Similar to Black Library authors such as Dan Abnett, Graham McNeill and Ben Counter, Simon Spurrier recognizes what the 40K universe is all about. That is to say, he fully appreciates the depth of the nuance and complexity which make the setting the richest tableau this side of Middle Earth. Fortunately for us readers, he also knows how to weave an engrossing tale that takes full advantage of all that Games Workshop's colorful backdrop has to offer.
Lord of the Night is the story of the Talonmaster, an ancient Night Lords chaos marine lieutenant desperate to recover a lost chapter heirloom hidden somewhere in the vast depths of an ancient hive city. In the course of his search, the Talonmaster must confront scores of underhive gangers, units of Adeptus Arbites and the persistent attention of a determined junior interrogator and her inscrutable inquisitor mentor. Perhaps more importantly, he must also come to terms with his distant past and the alternating grief, paranoia and rage which have dogged him for centuries.
The Talonmaster is more than just a mindless pawn of Chaos, bouncing from one orgy of death and destruction to another. His cruelty is calculated, his violence directed. He is an ally of Chaos but not its servant. The Talonmaster strives at all times to remain true to the teachings of his long dead Primarch whose death a millennia earlier still haunts him. The richest parts of the book are those flashbacks in which the Talonmaster recalls the brief time that he spent fighting and learning at the side of his beloved Primarch, Konrad Kurze. If you enjoyed the White Dwarf article from a few years ago detailing the origins of the mysterious Kurze and the formation his Night Lords legion, you will love Lord of the Night. The insights into the genesis of the Horus Heresy and Kurze's subsequent fall from grace are alone worth the price of the book. I particularly enjoyed Kurze's take on the tragic rift which developed between him and the Emperor even before Horus turned traitor. Kurze's grievances against the Emperor and the Imperium are coherent and compelling and in that sense, Lord of the Night is somewhat reminiscent of Gav Thorpe's, Angels of Darkness.
Highly recommended to any fan of either the 40k universe or of great science fiction.