The Inquisition War Trilogy

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Hi guys,

Just a quick post this time. I have just recently finished reading the book series ‘The Inquisition War’, a very early series of books from Black Library, and wanted to seriously recommend them to anyone who is interested in the older, and more esoteric, background of the 40k universe.

In the kind of spirit of the more well known Eisennhorn and Ravenor book series, but pre-dating them by quite a bit, the Inquisition War series follows he exploits of the Inquisitor Jaq Draco as he and his companions investigate heresy and fight across the galaxy. In keeping with the early date of the book, the fluff is very much of the time period, being somewhat more adult in nature, and exceptionally crazy compared to the more modern writing coming out of Black Library.

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This attitude is nothing but good however, harking back to the days of Rogue Trader. This includes a pretty central role for Squats, interesting differences in the inner workings of the Inquisition especially regarding the Ordo Malleus, and a very interesting and humanising take on an Imperial Fist Space Marine. Also, the figure of the Emperor plays a very critical role in the storyline, but is presented in a pretty shocking and intriguing way. I won’t spoil things, but it is probably not the way you have thought about the Emperor, and adds a whole new dimension to him.

Having said all that, the storyline is excellent and deals with some of the more interesting aspects of the 40k universe, and with some convincing plot lines. Split across three books, Draco, Harlequin, and Chaos Child, the story visits a great number of places, including Terra (and the Emperor’s throne room), the webway and the Black Library, and a very trippy account of a Daemon world in the Eye of Terror. The series is also the source for much of the old Illuminati / Sensei Knight / children of the Emperor fluff, which I find wonderful.

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Basically, what I am trying to say, is if you have a liking for early 40k fluff go and read the series. It was a great read for me and totally unexpected as I had never heard of it before. It is available on Amazon as a trilogy, from Black Library as three seperate digital books, or there are .epubs floating around on the internet (but shush….). There is more info on Lexicanum here too. A definite 8/10 😀

Now go read!

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7 thoughts on “The Inquisition War Trilogy

  1. John Parkin says:

    Have to agree with you on pretty much everything here, it just shows how far GW has fallen.

    • Gus says:

      “fallen” lol

      I mean I like some of the newer stuff, the early Heresy books, though that has gotten progressiely worse, and I like the Eisenhorn / Ravenor stuff.

      I do agree with you to some extent though. Compare and contrast early background such as the Jaq Draco series, or the Status: Deadzone story compilation (just finished reading it) with more modern stories, espcially the interminable space marine short story collections they are putting out at the moment. There is a universe of difference in the quality of the writing and the complexity of the plot lines dealt with.

  2. scircal says:

    Nice overview. You’re definitely right about the fluff divergence. I remember reading this fairly early on. I think the omnibus came out about 9 or 10 months after I started playing (tail end of 3rd edition). And as I hadn’t read a lot of the other fluff outside the CSM codex at the time, it actually set down a lot of the background for me that I sometimes still forget isn’t valid anymore.

    One of the things I do remember reading that clashed with what I already knew about the fluff had to do with Thousand Sons, which were not presented as dust-filled power armor suits, but something else. Fish-men-like creatures, if I remember correctly. That certainly seemed weird.

    That said, I do wonder about the changes that were made. Did someone review some of this early stuff and say “this is just too out there, needs to be retconned?” I mean, Lovecraft’s stuff could be weird, but several successful games have been made using the Cthulhu Mythos.

    • Gus says:

      I know what you mean about the 1000 Sons – I hadn’t actually pieced together that they were supposed to BE 1000 Sons until I read it on Lexicanum, I had just assumed they were Tzeentchian Chaos Marines.

      And I think the change in the tone and content of the fluff probably has a LOT of reason to it, but prominently I see a couple of factors. The old fluff is complex and complicated and therefore kinda difficult to sell, especially in a short contact in a store. I see a lot of the modern fluff being primarily driven by sales – so we see mentions of new kits in epic battle scenes, or characters that have easily available models. You can’t do that with the type of characters in the early fluff. Another reason, tho similar, is that I think the old fluff was less beginner (and family) friendly – there are a variety of sexualised and kinda dodgy scenes in the early works that just dont fit into the modern aim of selling Space Marines to 12yo’s and their parents. Now true, modern fluff does still have some hints of that kind of thing, but nowhere near the same level, and modern fluff is still blood soaked and violent (but somehow explicit violence is more acceptable than hints at sex…. says a lot!).

      I think I could write pages and pages about this, but meh…

  3. Zzzzz says:

    I remember getting bored as they were just bimbling ’round the underbelly of Holy Terra in some kind of narcolepsy inducing Brownian motion.

    Now I feel I ought to go back and read it again.

    I didn’t finish that one about the stormtrooper either.

    • Gus says:

      Oh jeez yeah, the trip through the Imperial Palace is a bit boring, but then I figure a trip through a continent sized bureaucracy is probably quite a boring thing to do…

  4. […] as you probably guessed from my review of the Inquisition Wars Trilogy a little while ago, I am currently on a bit of a retro GW fluff reading spree and have been reading […]

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