Book Review: Wraithflight by Guy Haley

Wraithflight by Guy Haley - Header

In theory it’s a religious countdown, in practice it’s an excuse to eat chocolate for breakfast and more often these days, it’s a marketing tool used by companies to either release unsold stock or drive awareness through promotion. I am of course, talking about Advent.

And while I tucked into my ever perennially shrinking lump of sweet cocoa with my morning coffee, I had a quick glance at the Games Workshop website to see their latest daily “offering”. Games Workshop, in the run up to Christmas, through their Black Library publication arm, are offering a new novel or story each day for you to buy. And on the 4th day of Christmas, the scribes of the 41st Millennium gave to me a brief continuation to the tales surrounding my beloved Iyanden Eldar.

Iyanna Arienal - Wraithflight by Guy Haley

Having previously read Valedor by Guy Haley, which recounts the events surrounding an attack on the titular planet by a swarm of Tyranids and the resultant resistance and fight put up by the Eldar. Any chance to continue this story seemed like an opportunity to take. Especially as the story centres around the character Iyanna Arienal – the Princess of Iyanden – a character I brought to life as a result in my own Eldar army.

Having now read the story the first thing that really struck me is that it feels too short. It feels totally incomplete. The story seems to rush through the events that unfold and then, just as you feel you are starting to get into the book, as characters are starting to develop, questions starting to look for answers, it ends. No warning. Just a nice note saying thank you for reading.

This unsatisfying position with which it ends is made all the more confusing by the fact that I really don’t seem to understand where this story is meant to fit. According to the page on The Black Library website “This tale follows on from Guy Haley’s Valedor novel, not essential reading beforehand, but awesome if you have” and yet this story doesn’t seem to really reference or involve anything that went before it in Valedor. In fact, aside from Iyanna Arienal herself, no other character from memory makes the cross over.

Shield of Baal Map

And this inability to locate it’s true position is compounded further by the reference on the cover to the ” Shield of Baal”. This is a campaign expansion to the Warhammer 40,000 game, that features the Tyranid’s attacking the outer lying worlds that protect the planet Baal from attack. Baal being the home world to the Blood Angels chapter of Space Marines. Who don’t feature in this story, or even make audible mention. And even more confusing is the fact that neither the previous planet Valedor, or Wraithflights planet Krokengard, are located near Baal either. So how this all ties to protecting the Blood Angels is beyond me.

I will say, however, that my issues with Guy Haley’s writing style in his Valedor novel are not apparent in this, purely because it’s so short, and nothing really gets into the depth of description that caused the issues last time.

Finishing the story, and with a bad taste in my mouth, that it’s ended in such a way, that I want more but don’t know if I’ll ever get it has made me question Games Workshop’s entire Advent calendar book releases. While they may not be overly expensive – Wraithfighter was £1.99 – the complete lack of a story, and with an ending that feels more like you’re being treated to an extract from a book you can never complete, has made me wonder what the point of them really is?

Posted on by 5WC in Book First Edition

Comments are closed.