PDA

View Full Version : Shadowsun: the Last of Kiru's Line



Braden Campbell
15-03-2013, 14:54
http://www.blacklibrary.com/

Available now for pre-order. They've even made a neat little trailer for it: HERE (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=KtHdgXjZybY)

Hope everyone enjoys.

WarhammerBookNerd
17-03-2013, 00:18
Picked up a copy at BL Live, they were flying off the sales stand, not sure if there were any left by the end.

The hardback novellas seem like a mix of old and new authors, although mostly new so far. Was wondering how it came that Shadowsun was published as a HB novella.

(Also I enjoyed reading it)

Braden Campbell
17-03-2013, 00:25
I cannot honestly remember the process, but it probably went something like this:

BL EDITOR: So, Braden, there's a bit of a hole in the Tau line, and since those two short stories you did that featured them were well recieved, how would you feel about doing a 30,000 word novella?

BRADEN: Sure.

BL EDITOR: Also, it has to be about Commander Shadowsun.

BRADEN: Whatever you say.

Asrai Syrion
17-03-2013, 07:46
Thats some shameless self promotion i'm liking it a lot

I just saw the title of this in the front of Fire Caste and was going to look it up before I saw this Thread

Looking forward to reading it

ac4155
17-03-2013, 10:31
Got this at BLL. It's nice, only had a chance to flick threw it so far but it seems quite good from the beginning bit I read.

I've put my reading list on hold whilst I've so many Uni deadlines over the next few weeks, but this is top of my list once I get back to reading.

reds8n
17-03-2013, 12:33
Finished this yesterday, enjoyed it very much.

Nice to read something that was a bit smaller and persoanl in scope, though thankfully it was still suitably dramatic.

be nce to read more as/when/if we get the chance :)

shadowhawk2008
17-03-2013, 14:51
Finished this yesterday, enjoyed it very much.

Nice to read something that was a bit smaller and persoanl in scope, though thankfully it was still suitably dramatic.

be nce to read more as/when/if we get the chance :)

Good to know that there is SOME positive reaction to this. Been reading mostly negative comments.

WarhammerBookNerd
17-03-2013, 19:43
Good to know that there is SOME positive reaction to this. Been reading mostly negative comments.

Chalk me up as someone else who enjoyed this a lot. defiantly my favorite out of the four BL non limited HB novellas so far. (plus having the tau thrown a bone is nice)

Braden Campbell
18-03-2013, 00:00
... Been reading mostly negative comments.

Links to said negetive reviews would be appreciated...

WarhammerBookNerd
18-03-2013, 00:59
Links to said negetive reviews would be appreciated...


See here: http://www.thebolthole.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=2602

Read negative reviews at your peril I guess :(


(and thanks for answering my question)

Braden Campbell
18-03-2013, 01:20
Thanks for the link. I like to read any and all impressions of my works, positive or otherwise.

I'll be interested to see what others take from it when it hits wider release in a few weeks...

Anakwanar
18-03-2013, 13:34
Agreed with http://www.thebolthole.org/forum/vie...hp?f=35&t=2602 100%. Very poor writing form, the main character is a bitch (who the hell wonna love a bitch?). Plot is not stupid - but her aggression and her ambitions and privileges - are destroying the pace of the novella. Also like Fire Caste from Fehrevari - its sometimes simple illogical and stupid. So it seams that every BL foray to the Tau camp is a disaster. Just stop writing about them - or give them to our dearest Blue Clown or Chris Wright (not to mention Abnett):mad:

Anakwanar
18-03-2013, 13:35
To Reds8n - please give me some ideas - WHY IN THE SEVEN HELLS DID YOU ENJOYED IT?

reds8n
18-03-2013, 14:29
The plot was solid enough, tad predictable overall perhaps but that's more due to the vast number of books of this genre/similar I've read one suspects, plus that's also a somewhat negative way of saying that the story did what needed to be done and, IMO, it certainly hit the "beats" at the right time, especially with regards to a character learning/reacting/growing/whatever at what felt like the correct moment.

I think arguments that the character is a bitch are both childishly pathetic and ignorant of the way that stories, let alone books, deal with both characters and narrative. If one actually thinks then you'll find that many of the most compelling individuals in stories aren't nice people, especially if the character in question "works" or deals with violence in some form or other.

Neither Bond or Holmes are nice people in any real sense of the word, and yet we read along quite happily. Presumably they're .. well... whatever the male of equivalent of a bitch is then ? And, apparently this matters...?

the character is placed in a precarious ( if somewhat standard, but given the genre and limits of space one quite adequate for the story IMO) situation, one that comes with a great deal of pressure. On top of that she has to deal with.. well.... let's just say some rather large emotional issues that would be of concern for any normal person -- and in essence rank and position aside she's not had her psychological "architecture" interfered with in the same way that, for example, an Astartes has --, furthermore she's injured, has the burden of leadership of her fellows in trying circumstances and at least one human to interact with as well, one whose loyalty she is unsure of and his thinking is.. well... alien to her. That's quite a lot to deal with, especially at short notice.

Furthermore I enjoyed the brief looks we had at the way the technology the Tau have shape their perceptions of both the universe and their place in it and even at a smaller role with regards to the squad as well, a cool and well thought out "stand off" scene which sets us up nicely for the final confrontation , and I also enjoyed the little glimpses we had which showed how the Tau deal with each other, especially with regards to how far they might go to protect or shield each other, even when it comes to things like honour.

All in all I thought it was a very tidy and effective piece of writing, I'll certainly go back and re/read his other 40k tales, and as well as that.. I now have far more interest in the character of Shadowsun than I ever did before. Enough that if the rules for her aren't too terribad ( or to be fair to me too too OTT either ;) ) in the forthcoming codex I might field her "just because".

Braden Campbell
18-03-2013, 15:27
People might be interested in some of my character sketch notes on Shadowsun. They date from last spring, and followed a fair ammount of research.

• Driven – her entire life, her entire being, has been built around her becoming a great military leader. Her life and career are indistinguishable.
• Privilaged – her father was famous, and she was the protégée of Pure Tide. Also, handpicked by the Pope/President to lead the 3rd Sphere.
• Head-strong, dedicated. A perfectionist.
• Racial/Tau supremist – 100% believes in the “party line”… has in fact, become its poster child. Everything Tau is superior to that of every other race, technically and culturally.
• Disdainful of gue’la (see gaijin – Japanese concept of “outsider”)
• Responsible to a fault – like Churchill or Gen MacArthur she’s the public face of an entire war. If she does badly, then public opinion/support may falter. Carries the burden of not only winning the war on the battlefield, but also of lifting morale on the home front. Everyone is counting on her. • Totally unused to failure. She has succeeded in everything, always, and with flying colours. How will she handle loosing/setbacks?

loveless
18-03-2013, 15:36
It actually sounds like an interesting little read - I've never read any BL with Tau in it before (I always seem to choose the Chaos/Ork features). It's lucky you don't judge a book by its cover, because the Shadowsun artwork is rather bad...there's a reason Tau should wear helmets, and Shadowsun's face is that reason :p

I really like the character notes on her - makes her seem interesting and paints her in that nice shade of dark grey that most 40K protagonists are.

WarhammerBookNerd
18-03-2013, 16:00
Agreed with http://www.thebolthole.org/forum/vie...hp?f=35&t=2602 100%. Very poor writing form, the main character is a bitch (who the hell wonna love a bitch?). Plot is not stupid - but her aggression and her ambitions and privileges - are destroying the pace of the novella. Also like Fire Caste from Fehrevari - its sometimes simple illogical and stupid. So it seams that every BL foray to the Tau camp is a disaster. Just stop writing about them - or give them to our dearest Blue Clown or Chris Wright (not to mention Abnett):mad:


Anakwanar, you seem to have a bit of a problem with female characters in Black Library books...

Xisor
18-03-2013, 18:23
I'm really quite looking forward to getting my grubby paws on this. (And Fehervari's Fire Caste too.)

That said, I do have... notions about the difficulty of manifesting privilege properly in the Tau Empire. Peter mentioned over on the Bolthole that he took quite a dystopian view for the Tau, overall. Andy Chambers certainly gave them a bit of an odd dynamic (especially his ethereals!) in The Arkunasha War, but ultimately I think I really enjoyed your very own Commander Shadow for presenting a more palatable/plausible/tight rendition of the Tau Empire. (For its limited scope, it also didn't expose glaring 'flaws' in the society, just good old interpersonal and professional tensions!)

Pinning down things like privilege, family dynasty and things strikes me as really difficult when juxtaposed with the idea that the Tau Empire is, surely!, also a towering pinnacle of social engineering and (by necessity) a well-oiled society. (I like it being sinister, but I also don't especially care for the idea that it's a big old fraud - I think the dystopia's much more ethically daunting if it also works.) There being room for factionalism, nepotism and such still doesn't sit well for me, but it certainly seems popular amongst the authors, so I'm also keen to challenge my own preconceptions on it all too.

Braden, I wonder: did your Aun'shi story ever come to fruition? (I've still not acquired the second half of Hammer & Bolter, though I suspect it'll shoot up my to-acquire list if it did manifest!)

Braden Campbell
18-03-2013, 18:42
Braden, I wonder: did your Aun'shi story ever come to fruition? (I've still not acquired the second half of Hammer & Bolter, though I suspect it'll shoot up my to-acquire list if it did manifest!)

Not as of yet. It was completed and sent in some time ago, but perhaps has been placed in waiting until the Tau recieve a codex update.

DarkChaplain
18-03-2013, 20:17
Finished this yesterday, enjoyed it very much.

Nice to read something that was a bit smaller and persoanl in scope, though thankfully it was still suitably dramatic.

be nce to read more as/when/if we get the chance :)

That's pretty much what I've come to expect from the novella range - more personal than a full novel, more focused, reduced padding to fill a full 400 pages...
I very much loved Yarrick: Chains of Golgotha, so if this follows the same trend as a character-driven story, I'm looking forward to picking it up come next month.

It is getting really obvious that the Tau are getting a Codex update fairly soon, not just because of the frequent rumors, but the increased number of Tau releases via Black Library. Shadowsun, Fire Caste (which should arrive before the end of the month), even Cain.
The arrival of the new Dark Angels was also accompanied by more and more DA releases, so I'd like to think that GW and BL are trying to back each other's lines more than before. I mean, BL even blogged and re-released old classics for the Daemons update.

With that in mind, I'm positive that Braden's Aun'shi story will be up for one of the next few Digital Mondays or somesuch.



Agreed with http://www.thebolthole.org/forum/vie...hp?f=35&t=2602 100%. Very poor writing form, the main character is a bitch (who the hell wonna love a bitch?). Plot is not stupid - but her aggression and her ambitions and privileges - are destroying the pace of the novella. Also like Fire Caste from Fehrevari - its sometimes simple illogical and stupid. So it seams that every BL foray to the Tau camp is a disaster. Just stop writing about them - or give them to our dearest Blue Clown or Chris Wright (not to mention Abnett):mad:

Oh, hey, its your superior taste at work again.

reds8n
18-03-2013, 20:41
One would suggest the pictures of the new models and the like would rather confirm the Tau new codex theory yes ? :)

Reading Fire Caste at the moment as it happens, bit of an odd start, but we'll see how things go.

WarhammerBookNerd
18-03-2013, 20:52
I'm really quite looking forward to getting my grubby paws on this. (And Fehervari's Fire Caste too.)

That said, I do have... notions about the difficulty of manifesting privilege properly in the Tau Empire. Peter mentioned over on the Bolthole that he took quite a dystopian view for the Tau, overall. Andy Chambers certainly gave them a bit of an odd dynamic (especially his ethereals!) in The Arkunasha War, but ultimately I think I really enjoyed your very own Commander Shadow for presenting a more palatable/plausible/tight rendition of the Tau Empire. (For its limited scope, it also didn't expose glaring 'flaws' in the society, just good old interpersonal and professional tensions!)

Pinning down things like privilege, family dynasty and things strikes me as really difficult when juxtaposed with the idea that the Tau Empire is, surely!, also a towering pinnacle of social engineering and (by necessity) a well-oiled society. (I like it being sinister, but I also don't especially care for the idea that it's a big old fraud - I think the dystopia's much more ethically daunting if it also works.) There being room for factionalism, nepotism and such still doesn't sit well for me, but it certainly seems popular amongst the authors, so I'm also keen to challenge my own preconceptions on it all too.

Braden, I wonder: did your Aun'shi story ever come to fruition? (I've still not acquired the second half of Hammer & Bolter, though I suspect it'll shoot up my to-acquire list if it did manifest!)

The somewhat distopian nature fits into the speculation that there is some sort of control exhibited by the ethereals over the rank and file tau, and that actually, regular tau wouldn't give two hoots about the greater good without the ethereal influence, as in "Xenology". A population that all believes the same thing because of chemical control sounds pretty distopian!

Xisor
19-03-2013, 16:42
The somewhat distopian nature fits into the speculation that there is some sort of control exhibited by the ethereals over the rank and file tau, and that actually, regular tau wouldn't give two hoots about the greater good without the ethereal influence, as in "Xenology". A population that all believes the same thing because of chemical control sounds pretty distopian!

True, to the extent that that is dystopian. It's not very effective or terrifying, though, compared to a dystopian world in which everyone does care for the madcap ideal and there isn't a big, conspiratorial bogeyman behind it all. Wouldn't that be... worse? ;)

---

Braden: Excellent; here's hoping it comes to light sometime soon, it'll be nice to see. Digital Mondays are quite handy in the synergistic release of stories!

The bearded one
20-03-2013, 09:29
Gee, negative reviews?
That actually just spurs me on to go buy and read it ;)

Liber
20-03-2013, 10:24
Saw this on the GW site, and decided to make sure I had no interest in the book by re-reading all the bits of Shadowsun fluff in the Tau 'dex.

Yup, no interest.

I mean its all bad...

'two students learn from a single teacher, but possess opposing aspects of their legendary Master's style, and are now destined to fight...eachother!'

DUN DUN DUN! (read above in that movie preview guys voice)


And then how she dramatically 'smashes' the farsight statue on some kind of television show...c'mon people. Its just saturday morning cartoon fodder, and sadly I'm not 12 anymore. Although in all honesty if the 10-15 year old age bracket was what GW had in mind with all this then they really nailed it. I am sure if I was 14 I would eat this with a spoon and then beg for more.


EDIT: holy crap!!! just noticed that the actual author of the damned book is toasting in the tread!! I am not gonna censor myself, but I do feel clarification is now in order so without further ado:

let me restate that I have not read the book. all comments are directed at the character herself and the fabric in which she exists. as an example, lets pretend I dislike Aquaman (pretty sure he is 'hated' as far as marvel super heroes go) because his powers/name/background/origin etc. are lame. I would have no interest in reading an Aquaman novel. If it had been years since I had read anything to do with him whatsoever I might (as in the case with Shadowsun) review source material (tau codex) just to make sure I would not have a change of heart and still find him uninspiring (as in the case with Shadowsun).

I don't hate Aquaman.

reds8n
20-03-2013, 11:20
A. Aquaman is pretty bloody awesome.
B. He's also a DC character not Marvel.
C. .. God I need to get out more ! :o

shadowhawk2008
20-03-2013, 11:57
Saw this on the GW site, and decided to make sure I had no interest in the book by re-reading all the bits of Shadowsun fluff in the Tau 'dex.

Yup, no interest.

I mean its all bad...

'two students learn from a single teacher, but possess opposing aspects of their legendary Master's style, and are now destined to fight...eachother!'

DUN DUN DUN! (read above in that movie preview guys voice)


And then how she dramatically 'smashes' the farsight statue on some kind of television show...c'mon people. Its just saturday morning cartoon fodder, and sadly I'm not 12 anymore. Although in all honesty if the 10-15 year old age bracket was what GW had in mind with all this then they really nailed it. I am sure if I was 14 I would eat this with a spoon and then beg for more.


EDIT: holy crap!!! just noticed that the actual author of the damned book is toasting in the tread!! I am not gonna censor myself, but I do feel clarification is now in order so without further ado:

let me restate that I have not read the book. all comments are directed at the character herself and the fabric in which she exists. as an example, lets pretend I dislike Aquaman (pretty sure he is 'hated' as far as marvel super heroes go) because his powers/name/background/origin etc. are lame. I would have no interest in reading an Aquaman novel. If it had been years since I had read anything to do with him whatsoever I might (as in the case with Shadowsun) review source material (tau codex) just to make sure I would not have a change of heart and still find him uninspiring (as in the case with Shadowsun).

I don't hate Aquaman.

All I got from this was,
- "author toasting in this tread"
- Aquaman has apparently completely switched companies and is now a Marvel character instead of a DC character. I wonder if Namor is now with DC then?
- Just because a character MIGHT be written "badly" in a tabletop game rulebook, that also means that no author can actually make that character appeal to the reader

It might actually shock you to know that the current Aquaman series by Geoff Johns is one of DC's bestselling titles at the moment, right up in the top tier just a little behind the Batman books. As someone who has read the entire 18 issue series so far, Geoff Johns has definitely gotten me interested in the character, someone I didn't really care about before.

But hey... way off-topic.

Braden Campbell
20-03-2013, 12:00
two students learn from a single teacher, but possess opposing aspects of their legendary Master's style, and are now destined to fight...eachother!'

DUN DUN DUN! (read above in that movie preview guys voice)


And then how she dramatically 'smashes' the farsight statue on some kind of television show....

Liber, I love and totally get the Aquaman example. As for the quote above, let me just tell you that none of that stuff comes up. In fact, the theme of the story is actually fairly adult in asking the question of which would you chose: career or family.

My hope is that some distant day from now, you'll both read and enjoy it.

The bearded one
20-03-2013, 12:56
A portion I was actually interested in, which if I recall correctly wasn't even mentioned in Shadowsun's entry in the Tau codex but in Aun'va's entry instead, was about Shadowsun's sisters.

Liber
21-03-2013, 12:40
It might actually shock you to know that the current Aquaman series by Geoff Johns is one of DC's bestselling titles at the moment

But hey... way off-topic.

C'mon, don't get so defensive I said I didn't hate Aquaman, and DC themselves called him a 'third tier' hero (in terms of popularity) or something.

Calling him a Marvel character was just a dumb mistake, in fact I recently read that big new Justice League book (The New 52!), which was pretty awesome.

@Braden Campbell - Thanks for the measured response, I might buy it just for that. A Tau choosing between family and duty, well...I already have an opinion on which decision should be made...but I'll just leave that there.

Anakwanar
21-03-2013, 14:38
Ok i will put it simply - Shadowsun: the Last of Kiru's Line - IS AN AWFUL BOOK ABOUT TERRIBLE CHARACTER FROM THE IDIOTIC JAPANESE TAU APES.

The bearded one
22-03-2013, 05:41
I'm not sure how I can take that opinion seriously in any shape, way or manner.

..particularly when I collect those 'idiotic japanese tau apes' :shifty:

magicallypuzzled
22-03-2013, 06:04
Ok i will put it simply - Shadowsun: the Last of Kiru's Line - IS AN AWFUL BOOK ABOUT TERRIBLE CHARACTER FROM THE IDIOTIC JAPANESE TAU APES.

dude you already gave your opinion having people disagree with it is in no way an invitation to repeat it.

that said I bought this book because it is tau and if I don't support it i'll never get another tau book though I really doubt i'll like it. no offense to the author but the character you were forced to write about has to be the worst tau character ever. add to that I really don't like what I am hearing about tau beating people physically (that just isn't my tau) and possible brain washing hints and I am almost certain i'll hate it already.

MiyamatoMusashi
22-03-2013, 20:29
Just read this. Quite enjoyed it, though it was far from flawless.

My overall impression was just that it seemed a little clumsy. There's a decent story here, one worth telling and which I appreciated; I've never really felt particularly favourably about any of the Tau special characters (despite being a massive fan of the army/faction), but this view of Shadowsun was an interesting and entertaining (if somewhat cliched) one. I'm sure it wasn't necessary for her to get naked though (much like Ulrika the Vampire does so often).

Shadowsun was appropriately ruthless for a military leader, I wouldn't necessarily expect her to be likeable. (Gotrek isn't likeable!) The insight into her doubts and family obligations had promise, but was occasionally crudely rendered and could probably have been more successfully explored in a longer story. I quite liked the glimpse into Tau organisation and culture, without devolving into too many silly made up words (though there were a few); OTOH, I didn't find the main human's motivations very interesting: believable, certainly, just a bit bland.

Although I felt the writing flowed nicely for the most part and was entirely readable, there were fairly frequent changes of POV character, sometimes several times within the space of a few paragraphs, and this was often quite jarring; that's my biggest criticism of the writing, I'm not sure how many other books the author has written but it seems like the kind of thing writers do when they start out. (The first POV character was a semi-sentient bear-moose, which took a few minutes of working out!) My biggest criticism of the book as a whole, though, is not the fault of the author - not so long ago Black Library would have put seven or eight stories this size into an anthology and sold it for £5.99 - instead they gave this a hardback and charged £12 for it, on its own. Very disappointing. Masque of Vyle was good, and this was OK, but for those two novellas (not even half the size of a novel between them) I've paid the price of three full-length novels (or four, at the price of a few years ago). I got MoV as it's part of Chambers' Dark Eldar series, and I got this as it's Tau, but I won't be bothering with any more unless they particularly excite me.

In summary, I'd rate this much more highly if it were part of an anthology. That is to say, as a story in its own right it's quite good fun, if a bit clumsy; but as a premium-priced "special" product, it's very disappointing. Tau fans like myself may enjoy it, but I can't honestly recommend it, given the price.

Anakwanar
23-03-2013, 14:52
3 biggest dissapoint of this year - Death of Antagonis, Fire Caste and Shadowsun. Still this book is better then Death of Antagonis, because nothing cant be worse then it

WarhammerBookNerd
23-03-2013, 18:25
Ok i will put it simply - Shadowsun: the Last of Kiru's Line - IS AN AWFUL BOOK ABOUT TERRIBLE CHARACTER FROM THE IDIOTIC JAPANESE TAU APES.


Thanks for your opinion Anakwanar, looks like we can go home now. Wrap it up folks.

kaimarion
31-03-2013, 22:41
Only just finished this book after a solid 6 hours of reading.

I found the book to be like a breath of fresh air, the story was quite different to those I had previously read from other BL author which I find highly fitting as the Tau are unlike any other race in the 40k universe.


Shadowsun is without a doubt in my top 3 favorite books.

eldargal
02-04-2013, 13:36
My vague dislike of Tau is warring with my desire to buy all Black Library books with a female protagonist. Also check out that completely non-sexualised cover.:) I also hate it when people call an unlikable female protagonist a 'b!tch' but all the curmudgeonly, obnoxious male characters seem to get a free pass to be utter bastards.

So now I'm buying it.

shadowhawk2008
02-04-2013, 14:11
As good a reason as any :-)

The bearded one
02-04-2013, 16:42
I finished reading it as well. I found it quite an entertaining read. I suppose I found certain portions a bit.. 'clumsily' maybe written, but at other times I found the story and writing really got into its own, particularly into the second half, page 70-80ish I think. I liked the manner in which family issues were explored from the tau perspective through the lens of duty to the race and greater good rather than purely emotional ones. While shadowsun may be agressive and authorative I wouldnt really label her a 'bitch'.


but all the curmudgeonly, obnoxious male characters seem to get a free pass to be utter bastards.

But that's just how men are, no? :p

ac4155
02-04-2013, 17:07
Started and finished it last night, really enjoyed the read. I agree that certain parts felt a bit 'clumsy', but on the whole it was still an enjoyable book. I would definitely love to see some more books like this from the Tau perspective, especially a full length novel rather than the smaller novellas.

Anakwanar
03-04-2013, 08:35
WE need a story - where someone from IG or SM kick the TAU asses ones and for all

SpaceTiger
03-04-2013, 12:10
True, to the extent that that is dystopian. It's not very effective or terrifying, though, compared to a dystopian world in which everyone does care for the madcap ideal and there isn't a big, conspiratorial bogeyman behind it all. Wouldn't that be... worse? ;)
Not really. It simply makes Tau fans more obnoxious :p. Its 40k, everyone has skeletons in their closets.