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The Shapers of Scars

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A Warhammer 40,000 story Death awaits Katla Helvintr – but the thread of a Fenrisian jarl is not easily cut, and as Katla dreams, life may yet find a way. READ IT BECAUSE Take ship beneath the stormy skies of Fenris with a tale of a warrior-queen from the frozen death world who is every bit as stubborn as the Space Wolves. THE STORY Beneath the slate-grey skies of Fenris, a mig A Warhammer 40,000 story Death awaits Katla Helvintr – but the thread of a Fenrisian jarl is not easily cut, and as Katla dreams, life may yet find a way. READ IT BECAUSE Take ship beneath the stormy skies of Fenris with a tale of a warrior-queen from the frozen death world who is every bit as stubborn as the Space Wolves. THE STORY Beneath the slate-grey skies of Fenris, a mighty jarl lies dying. She is a huntress queen, who has guided her people for many years, and the time for her thread to be cut is near. As those closest to her prepare for her passing, Katla Helvintr dreams. In her mind, she faces once more the great wyrm that laid her low, and if she loses this battle, her time is done. But Katla Helvintr is powerful, and has a wyrd upon her, and her end may not yet have come…


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A Warhammer 40,000 story Death awaits Katla Helvintr – but the thread of a Fenrisian jarl is not easily cut, and as Katla dreams, life may yet find a way. READ IT BECAUSE Take ship beneath the stormy skies of Fenris with a tale of a warrior-queen from the frozen death world who is every bit as stubborn as the Space Wolves. THE STORY Beneath the slate-grey skies of Fenris, a mig A Warhammer 40,000 story Death awaits Katla Helvintr – but the thread of a Fenrisian jarl is not easily cut, and as Katla dreams, life may yet find a way. READ IT BECAUSE Take ship beneath the stormy skies of Fenris with a tale of a warrior-queen from the frozen death world who is every bit as stubborn as the Space Wolves. THE STORY Beneath the slate-grey skies of Fenris, a mighty jarl lies dying. She is a huntress queen, who has guided her people for many years, and the time for her thread to be cut is near. As those closest to her prepare for her passing, Katla Helvintr dreams. In her mind, she faces once more the great wyrm that laid her low, and if she loses this battle, her time is done. But Katla Helvintr is powerful, and has a wyrd upon her, and her end may not yet have come…

32 review for The Shapers of Scars

  1. 5 out of 5

    Gianfranco Mancini

    ‘Fire!’ she roars. The guns cut across the void with light and a fury that echoes her own as the blackness is streaked by sudden flame. Red against the darkness. For a moment they can see every detail of the creature – its ice-rimed hide and questing tendrils. Maws glimmering wetly, edged with razor teeth. Detonations blossom from its skin as it forges on, plunging, diving, jaws yawning in the eternal silence of the night. The first boarding spores are already racing towards the ship, behind the ‘Fire!’ she roars. The guns cut across the void with light and a fury that echoes her own as the blackness is streaked by sudden flame. Red against the darkness. For a moment they can see every detail of the creature – its ice-rimed hide and questing tendrils. Maws glimmering wetly, edged with razor teeth. Detonations blossom from its skin as it forges on, plunging, diving, jaws yawning in the eternal silence of the night. The first boarding spores are already racing towards the ship, behind the questing nest of feeder tendrils. The thing has the audacity to think itself a predator. But beneath the eye of the Wyrmslayer Queen it can be nothing more than prey. An excellent and original short tale starring Katja Helvintr, Fenrisian Rogue Trader queen and jarl of the spaceship Wyrmslayer Queen, hunting her most favourite one prey: Tyranids. Probably I'm just too much a fan of the Vikings tv series, but in the end I was reading Katja's quotes with Katheryn Winnick's voice in my mind. A really entertaining quick read, and I really hope to see a full-lenght novel about this character sooner or later.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mark Anthony

    So the first thing which struck me is the how Marc brought something new to Warhammer 40,000 when he created the character of Katla Helvintr - a Rogue Trader and a Fenrisian. The vast majority of stories dealing with Fenrisians have to do with the Space Wolves yet Marc here did not simply cast a Space Wolf in the guise of a Rogue Trader but created a distinct and spirited character. Whilst she has cultural ties with the Space Wolves she is a character in her own right and not an inferior copy, r So the first thing which struck me is the how Marc brought something new to Warhammer 40,000 when he created the character of Katla Helvintr - a Rogue Trader and a Fenrisian. The vast majority of stories dealing with Fenrisians have to do with the Space Wolves yet Marc here did not simply cast a Space Wolf in the guise of a Rogue Trader but created a distinct and spirited character. Whilst she has cultural ties with the Space Wolves she is a character in her own right and not an inferior copy, rather she is like the heroes from Irish mythology and Icelandic sagas. This story is about the forging of Katla Helvintr as we would later come to know her, judging from references to other rogue trader clans. One of Marc’s key strengths as a writer is how he creates round characters which are more than simply a collection of words conjuring up a character, rather they are to the reader like living beings. Their voices are their own, they are not puppets pulled by strings with each character speaking in their distinct voice. Bodil is another character which stands out. The gothi is spirited in a different way from Katla, she has this wry humour but is apart from the rest due to her calling, like a black and white figure in a colour photograph. She’s a shaman amongst doctors and nurses, the medicae being a place of science. Yet here we have the gothi ministering to Katla’s soul, strengthening her thread from being cut, whilst the medical crew tend to her wounds. The environment is also a character in its own right, in this case the ship Wyrmslayer Queen. The ship echoes the Jarl commanding it, echoes the culture which made it. It is an aspect of Fenris cast into the void, like the longships of the Vikings who sailed across the Atlantic. It is a ferocious ship yet not a berserk, daring and daunting but not impetuous, a sign of what Katla will become. It is a wolf in space, with guns as its teeth and the void-harpoons as its claws. The use of the harpoons speaks of a daring which to others would seem brash but is in fact a calculated effort, the tense coil of the spring before the leap. The action is cinematic. There is no overuse of details nor is it sparing. You can feel like you’re there, feeling your blood pumping, feel the horror of the alien Tyranids. The scene where Katla faces the Carnifex echoes the scene where Thor faces the Midgard Serpent in Ragnarok. Whilst the Norse God kills Jormungandr he dies from the poison whereas Katla almost dies but emerges changed forever, undergoing a rebirth where she is reforged into this tempered warrior. Another of Marc’s strengths as a writer is the excellent use of dialogue. It is not dry, it is as if real people are speaking and each speaks in a distinct manner from each other. I love the attention to detail, down to the naming of weapons and the use of foreign words which highlight Fenrisian culture and its Norse influences. The use of “Örlender” to mean “alien” is a nice touch which makes the Tyranids seem even more alien, a more mythological breed of nightmarish monster which has come from beyond the galaxy, away from the circle of firelight. Katla’s spear – Fimbulgeir – is a compound name meaning “Mighty spear”. It echoes the Viking name for Constantinople “Miklagard” which meant “Big city” and more importantly it echoes the terrible winter preceding Ragnarok – the Fimbulwinter. Much like the Wyrmslayer Queen is a character in its own right so is the spear, a shard of winter from a very hostile planet cast in defiance against the alien. As an author Marc grows from strength to strength. In my opinion this is his best work yet and I’m very much looking forward to his future work.

  3. 5 out of 5

    AA_Logan

    Is Fenrisian culture why the Space Wolves are so popular? This story suggests it might be. The protagonists of this story are from there, and share many aspects of their culture with the Aett but even in the confines of this short story are markedly different. Collins once again writes combat in claustrophobic and compelling fashion but marries it with a spiritual exploration of the 40k universe- no mean feat at all. Yet another great story that has me eager for longer works from this author.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Chris Dennison

    Collins best work yet! Another fine short story from the author. Collins goes from strength to strength and this is probably his best work yet. This bodes well for the future and I can only hope to see a return of Rouge trader Katya Helvinter.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Paul Sparks

  6. 4 out of 5

    Katalili

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

  8. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Alvis

  9. 5 out of 5

    NephriteON

  10. 5 out of 5

    Chris Quinn

  11. 4 out of 5

    Alina Zabiyaka

  12. 5 out of 5

    Robert

  13. 4 out of 5

    Paul

  14. 4 out of 5

    William

  15. 5 out of 5

    Adam Colclough

  16. 4 out of 5

    John Morton

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jakub Sládek

  18. 5 out of 5

    David

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lee Rawnsley

  21. 5 out of 5

    Seth

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Parkinson

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Strugnell

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sam

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lewis

  26. 4 out of 5

    Warsmith Scotty

  27. 4 out of 5

    Gregory Warwick

  28. 5 out of 5

    Voodooenglishman

  29. 5 out of 5

    sheri browne

  30. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Madden

  31. 5 out of 5

    Sud666

  32. 4 out of 5

    Andy Bowen

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