Review: Wrath of Iron by Chris Wraight

Wrath of Iron is a Warhammer 40,000 Space Marine Battles novel, which says quite enough of its contents. It’s fighting, lasguns, Titans, traitors, daemons… Everything that’s 40k.


I’ve read Warhammer 40k novels before but this was my first Iron Hands story. I knew this Chapter by name but that was pretty much it, so it was interesting to get a sense for them.

Wrath of Iron follows the battle of Shardenus, which has fallen to traitors and now must be purged by the Emperor’s Angels of Death. Iron Hands clan Raukaan leads the assault alongside Imperial Guard forces and the Titans. Traitor forces have taken hold of the planet but something far more sinister is waiting for them at the top of the Capitolis spire. They just need to find out what it is and how to get there fast enough.

Iron Hands aspire to become more machine, less human – or all machine, none human. They are only focused on doing the Emperor’s work, purging heretics and finishing their task. For the humans working alongside them, this isn’t good news. We get to follow Iron Hands, Imperial soldiers, Librarians… A big bunch of people. At times there may be too much people and factions to follow, so some of their parts don’t get that much focus.

The plot of the book is the battle, as I already said. The book is divided into three parts: Planetfall,Underworld, and The Machine-Spirit. From initial planetfall to the very end, the story marches us through the planet, only allowing momentary breaks for strategy and arguments. Considering how it was three hundred pages of warfare, it was nice Wraight managed to write it in an engaging way that didn’t start repeating itself halfway through.

I enjoyed Wrath of Iron and it was nice to read some Warhammer after a long-ish break. The Iron Hands may not be my favorite Chapter and I might not all that much about them, but from what I could tell, this book did their Chapter ideology justice. Not always a pretty kind of justice, but an interesting all the same.



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