The Ravenwing stand apart from the rest of the Dark Angels Chapter – these dynamic Space Marines take to the battlefield upon steeds of adamantium and plasteel, and swoop from the skies in lightning-fast speeders to bring death to the foes of the Imperium.
When he joins their prestigious ranks, Brother Annael finds himself thrust into a whole new world of shadowy intrigue, and privy to secrets unknown to his common battle-brothers. In the wake of the conflict at Kadillus, hints of a dark conspiracy begin to emerge, and it soon becomes apparent that the Ravenwing has a sacred duty far more vital than hunting down orks…
As you may know, Geoff doesn’t care much for The Dark Angels as a Space Marine Chapter. So when Ravenwing, by Gav Thorpe, arrived at our door from Black Library I immediately thought “Oh boy. A book about Dark Angels. Geoff is going to hate it!” But by the time I was halfway through the novel I thought “Geoff is going to like this book!”
If you don’t know much about the Dark Angels I may spoil something for you here. You see, during the Horus Heresy, some of the Dark Angels fell to Chaos. Not all of them, but some of them did. It goes deeper than that, but this is one of the big Dark Angels “secrets”.
The Second Company, known as The Ravenwing, spend a lot of their time in secret hunting down these renegade Space Marines. The last thing they want is for the Inquisition to come snooping around and discover this nasty little skeleton in their closet. With a secret as large as this, not even all of the Dark Angels are entrusted with it. There are different levels of knowledge throughout the chapter, and only a privleged (or cursed) few, know the entire story of the Horus Heresy and what became of their Primarch.
Ravenwing follows not only the exploits of The Dark Angels Second Company, known for their lightning fast strikes and use of Bikes and Speeders, but it also follows members of The Dark Angels 5th Company. Therein lies the crux of some of the most interesting story elements in Ravenwing. How do the various companies work with each other when secrets can be exposed in the field of battle? It is incredibly interesting how not only the keepers of secrets try to hide and withhold information from their brothers, but how their brothers perceive and react to the confusion caused.
Gav writes a really compelling story here. The characters are interesting to watch develop and there are some big names from 40k lore that are represented here. The way the marines speak in this book is even different than other 40k novels I have read. They are constantly speaking in an almost formal manner, which lends to the overall tone of the book. There are a few interesting insights into the Chapter itself as well as, what I think, is at least a couple of hints as to what their new codex may contain when it is released!
When Ravenwing becomes available in January (or probably sooner in ebook format), you cannot go wrong picking up this fantastic, and quick read from The Black Library. This is my favorite of Gav Thorpes books so far! Do not miss it.
Five out of Five stars! 5/5