Sunday, December 18, 2011
Sarah Cawkwell's The Gildar Rift
The Gildar Rift, by Sarah Cawkwell is the latest installment of the Battles of the Space Marines series. This novel features the Silver Skulls Space Marine Chapter in battle against Huron Blackheart and his Red Corsairs. The battle is set in the Gildar Rift system, one of the protectorates of the Silver Skulls, and a system littered with debris and asteroid belts. The world of Gildar Secondus was primarily a promethium producing world, and thus vital to the Imperium. We also learn that the Silver Skulls are a chapter on the decline, and are seeking an advantage through the Resurgent Project. What follows is a well written novel, replete with action and, well developed plot and great characters. Cawkwell has built on the work of the Badab War Forge World books, and even gives a few nods toward Dembski-Bowden's Blood Reaver. However, her biggest departure is her depiction of Huron Blackheart. He is shown as insane, powerful, cunning and at times childlike in his desires. While I feel some might disagree with this, I think the complexity of his character becomes far more interesting than staid portrayals of archetypal villains that we have seen in the past with Abaddon or even Huron himself. Further, Huron is shown to be much more of the skilled tactician and less the buffoon that Dembski-Bowden shows him to be. Overall, this is a great novel and well worth the read.