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  1. #1

    Default [40k Review] Salamander - Nick Kyme

    Intro: So I haven't really used my writing degree in a while, and I decided I'm going to start doing reviews of the newer Black Library books that I read to get myself writing again. This will be the first installment. Hope you enjoy.

    Salamander by Nick Kyme

    With the inclusion of Vulkan He'stan as a special character in the newest Space Marines codex and his subsequent usefulness with meltas in the 40k game, it's no wonder that the Salamanders Space Marines have garnered quite a bit of attention, and rightfully so. I think it's nice to see that GW is moving towards fleshing out Space Marine chapters beyond the Ultramarines, Space Wolves, and Blood Angels--particularly because Games Workshop has done a fairly good job of diversifying the backgrounds of those chapters.

    Salamander, the latest effort by Nick Kyme (Assault on Black Reach, Heroes of the Space Marines), is one such novel and, thankfully, a worthy addition to the Black Library. Centering on the Salamanders 3rd Company, Salamander is the first installment of the Tome of Fire trilogy that Kyme is writing and gives most of its focus to one Salamander, Sargeant Da'kir.

    We learn early in the novel that Dak'ir is different than the majority of the other Salamanders. First, he is an Ignean, a location on the Salamander homeworld of Nocture that rarely produces those worthy to be Astartes. Secondly, Dak'ir dreams of his past life, something other marines do not do.

    While exploring a derelict Adeptus Mechanicus ship, Dak'ir discovers a chest that bears the seal of Vulkan, primarch of the Salamanders. This leads Tu'shan, chapter master of the Salamanders and Regent of Prometheus, to convene his trusted council and soon thereafter send the 3rd company on a quest to discover secrets that may lead to Vulkan. Without revealing too much of this very nice surprise, the Dak'ir and his breatheren make a discovery that will shape the future of the Salamanders chapter and lead to the next books in the Tome of Fire trilogy.

    What makes this such a strong addition the the Space Marines mythos is Kyme's ability to successfully balance character development with the battle scenes that are so ubiquitous in the 40k universe. The Salamanders are a chapter steeped in mythos, and Kyme paints a nice portrait of the rituals and traditions of the Promethean Cult. Another staple of the Salamanders is juxtaposition of their appearance (demon-like) and their mission statement, as it were, as Space Marines (protect the innocent). The compassion and humanity in the Salamanders is shown a great deal by Dak'ir's closest confidant, his heavy weapons trooper Ba'Ken. I really appreciated this dose of humanity Kyme injects in the Salamanders; for me it really sets them apart from the other Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes.

    Kyme really seems to have a good grasp on what he wants to achieve with the Astartes of Nocturne. His characterizations are developed and interesting, though at times they can be a tad cliche (Iagon is obviously his Shakespearian Iago). In addition, his depictions of battle are intense without being too over-the-top. Overall, I believe Kyme has a hit on his hands with Salamander. I eagerly anticipate his next addition to the Tome of Fire Trilogy.

  2. #2


    Wow, thanks for the write up on it man, I may very well have to go pick up a copy, I've never really known to much about the Salamanders and it sounds like they got a good book and start of a trilogy! Thanks wittdooley!
    Age: 17, Army: Imperial Guard Infantry Spam

  3. #3


    yeah thanks im looking forward to pick up my own copy right now i always liked the salamders but choose ultramarines over them

  4. #4


    Totaly agree with your review, i was waiting on this book with great anticipation and i wasnt disapointed at all! If you ask me his battles are some of the best ive read in the space marine novels, i found it much more realistic than some of the other things ive read while at the same time he didnt take anything away from how powerful the marines really are. Loved it

  5. #5


    I'm about 1/3 of the way in right now, and without repeating anything you said, one thing I've noticed a little more about this book than others is how much he has tried to integrate LOTS of the weapons from the newest codex, most notably the thunderfire cannons, as well as many others that aren't really mentioned in other books. Hope he continues this, and it's giving me lots of inspiration for adding character to my army which was formerly just competitive, but is now taking on a background.

  6. #6


    I couldn't agree more. I think the best thing about the way he does it is that it doesn't feel forced or inorganic. It makes sense that they're in there. I saw this even more in Assault on Black Reach, particularly when compared with how clumsily they were injected into Gav Thorpe's Space Hulk book.

  7. #7

    Thumbs up

    [QUOTE=wittdooley;20478]Intro: So I haven't really used my writing degree in a while, and I decided I'm going to start doing reviews of the newer Black Library books that I read to get myself writing again. This will be the first installment. Hope you enjoy.

    Salamander by Nick Kyme

    Thanks for taking the time to give that Review.
    I always enjoyed the ones bigred & other BoLs boys posted on the web site.

    I am about 1/4 way through it & I think its great to see other Chapters featured in the BL books.
    I particularly liked Bros of the Snake by DA & it too fleshed out the charactors of the Marines.
    Regards Barry H. "the Emperor Protects!"



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