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Graham McNeill

Autor(a) de False Gods

172+ Works 6,209 Membros 114 Críticas 5 Favorited

About the Author


Obras por Graham McNeill

False Gods (2006) 834 exemplares
Fulgrim (2007) 581 exemplares
Mechanicum (2008) 427 exemplares
A Thousand Sons (2010) 374 exemplares
The Ultramarines Omnibus (2006) 289 exemplares
Storm of Iron (2002) 219 exemplares
The Outcast Dead (2011) 212 exemplares
Angel Exterminatus (2012) 155 exemplares
Nightbringer [novel] (2002) 144 exemplares
Vengeful Spirit (2014) 114 exemplares
The Killing Ground (2008) 112 exemplares
Heldenhammer (2006) 111 exemplares
Courage and Honour (2009) 103 exemplares
Dead Sky, Black Sun [novel] (2004) 98 exemplares
Ghouls of the Miskatonic (2011) 88 exemplares
Warriors of Ultramar [novel] (2003) 82 exemplares
Chapter's Due [novel] (2010) 74 exemplares
Priests of Mars (2012) 72 exemplares
Guardians of the Forest (2005) 70 exemplares
I, Mengsk (StarCraft) (2008) 66 exemplares
Defenders of Ulthuan (2007) 65 exemplares
The Crimson King (2017) 64 exemplares
Empire (2009) 61 exemplares
Forges of Mars Omnibus (2017) 55 exemplares
The Ambassador (2003) 51 exemplares
Ursun's Teeth (2004) 50 exemplares
Codex: Necrons (3rd Edition) (2002) — Autor — 50 exemplares
Codex : Daemonhunters (3rd Edition) (2003) — Autor — 48 exemplares
God King (2010) 45 exemplares
Fury of Magnus (2020) 45 exemplares
Sons of the Selenar (2020) 44 exemplares
The Dark King and The Lightning Tower (2007) — Contribuidor — 44 exemplares
Lords of Mars (2013) 43 exemplares
The Ambassador Chronicles (2005) 40 exemplares
Codex: Imperial Guard (3rd Edition, 2nd Codex) (2003) — Autor — 39 exemplares
Ultramarines: The Second Omnibus (2012) 39 exemplares
Codex: Tau (3rd Edition) (2001) — Autor — 36 exemplares
The Dweller in the Deep Novel (2014) 34 exemplares
Maledictions (2019) — Contribuidor — 33 exemplares
Gods of Mars (2014) 32 exemplares
Codex: Chaos Space Marines (3rd Edition, 2nd Codex) (2002) — Autor — 30 exemplares
The Swords of Calth (2021) 25 exemplares
Nightbringer [expanded edition] (2015) 25 exemplares
Warhammer Armies : The Empire (7th Edition) (2007) — Autor — 24 exemplares
Codex: Eye of Terror (3rd Edition) (2003) — Autor; Autor — 19 exemplares
The Successors (2022) — Contribuidor — 17 exemplares
The Seventh Serpent (2014) 16 exemplares
Index Astartes II (2002) — Autor — 15 exemplares
Lupercal's War (The Horus Heresy) (2022) — Contribuidor — 12 exemplares
Elves (Warhammer Chronicles) (2020) 12 exemplares
Warhammer Online: Prelude To War (2008) 11 exemplares
Chapter Approved: Warhammer 40,000 Annual 2004 (2004) — Autor — 11 exemplares
Index Astartes I (2002) — Autor — 11 exemplares
Iron Warrior 10 exemplares
The End Times: Fall of Empires (Warhammer Chronicles) (2024) — Autor — 10 exemplares
Thief of Revelations (2013) 10 exemplares
Wolf Hunt (The Horus Heresy) (2013) 9 exemplares
Blades Of The Traitor (Horus Heresy) (2015) — Contribuidor — 9 exemplares
Kryptos (2012) 9 exemplares
Lucius The Eternal Blademaster (2013) 8 exemplares
Knights of the Imperium (2014) 7 exemplares
Index Astartes IV (2005) — Autor — 7 exemplares
Death of a Silversmith (2012) 6 exemplares
The Either (2015) 6 exemplares
Lords Of The Lance (2024) 6 exemplares
The Last Church (2009) 5 exemplares
Lupus Daemonis (2021) 5 exemplares
Eye of Vengeance (2012) 5 exemplares
Wolf Mother - The Horus Heresy (2015) 5 exemplares
The Dark King (2007) 5 exemplares
The Skull Harvest (2009) 4 exemplares
The Lightning Hall (2020) 4 exemplares
Calth That Was (2013) 4 exemplares
The Heraclitus Effect (2008) 4 exemplares
Sword Guardian (2012) 4 exemplares
The Kaban Project (2007) 4 exemplares
Apostle's Creed (2010) 3 exemplares
Kinstrife (Warhammer) 3 exemplares
Echoes of Ruin (The Horus Heresy) (2014) — Autor — 3 exemplares
The Labyrinth of Lost Souls (2021) 3 exemplares
Three Knights (2002) 3 exemplares
Gods of Flesh and Blood (2012) 3 exemplares
Warhammer: Lustria (2004) — Autor — 3 exemplares
Obsidian (2013) 3 exemplares
Deathmasque (2011) 3 exemplares
The Two Towers (2006) 3 exemplares
The Black Library Anthology 2013/14 (2013) — Contribuidor — 3 exemplares
Chains of Command (2001) 3 exemplares
Leviathan (2003) 3 exemplares
Thief of Revelations / Hunters Moon (Horus Heresy) (2014) — Autor — 3 exemplares
The Staff of Asclepius (2015) 3 exemplares
Consequences (2004) 3 exemplares
Findaz, Keepaz (2015) 2 exemplares
Two Kinds of Fool (2014) 2 exemplares
Black Library Events Anthology 2018/19 (2018) — Contribuidor — 2 exemplares
False Gods (Abridged) (2011) 2 exemplares
Salvork (2015) 2 exemplares
The Ancient Awaits (2018) 2 exemplares
X Marks da Spot (2015) 2 exemplares
The Hound of the Warp (2015) 2 exemplares
Death and the Maiden World (2014) 2 exemplares
Dust (2012) 1 exemplar
The Gates of Terra / Kryptos (2012) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
Space Marines: Terminators (2020) — Autor — 1 exemplar
Black Bone Road (2004) 1 exemplar
Codex (2013) 1 exemplar
Blood Price (2015) 1 exemplar
Business as Usual (2001) 1 exemplar
Death Mark (2015) 1 exemplar
Index Astartes III (2003) — Autor — 1 exemplar
Black Pearl (2015) 1 exemplar
The Silent Death (2015) 1 exemplar
Eldar {short story} (2015) 1 exemplar
Terra Nullius {short story} (2015) 1 exemplar
Wolf Blood {short story} (2015) 1 exemplar
The Death of Uriel Ventris (2018) 1 exemplar
Payback {short story} (2002) 1 exemplar

Associated Works

Tales of Heresy (2009) — Contribuidor — 349 exemplares
Age of Darkness (2011) — Contribuidor — 243 exemplares
The Primarchs (2012) — Contribuidor — 189 exemplares
Shadows of Treachery (2012) — Contribuidor — 152 exemplares
Let the Galaxy Burn (2006) — Contribuidor — 135 exemplares
Mark of Calth (2013) — Contribuidor — 128 exemplares
Heroes of the Space Marines (2009) — Autor — 91 exemplares
Deathwing [2001 anthology] (2001) — Contribuidor — 87 exemplares
Legends of the Space Marines (2010) — Contribuidor — 79 exemplares
Legacies of Betrayal (2014) — Contribuidor — 77 exemplares
Warhammer Rulebook (6th Edition) (2000) — Contribuidor — 74 exemplares
Sabbat Worlds (2010) — Contribuidor — 72 exemplares
War Without End (2016) — Contribuidor — 69 exemplares
The Silent War (2016) — Author - Wolf Hunt, Luna Mendax — 68 exemplares
Shattered Legions (2017) — Contribuidor — 66 exemplares
Eye of Terra (2016) — Contribuidor — 64 exemplares
Tales of the Old World (2007) — Contribuidor — 59 exemplares
Warhammer 40,000 4th Edition Rulebook (2004) — Contribuidor — 59 exemplares
Planetkill (2008) — Contribuidor — 47 exemplares
Words of Blood (2002) — Contribuidor — 46 exemplares
Codex: Tyranids (3rd Edition) (2001) — Contribuidor — 43 exemplares
Tales From the Dark Millennium (2006) — Contribuidor — 43 exemplares
Sons of the Emperor: An Anthology (2018) — Contribuidor — 25 exemplares
Warhammer Armies : Orcs & Goblins (6th Edition) (2000) — Contribuidor — 25 exemplares
Sabbat War (Warhammer 40,000) (2021) — Contribuidor — 25 exemplares
Blood of the Emperor: An Anthology (2021) — Contribuidor — 22 exemplares
The Cold Hand of Betrayal (2006) — Contribuidor — 22 exemplares
There Is Only War (Warhammer 40,000) (2013) — Contribuidor — 19 exemplares
No Good Men (2020) — Contribuidor — 17 exemplares
MECH: Age of Steel (2017) — Contribuidor — 16 exemplares
Grimdark Magazine #1 (2014) — Contribuidor — 14 exemplares
The Vorbis Conspiracy (Warhammer 40,000) (2022) — Contribuidor — 10 exemplares
The Imperial Truth (2013) — Contribuidor — 8 exemplares
Storm of Chaos (2004) — Contribuidor — 8 exemplares
Only War: Stories from the 41st Millennium (Warhammer 40,000) (2022) — Contribuidor — 8 exemplares
White Dwarf 289 (2004) — Contribuidor — 7 exemplares
Heirs of the Emperor: An Anthology (2022) — Contribuidor — 7 exemplares
God-Machines (Warhammer 40,000) (2023) — Contribuidor — 7 exemplares
Meduson: The Ultimate Edition (The Horus Heresy Series) (2016) — Contribuidor — 6 exemplares
Black Library 15th Birthday Collection (2012) — Contribuidor — 6 exemplares
Hammer and Bolter: Issue 13 (2011) — Contribuidor — 5 exemplares
Meduson [2015 anthology] (2015) — Contribuidor — 5 exemplares
Renegades of the Dark Millennium (2014) — Contribuidor — 5 exemplares
Index Chaotica: Apocrypha (2016) — Contribuidor — 4 exemplares
Hammer and Bolter: Issue 17 (2012) — Contribuidor — 3 exemplares
The Horus Heresy Volume Two (The Horus Heresy Omnibuses Book 2) (2015) — Contribuidor — 3 exemplares
Treachery and Betrayal: The Horus Heresy (2021) — Autor — 3 exemplares
White Dwarf 308 (2005) — Contribuidor, algumas edições2 exemplares
Endless War: The Horus Heresy (2021) — Contribuidor — 2 exemplares
White Dwarf 452 (2020) — Contribuidor — 2 exemplares
White Dwarf 290 (2004) — Contribuidor, algumas edições2 exemplares
White Dwarf 283 / Path to Glory: Fighting With Chaos Warbands (2003) — Contribuidor — 2 exemplares
White Dwarf 249 (2000) — Contribuidor — 2 exemplares
White Dwarf 250 (2000) — Contribuidor — 2 exemplares
White Dwarf 275 (2002) — Contribuidor — 2 exemplares
Space Marines: Angels of Death (2013) — Contribuidor — 2 exemplares
White Dwarf 257 (2001) — Contribuidor — 2 exemplares
White Dwarf 260 (2001) — Contribuidor — 2 exemplares
White Dwarf 288 (2003) — Contribuidor, algumas edições2 exemplares
White Dwarf 323 (2006) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
Black Library Weekender: Volume One (2012) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
Classics Collection II: A Warhammer eBundle (2023) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
Tyranids eBundle 2014 (Warhammer 40,000) (2014) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
Honour of the Space Marines (2014) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
White Dwarf 322 (2006) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
Warhammer 40,000: The Essentials eBundle (2014) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
Best of 2015: The Horus Heresy (A Horus Heresy eBook bundle) (2015) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
White Dwarf 312 (2005) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
Warhammer 40,000: Call of Chaos: Quick Read Collection (2015) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
The Horus Heresy Starter Collection 2 (2023) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
The Horus Heresy Starter Collection 1 (2023) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
Ultramarines Collection I (2023) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
Tales of the Tech-Priests (2017) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
Nine Traitor Primarchs (The Horus Heresy) (2017) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
Raus Untoten (Volume 1) (2013) — Contributor - "Links Oder Rechts" — 1 exemplar
Inferno! Issue 29: Tales of Fantasy & Adventure (2002) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
White Dwarf 317 (2006) — Contribuidor, algumas edições1 exemplar
White Dwarf 300 (2004) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
White Dwarf 265 (2002) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
White Dwarf 279 (2003) — Contribuidor, algumas edições1 exemplar
White Dwarf 278 (2003) — Contribuidor, algumas edições1 exemplar
White Dwarf 276 (2002) — Contribuidor, algumas edições1 exemplar
White Dwarf 274 (2002) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
White Dwarf 273 (2002) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
White Dwarf 272 (2002) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
White Dwarf 271 (2002) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
White Dwarf 268 (2002) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
White Dwarf 270 (2002) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
White Dwarf 266 (2002) — Contribuidor, algumas edições1 exemplar
White Dwarf 264 (2001) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
White Dwarf 281 (2003) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
White Dwarf 263 (2001) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
White Dwarf 262 (2001) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
White Dwarf 261 (2001) — Contribuidor, algumas edições1 exemplar
White Dwarf 259 (2001) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
White Dwarf 258 (2001) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
White Dwarf 256 (2001) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
White Dwarf 255 (2001) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
White Dwarf 254 (2001) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
White Dwarf 252 (2000) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
White Dwarf 277 (2003) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
White Dwarf 280 (2003) — Contribuidor, algumas edições1 exemplar
White Dwarf 282 (2003) — Contribuidor, algumas edições1 exemplar
White Dwarf July 2019 (2019) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
White Dwarf 311 (2005) — Contribuidor, algumas edições1 exemplar
White Dwarf 304 (2005) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
White Dwarf 462 (2021) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
White Dwarf 321 (2006) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
White Dwarf 320 (2006) — Contribuidor, algumas edições1 exemplar
White Dwarf 319 (2006) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
White Dwarf 318 (2006) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
White Dwarf 316 (2006) — Contribuidor, algumas edições1 exemplar
White Dwarf 315 (2006) — Contribuidor, algumas edições1 exemplar
White Dwarf 314 (2006) — Contribuidor, algumas edições1 exemplar
White Dwarf 313 (2006) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
White Dwarf 310 (2005) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
White Dwarf 284 (2003) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
White Dwarf 309 (2005) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
White Dwarf 306 (2005) — Contribuidor, algumas edições1 exemplar
White Dwarf 303 (2005) — Contribuidor, algumas edições1 exemplar
White Dwarf 302 (2005) — Contribuidor, algumas edições1 exemplar
White Dwarf 301 (2005) — Contribuidor, algumas edições1 exemplar
White Dwarf 295 (2004) — Contribuidor, algumas edições1 exemplar
White Dwarf 293 (2004) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
White Dwarf 291 (2004) — Contribuidor — 1 exemplar
White Dwarf 287 (2003) — Contribuidor, algumas edições1 exemplar
White Dwarf 286 (2003) — Contribuidor, algumas edições1 exemplar
Inferno! issue 24; May/June 2001 (2001) — Story: Business as Usual — 1 exemplar


Conhecimento Comum



My son gave me this to read.....he is a HUGE Warhammer fan...he paints and collects the models, plays the game, etc. and I've always been interested in the lore....especially after paging through some of his codex books. He isn't a big reader and listened to the first book on audio book...which I'm not a fan of....so, he filled me in and gave me this to start.

I actually really enjoyed this. Not being a fan of the game, it did take a little bit to familiarize myself with some of the wording used exclusively in the Warhammer universe. There's also a huge cast of characters to remember.

Overall, I think this is a series that anyone that appreciates fantasy, futuristic and/or militant type books would enjoy....even those not familiar with the game. I will definitely read some of the other books in this series.
… (mais)
Jfranklin592262 | 18 outras críticas | Mar 21, 2024 |
Giving this a reread I was surprised by how good it is. I don't remember it being this good. Normally with Space Marine novels the opposite is the problem! Decent characterisation, a tragic plot arc, some wonderful naivety, lots of foreshadowing, great action. The novel is long, but doesn't need a good editing (which is wonderful). Definitely one of the best in the series so far
elahrairah | 8 outras críticas | Feb 18, 2024 |
I read this as part of Horus Heresy Omnibus Project reading guide Omnibus III: The Burning of Prospero
(https://www.heresyomnibus.com/omnibus/iii-the-burning-of-prospero) as part of my Oath of Moment to complete the series.

When I think of the Horus Heresy series, especially before starting this endeavor, the Burning of Prospero, encompassing the Council of Nikaea, Magnus' folly, and the razing of Tizca, is the second thing that comes to mind, after the Rise and Fall of Horus that leads to Isstvan, so I have been absolutely gagging to get back to the epic duology that starts here (trilogy if you include Battle of the Fang that continues the story from Prospero Burns a cool 10,000 years later [and the Hunt for Magnus and John French's Ahriman series]).

I believe this was my third time reading this book, with the first being upon release and the second being a handful of years later, so it's been a long time. I had a bizarre time that was definitely borne of expectations and familiarity of re-reading, having read a lot more, in general, Warhammer, and Horus Heresy, and just how heavily invested in and sympathetic to the Word Bearers and Lorgar (never ever Erebus or Kor Phaeron) with Argal Tal and Kurtha Sedd being two of my favourite characters in the whole series. I think I was hoping to feel a powerful connection with an event, aspect, or character early that would really get me invested, as sheer trauma and shame in the razing of Monarchia for the XVII and the utter devastation and betrayal with the Battle of Calth for the Ultramarines. I definitely got there, but this book is a slow starter that becomes a Juggernaut (of Khorne stolen and being joyridden by pink and blue horrors) of momentum by the end.

*Vague outline of the plot that could be considered spoilers*

The first part of the book sees the Thousand Sons and Space Wolves deployed together to bring down the hammer of the Emperor on a world that refused colonisation and adoption of complete Imperial hegemony aka Compliance. Magnus is far more interested in an ancient Aeldari temple that guards something both intriguing and portentous, ultimately leading to awakening the temples defences and pitched battle. Later in the same campaign Magnus witnesses must how destructive the VI are and makes a stand in front of a library to protect it from the murder-make. What should he a simple 'guys, chill. I just want to check some books out before you Wolf Smash', but it becomes a whole thing because in the Dark Millennia if two groups have a reason for hating each other, half the time they already hate each other anyway. Ahriman, the Thousand Sons Chief Librarian, and, the Rune Priest, Wyrdmake, strike up an unlikely friendship, bonding over being Space Wizards. We also get introduced to the Remembrancers with the XV, who all have some kind of psychic ability.

The second part covers the Council of Nikaea aka Everybody Hates Magnus, where the the level and amount of psykers in his Legion, the powers they have, and the entire concept of whether the Imperium even wants proto human armoured Space Battle Wizards at all takes place. Lots of opinions, accusations, and heartfelt statements are made...it's a whole thing.

The third part sees Magnus emulating Nick Fury and having a vision of Horus and the future leading him to do big magic to go have a word, which is where we see him appearing in False Gods when Horus is being 'treated' for getting shanked with the Athame, and even biggerer, darker magic to fax himself to the Emperor to let him know. To which the Emperor replies, "You got a problem, son. I'm on the motherfucker. Go back in there, chill them Tizcas out and wait for the Wolf, who should be coming directly.'

**Less vague discussion that may contain spoilers**

I really struggled with the opening of this because I found it rather boring, which is at least somewhat on me. I remember the first time reading it being absolutely wrapt by seeing he Wraithbone statues because I had not really seen any Eldar stuff on books before, which isn't actually very interesting because there's very little detail or discussion until it really kicks off. This time though I didn't have the impact of seeing the big ole thing for the first time, and I'd been around the Thousand Sons for a while, without really getting a feel for them or caring about them enough to really feel any engagement or peril from the battle. There is the intriguing thing in the temple, furtive work of magnus, and his Astartes being disconcerted, but the crumbs were too small for me to really be tantalised.

I think the thing I struggled with most about the opening section is the rather weak characterisation and introduction of a new trio of Remembrancers that give this whole part a feel of a weaker Horus Rising re-tread. A bit like how Marvel went through a whole period of just remaking Iron Man with different characters. It's not helped by how not dissimilar they are to Keeler, Oliton, and Karkasy, with Karkasy's analogue seemingly a more polite version of him with less talent and providing McNeill a male perspective on the two women he's friends with and one of a number of just fucking weird and gross old dudebro misogyny and embarrassing bits of narration that show just how alien the idea of gender politics, and women as a whole gender, are to him. For example the narration around this Remembrancer uses the word "deflower" when describing how a lot of guys fancy a grown arse woman and "things a gentleman shouldn't see" when, presumably, menstrual products fall out of one of the women's bags as she is literally having a fit. Alas, this is par for the course with Black Library, but especially McNeill, and I just have to roll my eyes and highlight how fucked up and not OK this is when I review his books. Shattersong and with it Fulgrim creeps ever closer for his most virulent expressions of misogyny and bioessentialism.

Anyways, I found the first part boring and off-putting, but written well and containing promise, so it felt like making sure you eat your sexist vegetables so you can have pudding.

The second part with the Council of Nikaea is infinitely more interesting and actually heartbreaking with some intimate moments between Magnus and his closest sons, foreboding visions, and some truly heinous and heartfelt statements, as well as a truly shocking and brutal end to proceedings that I'm not going to get into because spoilers. Sometimes it's hard to talk about good stuff without giving to much away, but I do want to make the point that, for me, this is where I feel like the book really starts and I actually start to really get invested.

I also like the classic tradition of the Warhammer galaxy being filled with riffs on historical events and aspects of, primarily, Abrahamic religions, coming into play here. The Council of Nikaea explicitly evokes the First Council of Nicaea where a lot of Christian law and the biblical canon was decided upon. I don't know a huge amount about this, but in a cursory search I saw some Christian people pushing back on the latter point with the argument that it's just a conspiracy to say that only the wealthy and powerful held sway over the biblical canon and the way the various churches operate. I absolutely respect anyone's faith that isn't causing them to harm others. It is not religiously intolerant to find the idea the hierarchal structures of organised religion aren't predominantly influenced by money and power absolutely hilarious and fundamentally not true--this isn't a criticism of any one faith or anyone's individual beliefs to be explicit.


The third part is really the beating hearts of this story where secrets are revealed or kept and more lies told, characters are so naive and egotistical they damn themselves and everyone around them, father's and sons are not just angry or disappointed, they're both, and heatbroken, oh, and an absolutely ridiculously epic and terribly sad battle takes place.

(taking a break to come back to this another time, as this has already taken ages - and we're back!)

The last act or this book contains so many significant moments with ramifications for the Thousand Sons, Magnus, the Space Wolves, Horus, the Emperor, and the entire course of the Horus Heresy, the Imperium, and the Dark Millennium, and this doesn't even include the Council and Edict of Nikaea and their ramifications. I am unsure if there is an agreed upon word for a group of Epochs, so I'm going to go with mu gut.

This book, particularly the last act, is an absolute clusterfuck of Epochs.

***Endeavouring to stay within a reasonable level and long established in Warhammer 40K lore to avoid too much, but potentially SPOILERS from now on - Honestly, it's kinda baffling the idea of someone getting this far in the series, let alone this review, without having some prior knowledge of the Darker Red vs Lighter Blue cousins to the more traditional pallete of the Word Bearers and Ultramarines***

It was at this point I realised the narrative of this story and the tragedy of Magnus and his Thousand Sons was something rather different to the Luna Wolves/ Sons of Horus, the Word Bearers, and the Ultramarines. This story is more of a slow burn, though I don't believe this excuses how bland I personally find much of the first act, and the tragedy is less of getting to know and love characters who are devastated by the actions of others, Nikaea notwithstanding, and fall to darkness through internal conflict, despair, and/ or specifically being done dirty by the Emperor; the sin of the XV and their Crimson King is hubris. Like the Emperor's Children, ego is the core of their damnation, but while Fulgrim and his sons believe themselves to martial and aesthetic perfection, the Sons of Prospero are self-assured in their command of knowledge and the abilites of the warp to not become the become the quantum curiosity of Schrodinger's cat, which is kinda apropos when you think about how Rubric Marines can be seen as both dead and alive, but the answer becomes definitive if you open their armour up. These are not traits thar create likeable characters (on an emotional level), but they are fascinating, and when their fall comes, as brutally and tragically as it does for Prospero (and how insidiously creeping for the Phoenician and his sons), liking them is irrelevant. In fact, my surprise at feeling so unsympathetic to Magnus for the majority of this book and not really connecting with Ahriman for a long time actually made the crescendo of their true intentions and intense emotions shock and hit me all the harder.

One or the things that I most cherish about the Horus Heresy is the allusions to mythology, historic figures and events, and the legendary archetypes it employs, retelling, conglomerating, and remixing tales from all manner of stories from various creeds, cultures, and traditions from throughout history and across the world in a way that is rich and engaging. It's a strange cousin to historical and mythological fiction, but in a grimdark space opera format. I am fascinated my myths, legends, and folklore, but can find translations of this wonderful ancient stories impenetrable because they are often told in an (understandably) archaic manner that bounces of my AuDHD addled brain. This is why I find books like the Children of Jocasta by Natalie Haynes and Circe by Madeline Miller so satisfying, but found Neil Gaiman's Norse Mythology an impressive tome, but rather disappointing compared to something like American Gods, as I was hoping for expanded and immersive retelling, grounded in the detail of the originals, but injected with the intimate and personal that I am most drawn to opposed to a well-written and more accessible version of the stories that maintains the 'being told a story by the text ', rather than 'observing the story taking place as a witness.'

Unfortunately, this comes with the wildly vacillating sensitivity from a group of predominantly white, British, cishet men without sensitivity reading, cultural consultants, or, seemingly, any grasp of feminism. But when it works it is a beautiful thing.

Magnus most obviously embodying Odin, who gave his eye and one form of his life for knowledge, with the Cult of the Corvidae's name and prognostication evoking the All-Father's ravens, Huginn and Muninn, but there are so many other mythological shards his contains; Pandora and the dangers of forbidden knowledge (in many ways passed to Ahriman, along with the Book of Magnus), Sophia bringing instability through knowledge, Prometheus and sharing the knowledge fire with man, figuratively with manipulating the warp and literally wirh the XV's Cult of the Pyrae, and Kassandra, often depicted with red-auburn hair, and true prophecies ignored, to name a few.

This leads to rhe glorious irony and imagery of Magnus and Russ as mortal enemies, with the Wolf King as the apotheosis of the Space Sword Dane and the Emperor's 'justice', making there's a confrontation between Odin, whose name can be derived as 'leader of the possessed', and Týr, the Norse god of war and justice. The Vlka Fenryka call the Emperor the All-Father, one of Odin's titles, which is also perfect as in many ways Magnus is the Primarch most closely modelled on their father, reinforced by certain plans...

(Oh no! Looks like I'm about to start a document to chart refernces I come across...)

[We also really gotta talk about the sheer amount of corvid refernces, not just in the Thousand Sons and Raven Guard, but throughout the Legions and all of the Dark Millennia, including the shrouded and covetous Blood Ravens somewhen... I mean, the most likely short answer is that black birds are omenous and synonymous with death, so many gods, etc. and the birds themselves, feathers, and skulls all look cool and have a variety of cultural significances]

It is this mythological element, along with with the dramatic irony of the Horus Heresy and it's after effects being largely known, aside from the details and various twists of fate over the years that, depending on your perspective of him as figure, have not been kind to Sanguinius, that comes up in negative reviews of people acting in ridiculous ways or making wild decisions. At times it's a weak response, but it is also true - that's myths and drama, baybee! Without the ludicrous events, archetypal characters, and huge melodramatic swings, you don't get stories and events on this scale. A lot of myths and legends don't makes sense to assumed logic and sometimes the tragedy comes from the 'if you had just not done the thing, told the truth, actually had a conversation, etc.' You absolutely don't have to like it, and there are certainly times when it does more effectively than others, but it is what it is - a feature not a bug.

In the same vein, I have realised that the Emperor is, at least for me, best viewed as some kind of cthonic amalgamation of Zeus and a completely unknowable and alien being with godlike powers and perceptions that are anathema to truly understanding like Cthulhu.

I had a whole bunch of quotes and comments from my posted updates while reading this, but this has already gone on way too long and gotten too granular, so let's start wrapping this up.

Something I found very funny and probably are far more dotted throughout the book, like allusions to Blake, Crowley, magick, and gnosticism, are just a couple of absolutely ridiculous, but in my opinion glorious, references McNeill thrown into the Battle of Prospero, quothing The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe for the Corvidae Ahriman remembering having a good read one time in the middle of fighting, which would be cooler if McNeill didn't straight up copy paste the exact same line in reference to Magnus in his Primarchs novel (I will not be accepting George Lucas 'poetry' and 'rhyming' excuses at this time), and Magister Templi of the Pyrae, Khalophis, reciting the higher numeration of 'The Crazy World of Arthur Brown' on some Space Wolves that had me absolutely cracking up! (https://youtu.be/-4SnIJJCH8w?si=1FRAmU62xDZbPzY8). I can totally see how some people might feel torn away from the grief and carnage of the battle like seeing an Ed Sheeran cameo as a Remembrancer, but it's so silly and spot on that I love it.

I don't have anything particular to say, but it should be noted that McNeill's writing of combat vacillates between frenetic and visceral, tragic, and truly ridiculous, and he's one of the best at it.


Magnus is an arse and establishes himself repeatedly as someone who obscures the truth, outright lies, and is consumed by his naive, egotistical certainty that he is absolutely the wisest, most knowledgeable, and powerful being in the galaxy, second only to the Emperor (Malcador get wrecked! [This series truly needs flashbacks awkward and fractious interactions between the Sorcerer-King and the Sigillite]). He talks about his connection and communication with the Emperor, even as the Primarch was being created (raising an interesting philosophical point for anti choice advocates) and that they are always connected. This is all called into question and possibly proven to be entirely false by the means with which Magnus feels compelled to use to warn the Emperor of Horus, his ultimate folly and damnation of his Legion. BUT the tragedy of Magnus is that, as much of an smug, elitist prick he is and the ignorant, unspeakable, and indefendable things he does, at his core he does them for what he believes is the right reasons.

He gave everything to make the deal that seemed to cure the Fleshchange and then genuinely tried to offer himself again when it came back, he was sure he had the best chance to save Horus and then notify the Emperor and believed the ends justified the means to enact the rituals involved in these endeavours (though this, like Ahriman burning out the Remembrancer for knowledge and the Mournival decimating the civilians on the embarkation deck of the Vengeful Spirit, all speak to the transhuman disregard for human life), he felt true shame and regret at everything he had wrought with a misplaced belief that the recompense would be served to him alone, and that refusing to defend themselves was the only way to prove they weren't monsters, and ultimately that submitting to, by any other name, Tzeentch, and bringing the survivors to the Planet of the Sorcerers would save what was left from further destruction and damnation. Clearly, he was wrong on all counts and I refuse to give him the excuse of protecting his sons by being the first to kill a son of Prospero in Tizca, but that doesn't matter because he believed it and the sudden shock of guilt, shame, and introspection he has, the first time we are given a deeper look into the mind of Magnus, is an incredibly powerful unleashing of tension and emotion that has been building up, barely acknowledged, throughout the novel. Honestly, it came out of the blue and truly dealt me the emotional blow I had been asking for, similar, if not as powerfully upsetting, as the incredibly depressing, but perfect, Know No Fear epilogue.

McNeill needs to get better at writing women and not to use lazy and racist orientalist tropes, like having the Chief Librarian of the White Scars speaking in broken English as if any Astartes couldn’t speak fluent Gothic, least of all a Master of Librarius. At least Gareth Armstrong doesn't do the unfortunate stereotypical accent the V Legion get lumbered with by predominantly white British directors and voice actors.

It took me a while to get there, but by the end I remembered just how much and why I love this book so much. McNeill continues to be a problematic fave and I pray his bioessentialist misogynistic fuckery in Fulgrim doesn't break me.

Taking a Primarch's holiday to Morningstar with Magnus and catching up with Russ as an intermission before Prospero Burns
… (mais)
RatGrrrl | 8 outras críticas | Feb 10, 2024 |
I thoroughly enjoyed re-reading this wonderful short story, which was an experience heightened both by the fantastic John Banks narration and reading it as part of www.heresyomnibus.com's Omnibus I, placing it after Horus Rising and The Wolf of Ash and Fire, and before False Gods.

The story is one filled with symbols, portents, foreboding, and glimpses into the relatively recent past that I cannot say and pre-Great Crusade Terra.

A silversmith Remembrancer on the Vengeful Spirit lays dying after the finishing of momentous project, reflecting on his life, works, and the Legion he served.

A simple, internal monologue, but one absolutely glittering with meaning and suggestion that captures the mythological epic mess of the Horus Heresy and gives me everything I want from really rather short story like this.

Bloody marvellous!
… (mais)
RatGrrrl | Jan 26, 2024 |



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