Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Promethean Sun

Hi one and all,

I was the seventy-fifth of three thousand that managed to get hold of Promethean Sun, the collocetor's edition that could only be bought as a web exclusive through the Black Library site.  It was a 30 minute ordeal which ended up with me placing three orders instead one, due to the number of times I attempted to log on and actually arrive at payment.

This is my first collector's edition I bought from BL.  I had to buy this book you see, since I am a 30K fanatic, and I love this period of the Rogue Trader mythos were Primarchs walked along Astartes and men, and fought for the fate and soul of the human race.

The book, as I see it,  is basically the character development of Vulkan; the Primarch of the Salamaders Legion.  In the short span of this novella Nick Kyme brings out who Vulkan is and what he is.  He manages to show how demi-god-like these post-humans were, but at the same time he reveals the deep flaws in their character which marks them as part of the human family.

I don't want to give to much away with spoilers but there is a good balance between action and character development.  There are basically three battles described which might have been a bit too much and some great flashbacks into Vulkan's past.

We also get to see the relationships between the Primarch siblings and their petty rivalries as well.  I like how Kyme gives Vulkan wisdom in humility, especially how he concedes to his brothers in order achieve the greater goal.

Overall I think Nick Kyme did a good job on this one.  I would have preferred less battles and more insight into the Primarchs relationships with their legions as well as with the other two Primarchs in the book, namely Ferrus Mannus and Mortarion. 

For example a nice touch was how both Vulkan and Ferrus were smiths and crafstmen, but where Ferrus put more emphasis into function, Vulkan puts more into form, and this translates over into their characters and how they go about things - including how they wage war.

The last thing I didn't really like about the story were the two 'Dragonball GT' moments with Vulkan.  I know the Primarchs were superhuman, and I see that Kyme wanted to get this through to the readers - but these two scenes, which I will not give away, were just two much for me and I could have done without them.

What I was very disappointed with was the artwork.  I bought this book for 40 euros and I had to pay another 20 euros for postage.  That's 60 euros for a novella - a lot of money.  For this amount, I would have expected the artwork to be all original.

In the mid-section we get a fold out painting of the cover, fine but I would have prefered something different since it is already on the cover! We also get armour pictures of the legions in the book taken from the Index Astartes publications. I was expecting something more in the Osprey tradition, but that's just me and my crazy opinions.

The worst though, is that of all the three Primarchs we only get a picture of Mortarion - the Primarch that is featured the least in the novella - and it is not even an original drawing!  I was at least expecting to see a painted plate of Vulkan, but maybe may logic is flawed or not on par with BL Publishing.

Overall I give the story a strong 7 out of 10, basing my judgment more on subjective preference rather than objectivity. I give the product's look and artistic content a 5 out of 10.  The beautiful cover and faux-salamander hide the only redeeming factors.

So overall I don't regret buying the book.  I enjoyed the story and now I am interested in reading Kyme's salamander trilogy. Still, I was a bit disappointed with the artistic content and I honestly was expecting more.


  1. Ha! I also had problems. Took forever to place an order. When I finally managed to place it, I was informed that I had the wrong currency selected.

    The copies I received were numbers 58 and 59 (bought one for a friend's bday). I wonder if they mailed out the first copy, or kept it for themselves?

    Unfortunately, I skipped most of your post because I have not yet read my copy and wanted to avoid any possible spoilers. I'll come back once I have finished it. Hope you enjoyed it more than Prospero Burns!

  2. Hi Sigismund, always great to read hear you.

    I read on Nick Kyme's blog that so many orders went through that the system couldn't keep up and crashed in some capacity. Glad you managed to get hold of a copy.

    As regards the book, I cannot in all honesty say that it is as good as or as well written as Prospero Burns! But in Promethean Sun there are genuine attempts at character development of the Space Marines and the Primarch - Not so with Prospero Burns, and that is basically why I say Prospero Burns is a missed opportunity even though well written.

  3. why did the book cost that much i dont understand

    1. It was a special edition novella available solely through the Black Library site. It was priced at 40 euros on the site plus an obligatory 20 euros for special delivery post - something like DHL, but I can't remember.



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