Review: Bloodquest - Prisoners of the Eye of Terror / Author: Ben Counter / Publisher: Black Library / Release Date: December 6th
Bloodquest began life as a comic strip adventure in the now defunct Warhammer Monthly, a 2000AD style anthology magazine with a franchise specific focus. The strip followed the exploits of the disgraced (but still noble) Blood Angel’s Captain Leonatos and his small team of fellow outcasts as they went on an epic quest through hell in order to retrieve an ancient artefact called The Sword Encarmine. The series is essentially your classic ‘questing knight’ style story, but with power-armoured, blood-thirsty space knights rather than medieval champions.
Though the comic strip had an ending, there are still plenty of stories to tell about this team, and Bloodquest - Prisoners of the Eye of Terror, does exactly that. The adventurers find themselves bound by an ancient pact of honour to help out some stranded soldiers. These troopers, unlike the Blood Angels, aren’t superhuman or well equipped, so are in some pretty dire straits. Wackiness, as well as violence, ensues and we get cackling demons and hellish prisons thrown in as well.
Leonatos and chums also suffer from a terrible curse that means they can devolve into vampiric like monsters if they go too far. This adds a nice bit of tension to the whole affair; we know that at some point the heroes can go utterly off the rails and make things much worse, and this can happen at any time during the story. Bloodquest - Prisoners of the Eye of Terror is return to form for Ben Counter, who has a talent for visceral and bloody horror. He delivers this narrative of bitter retribution with the right sort of dramatic license, and the actors indulge in just enough scenery chewing to make this a most enjoyable action-adventure tale. The production standards and acting are as a great as always, Black Library continue to get very good at this sort of thing. With any luck, this will be the first of many.