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Keep reading…. It follows the exploits of Librarian Calistarius as, many years after the Sin of Damnation mission, he boards another space hulk and uses his powers to search for answers within the mind of a dying Blood Angel. What he finds there, amongst the fractured recollections of Sanguinius brought on by the Black Rage, shows him the grave danger he and his brothers are in.

Sergeants Lorenzo and Gideon lead their Terminator squads into battle in the claustrophobic confines of the Hulk, desperate to atone in alien blood for the shame of a six hundred year-old tragedy. Welcome to this instalment of Rapid Fire , my ongoing series of quick interviews with Black Library authors talking about their new releases.


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These are short and sweet interviews, with the idea being that each author will answer more or less the same questions — by the end of each interview I hope you will have a good idea of what the new book or audio drama is about, what inspired it and why you might want to read or listen to it. Across a non-linear story we get a few glimpses of what Sanguinius and those around him think of the nature of angels. Tens of thousands of Space Marines stand in defence of Baal against the untold trillions of the Leviathan. Almost every aspect of the book from its overall tone to its characterisation of the forces involved has been vastly improved.

The difference in quality is effectively day and night and were this the first novel to the series the Soul Drinkers books would likely be much more highly regarded. Right from the beginning you understand how different the book will be when the primary Imperial character and Soul Drinkers are introduced.

None are effected by the virulent brain cell eating virus which was apparently spreading through the last book. As such rather than overly zealous fanatics or officials motivated by greed, many Imperial forces they oppose start becoming more sympathetic. Inquisitor Thaddeus is one such example and is a vast improvement over Chloure or Khobotov; along with being far more an investigator and even handed in his judgements.

While driven to perform some questionable acts he is called out on such actions and his behaviour in the final chapters shows a surprising degree of flexibility. With each person being much better written, the plot is much tighter and more naturally developed. Sarpedon, Thaddeus and Teturact have their connections and serve as much more intentionally distinct contrasts with one another.

The Bleeding Chalice by Ben Counter (Paperback, 2003)

This is ultimately what marks The Bleeding Chalice as an improvement over its predecessor, but it also keeps all of its previous strengths. The characters which previously stood out continue to remain decent here. While not outstanding they feel like they have more of a dimension than the others, having been more clearly established and fleshed out as characters. A few previous strengths are overlooked to accommodate this new focus, most notably Tellos who is pushed into a background role, but these mostly consist of characters whose arcs are over. Despite the improved writing the pacing is excellently done.

Similarly the descriptions and battles remain as good as ever with some nightmarish ideas and details being given to the reader as the usual over the top action and bolter fire erupts onto the pages. Overall The Bleeding Chalice generally feels as if it knows what it wants to be.


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Even when the Soul Drinkers do emerge victorious it is not without severe costs and any celebration of their accomplishments is notably subdued. This is the book I would recommend anyone considering the series to start on. It fits the tone of the series far better, handles the characters with much better skill and overall is clearly much better handled.

When the book does refer back to the events of their departure from the Imperium; it gives enough information to make you understand what happened but nothing more. Ultimately it is a decent tale and one which shows what the series is capable of when handled correctly. Sep 23, Dylan Murphy rated it it was amazing Shelves: warhammerk , reading-challenge This sequel to the Soul Drinkers was a considerable improvement from the last novel and if you read my review on that, you will see that I loved that too!

I really like how the story was told from so many perspectives. Thaddeus was an awesome Inquisitor.

Summary Bibliography: Ben Counter

I loved the Sisters of Battle. The Soul Drinkers have quickly become one of my favorite chapters Though I don't know if they would really refer to themselves that way! The Inquisition was just as cunning and complex as I can remember them being from when I read Ravenor about a year ago.

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This was my first time reading about the Sisters of Battle and I absolutely loved them despite them earning many shouted curses while playing Dawn of War. The Soul Drinkers have really, really grown on me. I liked them from the start.

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They are proud like all space marines , honourable like all space marines , and fierce again, like all space marines. However, throughout everything the chapter faces, they stand tall and are never afraid to risk everything for what they value and believe in. This novel saw the "loss" of two of my favourite characters, and I can say that I was at times both sad and horrified at what had happened with them and that doesn't happen often for me in Warhammer 40K fiction.

Lastly, Teturact and co. Ben Counter writes absolutely amazing Chaos Daemons. I really think that he captures the weirdness The novel was amazing.

The Bleeding Chalice (Soul Drinkers)

A definite improvement to something I already loved. Jan 04, Jean-Luc rated it liked it. This is the sequel to Soul Drinker , and it is a better showing all around. The Soul Drinkers Space Marine are finally free of the clutches of chaos, but their bodies are wracked by out-of-control mutations. If they can't figure out how to reverse them, their chapter will be exterminated At the same time, the laughably incompetent inquisitor from the first book has been relieved, and his replacement is among the most dogged the Inquisition has ever produced.

I had some guesses as to who Thaddeu This is the sequel to Soul Drinker , and it is a better showing all around.

Summary Bibliography: Ben Counter

I had some guesses as to who Thaddeus' companion, The Pilgrim, could be, but I was wrong on all counts. I didn't even realize Teturact needed an origin story, but origin stories are Ben Counter's specialty, and it is a doozy. Plenty of reasons to keep turning the page. Nov 17, Tepintzin rated it liked it Shelves: warhammerk. Why aren't the Soul Drinkers more popular?

This is the first of their books I picked up at a used book store, and I want to get the omnibus now. The idea of a chapter of Space Marines who have turned on the Imperium as being evil while still being loyal to the Emperor and dedicated enemies of Chaos is one that deserves a lot more attention. It reminded me of "Helsreach" in that it's bolter porny, but there is still something at stake, a maguffin that is critical to the chapter's future. I gave t Why aren't the Soul Drinkers more popular? I gave this a three star because it was more action oriented than I usually like, but it's still a solid read and a lot of fun.

Feb 14, Thomas rated it really liked it. Excellent book two, action from start to finish, lots more of Ben Counter's disgustingly horrid depictions of Chaos, and the embattled Soul Drinkers cut a swath of destruction on a mission to save their chapter. Apr 05, Steve rated it really liked it Shelves: fantasy , military-science-fiction.

An entire Space Marine Chapter corrupted but refusing to truly acknowledge the corruption, digging in harder than ever in their worship of the Emporer. Dec 29, Chip Hunter rated it it was amazing. This book tells two main stories, one of Sarpedon and his Chapter's efforts to find a way to halt their mutations, and another of Inquisitor Thaddeus' hunt for the 'heretic' Soul Drinkers.

While we get many of the same characters from the first book, some great new ones are introduced here, including Thaddeus and Aescarrion of the Adeptus Sororitas , as well as Teturact and The Pilgrim, a couple of intriguing new antagonists.

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This volume, also available in The Soul Drinkers Omnibus, jumps around a lot more than its predecessor, and spends relatively little time with Sarpedon and the rest of the Soul Drinkers. While at first that might sound disappointing, it is actually a good thing, allowing Counter to add some depth to his tale by fleshing out more of the Universe, and creating a more epic feel to this book.

The plot of this one is also much more subtle than the previous book, with the reader left in the dark about much of what Sarpedon is trying to accomplish until the very end. As always, this book is full of intense combat and nail-biter situations as the heroes battle impossible odds to reach their goals. Very well-written and fits in nicely with the rest of the WH40K fluff, this one should please any fan.

Highly recommended. Mar 27, Walter Foster rated it it was amazing. Sep 20, Patrick rated it really liked it Shelves: warhammerk , soul-drinkers , favorites. More great Soul Drinker action. Creepy antagonist. Ed Fisher rated it really liked it Aug 13, MaCauley Blood rated it it was amazing May 29,