Monday, August 12, 2013

Into the Black Library - Yarrick: Chains of Golgatha

Well, After finishing my most recent dive into the Black Library in a single sitting, I can come to you now with my thoughts and feelings on one of the few novels that features Commissar Sebastian Yarrick.  He has always been one of my favorites amongst the Imperial Guard, and this read gave me great insight into him as a man, and how he lives with the legend he has created for himself.  And he doesn't disappoint.

The story takes place after the events of Armageddon, and Yarrick is nearing the end of his relentless pursuit of the beast responsible for that terrible war.  Or so he thought.  Yarrick was persistent in his belief that Thraka was an Ork to be feared not simply for his strength, but his cunning and intelligence.  Unfortunately, blinded by his need to destroy Thraka, Yarrick falls right into a trap set by his nemesis.  With his army crushed, and his Relic of War, the Fortress of Arrogance, in ruin (but not without making it's name sake all the more memorable before so), Yarrick is actually taken captive by Thraka, along with many of his troops.  Now he faces one final need.  While most would seek a way out, or a means of contacting The Imperium to lay siege to the Beast on his Space Hulk... Yarrick has only one mission... the death of Thraka.

This book is short.  It only covers the span of 122 pages.  But every moment of the book captures the moments of war and each character perfectly.  The story switches from one character's point of view to the next, but easily distinguishes this before each change with the character's name in bold lettering.  This provides the novel with a truly cinematic experience as you follow characters through their own arcs sometimes separated by half a planet in seconds.

In the short time you read the book, the author shows you the minds of both humans and orks, and how disturbingly powerful these differences can make their clashes on both the battlefield, and the slave pens aboard the hulk.  The action is intense and detailed, keeping you on the edge of your seat right to the very end; while the dialog is nothing short of a perfect depiction of the people involved.  Yarrick spouts a few great one liners that I found myself almost cheering at while reading.  The ending itself is a bit abrupt, but it's definatly a great ending to the book.  Its a humilating... but necessary moment for Yarrick, and the message is not only haunting in it's context, but in it's existance.

Black Library has done this conflict between the two legends with utter sublimity, and I strongly encourage any who, like me, enjoy these titanic characters.  Two Thumbs up for Yarrick: chains of Golgatha.


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