Oaths of brotherhood and loyalty are never lightly undertaken, but what happens when such oaths conflict with each other? Returning from a period of service in the Deathwatch, Battle-brother Adoni returns to his Chapter, the Mortifactors. With him he carries two sacred burdens, but is unable to explain to his peers how he came by them, as he must honour his oaths of secrecy to the Inquisition. And so is set in motion a tragic chain of events that can only be resolved by desperate conflict against an ancient and deadly foe.
Deathwatch: Swordwind is a short story published by Black Library that I picked up a few weeks ago from their website. It was nice to have a quick read in between books.
When it comes to Warhammer 40k, the Deathwatch faction is right up my street. Space Marines conscripted by the Inquisition to fight against Xenos? What’s not to love?
There is a lot to Deathwatch: Swordwind and every page is packed with action, drama and/or tension. The plot is told via the means of broken narrative through the voice of Deathwatch Brother Adoni, of the Mortifactors successor chapter. A part of the reason I liked this short story so much is because I adore the Mortifactors; they really bring the grim to the ‘grim dark’ of the Warhammer 40k setting. Adoni is savage as many of his Chapter are; the background of the Chapter is also touched upon in Deathwatch: Swordwind and is a nice addition to an already fantastic short story.
Brother Adoni swears an oath to return one of the Chapters precious relics to his homeworld, Posul. Upon arrival Adoni is reunited with his brothers, and met with suspicion for his secrecy. We are given a glorious insight into the mysterious chapter; some of their barbaric ways and the rituals that they employ. We are also reintroduced to Chaplain Astador who made an appearance in the Warriors of Ultramar novel by Graham McNeill.
It’s always nice to read about another of the many races in the Warhammer 40k Universe and in Deathwatch: Swordwind that race is the Eldar. They provide a fascinating enemy for the Space Marines. The descriptions of them lush and vivid, yet deeply haunting too. Just how the Eldar should be. They are a mysterious race, laced with secrets and knowledge. They are darned vicious too and the action scenes involving any of them are pure thrill-rides.
If you’re looking for something that offers insight into the ins and outs of the Inquisition or Deathwatch, this short story isn’t really the place to get it. But it does have a devastating, long lasting impact on the Mortifactors Chapter.
There is so much in this short story in which I took pleasure, from characters to plot, descriptions and backstory. This little novel has it all. If you’re looking for a quick, entertaining read then I highly recommend it.