Regular readers of Eleventh Stack know I am a fan of gamer fiction. In the Warhammer 40,000 universe, the Inquisition stands between mankind and those forces that would destroy it. In a galaxy where humanity’s continued existence rests on a knife edge, they are an organization that is both terrible and necessary.
Fans of Dan Abnett’s Inquisitor fiction for the Black Library can exalt in the arrival of Ravenor: The Omnibus. This thick trade paperback collects all three of Abnett’s previously published Ravenor novels. Ravenor is the physically crippled but psychically powerful Inquisitor whose adventures follow those of his mentor, Gregor Eisenhorn.
Told in the eponymous Eisenhorn Omnibus, the tale of Ravenor’s one-time master is one of tragedy and difficult choices. It is during one of those moments of tragedy that Ravenor himself is forever changed, horribly burned and crippled during the massacre of the Spatian Gate. These physical injuries unlock Ravenor’s true psychic potential, and he survives to continue the work of the Inquisition through his capable field operatives.
Both of these books offer the kind of Warhammer 40,000 fiction I am most fond of: small unit actions mostly not involving Space Marines. I just don’t find the trials and travails of a group of 7′ super-men all that compelling, but give me an Inquisitor and his eclectic band of loyal servants, some Chaos cultists as the opposition, and I am happy as a clam!
You don’t have to read them in order, but if you’re a stickler for such things, read Eisenhorn first, and Ravenor second. Both books also offer previously unreleased short stories by Abnett that fill in some of the gaps in continuity between the individual books. In the annals of gamer fiction, I hold these two groups of stories among the finest.
You can find a list of all of Dan Abnett’s stuff available at the Carnegie Library here.