Enforcer: Legacy

Hey everybody,
After a hiatus of about five years, Dave and I have finally gotten round to our buddy read of the second book in the Shira Calpurnia series, Legacy. The first book, Crossfire, you can read about here! And Dave’s review of Legacy can be found here!

Shira is a member of the Adeptus Arbites, the intergalactic police force for 40k (they’re a step up from the local cops, the Enforcers, as they have the power to uphold the Lex Imperialis across any world they need to – so maybe like the Feds, if I understand how they work correctly…) The second book in the series deals with the handover of power among a Rogue Trader family, the Phrax flotilla. Their initial warrant of trade, affirmed by a drop of blood from the God-Emperor of Mankind himself, must be passed on physically from one Trader to the next on the world of Hydraphur, where Shira is based, and presided over by the Arbites.

It’s a great set-up, and the plot thickens first when a rival claim to the title comes into play, followed then by the attempts of the Adeptus Ministorum to claim the warrant as a relic of the Emperor, which it technically is. I loved seeing how Shira was able to juggle all of these competing factions with a wonderfully no-nonsense attitude – she isn’t written as a tough-guy or similar trope, but has a sort of slight weariness about her that makes her so dispassionate when dealing with the idiots around her, like the Ministorum priest tasked with retrieving the “relic”. 

The rival claim brings the Adeptus Mechanicus into play, because somehow the rival faction on-board has decided to basically “create” their own claimant by genetically altering the DNA coding of their candidate, so he can be correctly identified as a Phrax descendant. The process is awful and Farrer goes into some details that I rather wish he hadn’t, but even so, I just love the fact that the 40k universe is this bonkers. We have the usual clicking engines of the Mechanicus as they attempt to prove the DNA sample, and I thought it was oddly funny when the machine realises what is happening with the rogue DNA and basically shuts itself down in a huff.

The ending was a bit confusing, if I’m honest, as all of the action comes to a head. The genuine heir is making a very perilous Warp journey to get to Hydraphur, and we have all sorts of shipboard horrors to contend with, while the ceremony of passing on the warrant descends into an absolute bloodbath. What else can you expect from a 40k novel?

We both really enjoyed it, anyway – I think for me, this is a much better Rogue Trader novel than the actual Rogue Trader novel that I read recently. I love it when we get these sorts of things, as the game itself has only tentatively begun to branch out into the small corners of the 40k universe. Of course, it was only a few short months back that we got plastic Adeptus Arbites models, so it’s even nicer to now be reading about these guys as well.

I’m kinda running out of steam a bit, because I don’t have much more to say about this other than it’s highly recommended, so if you can, definitely pick up a copy and have a read!

5 thoughts on “Enforcer: Legacy”

  1. oh wow, it has actually been 5 years???? Great review Mark, soon as we are done with Witcher I say let us finish Shira? Let us not wait 5 more years. hahahaha at least I have the third book already waiting for me.

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