Vulkan Lives by Nick Kyme: A review

I haven’t done many reviews recently but I felt that Vulkan Lives, the newest of the Horus Heresy novels, deserved one as I really enjoyed reading it. It won’t be a long review, it’s not a book that leads to easy reviewing (at least for me) as I have to be extra careful not to give away any spoilers as it’s a book where everything means something and so much is going on!

For all that’s going on, it’s all very clear, or at least as clear as the author wants it to be (and there’s a reason for that). There are at least four different plots from four different perspectives but Nick Kyme manages to keep everything clear and distinct. The separation of the two main plots into first and third person helps a lot here. What’s interesting is that the first person sections are from Vulkan’s perspective. He is the most human of the Primarchs and the book explores just what this means.

Of course, your average Necron looks human compared to Konrad Curze and in this book we see just how broken Curze is. You really can’t help but feel sorry for him, he’s so lost.

I like the Salamanders trilogy and I really enjoyed Promethean Sun but Kyme has really upped his game for Vulkan Lives, all the intertwining plots and strong characterisation used in the Salamanders trilogy has been pulled together in a dark and intriguing tale that asks more questions than it answers and still manages to move the Heresy along. I’m really interested to see where the story goes next and I’m wishing that I’d ordered Scorched Earth. Oh well, I’m sure that there will be plenty of Horus Heresy to fill my time until it’s finally released for those of us who forgot to order it but it’s a pity that it was up to order last week rather than this, as I doubt that I’d have dithered for a moment over ordering it if I’d have known just how good Kyme’s Salamanders were going to get!

Anyway, enough about books that I can’t read. I suppose that I should summarise this post by saying that Vulkan Lives is as epic as its cover and really, really worth a read.

L.o.F.

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New Project: Exodite Eldar

This is the test model for a New Project. I picked up the Eldar codex when it came out and I thought that I might like to build a force as a side project. Of course, being me, I didn’t just go for a nice safe Craftworld army, I decided that I’d like to build Exodites… on dinosaurs!

No dinosaurs in this post, I only picked up the relevant kits on the weekend, but I decided that, as I’m building an Exodite force, that Rangers would probably be the best troops unit to start with and the best models for testing out my colour scheme. I’m using an autumnal theme based round reds and greens and browns. For the green on the coat I started with Caliban Green, before washing it with a blend of Biel-tan Green and Nuln Oil. I then highlighted it with a 50:50 blend of Caliban Green and Warpstone Glow, Warpstone Glow, and finally Scorpion Green (Moot Green). For the red areas I started with Wazdakka Red, washed it with Baal Red (Carroburg Crimson) before highlighting with a 50:50 blend of Wazdakka Red and Blood Red (Evil Sunz Scarlet), Blood Red, a 50:50 Blend of Blood Red and Trollslayer Orange and then Trollslayer Orange. For the cloth areas and the gems I used two further highlights: 50:50 Trollslayer Orange and Yriel Yellow and finally Yriel Yellow.

Ranger front

For the wraithbone I used Bleached Bone (Ushbati Bone), washed it with Gryphonne Sepia (Seraphim Sepia), then highlighted it with Bleached Bone and a spot of Skull White (White Scar). The wood effect on the rifle was created by starting with a layer of Scorched Brown (Rinox Hide), washing the area with Nuln oil then highlighting it with a 50:50 blend of Scorched Brown and Snakebite Leather (Balor Brown) followed by Snakebite Leather and a touch of Tausept Ochre (GW says Balor Brown is its replacement but I think it’s more likely to be something like XV-88 or Tau Light Ochre but I’m not sure). I used a similar method for the backpack.

Ranger back

Maybe purple hair is a bit loud for an Exodite but I like it! I started with Xereus Purple which I washed with Nuln Oil before highlighting with more Xereus Purple, a 50:50 blend of Xereus Purple and Emperor’s Children, Emperor’s Children, a 50:50 blend of Emperor’s Children and Skull White and finally a touch of Skull White.

I need to paint the other four of these, but I think that I am pretty happy with the results and I want to go with this colour scheme.

My next job is to finish painting Captain Tycho for my boyfriend and a few Space Wolves for myself. Then I can get back to painting and modelling Eldar. I’m not building Eldar as an army to play, at least not initially, that’s what my Space Wolves are for, but I want another painting challenge and I think that the Exodites will fulfil this.

On a related note, I’ve just finished Promethean Sun, which I bought partly for the very relevant cover! I really enjoyed it. Nick Kyme is very good at writing Salamanders and he’s even better at writing about Vulkan himself. The story belongs with Feat of Iron which was published in The Primarchs anthology. It’s very short but it’s crammed full of information about Vulkan and Exodite Eldar (much more than the Eldar codex in the last case). It’s nice to see the limited edition books starting to be released at last and it looks like Promethean Sun has been released just in time for Vulkan to get his own book in the Horus Heresy series. I’m really looking forward to the release of Vulkan Lives, whenever that will be. If it’s at all like Promethean Sun, it will be very, very good.

L.o.F.