Requiem Infernal is a dark, complex and tension-filled story by Peter Fehevari. As a book set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, I usually have certain expectations, but I had been told that this one was a bit different – and so it turned out to be! I like Warhammer 40,000 novels – obviously, I read a lot of them and I find them highly entertaining – but this was, in my opinion, a step up from a lot of what is published under this IP.
Ostensibly, this is a story about Sister Asenath Hyade and the Adepta Sororitas (various orders of female nuns; some are warriors, some healers, some scribes, etc). She is returning to her homeworld, and home of the Order of the Last Candle where she began her journey as a member of the Adepta Sororitas, as the escort of the surviving members of a decimated Imperial Guard regiment. It is hoped that the famed healers of the Order will be able to save them, however this task of mercy is not her only mission; she has also been tasked to uncover any traces of heresy and corruption within her old Older. This task takes her down a path that tests her faith and shakes her sense of self to its core as she unravels secrets that expose her to some of the most insidious forces in the galaxy and leads her to confront the truths of her past and soul.
However, this focus on Sister Asenath Hyade and the Adepta Sororitas doesn’t truly do justice to the range of characters we meet here. Each of these carries their own secrets and plays a pivotal role in the drama that unfolds throughout Requiem Infernal. Each brings their own distinct voices (or voices) to this story and I genuinely enjoyed every single POV here. A special mention here goes to Jonah Tythe, who I feel plays as central a part to this story as Sister Asenath Hyade.
Alongside great characters, I loved the tension and very human, emotional drama that sits at the heart of this book. This is a story that fully embraces and takes advantage of the horror potential of the Warhammer 40,000 universe – something that the Black Library haven’t always embraced, in my opinion. This is a book with a serious creepiness factor, plenty of gothic horror and eerie tension. I think it predates the whole Warhammer Horror line from the Black Library by a couple of months, but I am not 100% sure on that. So, don’t quote me on it! But if it doesn’t predate it, then I have no idea how it isn’t in that range as it is genuinely scary.
Saying all this, Requiem Infernal isn’t devoid of action and battle, but it isn’t the adrenaline-fueled adventure full of massive battles and carnage that most books in this setting are. The conflicts are much more personal, often focusing more on the psychological effects than the actual fighting itself.
As an aside that I feel like I should mention, Peter Fehevari is known for having created his own corner of the Warhammer 40,000 universe called the Dark Coil. All of his books have some form of link, I believe, but are designed to work as standalones. The links are more little references here and there, as far as I am aware. But I couldn’t tell you how this book fits in with the Dark Coil as this is the first book of his I have read. It won’t be the last, though!
Overall, I 100% recommend this if sci-fi/fantasy/horror blends are your cup of tea. Honestly, I don’t think you need to know anything about the Warhammer 40,000 universe to enjoy this, or even have a proper interest in the universe. So, go pick it up – as long as you don’t mind scary stuff, then I am pretty sure you won’t regret it!
2 thoughts on “Book Review: Requiem Infernal by Peter Fehevari”
Thanks for the thoughtful review, Jack. I’m glad you enjoyed this twisting descent (or ascent…) into madness (or enlightenment…)
As above, so below 😉
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I loved it! I picked up The Reverie straight after and nearly finished that too, which is equally great! It’s good to see stories that make the best use of the horror potential in 40k. 🙂