Black Library Book Review: Krieg (2022)

Krieg is Steve Lyons’ latest addition to the legend and myth of the infamous Death Korps of Krieg. Dispatched to a planet making up part of the Cordon Impenetra around the Octarius Sector, which is currently the arena hosting a snowballing, human initiated conflict between Hive Fleet Leviathan and the Ork Empire of Octarius. While this conflict rages ever hotter, strengthening both forces rather than weakening them, the Imperium has to fight ever harder to contain it. When an Ork space hulk crashes onto a cordon planet and it’s inhabitants rapidly over run a hive city and it’s defenders a meat-grinder siege must be carried out against superior numbers and impossible odds. A task that will require soldiers to willingly lay down their lives calls for one of the most notorious, disturbing and dedicated forces at the God-Emperor’s command – the Death Korps of Krieg.

While the Korpsmen persecute their mission in a race against time in the Octarius Sector we also jump back a millennia and a half ago to learn about the civil war for Krieg – it’s leaders betrayal and the loyalists determination to return the planet to the Imperium’s fold no matter what it may cost. How far will Kriegsmen go to achieve their missions, and is history doomed to repeat itself?

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Steve Lyons has done a fantastic job with this novel, it’s one of my favourite reads. Capturing the bleak stoicism of the Krieg’s devotion to the Empire, their unshaking loyalty and unbending willingness to give whatever it takes to fulfil their orders. The pacing of the writing is great, drawing you forwards chapter by chapter in a real page turning adventure. I particularly like that we get to see the evolution of the Krieg people – from regular, prosperous citizens of the Empire of Man to fanatically devoted soldiers repaying the Emperor for their ancestor betrayal. We see the original commander of the Krieg forces, the loyalist Colonel Jurten battle with impossible choices when he’s forced into civil war against his own people and extreme sacrifices must be made. We also see the Death Korps of Krieg interacting with other Imperium forces – from Cadian Shock Troops to Commissars and Witch Hunters. Each provides an unique perspective on where the Krieg stand among the forces of the Empire, but maintain the veil of mystery that surround this implacable force of men – we get a peak behind the gasmask, without removing it entirely.

A compelling read for anyone who finds the Death Korps fascinating, and tying in nicely with the Killteam Octarius release, we can’t recommend this book highly enough.

We rate Krieg:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Let us know what you thought of the book down in the comments!

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