Space Wolves fans are rather spoiled when it comes to stories. The Wolves of Fenris are quite a narrative chapter and most of the stories reflect this.
I tend to divide Space Wolves stories into two types: “old” and “new”. The old stories are those by Bill King which are big, bouncy and larger than life and great fun. The new stories are those in the Horus Heresy: Wolf at the Door, Thousand Sons (technically) and Prospero Burns, Runes and Battle for the Fang. I’m also going to include Lone Wolves in the “new” category, although it’s a bit older, because it fits better here than with the Bill King books. There’s also Battle for the Abyss, but I can barely remember the book or the plot and I only remembered that there was a Space Wolf in it when I thought hard. Admittedly it was one of the earlier Horus Heresy books but I still remember much of the plot of the others! Anyway, I’m sort of digressing, as although Battle for the Abyss is also by Ben Counter, I’m reviewing Twelve Wolves.
Twelve Wolves falls into the “old” category, sort of. It’s definitely lost in the “new” category. To be honest, I find it quite a weak story.
The story is a story (sorry) told by a mortal Skjald to a bunch of Space Wolves and is a morality tale of sorts about the wolves of Fenris and how these twelve allegorical beasts signify desirable traits in a Space Wolf, by telling a story about a Blood Claw and a Long Fang during the Second Battle for the Fang.
The thing is, I want to like this story. I play Space Wolves because of their rich back story. I just don’t find Twelve Wolves that interesting. It’s not particularly well written and the idea, though potentially very good, isn’t strong enough to hold it all together. It also suffers from the same problem as Hell Night and Cover of Darkness in that its ending is poor.
If you want Space Wolves I’d recommend reading Battle for the Fang (again) or the Ragnar Blackmane books, I’d give Twelve Wolves a miss.