Exalting war and art in harmony, the warrior-artisans of the Angels Resplendent have forged a radiant haven amidst a blighted galaxy. But an ancient sin stains their honour – a wound in their world that will never heal. Ignorant souls would call it a forest, but those who watch over it know better.
Nothing natural grows in the Reverie’s snow-swept glades or wanders amongst the unnatural things that do, save for the intruders who trespass on its pain. Some seek revelation or redemption, others dream of winning a place amongst the Resplendent, but all come because they must.
Three travellers are drawn into the conspiracy that wards the wound – a knight haunted by his lost humanity, an aging poet who refuses to go gently into the night and a scholar who yearns to redeem mankind. All must face their shadows in the Reverie, but only one shall gaze upon its heart, where a deeper darkness beats.
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It’s not something I usually read but I actually enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. I was hooked from the very first page and I kept reading even though it was past my bedtime but it was worth it. I do recommend.
ARC provided by the publisher—via NetGalley—in exchange for an honest review. Fehervari has woven a unique tale that was deep and dark, yet somehow whimsical and magical simultaneously. Even now, I can't quite wrap my head around what I've just read. You are left intrigued throughout the story, as nuggets of information are given that somehow leave you even more curious, with even more more questions. The author's way of referring to the characters as 'the boy' or 'the traveller' added to the ongoing sense of mystery - which I personally loved. Fehervari is an amazing writer and constructs beautiful prose throughout the book. His writing is smooth and his descriptions are wonderful. I only very rarely felt that there was too much thesaurus use. He's genuinely a talented writer and I loved it. I don't understand why his works aren't more well known - but it may be because he writes niche genre combinations. Here are some of my (non-spoiler) favourite quotes: A true visionary never walks precisely the same path twice, for the agile mind refines itself with each experience, hence shaping all those that follow. Artistry lies in the soul, not the hand, he was told wherever he went. And dreams are the highest currency. When is the quill mightier than the sword?’ demanded the one on the right. ‘When it pierces the soul.’ However, whilst there's lovely descriptive wordings, there's also too much talking and thinking and not enough action - too much philosophy with movement as an afterthought. The thinking is deep and beautiful, but too heavy to read in one sitting - which is why this book took me longer to read. I don't regret it but I do think this is a fault in the book. At some points these philosophical ramblings became draining and the author was so mystical and in-depth in describing concepts that I couldn't make sense of what was going on in the actual story. Overall, this was a good read and Peter Fehervari is a great find for me simply because of his writing style alone.
One of the better Warhammer novels I have read. This was a mature, intricately structured and plotted amazefest. It's really pretty remarkable how all these different authors writing all these different Black Library novels continue to keep things fresh and seemingly new while also retaining that Warhammer feel. And the imaginations on some of 'em. I'm totally loving the things they come up with and the overall ability to describe them and make them clear in my head. This is the first anything I have read by Peter Fehervari and he keeps the tradition going with The Reverie. The Reverie has many different things going for it besides being just straight up fun and entertaining. The characters are interesting and detailed and while it seems like there are a hundred different story lines floating around and there's a time travel/warp travel component going on underneath to complicate things, it all comes together in a satisfying and exciting way. This is one of the releases under Warhammer Horror and yes there is that but since it is a Warhammer novel you also get science fiction, fantasy, drama, thrills, chills, and the kitchen sink. I love these novels, each one, for their own originality and entertainment value, but also with each one the universe gets a little more fleshed out and defined, it's really nothing short of staggering in its complexity. I want to thank Black Library, Netgalley, and Peter Fehervari for the copy to review but that in no way impacted my opinion or review.
Peter Fehervari’s fourth Black Library novel, and his first under the Warhammer Horror label, The Reverie is his most assured book yet, an understated masterclass in balancing complexity and readability. Three travellers make their way to shining Malpertuis, homeworld of the glorious Angels Resplendent, in search of answers, inspiration, judgement or clarity. Amongst the tiered galleries of the capital, Kanvolis, they begin to understand the truth of the world – that behind the veneer of enlightenment and artistic sophistication, an insidious darkness lurks within Malpertuis and the Chapter of Space Marines who call it home. Each of the three has a part to play as the boundaries between past, present and future blur and a shadow leaks from a wound at the heart of the world. This wound – the ‘Reverie’ of the title – is on the face of things a sinister, snow-shrouded forest within which time is malleable and little natural lives. Beyond its physical limits, however, it’s as much a testing ground for aspirants’ (and other travellers’) souls as their minds and bodies, and provides a metaphysical connection between all three main protagonists. Its presence is bound into the identity of the Resplendent and its influence runs deep, from scholarly traveller Tarsem’s perilous journey beneath its shadowed canopy to Knight Exemplar Varzival Czervantes’ stirred-up memories of his trials within its bounds, and although poet and muse Marisol only knows of it from rumour and hearsay, it plays its part in her journey nonetheless. The three travellers each have their own unique path to walk on Malpertuis, between them gradually revealing some of the secrets concealed within this unusual world, its posthuman protectors, and the rising swell of darkness that threatens them all. It’s hard to say much more about the plot itself without giving spoilers, as this is every bit as secretive and tightly plotted a story as you’d expect from Fehervari. Czervantes, Marisol and Tarsem provide the core of the story, but they’re far from the only POV characters, and it takes all of their unique viewpoints to gradually unveil the truth of what’s really happening on Malpertuis. While the overall narrative is arguably more straightforward than Fehervari’s previous novels, the main character arcs take some unexpected paths, and woven into the plot is an in-depth exploration of the Angels Resplendent providing fascinating details of this most mysterious of Chapters. It’s easily one of the most thorough examinations of a Chapter ever seen in a Black Library story, effortlessly expanding upon their organisation, methodologies, attitudes and philosophy without ever feeling forced, offering tantalising glimpses of their shadowed history and – for those familiar with Fehervari’s wider work – sombre foreshadowing of their inevitable fall. Fehevari’s writing has always been horror-inflected at the very least, but The Reverie takes full advantage of the freedoms provided by the Warhammer Horror range to dig deep into everything that makes his style so compelling. It’s a character-driven tale full of typically vivid imagery and a creeping sense of dread and discomfort, where nothing is quite what it seems, where obsessions come to the fore and where ideas and intent are more important than strength or pretty words. This is low-key horror, heavy in intense dialogue, ambiguous visions and dream sequences, and relatively light in pulse-racing, visceral action (although there’s a bit of that, still). It’s the sort of story that leaves you uncomfortable rather than outright scared, and while it reveals all manner of truths about the Angels Resplendent it leaves just as many questions teasingly unanswered, inviting readers to draw their own conclusions and search through Fehervari’s other stories for clues. Even for Fehervari stories The Reverie is notable for being more about the journey than the destination – it’s a horror story, a Space Marines story, a Dark Coil story, but all those elements combine to form something understated and unconventional, a tale which subverts expectations and greatly rewards multiple readings to peel away all the layers of details. Keep an eye out for musical motifs, for carefully constructed symbolism, for themes of duality (so much of what’s glorious and noble on Malpertuis hides something dark and sinister beneath the surface, and every rise leads to a fall), of tests and judgement, of inevitable change and of maddening but intriguing contradictions. Existing fans will find much to enjoy of course, but it’s sufficiently self-contained that it would make a great entry point to Fehervari’s intense style of writing, and his complex and thought-provoking view of 40k. All told it’s another dense, stimulating, mind-expanding link in Fehervari’s Dark Coil, original and unorthodox and proof that in the right hands Space Marines and horror can combine to great effect. This is probably the most successful Warhammer Horror novel yet, managing to encapsulate so much of what makes 40k darkly compelling while at the same time feeling like a horror story first and a Warhammer story second. Read it carefully, read it twice, read it as a wonderful, unconventional story in its own right and as a springboard to explore more of the Dark Coil or – if you’re already an experienced Coil Traveller – to revisit earlier stories in a new light.
The Reverie is my first dip into the Warhammer Horror series of novels; a set-apart series from the usual offering from Black Library that has piqued my curiosity since getting my first newsletter from the publishers when announced Invocations. I am fresh of the press with reading The Reverie and I am not quite sure what to make of it, it’s left me reeling and I am rather enjoying the feeling! It’s refreshing to have a book that challenges me as a reader. Part way through reading The Reverie I threw the Warhammer 40K knowledge I had out the window and found myself enjoying the book for what it was, rather than for what I thought I knew! The Space Marine Chapter that The Reverie focus’ on are the Angels Resplendent. A successor chapter of the more well-known Blood Angels, that blend art and war in equal measure. As someone decently well-versed in Warhammer 40K, this Chapter is completely different to the usual offerings when it comes to Space Marines. From their core beliefs to the way their Chapter is organised; their difference makes them the perfect candidates for a Warhammer Horror novel. The plot for The Reverie is intricately woven and complicated. Usually, Warhammer 40K novels are joyous, entertainment. The Reverie goes beyond surface level into a deeper thought process. It’s a complex read and at times felt a bit heavy-going, but the complexities are worth investigating and the philosophical elements help the reader to delve deeper into the intricacies of the Angels Resplendent and their unconventional ways. Throughout The Reverie are references to music, adding to the perfect blend of art and war that the Angels Resplendent adhere too. The Reverie starts off in a classical horror way, with a feeling right out of the classic fairy-tales. A boy and the remainder of his village are being hunted by… something. However, The Reverie doesn’t remain in this genre of horror beyond the first ‘movement’ (act). Turning towards a more gothic-horror aesthetic throughout the book and embracing elements of psychological, existential and body horror. As one would expect from a Horror novel, the characters are complex and often mysterious. The Reverie isn’t your run-of-the-mill action fest that Warhammer Novels often are and it holds a complexity that I am still trying to digest. The language used to refer to central characters ‘The Traveller,’ ‘the boy,’ helps to add to their over-arching mystery. The main focus is through the eyes of newly appointed Knight Examplar (Company Captain) Varzival Czervantes and his artistic Muse (Human poet and spiritual companion) Marisol. These characters are unconventional in their own ways and are presented are outsiders in their own roles. Czervantes isn’t accepted by his Battle-Brothers as the Captain of his company, Marisol an outsider among her own peers. They are interesting and engaging characters that offer valuable insight into the problems they discover upon arrival to Malpertuis, the Angels Resplendents home-world. Through them, we are shown that the capital city, Kanvolis, isn’t the artistic, utopia that they believe it to be but somewhere besieged by something much more sinister; the titular Reverie. Also among the pivotal characters are Tarsem, a mortal who has travelled to Malpertuis to seek audience with the Angels Resplendent. What I found particularly striking about these central characters is they all have their fair share of troubles. None of them are free from lingering doubts for their actions, it makes their flaws believable and their personalities are enhanced by them. Peter Fehervari has been given a near blank slate with the Angels Resplendent, who have appeared mainly in rule books as a colour-scheme, and given them a life and purpose of their own. I found their deviation from the standard mould of Space Marines as captivating as the horrors they uncover in their home-world and their approachs to dealing with them. To add a further complexity to the already intricately woven plot there is an element of time-travel that requires the reader to put a bit more thought into their engagement with The Reverie. While the book is most certainly complex in it’s undertaking there is also an ease to it. The writing style flows through broken narrative with an effortlessness that helps the reader understand what’s happening; it doesn’t leave you in the dark. For the standard Warhammer 40K reader, The Reverie, might not tick the usual boxes. It’s low on action, the brief scenes of combat are unarguably well crafted, and higher on elements of fantasy and drama. I have mentioned in reviews of other Black Library publications that I am a great fan of when philosophy enters the narrative and The Reverie has tough debates of the spirit and soul at it’s very core, maybe this is why the book resonated with me so highly, that and the grizzly descriptions of the more depraved scenes one would typically expect from a horror novel were delightfully disgusting in their own right. This was my first encounter with Peter Fehervari as an author and I am hoping it won’t be my last as he is clearly, very talented.
This was very different from the usual Warhammer 40.000 novel. I knew this was part of the Black Library's horror series - a series that should differ in tone from the usual novels, focusing not exclusively on action but horror. Which is interesting as both Warhammer settingss, I think, are good settings for horror novels of any kind. But I think it is important to note that this book's Space Marine Chapter is very different from those we get to see normally in the universe. So be prepared. The prose in this book is very beautiful and it matches the tone of the novel very good. The story feels a lot heavier than the more action movie like Warhammer novels I am used to. This difference is also reflected in the Space Marine Chapter this book focuses on - they are called the Angels Respelendet and are a chapter of the Blood Angels, focusing on Art and War. I think this is very interesting and the author's prose ties in with this very well. The characters in this novel are also very engaging. They, again, are different from the usual Warhammer 40.000 main characters but they work rather well with this different approach to a novel set in this grimdark world. And the horror the characters experience is exquisite - be it classic horror, Gothic horror or the elements of psychological horror. I really liked it and would highly recommend it.
The Reverie By: Peter Fehervari Three travelers, a poet, a scholar, and a knight are drawn to a conspiracy involving disgraced honor. The real horrors are fully brought to light in this Warhammer novel. I am familiar with Warhammer because my husband plays the tabletop games and reads the books following the lore. Thanks to this, I already felt at home with this Warhammer story. Such a great read; I give it 5/5 stars for sure. I recommend this book for any horror genre fans and/or any fans of the Warhammer universe. You can’t miss out on this book, especially if you are a Warhammer fan already. This author has a few other books I have heard great things about, and I can’t wait to read more of his works! Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.