Reviewed by Steve Dean
Inquisitor (think fanatic space police) Bronislaw Czevak was locked away in the eldar black library, a repository for every arcane book in all the realities of the galaxy. While he is held captive, the inquisitor reads all sorts of stuff, and thanks to a virus that makes him need to learn, he soon picks up a load of dangerous knowledge. He eventually escapes, and takes with him the Atlas Infernal, a sort of sat-nav of the eldar Webway, portals spread across time and space.
He is pursued by a Harlequin death squad, some very irate librarians and a rival inquisitor who thinks he’s turned to the dark side. On top of all this, Ahriman, sorcerer of the Thousand Sons space marines, wants Czevak to reveal the whereabouts of the black library, so he can read it and become a god. With some of his friends, and use of a space ship, the inquisitor uses the atlas to stay one step ahead of his pursuers, whilst simultaneously investigating a plot by said Ahriman to bind a very powerful demon.
This is one of the black library’s (the office in Nottingham, not the eldar one, which is entirely imaginary, I think.) best books of the year. The characters are all believable, the plotting is full of action, inventive and original. The set pieces work well, and never is it predictable or clichÃ©d. A definite winner for me.