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Space Wolf, by William King
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Games Workshop
Published: 2000
Review Posted: 10/8/2008
Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: 7 out of 10

Space Wolf, by William King

Book Review by Kevin Lumley

Have you read this book?

Let me say right away that I've never (until now) read a Warhammer 40,000 book in my life. In fact I was barely aware of what Warhammer 40K actually was.

I read some good reviews of The Space Wolf by William King on Amazon recently. So I thought I'd dip a toe in the Warhammer World and see what was going on. I mean they do publish a lot of sci-fi/fantasy books after all.

As a stand alone action/adventure/horror science fiction novel The Space Wolf is really rather good. It follows the story of Ragnar, a Norseman type character who, along with some of his companions, is offered the chance to be reborn as one of a group of elite Space Marines and to fight on humanity's side against the armies of Chaos.

The first half of the story is about Ragnar's life in the village of his birth, closely followed by a terrible event that see's him as the last member of his clan. Offered the chance at a new life as a Space Wolf, Ragnar soon becomes aware that there's an entire universe he little suspected existed and also realizes that a centuries long war has been raging between humans and the Chaos Armies. Filled with relentless scenes of fighting and epic battles this is definitely a book for lovers of fast paced action. Mutants and monsters are everywhere. Either companions of Ragnar who turn into them, or other humans who have surrendered to the dark side of the Chaos armies.

But this isn't just a hack and slash story. William King has managed to describe Ragnar's journey from ignorant Norse villager to augmented armoured warrior in an entertaining manner. What Ragnar at first perceives as 'magic' later comes to be recognized as an advanced technology that he can utilize for his own good. The magic flying ship becomes simply a Thunderhawk war plane. A sorcerous ornament becomes a firearm. The reader is taken along on Ragnar's journey of discovery, at every step on the path to his new life as a Space Wolf marine.

The Space Wolf is book one in a series by William King. In fact you can get three novels in one called the "Space Wolf Omnibus."

Now I've done some research into the Warhammer 40K world since I started reading Space Wolf and the general opinion seems to be that there are some really great sci-fi action/adventure novels amongst the Warhammer 40K library...and some real duds also.

Potential readers of any Warhammer 40K novel need to read the reviews that others have already written to gauge the content of a Warhammer 40K novel they may be interested in reading. Just about every review of Space Wolf I read said the same thing: It would be a good sci-fi action/adventure novel even if it was set outside the Warhammer 40K universe.

A good book is a good book...don't let the fact that it's been published under the Warhammer 40K banner put you off it, if you like a good, strong character and plenty of edge of the seat action and thrills. William King writes in an easy to read manner that kept me interested from start to finish.
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