Title: The Test of Faith
Author: Thomas Parrott
Published by: Black Library
Publication date: Dec 22nd, 2019
Genre: Science Fiction
Source: Black Library
A mission to cleanse a xenos infestation from a vast mining carrier turns into a test of faith and purity for a pair of Dark Angels Chaplains.
The Test of Faith is a short story by Thomas Parrott, published by Black Library featuring the Dark Angels chapter.
At first glance The Test of Faith seems to have a rather basic plot, a squad of Adeptus Astartes are sent to cleanse mortal, heretic, defenders of a mobile mining vehicle led by Interrogator Chaplain Raguel and second-generation Chaplain Hadariel. We’re given a solid cast of characters to read about who have enough personality of their own to stand out from one another which is rather remarkable for such a short book. We’re also given a tasteful flavour of the Dark Angels chapter and I admit, after reading The Test of Faith I am going to try and source more books about the Dark Angels in order to learn a bit more about the chapter and its secretive ways – as Descent of Angels didn’t really give much enlightenment to the Dark Angels chapter as they are in current history.
The bulk of the book is well written and fast paced action and it was quite honestly a pleasure to read about a small squad of Space Marines led by not one, but two Chaplains (Of which I have a personal weakness for anyway.) The action scenes are well written and clear in their intent, the imagery was well interpreted and left me with a good impression of what was happening. It was nice to read action that wasn’t confusing. Description of the surroundings was deep enough to complete the picture.
As Black Library advances more and more in the narrative of Warhammer 40k’s current events the interplay between first and second generation Space Marines becomes more and more prevalent. This is just so in The Test of Faith and the relationship between the two different generations of Chaplain is intriguing – professional and hopeful. And as the plot progresses and the reveals of the short-story are approached, Interrogator Chaplain Raguel’s true motives are revealed, melding the two generations potential futures together – it’s fascinating and left me thirsting to know more about the Dark Angels and the future with the Primaris Generation.
Of course, there is more under the surface than just a simple murderous romp of some xenos scum as the first few pages might have the reader believe. The Dark Angels are notoriously secretive even in the ranks of their own Chapters and this mission holds keys to some of these secrets. The interplay of the twin plots is well executed and I can only hope that Thomas Parrott gets to write more about the Dark Angels and for Black LIbrary again in the future as I heartily enjoyed The Test of Faith.