Review: Promethean Sun / Author: Nick Kyme / Publisher: Black Library / Release Date: Out Now
Promethean Sun first came out as an extremely limited edition item and caused quite a stir as many fans of the Horus Heresy series tend to be collectors who want the whole set. Luckily for those who missed it the first time, the novella has finally been released as regular hardback. So was it worth the wait?
The novella details one of the major characters of the Horus Heresy, Vulkan. This major hero is the Primarch of the Salamanders, which means he’s the demigod-like father of an entire legion of genetically enhanced super soldiers. Given that the entire series is about a civil war between these warriors and their founders, he’s pretty important. He also hasn’t been centre stage in the novels thus far, and Promethean Sun redresses this balance by giving us insight into this particular protagonist.
Kyme goes full tilt in order to live up to expectations; not only do we get an origin story (of sorts) as to how Vulkan came to be the man he is when the story starts, it also ties into the central story, which is about a jungle war. Of course, this being a story set in the world of Warhammer 40,000, it’s not just a simple conflict in a densely foliated area; the main characters are fighting savage space elves that are on the back of dinosaurs. This is a story in which a demigod with a huge hammer beats up waves of velociraptors.
It is exactly what we’ve come to expect from the Horus Heresy series; clever introspection and world building, punctuated by scene after scene of science fiction-style violence. Kyme has a real talent for flowing, pulp action prose, and this makes for a fun, entertaining and rapid read. It’s only a novella, so it’s painfully short, though this actually fits the tale quite well; we have just enough insight into the main characters without it being too involved. Fans of the series will get a kick out this, and those looking for quick and dirty pulp fun should find something to love here as well.