Published: 30 October 2020
Publisher: Black Library
Series: Warhammer Horror
Format Read: Audible & Kindle
Duration: 9h 41mins
Three travellers are drawn into the conspiracy that wards the wound – a knight haunted by his lost humanity, an aging poet who refuses to go gently into the night and a scholar who yearns to redeem mankind. All must face their shadows in the Reverie, but only one shall gaze upon its heart, where a deeper darkness beats. Exalting war and art in harmony, the warrior-artisans of the Angels Resplendent have forged a radiant haven amidst a blighted galaxy. But an ancient sin stains their honour – a wound in their world that will never heal. Ignorant souls would call it a forest, but those who watch over it know better. Nothing natural grows in the Reverie’s snow-swept glades or wanders amongst the unnatural things that do, save for the intruders who trespass on its pain. Some seek revelation or redemption, others dream of winning a place amongst the Resplendent, but all come because they must.
I recieved an A.R.C from NetGalley, the fact that it was free did not influence my views on this novel in anyway.
The Reverie was a bit of a confusing read for me. So confusing that I had the audio book version read to me twice after the first read through. While it was confusing it does not mean it was a bad book. This was my first foray into Fehervari (cool surnume!) territory. It was also my first time reading about the Knights Resplendid, warriors that are as passionate about fighting as they are about painting pictures or writing poetry was quite a fresh idea that I have not seen done in other WH novels before. The opening of the book also started with a little exerpt from Allan Edgar Poe’s The Raven which already intrigued me from the beginning through to the end. While I have no inside detail into where this battle company hail from, certain titbits were dropped here and there. They are a essentially from diluted stock of Sanguinius, Primarch of the Blood Angels. I also have not really read a lot about that Legion either (seriously, how long have I been reading WH???), so some of the references were lost on me from time to time. The main foe they were up against were also hinted at, but I at least knew who they were and what Chaos god was going to feature, although a lot less pustules and decay was evident than normal, which was weird as this was a WH Horror novel…
I told Jenn in an e-mail not so long ago that the start and middle part of this novel gave me a feel of the game Dark Souls which I picked up for the first time during first Lockdown last year. If it was not for the fact that that game also deals in a very mild way with distorted time and the gothic setting The Reverie was trying (and succeeding) to portray, this novel was going to score very low in my books. I am not saying one should go out and buy Dark Souls before picking up this book as you really need to be a sucker for punishment to get to the end of that game (first playthrough only took me 125 hours….). I am just saying it helped me understand and not try to overcomplicate the story for myself. I also told her that I dont really see how this was different to any normal 40K novel as the Horror part was not all that scary to me. That and that this book had essentially 9 boss battles taking place throughout the novel. Having read a few in the WH Horror section by now I can honestly say that this was not as pant wetting scary as some of the others that mainly dealt with normal people having to face of with supernatural elements that they did not understand. I am also not trying to throw this book under the bus for not being scary, it had horror elements to it that were great, but again, the people facing it were bred for battle…
It has only come to my attention that Peter wrote this as part of his own personal series called the Dark Coil and while he has said that nearly all books can be read as stand alone novels, they all tie into one another in some way. This being my first entry into the Coil was an interesting and quite enjoyable read. I have stated that I had to listen to this audio book twice to get what it was about, but it never felt like a chore. All characters were well formed and had interesting back grounds, some were purposely written in some way that had to leave you guessing. One of my favorite aspects of this novel was the portrayal of a Mechanicum Adept. I know that not many people resonate too well with that part of the Space Marines, I am luckily not many people. This book did a great job of cluing me up on other aspects of all things 40K as well as making me wonder and ask even more questions (like how am I so clueless after so many years of reading WH???).
I started this review of with not knowing what to say as I am still churning the outcome of the novel over, even after a week of finishing it, but I am happy with how it has come about. If you want to try out this novel, which is different on so many ways to other 40K novels, I would say give it a try. It does not require you to know a lot about the Heresy or other things WH related, it reveals enough as the story goes along. Peter did a great job and he has a way with words that has made me exited for trying out more books by him. I actually have another novel that is said to be read after this one on my long list of NetGalley reviews that have been bumped up to higher priority thanks to this novel. The Reverie got a 4 out of 5 from me on GR. While it was confusing I enjoyed it enough to give it another go right after I finished it to fill in the blanks I drew during the first read through. I’ll probably come back to this again some time when I have read more of Peter’s work. I also want to extend a warm Thank You to NetGalley and Black Library for making it possible for me to read novels like these and make an informed decision about if I would buy this book in physical form some day. On that regard it is a very definite yes.