So we return once again to Scars, with our story well under way. Much of the tale this time focuses on the aftermath of events from the previous episode, following through with the White Scars’ opening assault, the Space Wolves reactions to their loss and Yesugei’s reaction to being told of the Heresy.
While the story does build upon what was said before, it feels like a lull in the fighting before we move onto something more important. A sort of breather chapter despite the conflict involving the White Scars, allowing for character moments and the reintroduction of elements otherwise ignored until now. Unfortunately it feels exactly like a breather episode, getting necessary exposition and details out of the way before it can move onto something interesting. Yesugei’s reactions to the Heresy and introductions to the legionaries are more or less what you’d expect, as is the first mentioning of the lodges for the first time in several episodes.
The real high points of the book come either from the space battles or one of the quieter moments with Leman Russ which closes outthe episode. The former is one of the better contrasts of the book, showing how different the White Scars are in their approaches to battle than the Space Wolves and how effective an emphasis upon speed and co-ordination truly is in astral combat. Admittedly this is with a much smaller page count, but it does highlight significantly different doctrines. The latter point meanwhile is a surprisingly meaningful moment where Russ reflects upon the changing galaxy and speaks with Bjorn privately for a few pages. While he habitually seems to exaggerate chapter weaknesses in his works, Wraight definitely understands the Wolves well and that comes across here.