I have been provided with an advance copy of the new Twilight Imperium book The Veiled Masters by Tim Pratt, published by Aconyte Books, so here is the honest review I promised in exchange for the book.
So here is an important disclaimer which is always important to put out there first. I have a casual work contact with Asmodee to demonstrate board games for them in stores and at conventions. Asmodee being the parent company of Aconyte the publisher.
I am going to try my best to not let that cloud my judgement in this review, but I accept that subconsciously it might.
What is Twilight Imperium
Twilight Imperium is a much beloved strategy board game published by Fantasy Flight Games that’s currently in its 4th Edition.
First thing to know, it’s very long, my pal Drew, one of the owners of the amazing Meeple Perk, tells me it’s an 8 hour game as a minimum!
Secondly it’s an epic space opera, set in the power vacuum left behind by the decline and collapse of the Lazax Empire, as various races and factions vie for dominance and to become the new galactic superpower.
In this story we return to much of the recurring cast that Tim has developed over his previous two books, The Fractured Void, and Necropolis Empire, starting with Federation of Sol agent Amina Azad as she rescues a Hacan diplomat being held on suspicion of the murder of a close friend of his.
Very quickly other factions are drawn into the investigation specifically Captain Dampierre of the Barony of Letnev and Felix Duval of the Mentak Coalition.
Soon a vast galaxy wide conspiracy is unveiled, with secret unknown forces seeking to destabilise the major factions and plunge them into war.
I was really looking forward to this book and it did not disapoint, Tim Pratt writes a wonderful space opera and makes the world feel so full and alive, taking snippets from the game and building them into deep and meaningful lore that feels so fantastically well estabalished.
This book isn’t dependent on reading the previous two entries, but you are missing out if you haven’t.
This story is really good and the story is extremely intriguing a real page turner and the morally ambiguous characters add so much realism to the story, with there being no straight up good guys, with everyone having their own agenda.
This book is one I would highly recommend for sci-fi fans, and is so much more than simple tie-in fiction, but is really the kind of thing, I could see nominated for a Hugo award.
To be honest, if Aconyte don’t win a Hugo in the next decade, I would be very surprised!
I have to give this amazing book, 5 out of 5 stars!
The Veiled Masters is out now as a paperback, eBook and audiobook!