Sunday, April 01, 2012

Deliverance Lost - Book Review

Deliverance Lost by Gav Thorpe
As the Horus Heresy divides the Imperium, Corax and his few remaining Raven Guard escape the massacre at Isstvan V. Tending to their wounds, the bloodied Space Marines endeavour to replenish their numbers and return to the fray, taking the fight to the traitor Warmaster. Distraught at the crippling blow dealt to his Legion, Corax returns to Terra to seek the aid of his father – the Emperor of Mankind. Granted access to ancient secrets, Corax begins to rebuild the Raven Guard, planning his revenge against his treacherous brother primarchs. But not all his remaining warriors are who they appear to be… the mysterious Alpha Legion have infiltrated the survivors and plan to destroy the Raven Guard before they can rebuild and threaten Horus’s plans.

This may be Gav Thorpe's first Horus Heresy novel but he successfully brings his years of experience with other Black Library franchises to bear on what seems, at first glance, to be a side-story in the epic's history. 'Deliverance Lost' makes Corax and his legion interesting and believable characters with more back-story than most Legions in the universe. I really enjoyed seeing how Corvus the Primarch came to be Corax the Saviour and how a colony of slaves came to be a Legion in the Empire of Man.

Where the Horus heresy series is great is when it tells you something about the history of a Primarch or a Legion you didn't know before and makes you want to see them again. Where it fails is when it just tells you about events that happened or fights that occurred. 'Deliverance Lost' has characters with motivations and desires making decisions that have consequences. Technically it may not be written with as much structure and elegance as other HH novels, and there is perhaps a little good old bolter-porn in there, but 'Deliverance Lost' has character and texture in spades. It even makes the Imperial Fists seem fun. The Alpha Legion are perhaps not so well drawn but they are of course by nature hard to pin down.

As for background and teasers to the universe at large, well, there is plenty for lore-buffs to sink their teeth into; glimpses of the Emperor's work on the Golden Throne and the role of alien cultures in the Heresy, several mentions of the 'lost' Primarchs and clues as to their fate, and possibly even a few clues as to future releases in the Space Marine line of miniatures - spot the novel vehicles named herein.

Deliverance Lost is not just for fans of the Raven Guard - Corax's attempt to reconstitute his Legion with the aid of the Emperor is probably required reading for anyone watching the Horus heresy evolve. The way in which it is handled and the way the other various parties get involved really show the intricacy of the Horus Heresy series for me. For me it isn't all big battles and destruction but it is about the battles inside the characters and in this case I think that has been captured perfectly.

With that in mind and the build up it promises I think this deserves a solid 5 stars just because it shows the other side to the war.

Available from:
Gav Thorpe
Paperback • ISBN 9781849700610

1 comment:

Damo1701 said...

I have this in audio format. a GREAT listen, and awesome read too. I enjoyed this as an all rounder that dealt with the major players in the HH, the Astartes.

Call me old fashioned, but Astartes novels in the HH era especially, are the bestest. IMHO

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