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Mark of Faith


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#1
aa.logan

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I think this has made it’s way to the top of my post-Weekender reading pile, edging just ahead of The First Wall and Severed which will have to duke it out for the number two spot.

Rachel Harrison sold it really well in her seminar; it has two POV characters, a Sister from the Order of the Martyred Lady and an Inquisitor. It is set after the Rift opens and explores, thematically at least, how this has injured the Imperium.

Parts sound pretty heavy; survivors guilt, existential angst and the balance between being selfless and reckless when seeking a glorious death all feature.

I’ve not cracked my copy of the LE open yet, but the ones I have seen are really lovely.
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#2
sitnam

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I definitely can't wait to read this one; between this, Daniel Ware novellas, and the upcoming Heretic Saint novel the SoB have some good stuff coming up
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#3
Grey Angel

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I definitely can't wait to read this one; between this, Daniel Ware novellas, and the upcoming Heretic Saint novel the SoB have some good stuff coming up

Plus Hammer & Anvil is now on pre-order on audible!


Edited by Grey Angel, 11 November 2019 - 09:13 PM.


#4
DarkChaplain

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I'm just seriously surprised this is getting a limited edition alongside the hardcover and ebook, but no audio.



#5
aa.logan

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I’m not sure if I missed this earlier, but it’s only when I looked at the signature page that I realised it’s a run of 1250 copies...

#6
b1soul

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How are Swallow's SoB works?

#7
Grey Angel

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I'm just seriously surprised this is getting a limited edition alongside the hardcover and ebook, but no audio.

The audio versions is up for preorder on audible!



#8
DarkChaplain

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Well I'll be damned, they completely failed to market it, didn't even mention it when in the same paragraph they were talking about the Hammer & Anvil audio.... Glad it's getting an audio after all!



#9
theSpirea

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I'm happy they are trying to do release LE at the same time as hardback but  I have a bad feeling this is destined to fail. Not just the LE is being released at the same day as Siege of Terra LE, they also release a regular hardcover. I just don't want them to say "hey, Mark of Faith didn't sell that well when we released LE + hardcover, this business model doesn't work for us". The whole marketing of this book is a failure and not watching the Weekender I would have no idea this book was even coming out.



#10
Frater Antodeniel

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I'm happy they are trying to do release LE at the same time as hardback but  I have a bad feeling this is destined to fail. Not just the LE is being released at the same day as Siege of Terra LE, they also release a regular hardcover. I just don't want them to say "hey, Mark of Faith didn't sell that well when we released LE + hardcover, this business model doesn't work for us". The whole marketing of this book is a failure and not watching the Weekender I would have no idea this book was even coming out.

 

I add to your disatisfaction regarding the announcement of this book. It is sad to consider that while since many years, GW have greatly improved his communication, in the recent months, the one around Black Library books have faired poorer.

 

Like you said the whole marketing around the book appears to be a failure, and like you, i wouldn't know about it if not for the Weekender article, and it look like it won't be the only one, since many books are coming in the next few months that are as much communicated about.

 

I truly miss the Black Library listing with the release dates of what was to be release within the next three month. For myself, it truly helped budgeting the needed savings for what i was going to buy.

 

-------

 

As for the book itself, Mark of Faith, it looks very interresting. (Also, i do like the cover of the Hardback version, it make me think of the one that had Mephiston:Blood of Sanguinius.)


Edited by Frater Antodeniel, 13 November 2019 - 09:48 PM.

"Never compromise. Not even in the face of Armageddon. That is the difference between I and you."

 

++ Rorschak, First Blade of the Knights of Blood during his Forum Judicium Trial in 849.M40 following the chapter excommunication by the High Lords of Terra ++

 

 


#11
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Holy moley that sold out quick, wasn’t expecting that with it being released along with First Wall. I was going to nip back and get a copy after this mornings panic but they are gone! First nice limited ed I’ve missed in ages. How’d they get so popular??

Edited by Knockagh, 16 November 2019 - 03:19 PM.


#12
DarkChaplain

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Sisters. Sisters crashed the webstore for half an hour, right after those 5 minutes they were available for. Hopefully GW sees sense and produces another batch of the Sisters set.



#13
theSpirea

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I didn't expect this LE to go so fast either. The fact there was also an option to buy it as a bundle with the set probably helped the sales.



#14
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I'm super excited for this. Harrison knocked it out of the park with Honourbound, and I'll take a book about anything Ecclisiarchy over the guard any day. Glad to hear the LE got snapped up, despite what looks like an almost sabotaged release.


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#15
aa.logan

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It

I’m not sure if I missed this earlier, but it’s only when I looked at the signature page that I realised it’s a run of 1250 copies...


This may been a factor too. About halfway through it, but it’s great so far.

#16
DarkChaplain

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Do me a favor and check the audio sample on the BL page, and tell me what you think about it. I'd like to gauge my opinion against others on this.

https://www.blacklib...ebook-2019.html



#17
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Do me a favor and check the audio sample on the BL page, and tell me what you think about it. I'd like to gauge my opinion against others on this.

https://www.blacklib...ebook-2019.html

 

It's a bit languid but I could see myself getting into it, though not really knowing the context of the scene makes it hard to judge. Different from the usual flavour, but not bad.

 

Not that I would go for the audio. Harrison deserves to be read IMO.


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#18
caladancid

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I’m definitely gonna preorder the Kindle version. That is, once black library figures it’s crap out and puts it on amazon.

#19
DarkChaplain

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Do me a favor and check the audio sample on the BL page, and tell me what you think about it. I'd like to gauge my opinion against others on this.

https://www.blacklib...ebook-2019.html

 

It's a bit languid but I could see myself getting into it, though not really knowing the context of the scene makes it hard to judge. Different from the usual flavour, but not bad.

 

Not that I would go for the audio. Harrison deserves to be read IMO.

 

 

To me it sounds both languid as well as often overplayed and stilted. It's reminiscent of listening to how classmates from way back when would try to recite poems or plays in a dry run, while not actually in it with their hearts (or in some cases, reciting lines they didn't even know the meaning of). It's a bit of a departure from other Sisters readers & actors, most notably Emma Gregory and Penelope Rawlins, and the first person narrative kinda exacerbates my issues.

 

That is not to say that Grace Andrews isn't putting in the effort in her acting. It's simply how it appears to me, and the mental connections I'm making. It's obviously just a short excerpt, but it dulled my excitement noticeably. Audio tends to be my format of choice (thanks, Audible), especially since I recently got wireless headphones with active noise cancelling and thus can listen to thinks while doing housework, cooking or the likes without outside noise distracting much if at all - heck, I actually deliberately cleaned the kitchen and my windows this week just to have an "excuse" to keep listening to Werner's Castle of Blood :')



#20
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Emma Noakes did Terminal Overkill and it was splendid. I’m not feeling this at all. Feels a little like an acting lovey reading some Shakespeare. All drama and little reality. The sisters must be a tough call for actors, it’s a very unreal role, with no real world parallel to draw on. I think I would rather read it. Come up with my own voices.

#21
Never_born

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I've read it, and loved it - this scene was really powerful in prose, but I'd agree that the delivery in the audio version doesn't quite do it for me. Overplayed feels like the right word.

 

I couldn't put the book down, it was exactly what I wanted and I'd already say it's up there with my favourites from the year. I can't speak for the audio, but I'd definitely recommend the book itself.


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#22
DukeLeto69

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I've read it, and loved it - this scene was really powerful in prose, but I'd agree that the delivery in the audio version doesn't quite do it for me. Overplayed feels like the right word.

 

I couldn't put the book down, it was exactly what I wanted and I'd already say it's up there with my favourites from the year. I can't speak for the audio, but I'd definitely recommend the book itself.

 

Will definitely be picking this up but for budget reasons going to have to wait for the paperback sadly (I have bought soooo many BL hardbacks this year, more than ever before)


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#23
aa.logan

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OK, now that I've finished it, I can officially confirm that it is very good indeed. 

 

On the surface, this book is absolutely 40k by numbers, something that Harrison herself stated at the Weekender. The plot is so very standard, with the scenes you could expect from any Marine book- character development and inter-personal conflict explored via the medium of training cage, there's the obligatory

Spoiler
and the climax
Spoiler
, but none of that *really* matters.

 

Harrison has managed to take these pretty routine plot points and imbue them with significance by making the story about more than the events of the plot. I intentionally compared this to a Marine story earlier, because this shows up some of the all-to-frequent storytelling shortcomings of building books around the Astartes. I've been pleased to see recent books (The Great Work, The Spear of The Emperor most notably) address the process of becoming a Marine in a more nuanced way, but the psycho-conditioning, removal from baseline humanity and whatnot really can dull a characters potential motivation. This book spends a pleasant chapter or two of various Sisters discussing the nature of their callings; it explained their general motivations and justified, as the book progressed, some of their actions. Likewise with the Inquisitor and her retinue, as gradually more is added to their backstories, obviously they become more understandable and their motives clearer. So yes, on one hand the book is about sailing through the Rift to

Spoiler
, but on the other hand, it is a totally character-led piece of fiction; the internal struggles are just as compelling as those against the God-Emperor's enemies, and matter more to the novel's outcome. For a book set pretty much exclusively on war-torn worlds and on a battleship belonging to space-faring warrior nuns, it gives the fans of 'domestic' 40k plenty to chew over, pencil sketches of life on many different worlds, glimpses of Imperial politics and a refreshingly different Inquisitor
Spoiler
all add further value to the book. 

 

The book obviously isn't perfect; as I've already said, the plot is a little basic, some of the symbolism is a little heavy-handed and repetitive

Spoiler
and too many characters receive "wounds that open their (x) to the (y)", but it is as good as anything BL have put out, and better than most. At it's heart, it is a book written to sell toy soldiers rather than great literature, but it manages to be both good fun and thought-provoking. Maybe it is like the new Sisters models, taking a concept that, although cool, hasn't quite lived up to it's potential in the past (boob plate, bad bobs), but in it's new. modern incarnation is way more plausible and detailed...


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#24
caladancid

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OK, now that I've finished it, I can officially confirm that it is very good indeed. 

 

On the surface, this book is absolutely 40k by numbers, something that Harrison herself stated at the Weekender. The plot is so very standard, with the scenes you could expect from any Marine book- character development and inter-personal conflict explored via the medium of training cage, there's the obligatory

Spoiler
and the climax
Spoiler
, but none of that *really* matters.

 

Harrison has managed to take these pretty routine plot points and imbue them with significance by making the story about more than the events of the plot. I intentionally compared this to a Marine story earlier, because this shows up some of the all-to-frequent storytelling shortcomings of building books around the Astartes. I've been pleased to see recent books (The Great Work, The Spear of The Emperor most notably) address the process of becoming a Marine in a more nuanced way, but the psycho-conditioning, removal from baseline humanity and whatnot really can dull a characters potential motivation. This book spends a pleasant chapter or two of various Sisters discussing the nature of their callings; it explained their general motivations and justified, as the book progressed, some of their actions. Likewise with the Inquisitor and her retinue, as gradually more is added to their backstories, obviously they become more understandable and their motives clearer. So yes, on one hand the book is about sailing through the Rift to

Spoiler
, but on the other hand, it is a totally character-led piece of fiction; the internal struggles are just as compelling as those against the God-Emperor's enemies, and matter more to the novel's outcome. For a book set pretty much exclusively on war-torn worlds and on a battleship belonging to space-faring warrior nuns, it gives the fans of 'domestic' 40k plenty to chew over, pencil sketches of life on many different worlds, glimpses of Imperial politics and a refreshingly different Inquisitor
Spoiler
all add further value to the book. 

 

The book obviously isn't perfect; as I've already said, the plot is a little basic, some of the symbolism is a little heavy-handed and repetitive

Spoiler
and too many characters receive "wounds that open their (x) to the (y)", but it is as good as anything BL have put out, and better than most. At it's heart, it is a book written to sell toy soldiers rather than great literature, but it manages to be both good fun and thought-provoking. Maybe it is like the new Sisters models, taking a concept that, although cool, hasn't quite lived up to it's potential in the past (boob plate, bad bobs), but in it's new. modern incarnation is way more plausible and detailed...

 

Two books may not be enough to be sure, but it really looks like Rachel Harrison is one of the better BL authors at writing straight up 40k stories that aren't earthshattering with changes or weird angles but that are REALLY good.  From what I have read in her interviews she does this intentionally, and she is killing it so far.

 

Can't wait to read the novel.  If anyone else figures out what is up with the Amazon Kindle version plz let me know.

 

--edit

 

I think the Kindle version isn't up yet because it doesn't actually release until the 29th? Maybe they only go up on eBook preorder one week in advance.


Edited by caladancid, 18 November 2019 - 09:33 AM.


#25
aa.logan

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I’ve slept on the book, and I have more to say about it.

I think every single character is grieving *something*; while they may all have been raised in a culture based on ten millennia of constant war, the Rift opening has profoundly damaged the people of the Imperium beyond their expected limits, perhaps even making the most resilient and determined unable to shrug off losses that they would previously.

Spoiler


Yeah, two books in might be early to judge an author’s potential, and I normally have little time for subjectively ranking BL writers into tiers, but Rachel’s two books have been mighty good, and I can’t think of anyone who has started as strongly not continuing in a similar vein. We are in one of the strongest periods for BL’s output at the moment, with books taking a more sophisticated approach to storytelling, especially through character work, and I can’t imagine that dropping off from this author’s output.
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