Fielding Your Best

It's really great to see what different reviewers make of the same novel. Everyone comes to a text with their own insights and areas of favoured focus. My novel Legion of the Damned has received some nice attention from renowned reviewing site The Founding Fields. I have another here from prolific reviewer Bane of Kings, which I enjoyed reading and encourage you to do likewise. Bane of Kings other reviews for The Founding Fields can be found here.

“ “An action-packed novel with gripping characters and several bloodthirsty battles. Rob Sanders at his best.” ~The Founding Fields

“I believe that this is one of the first times that the Legion of the Damned makes an appearance in one of Black Library’s titles, as well as the first time that the Feast of Blades makes an appearance in Black Library lore. For all of those who don’t know what the Feast of Blades is, it’s a centennial honorific competition between twelve Space Marine Chapters (three examples are the Imperial Fists, Crimson Fists and Iron Knights), and has only appeared as of the fifth edition Space Marine Codex.

Right, now that you should understand what the Feast of Blades is about, let’s get on with the review for Legion of the Damned. The novel itself, at first – looks like it should be named after the adventures of the Excoriators Chapter, descendants of the Imperial Fists that are the Chapter that takes centre stage in Legion of the Damned, and have a lot more page time than the Chapter of the novel’s namesake. The Excoriators are a chapter who have, like the aforementioned Space Marine Chapters, chosen to take part in the Feast of Blades, and Rob Sanders does a brilliant job of portraying it in the novel. Although, don’t think the book is all about the Feast of Blades, oh no – it’s far from limited to that, for the Feast is only the beginning, as the novel dictates the Excoriators in a battle against the Cholercaust Crusade, consisting of Chaos forces.

The Excoriators are a chapter that has had very little fluff about them, and even I thought that they were a homebrew Chapter at first. However, Rob Sanders does a fantastic job at just illustrating as to exactly how different the Chapter is from its fellow brothers, such as the Imperial Fists, and this is one of the main attractions of the novel itself. Just, the unique-ness of the Excoriators I found to make up for the fact that there was very little appearance of the Legion of the Damned at all in this novel.

In fact, it’s not until the last quarter of the novel that they appear, and even then – it’s only for a limited time. But, don’t let this put you off from reading the book – already I’ve seen people criticise it for the misinterpretation of the title on various forums such as Heresy Online. However, don’t be put off by that – the novel’s blurb did in fact mention that the Legion of the Damned would only appear for a short amount of time. Just read, and enjoy what Rob Sanders has to offer. He’s an exceptionally skilled writer in my opinion, and knows how to make Space Marines tick. The interactions between the Excoriators are superb, and this is another reason why Legion of the Damned was enjoyable as it I found it to be. The main protagonist of this novel is Zachariah Kersh – an Excoriator, who is well-developed, and an interesting, fascinating character, taking up the most page time in this novel, who adds to the strong cast that Sanders has portrayed in this novel, and is indeed, an interesting take on an adeptus astartes.

Although the novel takes a while to get going, with the pace a little uneven, once you do get into it the pace just flies by at an unstoppable rate, and as I found – you won’t be able to let go until the end of the novel, with fantastic action-scenes as we watch the Excoriators do battle against various Khornate hordes, with zombies as an added bonus.”

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