A new Chaos Space Marine novel by John French is being released as an enovel 6 months before the print version.
John French on Ahriman: Exile
When I got the green light to write Ahriman: Exile, I had two, quite opposite reactions in the space of
about twenty seconds.
'Oh wow, I get to write about Ahriman. He’s one of Warhammer 40,000’s most pivotal characters. The sorcerer who literally made the Thousands Sons what they now are, and who one day will try and break into the Black Library itself.'
Swiftly followed by:
'Oh my. I’m writing Ahriman. Every Warhammer 40,000 fan in the world has an idea of how he should be portrayed. He’s the sorcerer star of Graham McNeill’s super successful A Thousand Sons. Right, no pressure then…'
Thankfully, my child-like excitement won out, and along with the occasional harsh stare from the Ahriman miniature on my desk, saw me through the book. Ahriman: Exile is, at its core, a character piece. It chronicles the start of Ahriman’s journey from his banishment from the Planet of the Sorcerers to the character we’ve all come to know. It sheds light on his choices, his motivations, and the events that shaped his life following the Rubric.
Of course, it’s also a book about genetically enhanced warriors wielding reality breaking psychic powers. Throughout the book, battle occurs not only in the physical realm but also on another, ethereal level. Ahriman moves through a world alive with sensations that are invisible to most others, which gave me a great opportunity to explore some pretty exciting territory. How do you actually show a battle that occurs at the speed of thought alongside bolter fire and the clash of blades? How does someone who can feel possible futures fight with a sword? What is the inside of Ahriman’s mind like?
These questions are what make Ahriman such a complex character. He’s intelligent beyond most human’s comprehension, so powerful that it is easier to say what he can’t do than what he can, but also deeply flawed – a potent combination and one that was a lot of fun to write.
Ultimately, Ahriman: Exile is a book about war, hubris, hope, and guilt and how Ahriman rises from the ashes of banishment and disaster.
And after that, what then? Well, we will have to see, but perhaps the best answer I can give is to echo line from a character in the book: What then? War. A war against fate.
You can buy the enovel for $ 7.99 now on the Black Library website.
Being a huge fan of A Thousand Sons by Graham McNeil, I can't wait to read this book.