Crossfire- Matthew Farrer

The busting dockyards in the Hydraphur system are home to the mighty Imperial warfleets. They dock, repair, rearm and depart in an endless cycle of war. But even in this heart of imperial space, conflict exists. A great religious festival provides the perfect catalyst for civil unrest, political intrigue and murder in the vast Hive cities. Newly arrived Arbites officer, Shira Calpurnia finds herself in the thick of the action when she becomes the target of a series of assassination attempts. Coping with corruption and betrayal from within the ranks of the Arbites, Shira must discover who is trying to kill her before civil unrest turns to all out heresy. Caught in the crossfire, can she survive the intrigues of the ancient and callous aristocracy of this vital naval base?

It has taken me a while to get to writing a review for Crossfire. I read this during the last few days of 2018. I feel it is safe to say that it might’ve been the best time to have read this as the religious event called The Sanguinala evidently seems like a 40K version of New Years eve. In 40K terms though, The Sanguinala takes place over the course of a few days, each day closer to the end of this event has strict rules set up by the ruling party on Hydraphur.

Each chapter started with a clear check list of chores and behavior set forward by the authorities and it was expected that all citizens were to follow suite. This set up was as much info dump as it was cleverly introducing me to what the chapter might be dealing with, in the same thought it also did not irritatie me to read it, info dumps can become tedious at times when you just want to get through a book…

The people who are to check that all these rules are followed are the Adeptus Arbites. This has not been the first time I have encountered the Arbites. It has been the first time that I have gotten to see what it is to be one. Our heroine is one such person. Newly appointed and setting foot on Hydraphur for the first time Adeptus Arbite Shira Calpurnia has got her work cut out for her. There is an attempt on her life on her first day of walking the streets of Hydraphur and this sets in motion a series of investigations that will go against all that is considered Holy during the events of the Sanguinala.

What is an Adeptus Arbite you ask? All I know so far is that they are the Law. They are best described as a form of Judge Dredd but in the 40K setting. They are judge, jury and executioner. Have you got evidence against you when they get hold of you, be prepared to meet the Emperor’s Justice. If not, be prepared to suffer at the hands of the Inquisition, until you can no longer face the torture and then meet ye olde E.J…   They keep the people in check throughout the 40K galaxy. Where you have the Space Marines fighting big wars and conquering planets, you have Arbites working on street level to seek out and fight corruption on a daily basis.

I got some gorgeous pictures included in my copy. Sharing it here for your viewing pleasure… (if I am violating copyright, please come into contact with me so I can know that I am to take it down. None of the artwork in this post is my own, all rights are reserved for the respective artists.)

I had a blast reading this as well as being very tired while reading. The last few days of 2018 were weighing quite heavily on my mind and body. It made reading this especially worthwhile. Shira is new to a world she does not know, I was new to it as well. Shira had to suffer through countless info dumps and corrections as I had to read through. She was also getting tired of being told off from doing what she was trained to do and it made me almost laugh out loud as there were more than one occasion where you felt the “fuck it” moments alongside her.

This is a picture of a different print, to be honest, I like my version a whole lot better…

I am sure that this is the picture that is on the cover of the Enforser omnibus. Shira still has two more books in the series. I also got to read my surname (du Toit) in a 40K novel. That was an awesome find! I have family still in the 41st millennium!

This book can either work for you or against you in my opinion. It can be read as a stand alone, yet you will need to have some knowledge of the 40K setting. Matthew did do a good job in helping me along through certain parts tho. World building was done real well. The story took you al over the place. This was as much a part detective, part adventure along side a woman who can kick ass when pushed too far.

The character of Shira Calpurnia was very relatable to me, she became tired, had to eat (but forgot to most of the times). She was steadfast in her beliefs and rights as an agent of The Emperor. She did not hesitate to speak her mind and also took reprimands on her behavior as part of her learning process. Farrer fleshed out a unique character in Crossfire and I am not ashamed to say that I will be trying to continue the story of Shira. I would have liked to know a bit more about what the personal tics were that happened frequently, Shira would unconciously rub at some place in her hip or above her eyebrow, some old bruise I can’t recall reading about. This did not make the story less enjoyable. Farrer actually managed to give her more personality in my opinion.

We also get to see some of the workings of the Adeptus Sorroritas, we have interactions with the Arbites and members of the Inquisition ( think in the form of police vs the FBI, when there is a case to be worked, everyone wants to get the job done but ego gets in the way…). We also have some very well coordinated fight scenes.

Crossfire was also a buddy read I did with fellow blogger Spalanz, he has the omnibus and already finished his review for Crossfire by 17 December, please check it out as he has so much more Warhammer knowledge than me.

I gave Crossfire a 4 out of 5 on GR and it would recommend it to fans of the setting, fans of the Arbites and general fans that would like to learn more from the Arbites’ perspective.

I hope every one is having a great day!



16 thoughts on “Crossfire- Matthew Farrer

      1. I stopped about 60 pages in. I fully plan on going back to it as I love anything that doesn’t revolve around the Astartes. Nice to read something from a human standpoint rather than a superhuman one.

        Saying that, I did love the Ultramarines, Space Wolves and Soul Drinkers novels.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Shira does hail from the Ultramarines’ place of origin so her sense of duty is quite strong. I am planning on doing a read of the Dark Angels omnibus later this year. If you do not like the Astartes, have you ever read/ seen a book called Valedor? It was a beatifull eldar novel i read a few years ago.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Are the other two of the trilogy out yet? I’d be inclined to wait for the inevitable collected Omnibus as the way to buy it (since I have so many unread warhams novels.. 😦 )

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: Sunday catch-up
    1. Nice Catchup mate, thank you for the link and kind words. Had I known you had hounour guard, I wouldve suggested another buddy read🙂. Keep me up to date on when you would like to do Legacy of Caliban. I am hoping to get to it in April. Got some things to finish of before I tackle that…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.