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Peter Fehervari’s Dark Coil


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#1
fire golem

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I finished Cult of the Spiral Dawn earlier, and as I expected I thought it was excellent. I know that Peter’s stories are linked (‘the Dark Coil’), but it’s been a while since I read Fire Caste, and I missed any references to that in Cult of the Spiral Dawn. I kept recognising names and stuff but not sure if they were just from earlier in the novel or from one of his other stories. Can someone with better recollection explain how the stories link together?

We could also just have the thread for any discussion about Fehervari’s stories and the Dark Coil in general.

Presumably there’ll be spoilers, spoiler tags should be used where necessary.

Thanks!
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#2
Commander Dawnstar

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I've been piecing this together partially through reviews and comments (as I haven't read all Fehervari's work), but as far as a timeline goes my understanding is that Cult of the Spiral Dawn takes place at some point before the events of The Greater Evil and that in turn takes place around the very early days of the drawn out conflict central to Fire Caste. Unfortunately I've only read the latter two of those so I'm not really sure I can draw the connections you're looking for.


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Formerly Brightstar; now with 100% more open Xenos sympathies. Also heresy.

 

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#3
Knockagh

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Is cult of spiral dawn a battle type book or more of a book on the emerging of the cult and its exposure?

#4
fire golem

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Is cult of spiral dawn a battle type book or more of a book on the emerging of the cult and its exposure?


It’s mostly the latter, with a bit of battling.

#5
Morovir

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The main storyline in Cult of the Spiral Dawn takes place after Fire Caste, as can be seen by the reappearance of a certain character. It also takes place after Fire and Ice, as it is in this story that the events on Oblazt take place that precede those on Redemption. The short story Vanguard essentially addresses the fates of most of the unfortunates in Fire Caste who remained on Phaedra.


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#6
Commander Dawnstar

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Okay. I'm going to have to admit to being entirely lost then.


Formerly Brightstar; now with 100% more open Xenos sympathies. Also heresy.

 

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#7
Knockagh

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Has it never been released in audio? Sounds like a book I should have read but didn’t. Would do an audio catch up if available.

#8
Gongsun Zan

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Okay. I'm going to have to admit to being entirely lost then.

 

I just read all of the Dark Coil books recently, so maybe I can help - spoilers for Fire Caste, Cult, and Fire and Ice:

 

Spoiler

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#9
Xisor

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Part of the theme of the Dark Coil, to me, seemed to be the strange non-linearity of cause and effect.

Not impossible or necessarily contradictory, but certainly... Tangled.
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#10
caladancid

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The main storyline in Cult of the Spiral Dawn takes place after Fire Caste, as can be seen by the reappearance of a certain character. It also takes place after Fire and Ice, as it is in this story that the events on Oblazt take place that precede those on Redemption. The short story Vanguard essentially addresses the fates of most of the unfortunates in Fire Caste who remained on Phaedra.

 

Vanguard is dark! I read Vanguard before I knew about Fire Caste, and it was a bit confusing because of being out of order.  Still quite good though.

 

Cult of the Spiral Dawn is one of the better 40k novels period, so excited that we are getting a new Fehevari novel. 



#11
hopkins

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Where do I start with this author? Recommended reading order, any anthologies for good value?

#12
DarkChaplain

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Where do I start with this author? Recommended reading order, any anthologies for good value?

 

Generally, you could get in with any of his stories. Be it Fire Caste, Cult of the Spiral Dawn, The Walker in Fire, Crown of Thorns, it doesn't so much matter.

Fehervari's works are written in such a way as to be self-sufficient (I hesitate to call them "self-contained", because they all seep over into his wider mythos). It's a web that you can try to unravel from any direction, but the more you do read within it, the more you'll get out of each subsequent work, and it may end up with the urge to go back and re-read other works to find new links.

 

As a rule of thumb, though, Fire Caste is a safe bet, seeing how it was his first novel for Black Library, and forms the core of his Phaedra cycle, which a lot of other shorts tie into, and Cult of the Spiral Dawn looks back to as well. Some stories are prequels to Fire Caste, like Out Caste or A Sanctuary of Wyrms, and others again spin off after the novel. Others are only tangentially related to it, like The Walker in Fire, which instead links back to the Angels Resplendent / Angels Penitent, which relate back in a roundabout way.

 

In terms of collections, it's an odd one. Fire Caste is as far as I'm aware out of print and has been for years, while Cult of the Spiral Dawn was originally published simply as Legends of the Dark Millennium: Genestealer Cults. The Cult of the Spiral Dawn paperback includes a short story prequel, Cast A Hungry Shadow.

His novella Fire and Ice is so far only found in Legends of the Dark Millennium: Tau Empire, which also features his Out Caste and A Sanctuary of Wyrms (the latter is also available in Crusade + Other Stories, and in audio as a result). This one's worth it primarily for Fehervari in my opinion, as I personally think Phil Kelly's Farsight is tosh, and the other shorts and novella are hit and miss.

His short story Vanguard was part of the AdMech release short/anthology, which is available as The Omnissiah's Chosen in e-format, and printed recently in Servants of the Machine God.

The Walker in Fire is part of the Deathwatch: Overkill anthology (meaning the protagonist is actually part of the Overkill Deathwatch team on the tabletop!)

The upcoming Lords and Tyrants anthology will feature The Greater Evil and Inferno! Vol.2 includes the brand new The Thirteenth Psalm.

Often overlooked, Nightfall was part of Heroes of the Space Marines waaay back when, and that anthology was part of the Space Marines Omnibus alongside Legends and Victories of the Space Marines. If you can pick that one up, or maybe already own it, I believe that to be a lot of bang for your buck either way you look at it.

 

The odd one out which has yet to be collected again is The Crown of Thorns. That one was originally part of the Angels of Death micro shorts series, collected once for an event anthology if I remember correctly.

 

 

The main storyline in Cult of the Spiral Dawn takes place after Fire Caste, as can be seen by the reappearance of a certain character. It also takes place after Fire and Ice, as it is in this story that the events on Oblazt take place that precede those on Redemption. The short story Vanguard essentially addresses the fates of most of the unfortunates in Fire Caste who remained on Phaedra.

 

Vanguard is dark! I read Vanguard before I knew about Fire Caste, and it was a bit confusing because of being out of order.  Still quite good though.

 

Cult of the Spiral Dawn is one of the better 40k novels period, so excited that we are getting a new Fehevari novel. 

 

 

Vanguard gets even darker when you puzzle out who the characters were in Fire Caste - number 1 will surprise you! Which is kind of the exciting thing about Fehervari - the more of his works you read, the more connections you make and the darker and more oddly claustrophobic his Dark Coil gets.

 

It also helps that Peter has some of the most well-crafted environments, and through them environmental storytelling, of all BL authors. His worlds are just as much characters within his stories as the actual humans, or Tau. They all live and breathe (or whatever passes for it) and give depth to everything that happens. A lot of times, worlds in 40k, including the Heresy, are really just names and otherwise absolutely interchangeable within their respective class (death world, hive world, agri world etc), and even then the classification doesn't have as much bearing on the narrative as it should. In Fehervari's works, you can be certain that the world has a part to play in his fiction, be it a jungle death world, a barren volcanic mess, or a perpetually dark hive world. The characters get shaped by his environments at every turn, which is logical and should be the norm, but rarely is.


Edited by DarkChaplain, 11 January 2019 - 03:26 PM.

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#13
DukeLeto69

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^This

DC what a well thought out description of Peter's work. I Cannot recommend PF enough.

#14
Knockagh

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Bought a copy there now of spiral dawn for £6. Sounds good
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#15
DarkChaplain

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I finally got my copy of Inferno! Vol.2 yesterday (for once, Amazon didn't delay a preorder by 3+ weeks, amazing) and am stoked to get onto Fehervari's The Thirteenth Psalm. Good high expectations for this one!



#16
DukeLeto69

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For anyone interested I thought I would copy over a response I had from Peter Fehervari on thebolthole.org some time back (the question being "is there a best reading order")....

++++++
Regarding your question about the best order to read my stories, there isn't an absolute answer. With the exception of 'Cast a Hungry Shadow' (which ties in directly with 'Genestealer Cults') they were all commissioned as stand-alone pieces, hence required self-contained narratives. However to readers in the know they are also fragments - or threads - within the shadowy tangle of the Dark Coil, a non-linear meta-narrative that's more emergent than planned - a process of discovery rather than construction, for the writer as much as the reader. When writing about the Coil I'm more an explorer than an architect, looking for connections rather than overtly planning them. Colonel Talasca's painting was a metaphor for this in 'Genestealer Cults'. The enigmatic Calavera from 'Fire & Ice' on the other hand...well...he might just be a weaver.

Reading all that back it sounds pretentious as hell, however I won't delete or rephrase it because it happens to be what I believe - or choose to believe...

But putting aside the metaphysics of the Coil, the chronological order of the stories is as follows:

1. Nightfall
2. The Walker in Fire
3. The Greater Evil (forthcoming t'au story...hopefully...)
4. Out Caste
5. A Sanctuary of Wyrms
6. Fire Caste
7. Vanguard
8. Fire & Ice
9. The Crown of Thorns
10. Cast A Hungry Shadow
11. Genestealer Cults

Reading them in this order might make some of the character arcs clearer, but at the same time less meaningful. For example 'Out Caste' is a very short piece concerning the origins of a character from 'Fire Caste'. While it functions adequately as a stand-alone it will be more engaging for someone who's already familiar with the character.

Likewise you'll find the origins of some key characters from 'Cults' in earlier stories, but where and when it's more interesting to meet them first is debatable. The only case where I'd strongly recommend the chronological order is 5 to 6 to 7, the 'Phaedra Arc', where the linearity builds the drama.
+++

Hope that is useful brothers?
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#17
Knockagh

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Nicely done Duke

#18
Byrd

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DarkChaplain and DukeLeto, thank you for taking the time to make your excellent posts.

 

I'm a big recent convert to the works of Peter Fehervari. I emailed Black Library a couple of weeks ago to ask if there was any chance of a Fehervari/Dark Coil Omnibus, and was told that it wasn't being planned.

 

Does anyone know how the new novel Requiem Infernal might fit into the Dark Coil events/timeline?

 

And does anyone know how I might write to Peter to let him know that I like his work?


Edited by Byrd, 15 January 2019 - 06:52 PM.


#19
Shinros

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DarkChaplain and DukeLeto, thank you for taking the time to make your excellent posts.

 

I'm a big recent convert to the works of Peter Fehervari. I emailed Black Library a couple of weeks ago to ask if there was any chance of a Fehervari/Dark Coil Omnibus, and was told that it wasn't being planned.

 

Does anyone know how the new novel Requiem Infernal might fit into the Dark Coil events/timeline?

 

And does anyone know how I might write to Peter to let him know that I like his work?

I assume it's taking place after cult of the spiral dawn. Since the description describes an imperial guard regiment are recovering after a xeno's encounter. I assume it's the vassago blacks. 

 

I am just going to say it's great to see other fans of Peter's works! 

 

THE STORY
The Adepta Sororitas of the Last Candle have stood vigil over their sanctuary world for centuries, striving to decipher their founder's tormented visions. Outsiders are unwelcome… yet still they come.
 
Decimated by an encounter with a lethal xenos entity, the survivors of an elite Astra Militarum company have journeyed to the Candleworld in search of healing, escorted by a woman who is no stranger there – Sister Hospitaller Asenath Hyades, who turned her back on the order decades ago

Edited by Shinros, 16 January 2019 - 03:52 PM.


#20
DarkChaplain

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Might also be the Arkhan Confederates, whose fates were left vague by design.

 

Also, I think I might've said it before when I translated all those blurbs for the Upcoming thread, after the German editions popped up on Amazon early, but I LOVE how Fehervari liberally draws his names from various Lovecraftian works and collaborators. Seeing how Asenath Waite was from my first (and probably still favorite, having recently re-read it and others) Lovecraft story (The Thing on the Doorstep), I am immediately intrigued by Sister Hyades (which also received mentions throughout the Mythos), although I can't say I trust her purity ;)

 

 

@Byrd:

If you've got a Goodreads account, you may try contacting Peter through his author page. He's always happy to hear feedback, in my experience, and to nerd out about his works. He's a really damn pleasant chap, despite his dark subject matters!



#21
Knockagh

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Ariived today, will begin reading immediately! Lords of Silence has dropped down the queue again, it’s starting to feel a little lost.
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#22
Master Ciaphas

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I have loved all the Dark Coil stories. As for which Arkans feature in the short story Vanguard, I have not quite figured that out. If I could manage to add a spoiler tag, I would venture a guess, but as I have never figured that bit out, I will not spoil it here by guessing.

 

Faithfully,

Master Ciaphas


Never Forget, Never Forgive


#23
DarkChaplain

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Here's a hint:

Spoiler


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#24
Byrd

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I'm a big recent convert to the works of Peter Fehervari. I emailed Black Library a couple of weeks ago to ask if there was any chance of a Fehervari/Dark Coil Omnibus, and was told that it wasn't being planned.

 

I just finished Cult of the Spiral Dawn, and I love it. The way the story keeps turning and going deeper and getting more twisted. One of the best writers in 40k. He really knows how to structure a narrative.

 

I checked my email again that I sent to BL. They didn't say it wasn't being planned, but rather it wasn't on the release schedule, and they didn't know what the publishers have planned beyond a very brief window into the future. So I wrote again to BL to plead for a Dark Coil Omnibus.


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#25
Knockagh

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Bought a copy there now of spiral dawn for £6. Sounds good


Quoting myself here but just to let y’all know I read this and it was as described by you fellas. Absolutely brilliant. Love it when you get a writer who does something different with the 40k universe and pulls it off. The atmosphere Peter creates is so compelling, drags you right in. No one else writing a style like this for BL. Will definitely be following PF career, and buying all his books of course!
I think he could be the one to deliver a corker of an Alpharius primarch book.
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