Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Thousand Sons - Book Review

A Thousand Sons - Graham McNeill
Censured at the Council of Nikea for his flagrant use of sorcery, Magnus the Red and his Thousand Sons Legion retreat to their homeworld of Prospero to continue their use of the arcane arts in secret. But when the ill-fated primarch foresees the treachery of Warmaster Horus and warns the Emperor with the very powers he was forbidden to use, the Master of Mankind dispatches fellow primarch Leman Russ to attack Prospero itself. But Magnus has seen more than the betrayal of Horus and the witnessed revelations will change the fate of his fallen Legion, and its primarch, forever.
The latest in the growing number of Horus Heresy this novel is the first real introduction we get to the Thousand Sons space Marine Legion. This book, number twelve in the series, manages to compress the entire history and eventual fall in one neat novel.

The book by Graham McNeill is well written and has, as with all Horus Heresy novels, some great imagery, but for me the book was a slight let down. Why I hear you cry, well simply because it gives nothing new away. Its really just a compiled and beautified chronicling of everything we already know. There are very few new revelations, thought there are some hints towards current cannon - can any one imagine who their thinking of when they mention "Lost Sons" and "Ravens of Blood - but other then these tantalising hints nothing else really comes of the novel.

The Imagery however is what makes the novel and pulls it back from that place where books are left to rot, the descriptions of the Primarchs, the planets and the cities really make it a book worth reading. True there isn't the same level of "techno steam punk" imagery we get with some 40k novels but the "clean and ordered" imagery works amazingly well as its yet another facet of the warhammer 40,000 universe to explore.

As much as I was disappointed its a good addition to the series and helps link in one of the most unique and interesting looking present day Chaos forces with their past history in a clean and precise (rather appropriately) manner. Yes the story in places is a little cold and needs more life to it, and yes in places characters are two dimensional - surprisingly it seems even the Primarchs we're not made a "larger than life" as they could have been - but all this can be forgiven as it adds a much needed part to the story and helps set the way for Prospero Burns next year.

3.5 out of 5 from me as the story was good but didn't grab me the way other novels in the series have.

Available from:
A Thousand Sons - Graham McNeill
softback, 416pp • ISBN 9781844168088

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