I thought I'd provide a quick summary of this novel for those of you with a gap in their reading schedule.
Obediah Roth is an Inquisitor currently deployed in the Bastion Sector of the Eastern Fringe. He is sent to investigate the existence of a mythical artifact believed to be in the Medina Corridor, a tactical and strategically insignificant region of the sector. This sector is suddenly assaulted by a massive Chaos force and the defenders of each planet are swept aside by numerically superior enemy. Caught up in the maelstrom Roth and his small band are assaulted by enemies both within and without.
Not perhaps the Inquisitorial novel I've come to expect from Eisenhorn and Ravenor but more a Guard novel with battles on an epic scale as seen in some of the Gaunt's Ghosts novels.
Criticisms - Roth sustains a significant amount of injury throughout the novel and whilst the hero is expected to continue where lesser men would be laid low you will have to assume that he is afforded a number high speed healing systems to be returned to the fight. That or the time frame is extended. Neither of them are clarified for the reader. A bit more depth to the characters, whilst not terrible we have been spoilt by Abnett, McNeil and some others recently.
Highlights. The Ironclad Chaos raiders, along with the Blood Pact and the Sons of Sekt are very evocative of what I imagine a chaos follower to encompass and it has become a possible army project ;o). The actions sequences are superb, visceral and brutal and rank with the best of the Black Library authors for stirring the imagination. Technology, is also added to in sympathy to the established 40k-verse.
The author is, or was, a member of the Australian Army and as such adds some 'pseudo-detail' to the military content of the novel albeit an assumed military culture of the 40k multiverse. This gives the overall feel of Emperor's Mercy some real grit and grime behind it
Should you read it?
HELL YEAH! 4.5 out of 5