death, it’s the subsequent supporting characters within that really become the ones you care about.
All round, it’s a great piece of 40K fiction and whilst some of the danger was missing for me on a personal level, I did love the whole arc with the politics carefully balanced against the action. A great piece of writing and I really can’t wait to embark again with Yarrick on his next adventure.