To further my Grey Knights knowledge, I’ve picked up True Name by David Annandale. This short story is set just after the Grey Knights battle with Ku’gath Plaguefather on Sanctus Reach. It follows Librarian Gared as the greater daemon assaults his mind and his ship. Unfortunately, at this point I haven’t read the story about their battle on Sanctus Reach so can’t comment on the lead up to True Name. However, as a standalone short story, this is an improvement over the other Grey Knight stories I’ve read (Incorruptible and Mortaion’s Heart).
I should admit that potentially, the reason why I enjoyed this more is that it includes chaos. While Mortarion’s Heart had the Death Guard, the focus was on Draigor and rather than making him feel like a terrifying enemy, the Primarch was reduced to the Supreme Grand Master’s plaything. In True Name, Ku’gath is an unknowable, extreme force. He assails Gared’s mind and body through the story and feels unbeatable.
One of the elements that made me want to collect Grey Knights in the first place was their daemon hunting and use of the warp. It’s nice to have eventually found a story that focuses on those two elements and shows the pitfalls of each. Gared isn’t an especially exciting character (at least not in this story), but he serves his purpose of battling against Ku’gath well enough. His resistance and conversations with the greater daemon is an exciting battle that you want to see continue.
The audio drama itself is well-acted and engaging. The voices all fit the characters and Ku’gath’s is especially good. True Name comes in at around 40 minutes but manages to make that short time count. There’s a sinister atmosphere throughout and the production helps sell the desperation of the fighting. And at the same time, True Name strikes an impressive balance between action and dialogue which is the downfall of many Warhammer titles.
Overall, while True Name is never going to enter a top ten list is a solid story with engaging characters. The audio drama’s production is high quality and it makes you want to know more about Garen, the battle on Sanctus Reach and the Grey Knights in general. All of which is exactly what you want from a short story.
Thanks for reading. If you haven’t done so already, check out another of my Grey Knight articles with Mortarion’s Heart. Alternatively, check out my review of the fantastic Warhammer 40,000 novel – Double Eagle.
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