When I saw the cover for this book, I knew I would probably pick it up. Mostly due to one reason; which is that I like Stormknights and this book is about Stormknights. Plus the cover art is pretty cool.
So what is this book about? It’s the story of a bunch of misfits stormknights, led by an outcast Stormblade Captain. Yes, even the elite of the Cygnaran military has misfits in their ranks. Their crimes range from unbecoming conduct, insubordination, gambling, fighting etc. And yet, somehow they’ve all made it to the Stormknight rank without being discharged yet. Although that’s probably because of the impending war.
The book takes place during the Sul-Caspian war between the Protectorate and Cygnar and is separated into three distinct arcs, the first being the build-up to the war, followed by the first assaults of the war and then the end of the war. It’s a pretty short war and the book isn’t that look either, being barely about 300 pages give or take.
It doesn’t really break any new ground, essentially being a retelling of the war from the POV of a stormblade platoon in the war. You do meet some famous people in the book; such as Katherine Laddermore, as well as cameos by others such as Caine. Even the plot isn’t really new. Outcast commander must command a unit of misfits and shape them up into a fighting force that’s worthy of the name. How many times have we read that before?
The characters are passable, though you never really feel for any of them. But you don’t really get annoyed at any of them either. Sadly, the most interesting character in the book was really the warjack; known as Headhunter the Stormclad by the platoon, a warjack that seems to have inherited a very berserker-like cortex. So what does that say about the rest of the characters in the book when a mute barely-sentient warjack is more interesting than the rest of them?
I do like the cameos of famous characters in the book though, especially when they show how Nicia came about. Spoiler; Nicia’s husband dies in the story. But for my first foray into PPs fictional world, I’d say the book was decent but could be improved. I do know it has given me some ideas on conversions for my stormblades and stormclad. Cause, yes dammit, I want to make Headhunter on the tabletop.
But having read this book, I realised I would probably be very very interested if PP were to do more books that revolved around named characters in the universe. Maybe a book on the Caspian-Sul war that actually centered around people that mattered, like Stryker or even Katherine Laddermore? I do realise that they have novellas based around some characters at the moment but I haven’t read them yet because I ended up getting the $10 add-on for them on the warmachine kickstarter and PP hasn't closed the survey yet. Which means I wont' be getting them at least until after the survey has been closed.