Thursday, 18 April 2013

Shadowsun - The last of Kiru's line

A direct only novella from a (I think) new to the universe writer Braden Campbell. I leapt on this as a semi-long time tau player and with the new codex release so close. Maybe I was hoping for a few spoilers like Ravenwing did for the Dark Angels. No such luck this time but what I did get was a very compelling read that I couldn't put down.

It started out slightly off kilter with a scene that reminded me of Caliban from the Horus Heresy series. It soon kicked in though with the emergence of Shadowsun and her drones.

The story covers her being effectively stranded on a planet with a handful of earth caste and their attempts to get back to T'au. They're hampered along the way by the local Imperial guard, so there's plenty of firefights. This is where the story really comes into its own. Without any mentions of new technology, Braden fills the pages with swathes of details on existing tau systems, like how an escape pod protects the people inside, to how the tau heal themselves.

I've read comments from other readers that Shadowsun didn't come across as a great main character, mostly down to her rudeness. I think the arrogance of the species was nailed, and the social interactions between the different ranks of fire warriors were spot on, anything different would've felt like a cop out.

The only slight criticism I had was the lack of chapters. It was almost one continuous story, and while the action never really chopped and changed locations, there could've been places where a natural break could've been put in.

I'm glad I got it and would definitely recommend it to other tau players. I'm not sure how enjoyable it would be to folks with no interest in the faction, it possibly doesn't have the same universal appeal as say the HH series. A solid 8/10 from my tau-lovin perspective!

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