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Hammer and Anvil [Mass Market Paperback]

James Swallow
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Nov. 29 2011 Sisters of Battle (Book 2)
The Sisters of Battle are the Emperor's most devout worshippers, fierce warriors preaching the purity of the Imperium and scourging their enemies with bolter and flamer. On a distant world, the Ecclesiarchy outpost of Sanctuary 101 was wiped out by an implacable foe - the fearless, soulless necrons. Now, a mission of the Sisterhood has returned to reconsecrate the site - but the metallic nightmares still lurk in the darkness, guarding a secret that has lain dormant for millennia. A vicious battle will be fought - one that can only end in the total destruction of the unrelenting xenos, or the annihilation of the proud Sororitas.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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About the Author

James Swallow has written several books, including Star Trek: Titan—Synthesis, Star Trek: Terok Nor: Day of the Vipers and Seeds of Dissent (from Star Trek: Myriad Universes: Infinity’s Prism); the Sundowners quartet of “steampunk” science fiction Westerns (Ghost Town, Underworld, Iron Dragon and Showdown); the bestselling novelization of The Butterfly Effect; The Flight of the Eisenstein, Faith and Fire and Jade Dragon; the 2000 AD tie-ins Eclipse, Blood Relative and Whiteout; Stargate Atlantis: Halcyon; and the Blood Angels duology Deus Encarmine and Deus Sanguinius. In addition, Swallow’s short fiction has appeared in Inferno! and Stargate magazine, the anthologies Star Trek Voyager: Distant Shores, the Doctor Who Short Trips collections Dalek Empire and Destination Prague, Something Changed, Collected Works, What Price Victory and Silent Night. His nonfiction includes Dark Eye: The Films of David Fincher and books on writing, genre television, and animation; he has also written for Star Trek: Voyager, Doctor Who and Space 1889, along with several scripts for audio and videogames.

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4.0 out of 5 stars Sisters of Battle #2. Beautifully done! Jan. 2 2012
By Detra Fitch TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The Sisters of Battle are fierce warriors who preach of purity and annihilates the enemies of humanity in righteous fury. In the Kavir system, the Ecclesiarchy outpost of Sanctuary 101 was overrun by the soulless necrons. After twelve years, the sisterhood is returning to reconsecrate the site. Though it chafed the Sisters, the Lords of Terra have granted passage to a party of technologists from the Adeptus Mechanicus. They are led by Tegas. Sister Superior Immogen and a detail of women she trusts, carefully observe the oily questor and his group of Mechanicus cyborgs. The proud Adepta Sororitas have been delayed (and lied to - though it could not be proven) by the Ordo Xenos for over a decade. To have the cyborgs by their side is an insult. Canoness Seperina has been the most vocal about the fact. She has no doubt that Tegas has his own agenda or that the Mechanicus is withholding vital information about Sanctuary 101. But until they figure out what the tech-priests are up to, the Sisters can only tolerate them.

But contrary to what the Lords of Terra told the Battle Sisters, the necrontyr are still around, guarding a secret that has lain dormant for millennia. A vicious battle will be fought. In the end, all traces of either the xenos or the loyal Sisters will be erased from the outpost with lethal precision.

**** FOUR STARS! Author James Swallow does the Sisters of Our Martyred Lady proud in this installment of the series. You do not have to read the first title, Faith and Fire, to thoroughly enjoy and appreciate this stand-alone tale. James Swallow portrays these ferocious beings exactly as I have always imagined them to be. They are revenge made manifest. This fast paced tale hooked me on the first page and swept me along on a wondrous, battle filled adventure that was over long before I wanted to be. Beautifully done! ****

Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Sisters of Battle and the Necron March 14 2012
By JPS - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
First posted on Amazon.co.uk on 26 December 2011

This book is, for me, the best one coming from James Swallow. He has, after 5 years, done a sequel of Faith & Fire although it is self-standing and can perfectly well be read on its own. The first few pages are gripping, as DEcima, the last survivor of Sanctuary 101, desperatly tries to escape the mysterious attackers that have obliterated her Convent. We come across Miriya, the Battle Sister, and Verity, the Hospitaller, that are part of the mission sent years afterwards to learn what happened and resettle the planet.

The book is fast paced, full of action and has some interesting streaks. The Mechanicus are nicely devious, double-dealing and almost treacherous and the Inquisition is not exactly what you would expect, with both organizations plotting to suppress vital information and keep it from the Sisters. The characters are well drawn and interesting, with the Nemesor and the Canoness Sepherina being among my favorites. The Deacon was also very good. You get to learn quite a bit about the Necrons' history, which I found to be a nice touch that completes a couple of other stories about them.

A fascinating read, slightly better than the first book on the Sisters. Now, all I want is another book in the HH series about the Foundation of the Sororitas.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sisters of Battle #2. Beautifully done! Jan. 2 2012
By Detra Fitch - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The Sisters of Battle are fierce warriors who preach of purity and annihilates the enemies of humanity in righteous fury. In the Kavir system, the Ecclesiarchy outpost of Sanctuary 101 was overrun by the soulless necrons. After twelve years, the sisterhood is returning to reconsecrate the site. Though it chafed the Sisters, the Lords of Terra have granted passage to a party of technologists from the Adeptus Mechanicus. They are led by Tegas. Sister Superior Immogen and a detail of women she trusts, carefully observe the oily questor and his group of Mechanicus cyborgs. The proud Adepta Sororitas have been delayed (and lied to - though it could not be proven) by the Ordo Xenos for over a decade. To have the cyborgs by their side is an insult. Canoness Seperina has been the most vocal about the fact. She has no doubt that Tegas has his own agenda or that the Mechanicus is withholding vital information about Sanctuary 101. But until they figure out what the tech-priests are up to, the Sisters can only tolerate them.

But contrary to what the Lords of Terra told the Battle Sisters, the necrontyr are still around, guarding a secret that has lain dormant for millennia. A vicious battle will be fought. In the end, all traces of either the xenos or the loyal Sisters will be erased from the outpost with lethal precision.

**** FOUR STARS! Author James Swallow does the Sisters of Our Martyred Lady proud in this installment of the series. You do not have to read the first title, Faith and Fire (Sisters of Battle), to thoroughly enjoy and appreciate this stand-alone tale. James Swallow portrays these ferocious beings exactly as I have always imagined them to be. They are revenge made manifest. This fast paced tale hooked me on the first page and swept me along on a wondrous, battle filled adventure that was over long before I wanted to be. Beautifully done! ****

Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great entertainment-Long live the Sisters of Battle Dec 19 2011
By LXguy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
In the long overdue Hammer and Anvil, we catch up with the survivors of Swallow's first novel concerning the Adepta Sororitas, Faith and Fire. Though the events of the first book still weigh on Sister Miriya and her cohort, it is not necessary to have read Faith and Fire to enjoy Hammer and Anvil. This time the intrepid battle sisters find themselves in a 40th millenium Rorke's Drift as they try to reclaim a lost outpost and something infinitely more valuable. Beset by the internecine machinations of their would-be allies and the endless numbers of their enemies, can the sisters survive?

Swallow's books are easily my favorite 40K novels. The battles are over the top, as in all of the Black Library titles, but do not overstay their welcome. Mere Bolter Porn this is not. Swallow brings the Sisters' history, their obsessive zealotry (and thus the sisters themselves) to life. A weaker writer would have inserted a protagonist sister with a more rational, modern, or restrained belief system to build cheap rapport with the reader. Instead, he draws us into the ethos of this strange universe through its fanatical devotees, demonstrating that the rigid discipline of their order is absolutely necessary to survive against their terrible foes, and also the pointless waste that comes as a result of their blind faith. There are genuinely funny moments of satirical humor as well, but at no point do the Sororitas become buffoons, nor do they compromise their beliefs for the author's convenience.

The villains (both alien and Imperial) are rendered very well here, with believable motives, flaws, sinister plans, and their own viewpoint on their confounding amazonian enemies. The author's creativity really shines here, his improvisation and fleshing out of the 40K canon source material adding the breath of life to the bad guys. The Necrons in the novel closely follow Games Workshop's recent revisions of their origins and organization, painting them more as a cybernetic Undead host with a quasi ancient Egyptian aesthetic rather than their original, more Terminator derived persona. Necrons 2.0, is a much-needed improvement, rendering the Necrons a more 3-dimensional and interesting threat. In reading the synopsis, I had thought that the Sororitas would be in well over their heads against the implacable, innumerable Necrons and was relieved to see that I was right...

There are minor quibbles. The Sororitas perhaps know a little too much about the Necrons, and they spend a little too much time standing around yelling at each other, but these things do not significantly detract from the overall story.

Here's hoping that Sister Miriya and the Sororitas return, and that the delay won't be so long this time...
5.0 out of 5 stars Adepta Sororitas April 11 2013
By M. Bonet - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
excellent book. James Swallow is an excellent writer that has done much to flesh out the History, Philosophy and Humanity of the Sisters of Battle.
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed these "Sisters of Battle" novels May 11 2012
By Randy Rohrbach - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have just recently become WarHammer 40K aware and I have been enjoying Tanith and Caiphas Cain
novels. There are few female warrior novels, so I took a flier on these. The character development
was good and the thread of the novels held together well. I read each book in just a couple of days,
since for me they were hard to put down.
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