You may have noticed in our Black Library Weekender previews and our sneak peeks at forthcoming titles that there’s a brand new series starting soon focusing on humanity’s finest warriors: Space Marine Conquests. We asked Black Library Commissioning Editor Kate Hamer to tell us what this new range of novels is all about. Here’s what she had to say:
Kate: “With the Black Library Weekender fast approaching, fans will soon have their hands on early release copies of the first two books in the new ‘Space Marine Conquests’ series – Guy Haley’s The Devastation of Baal and Gav Thorpe’s Ashes of Prospero. When the folks at Warhammer Community reached out and asked if I’d be interested in talking a little about the series, I thought it’d be a great opportunity to give fans an insight into its conception, why the Black Library team are so excited about it, and what all you loyalists (or, Emperor forbid, heretics) can expect to see in future.
At its heart, the series is an ode to why hobbyists, fanboys and fangirls around the world fell in love with Warhammer 40,000: a galaxy in flames. The never-ending maelstrom of war transforming genetically modified and psycho-conditioned warriors into legends. ‘Space Marine Conquests’ thrusts readers into the gritty, Chaos-tainted and xenos-infested battlefields of the 41st Millennium. In The Devastation of Baal, the entirety of the Blood Angels and their Successor Chapters fight for their very survival against an endless swarm of tyranids, whilst in Ashes of Prospero, a disparate warband of Space Wolves must brave the Great Rift and their eternal foes, the Thousand Sons, in order to save their long-lost battle-brothers of the Thirteenth Company. In visceral detail, the series explores the glorious victories, desperate last stands and devastating losses of mankind’s last hope – the Adeptus Astartes.
Now, if the promise of high octane, bloody conquests on an epic scale hasn’t piqued your interests, what if I said the series would let fans delve into the iconic Space Marines like never before? Not only will you get to explore the psyche, mentality and battle tactics of your favourite, established Chapters, but you’ll get to see the Primaris Space Marines in all their Mk X power armoured glory, and how they adjust to life in their new Chapters. In War of Secrets (book 3, coming in 2018), Phil Kelly explores a violent clash of culture and war philosophy between the Dark Angels and their new Primaris brethren, which sees the Primaris question whether the shadowy Chapter that resents their addition is a greater threat to their existence than the T’au they’re fighting.
As you’ll probably have noticed by now, each book in the series will focus on a different Chapter, in order to celebrate their distinct personalities and art of war. The cover illustrations, by the great Neil Roberts (the artist behind the Horus Heresy covers), does a brilliant job of reflecting this individuality too. Each cover shows a single Space Marine who visually represents key themes, aspects and battle tactics of their Chapter. The Devastation of Baal features a Blood Angel, his noble face framed half in shadow, half in light, to represent the duality of his Chapter’s nature – the constant battle of light against darkness as the Black Rage seeks to consume them. In comparison, the Space Wolf on Ashes of Prospero is in a more dynamic and predatory stance, charging towards the reader with his teeth bared to represent their more animalistic, feral predilection.
So what can you expect next? Well, I can exclusively reveal the fourth book in the series will centre on the Ultramarines and their Primaris brothers, and is being written by Ian St Martin. Keep your eyes out for more information about the series, and if you aren’t able to make it to the Black Library Weekender, fear not: The Devastation of Baal will be available to order very soon!”.
Thank you, Kate! We can’t wait to get our hands on these books now – luckily we don’t have to, with the Weekender this very weekend. And even for those of us not going (someone has to stay in the Warhammer Community office plugged into the cogitators to upload articles for you to read), The Devastation of Baal will be available to pre-order on Saturday as well! So come back then to get your hands on the first Space Marine Conquests book.
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