Commissar Ciaphas Cain asks to be transferred to a regiment - any regiment. Cain thought he would be safer with all the people he could pull rank on and put them between himself and the ammo. Needless-to-say, Cain thought wrong. The reluctant hero is sent to a Valhallan regiment. Problems occur from the instant he sets foot on the hangar bay of the Righteous Wrath.
Two Valhallan regiments have been consolidated from the survivors of 301st and 296th. One is a female regiment, one is a male regiment, and each believe themselves better than the other. Cain has his hands full keeping them from each other's throats and eventually welding them into a single cooperating regiment (597th Valhallan). This is barely accomplished before they are sent to help maintain order on an outpost world on the borders of Tau space. But when the alien ambassador is murdered and the situation quickly spirals out of control, Cain and his new regiment find themselves in the middle of a war.
***** This is the first of a series reporting the archived memories of Commissar Cain. Each is told as written by Cain, after his retirement. It also describes the first time Cain meets Amberley Vail, an agent of the Ordo Xenos, and the Valhallan regiment he spends most of his career with. Vail is the one putting Cain's archives together for her fellow inquisitors to read if they so wish. She has annotated several sections to fill in Cain's gaps.
As the reader, I found many of these footnotes interesting, as they made Cain's campaign seem more realistic; however, some of these footnotes are pointless. This novel covers the Gravalax campaign and will be referred to often in the upcoming books of the series. All-in-all, I believe this novel to have succeeded in creating a solid foundation for the Cain series to build upon. *****
Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.