Shadows of Treachery / Mark of Calth

I read some more books about Space Marines. Both of these are anthologies of short stories, and in the main, much less satisfactory than the full length novels. Shadows of Treachery is just lots of bad things being done by Bad Space Marines – it felt to me that the constraints of short stories meant there was little of the room for character development in the longer works.

The only exception to this was Prince of Crows, a longer story about one of the villains, a bloke called Sevatar who keeps going round cutting people to bits with a giant chainsaw spear, and who was otherwise presented as another Saturday morning cartoon villain, all growls and atrocities.

In Prince of Crows he shows a lot more depth and fallibilities, and the Night Lords, elsewhere portrayed as csrtoonishly evil, vindictive types, get fleshed out a lot more. So that was enjoyable.

The Mark of Calth anthology is a series of stories either thing up loose ends or filling in background around Know No Fear, which is the book where the incredibly evil Word Bearers kill an entire star system. Again, a mixed bag. There are some fair bits of horror (the man who doesn’t realise until too late that he’s possessed by a demon) and there’s also weaker stuff, but most of it jsjt abject misery as people get blown up or crushed under tonnes of rubble.

So again, not my favourites. Not the very worst I’ve read, but most of these didn’t strike me as things I’d read if I weren’t trying to extra t value for money from the five book set that I’ve bought. And that’s hardly high praise.

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