I really like this story, even if mostly because there are Dreadnoughts in it. Dreadnoughts, from what I’ve read so far, have faced it all, they’ve died and been reborn to a kind of half life. This seems, at least in the Black Library books that I’ve read, to make them seem almost a little more human than the average Astartes. There are those like Bjorn the Fell Handed who are absolutely awesome, they are venerable, wise and complete killing machines (read Battle for the Fang), and then there are those like Aldr (also from Battle of the Fang) and the young dreadnought in Know No Fear (Telemechrus I think) that are young, vulnerable, inexperienced and a little lost. Jarold, a Black Templar dreadnought and the lead character in The Relic definitely tends towards the former type, but the story starts with him confessing his guilt over the loss of the chapter Champion.
I’m not sure if this is another book linked story, Green has written about the Black Templars at Armageddon before, but if it is, I probably should find it and read it (I’m a sucker for Dreadnoughts it seems).
Without giving too much of the plot away, Jarold and his party have returned to Armageddon to deal with some unfinished business, namely that of finding their Champion, Asgar, and if necessary, recovering the related Chapter relics. However it turns out that there are lots of chapter relics on Armageddon and they suddenly have something bigger, literally bigger, to deal with.
I guess that this story is, to be honest, while good, largely of the same standard as most of the stories in this book. While it’s one of the better ones, it’s not the best. The ending however makes it stand out. It’s a beautiful ending, well written and with a nice twist. It means that you finish the story not exactly wanting more, it is a conclusion for at least one of the characters, but with a grin on your face.