The House of Night and Chain – David Annandale

Published: 29 October 2019
Publisher: Black Library
Pages: 288
Series: Warhammer Horror
Format Read: Kindle

Blurp: (Copied from Net Galley)

In a bleak corner of the city of Valgaast, the House of Malveil awaits. A place of darkness, its halls throb with a sinister history. Its rooms are filled with malice. Its walls echo with pain. Now it stirs eagerly with the approach of an old heir. Colonel Maeson Strock of the Astra Militarum has returned home to his ancestral mansion. He is a man broken, both by the horrors of war and by personal loss, and has come home to take up the mantle of Planetary Governor. He hopes he can purge his home world of political corruption and reforge connections with his estranged children. He hopes he can rebuild his life.

Malveil will feast on these dreams. Strock believes he has seen the worst of the galaxy’s horrors.

Malveil will show him how wrong he is…


This book was an Advanced Reader Copy given to me by Net Galley. It did not influence my final verdict of this review. I would like to extend my gratitude to not only Net Galley, but Black Library as well for making their books available on the platform.)

House of Night and Chain was one of the books I decided to read while on holiday in South Africa. I have to admit that reading a horror novel during the summer time is probably not a very good idea. That being said, even reading this with temperatures at a near constant 25-30 degrees Celsius still made for a bit of a chilling read. HoNaC was a pretty good novel to read. I can go as far as to say you could pick it up with no prior knowledge of what Warhammer is and just read it as a sci/fi political thriller with hints of a haunted mansion vibe. I somehow managed to take down a few notes and might have gone a little bit into spoiler territory, for that I ask forgiveness, but in the same time I am oke with it as I would like to know what people can expect to get from such a short novel.

Meason Strock returns to his home world as newly appointed Planetary Governor. Initially with the knowledge that his failure on the battle field should have been corrected with a death sentence, Strock is surprised to learn that the Military deems the fact that he lost an arm and a leg in the encounter with the Tyranid invasion redemption enough and takes on his Duty to the Imperium with new vigor. Meason has to uncover the corruption within Solus’ elite. It has been observed that the tithe Solus is responsible for to the Imperium is degrading and that parts thereof has been discovered on the black market.

HoNaC is written in the first person perspective of our main character. One cannot help but feel for the guy as we relive through his trails and tribulations throughout the novel. We get first hand accounts now and then written by Meason’s wife in the form of a journal she kept and left behind, documenting her findings within Malveil, the family holding, that seems to be more than just a big old mansion… This novel was pretty easy to read and follow while dealing with some uneasy subject matter. Take our main character Meason for example; a man on a mission to redeem himself from the personal feeling of failure to the Imperium, coming to the house that has been in his family name for generations, the house where his wife passed away. Trying to mend the bond with his estranged children who hold him accountable for their abandonment due to the endless Duty he served off-world to the Imperium, while at the same time dealing with P.T.S.D. A man gradually loosing his grip on reality and on the downward spiral into madness. All this while trying to outmaneuver the life long enemy to his family name, the detestable Montfors… That is as much as I am willing to say without giving out massive spoilers.

As previously mentioned HoNaC was easy to read and the pacing was done well. This can be read with no prior knowledge apart from knowing that Warhammer 40K is a thing and that it takes place within that universe. Warhammer Horror is quite a new concept to for me, but I do not regret taking the first steps into this new venture. I am happy with how this novel turned out and will not hesitate to pick up others in the future. It certainly makes me exited for future titles in this new direction. Not that normal 40K novels have their own bits of horror at times..

I gave HoNaC a well deserved 4 out of 5 on GR and can easily recommend this to interested parties of the horror genre as well as people who would like to try something a little different than the Bolter porn that 40K is known for. Does this sound like something you would be interested in? Not the Bolter porn I mean…

5 thoughts on “The House of Night and Chain – David Annandale

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