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wamphyri101
20-11-2010, 15:18
Just got my hands on This and God King Today for reviewing.

Will probably spend most the weekend reading Prospero burns as I have been waiting a long time to read it

Will give updates (under spoiler blocks) if requested

Xisor
20-11-2010, 17:19
Remember only to spoiler the spoilers. General reviews of the book are okay to be non-spoilered (and I'd be very keen to hear your thoughts on it)!

Speaking of being keen, can't be long now 'til the pre-orders are dispatched!

Pacific
20-11-2010, 21:48
Can't wait to read Prospero Burns! The extract they published a while ago I thought was excellent.

DarkWarrior1981
21-11-2010, 09:59
Can't wait to read Prospero Burns! The extract they published a while ago I thought was excellent.

The extract was good, the rest of the novel is way better! I got mine from Games Day Germany and in my humble opinion it is one of the top three Horus Heresy novels as of this date.:cool:

boogle
21-11-2010, 20:32
Prospero Burns is VERY clever on a lot of levels

BlackLegion
21-11-2010, 21:06
Can anyone type the cast?

boogle
21-11-2010, 23:49
not without giving spoilers away, but it's just as much about the human cast as it is about the Wolves

Xisor
22-11-2010, 02:00
Dark Warrior, Boogle: I presume it's up there in terms with Thousand Sons and The First Heretic, would that be a fair statement (not accounting for personal quirky preferences)?

Lupe
22-11-2010, 04:17
I do believe its time for the lucky owners to throw us a bone or two (under spoiler tags, of course)

Son of Sanguinius
22-11-2010, 05:47
Yeah, I'm all for in depth spoilers, as long as the poster explains how critical the revelations are ahead of time.

BlackLegion
22-11-2010, 09:41
not without giving spoilers away, but it's just as much about the human cast as it is about the Wolves

How could be mentioning the cast/dramatis personae be a spoiler? It`s always on the very first page of a given Horus Heresy novel and the very first thing i read :)

wamphyri101
22-11-2010, 10:38
No Problem.

When I get home at some point tonight (as my wife is taking me to see Harry Potter…yay…)

I will post a character list from the start of the book (Obviously the first 2 are Russ - Wolf King and Magnus - Crimson King) but there is a list of around 20 space wolves and other people (including a number of native Fenris people who feature heavily in the first few chapters)

The begining of the book:

Focuses around two groups in different time periods (once in the past at a dig site which gets shut down and "cleansed" by the thousand sons and the other a very similar scene to the first Space wolf Ragnar Blackmane novel, where a native village is attacked by another clan)

Again will add names and a bit more detail later (when I'm not at work)

wamphyri101
22-11-2010, 20:22
Cast:
Primarchs
Russ – The Wolf King
Magnus – The Crimson King

The Rout
Onn
Gunner Gunnhilt - called Lord Gunn, Jarl

Tra
Ogvai Ogvai – Jarl
Helmschrot
Ulvurul Heoroth - Called Longfang, Rune Priest
Bear
Aeska - Called Brokenlip
Godsmote
Galeg
Aun Helwintr
Ogcir
Jormungdr - Called two-blade
Ullste
Erthung Redhand
Oje
Svessl
Emrah
Horune
Najot Threader - Wolf Priest

Fyf
Amlodhi Skarssen - jarl
Varangr - hearld to lord skarssenson
Ohthere wyrdmake - Rune priest
Thrung
Bitur Bercaw

Imperial personae
Giro Emantine – prefect-secretary to the unification council
Kasper hawser – conservator, also known as Admad ibn Rustah
Navid Murza – Conservator

Non-imperial personae
Fith of the Ascommani
Guthox of the Ascommani
Brom of the Ascommani
Lern of the Ascommani

In the past
Rector Uwe

Up until Book 2 (WOLF TALES) the book has centred on Kasper hawser in the present and in his memories.

That is all for now…

Oh… Apart from they don’t like being called space wolves. They prefer “The Vlka Fenryka, if being formal, or the Rout

Lord_Crull
22-11-2010, 22:54
Thanks, you mind if I put this up on Bolter and Chainsword?

Col. Tartleton
23-11-2010, 03:34
Ah, so they like being called the "Wolves of Fenris" in Fenrisian...

It appears that the movement for Chapter names being phased out as official names and reduced to mere cognomen continues.

Just as planned...

Soon the Imperial Dogs will forget the Astartes entirely, and in their darkest hour we will return!

101161

Son of Sanguinius
23-11-2010, 03:59
The time is almost upon us...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0JLV_tv0kE

wamphyri101
23-11-2010, 07:20
That's fine lord_crull

DarkWarrior1981
23-11-2010, 10:41
Dark Warrior, Boogle: I presume it's up there in terms with Thousand Sons and The First Heretic, would that be a fair statement (not accounting for personal quirky preferences)?

Absolutely yes!

And just one minor spoiler concerning the cast:

During the last few pages of the novel the character Bear observes two dreadnoughts marching off and notes, how terrible it must be to be incased in such a machine. A few lines later it is revealed, that Kasper Hawser (the main character of the novel) misunderstood Bear's name all those years and that his real name is "Bjorn"...:cool:

BobtheInquisitor
23-11-2010, 17:40
Maybe they should change the name of the series to The Horus Irony.

Idaan
23-11-2010, 19:04
So the main character is called Kaspar Hauser? I don't know whether it's awesome or creepy.

Fulgrim's Gimp
23-11-2010, 20:17
So the main character is called Kaspar Hauser? I don't know whether it's awesome or creepy.

Depends if there are anymore similarities. Like spending a lot of time in isolation. I think the reference may be because Kaspar Hauser is referred to as a "wolf child" on Wiki.

DarkWarrior1981
24-11-2010, 07:12
The reason for his name are explained in some detail within the book:

In principle, he was found as a babe (or youth, I am not certain which) by some people and was given this new name by his 'father'. That this name has some historical relevance is noted several times and is connected to our 'Kaspar Hauser', e.g. the novel's character also has a wooden horse as his only toy, also the story of 'Kaspar Hauser' was told within the novel and it was noted, that his (the character's) and the real Kaspar's story are quite similar. In addition, he was kept on Fenris in stasis for several years, which may count as a long time in isolation.

boogle
24-11-2010, 10:22
Just wait until you see what his other name is, and the research that went into that one!!

Svorlrik
25-11-2010, 22:54
I couldn't resist. Darkwarriors spoiler has gotten me very excited about the new book!

Lord_Crull
26-11-2010, 13:34
Any more spoilers? For example, how often does the Wyrdmake character appear in Prospero Burns? What causes his 180 change from being friends with Ahriman to denouncing the Sons?

Londinium
26-11-2010, 18:10
Also some information on whether there's another view of the Magnus vs Russ (via Lorgar) confrontation on Shrike would be great. It'd be very interesting to see what Russ makes of it, considering TFH seems to suggest he has some respect for Lorgar. Also considering at this point Magnus has already bitchslapped Lorgar for wanting information on Chaos, so I wonder if his intervention was more for Russ' benefit than Magnus'. That's if it even appears.

Lord_Dante
26-11-2010, 20:58
Small thing maybe worth mentioning this book is only £3.99 for pre order on play.com :) Just ordered it myself.

bound for glory
27-11-2010, 06:15
what of horus? does he have a cameo? i want to read about how horus talked russ into desroying the thousand sons...these books are awsome. but some key(imo) moments seem to be left out. lets see how the warmaster pulls the strings...

Son of Sanguinius
27-11-2010, 06:42
what of horus? does he have a cameo? i want to read about how horus talked russ into desroying the thousand sons...these books are awsome. but some key(imo) moments seem to be left out. lets see how the warmaster pulls the strings...

Good questions. Hopefully this book puts to rest the question of whether it was Horus, Russ, or the Emperor who decided to try and get Magnus killed.

jawsoftheworldwolf
27-11-2010, 06:57
It wouldn't surprise me if the Space Wolves attack the Thousand Sons to hide their own genetic deviancy some how? They seem to have a lot of Wulfen at the end of Prospero Burns.

Son of Sanguinius
27-11-2010, 07:09
I'd doubt that. What more intrigues me is all of Abnett's talk of why the Space Wolves are allowed to be so especially violent and deviant when other Legions seem to be held to stricter standards. The Wulfen would fall under both those categories.

As of now, my guess is the Emperor had long running suspicions that some of his sons and legions would turn and that he needed an ultimate weapon to put a rogue legion and primarch down. Who knows? Maybe the World Eaters, Night Lords, and Space Wolves were all created with that kind of a purpose.

AvatarForm
27-11-2010, 10:32
I was so excited until I read this thread... now, other than the minis, the Space Wolves are dead to me... their shear arrogance and the lengths that the Black Library portrays them is rubbish...

Bring back William King's Ragnar series which portrays them as we have always known them...

Also, referenceing back to A Thousand Sons... Othere Wyrdmake makes me sick!

Lord_Crull
27-11-2010, 13:18
I'd doubt that. What more intrigues me is all of Abnett's talk of why the Space Wolves are allowed to be so especially violent and deviant when other Legions seem to be held to stricter standards. The Wulfen would fall under both those categories.

As of now, my guess is the Emperor had long running suspicions that some of his sons and legions would turn and that he needed an ultimate weapon to put a rogue legion and primarch down. Who knows? Maybe the World Eaters, Night Lords, and Space Wolves were all created with that kind of a purpose.

I find a number of problems with Abnett's statement honestly.

The Wolves were always noted to be a small Legion and they are depicted with roughly ten thousand Astartes in A Thousand Sons if memory serves me correctly.

If going by First Heretic the Word Bearers have a hunderd thousand Marines and the Ultramarines may have had as many as 250,000 (If one takes Collected Visons into account)

I know Space Wolves are meant to be awesome and all, but I find it hard to believe that they could destroy another Legion ten times their size or even bigger than that.

Or course when one states that one must also rememeber that we have multiple differnt accounts of Legion numbers. (For example the Index Astartes articles listed them as 10,000 and the Collected Visons as 100,000 on average.)

boogle
27-11-2010, 15:27
I find a number of problems with Abnett's statement honestly.

The Wolves were always noted to be a small Legion and they are depicted with roughly ten thousand Astartes in A Thousand Sons if memory serves me correctly.

If going by First Heretic the Word Bearers have a hunderd thousand Marines and the Ultramarines may have had as many as 250,000 (If one takes Collected Visons into account)

I know Space Wolves are meant to be awesome and all, but I find it hard to believe that they could destroy another Legion ten times their size or even bigger than that.

Or course when one states that one must also rememeber that we have multiple differnt accounts of Legion numbers. (For example the Index Astartes articles listed them as 10,000 and the Collected Visons as 100,000 on average.)

Basically the other legions knew when to stop, the Wolves Don;t, once unleashed, they'll scour everything in their path

Son of Sanguinius
27-11-2010, 15:48
I find a number of problems with Abnett's statement honestly.

The Wolves were always noted to be a small Legion and they are depicted with roughly ten thousand Astartes in A Thousand Sons if memory serves me correctly.

If going by First Heretic the Word Bearers have a hunderd thousand Marines and the Ultramarines may have had as many as 250,000 (If one takes Collected Visons into account)

I know Space Wolves are meant to be awesome and all, but I find it hard to believe that they could destroy another Legion ten times their size or even bigger than that.

Or course when one states that one must also rememeber that we have multiple differnt accounts of Legion numbers. (For example the Index Astartes articles listed them as 10,000 and the Collected Visons as 100,000 on average.)

You make good points, particularly the last one. The legion sizes have been so wildly inconsistent that we really don't know what we're going to get with the wolves.

wamphyri101
27-11-2010, 17:44
Ok due to work I have been held up finishing this (100pages to go which is annoying as I want to start the new Sigmar one)

Here is what I can tell you so far and my own personal feelings about reading the book (I have all read all the other Horus ones also to date)


1: Most of the middle of the book follows the space wolves as they take out a planet system of robots (AI)

2: For a good description of what the different primarch/chapters purpose. There is no better than a statement I feel than a Longfang after Horus is named Warmaster. Basically:

One to be heir
One to build his defences
One to command his armies
One to guard the hearth
One to watch the distant perimeter
One to control the intelligences

And Russ, Russ was his Executioner.

3: On Page 308 we finally get to the trial of Magnus at Nikaea. Until this point none of the other Primarchs are involved in the book and the interactions with the other chapters is non excitant. Ohthere Wyrdmake turns up for the first time.

4: Russ doesn’t turn up until page 317 as a character

5: The Space Wolves had 3 companies at Nikaea hidden from all outside knowledge (bar custodians and the emperor) and were hidden by the silent sisterhood. They were there in case Magnus and his legion reacted badly….

6: Kasper Hawser is actually a spy for someone. He was psychically changed so he would understand the space wolves languages and adapt to there mind set. He has know knowledge of any of this (until he loses the ability to translate when he is surrounded by blanks and Russ)

Russ is determined to find out who is playing games.


As to the book so far. It's very different to alot of the others.

It is very low pace for a start as there are few battles. From my feel of the book they are trying to set a different spin on space wolves to “just feral warriors” and aiming more at the character of the chapter

They keep showing there observation skills as well as there high level of perception and intelligence. They prove there point in the book by calmly waiting until they have full control of an area by administration paper work before they devastate the opponent.

Lord_Crull
27-11-2010, 18:06
Basically the other legions knew when to stop, the Wolves Don;t, once unleashed, they'll scour everything in their path

It does not matter how brutal the Wolves are. They are still facing ten to one odds in some circumstances. I don't care how awesome they are individually, the average Space Wolf is not worth the average ten Marines of any other Legion. Regardless of brutality they will get overwhelmed by sheer numbers.

Son of Sanguinius
27-11-2010, 18:36
What are you basing #2 on?

Londinium
27-11-2010, 18:49
#2 makes me wonder if Russ had a part to play in the 'dissapearance' of the two lost legions. Especially after Magnus made note of how Russ didn't want to go through that again when talking to Lorgar in TFH.

Son of Sanguinius
27-11-2010, 18:57
My sentiments exactly, Londinium.

Pacific
27-11-2010, 21:54
You make good points, particularly the last one. The legion sizes have been so wildly inconsistent that we really don't know what we're going to get with the wolves.

If you read The First Heretic, it looks like the HH series is making some effort to pin down the numbers. And its going from the Collected Visions numbers, not the old IA article ones (so 100,000 for the Word Bearers, substantially smaller than the quarter million or so UM).

Nazguire
28-11-2010, 02:25
Ok due to work I have been held up finishing this (100pages to go which is annoying as I want to start the new Sigmar one)

Here is what I can tell you so far and my own personal feelings about reading the book (I have all read all the other Horus ones also to date)


1: Most of the middle of the book follows the space wolves as they take out a planet system of robots (AI)

2: For a good description of what the different primarch/chapters purpose. There is no better than a statement I feel than a Longfang after Horus is named Warmaster. Basically:

One to be heir
One to build his defences
One to command his armies
One to guard the hearth
One to watch the distant perimeter
One to control the intelligences

And Russ, Russ was his Executioner.

3: On Page 308 we finally get to the trial of Magnus at Nikaea. Until this point none of the other Primarchs are involved in the book and the interactions with the other chapters is non excitant. Ohthere Wyrdmake turns up for the first time.

4: Russ doesn’t turn up until page 317 as a character

5: The Space Wolves had 3 companies at Nikaea hidden from all outside knowledge (bar custodians and the emperor) and were hidden by the silent sisterhood. They were there in case Magnus and his legion reacted badly….

6: Kasper Hawser is actually a spy for someone. He was psychically changed so he would understand the space wolves languages and adapt to there mind set. He has know knowledge of any of this (until he loses the ability to translate when he is surrounded by blanks and Russ)

Russ is determined to find out who is playing games.


As to the book so far. It's very different to alot of the others.

It is very low pace for a start as there are few battles. From my feel of the book they are trying to set a different spin on space wolves to “just feral warriors” and aiming more at the character of the chapter

They keep showing there observation skills as well as there high level of perception and intelligence. They prove there point in the book by calmly waiting until they have full control of an area by administration paper work before they devastate the opponent.


Regarding Spoiler #6 I'd say it's Magnus who changed him. Magnus mentions he has pawns in the Space Wolves.

DarkWarrior1981
28-11-2010, 08:54
No, it was not Magnus...;)

jawsoftheworldwolf
28-11-2010, 09:24
It does not matter how brutal the Wolves are. They are still facing ten to one odds in some circumstances. I don't care how awesome they are individually, the average Space Wolf is not worth the average ten Marines of any other Legion. Regardless of brutality they will get overwhelmed by sheer numbers.

Don't forget that Russ has this bizarre anti-psyker Howl ability which he unleashes in A Thousand Sons.

It kills all psykers within a close proximity while causing less serious brain haemorraghes, nose bleeds and migranes at long distance...say 1 Mile away! :eek:

Nazguire
28-11-2010, 12:12
No, it was not Magnus...;)

The only other person I can think would do that then would be Lorgar. But that's a long shot.

Lord_Crull
28-11-2010, 13:54
Don't forget that Russ has this bizarre anti-psyker Howl ability which he unleashes in A Thousand Sons.

It kills all psykers within a close proximity while causing less serious brain haemorraghes, nose bleeds and migranes at long distance...say 1 Mile away! :eek:

That's nice. That does not change the fact that the Wolves are still outnumbered 10-1 in some cases by Astartes. Or that most of the Legions are not composed of psykers.

jawsoftheworldwolf
28-11-2010, 17:07
It does if you're the Thousand Sons!

Numerically the Space Wolves are a smaller force.
Let's say there's 100 of them and there are 1000 of the enemy.

Is it probable that the Space Wolves would be fighting in an open battlefield where all 1000 of the enemy could fight them at once?

Instead they'd use the terrain to their advantage, being better close combat fighters.

So in theory, 100 could fight off 1000. It's unrealistic to think you could physically bring all 1000 to bear against 100 at the same time.

The film 300 springs to mind (or the Battle of Thermopulae (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Thermopylae) if you prefer).

A good example of how a small, elite force can conquer an army many, many times its size.

Lord_Crull
28-11-2010, 17:40
It does if you're the Thousand Sons!


So the Space Wolves are good for persecuting one of the smallest Legions? And even then they needed Custodes and Sisters support with Magnus sabotaging his own Legion to do it.,



Numerically the Space Wolves are a smaller force.
Let's say there's 100 of them and there are 1000 of the enemy.

Is it probable that the Space Wolves would be fighting in an open battlefield where all 1000 of the enemy could fight them at once?

Instead they'd use the terrain to their advantage, being better close combat fighters.

So in theory, 100 could fight off 1000. It's unrealistic to think you could physically bring all 1000 to bear against 100 at the same time.

The film 300 springs to mind (or the Battle of Thermopulae (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Thermopylae) if you prefer).

A good example of how a small, elite force can conquer an army many, many times its size.

That's completely ignoring the fact that they are also facing Astartes. The Spartans held off a horde of vastly inferior trained and equipped troops. The Wolves are facing their equals here. Opponets equipped and trained like them.

And please don't use the film as an example of military tactics. It is a highly dramatised fantasy version of the actual battle. Plus the context is completely different.

So no, it is not unrealistic if the Wolves are facing other Astartes. In fact if the Wolves were prosecuting other Legions then they would be the ones on the attack and it would be more likely that the other Legions would be able to take advantage of the terrian if they where defending. The Spartans were defending and the Persian attacking. If the Wolves were the ''Executioners'' then they would almost certainly be the ones attacking.

It's true that a small elite force can conquer an army many, many times it's size. However in this case it's a small elite army vs a large elite army who is equipped and trained in almost the exact same way.

Lupe
28-11-2010, 18:43
I'd strongly suggest leaving the "would the SW be outnumbered or not?" discussion die. Even within the Horus Heresy books (so ignoring the 40K books or codices), there seems to be a huge discrepancy between how large legions are supposed to be.

That kinda makes proving valid points regarding the value of tactics or prowess a bit too hard... Let's just focus on the book, shall we?

jawsoftheworldwolf
28-11-2010, 19:44
Agreed.

The Space Wolves butchered the Thousand Sons - FACT!

nagash66
28-11-2010, 19:58
Agreed.

The Space Wolves butchered the Thousand Sons - FACT!

Yeah 40K history proves that the Wolves CAN wipe another legion off even their own homeworld.

Lord_Crull
28-11-2010, 20:45
Agreed.

The Space Wolves butchered the Thousand Sons - FACT!

........with the Space Wolves having Custodes and Sisters help along with Magnus deliberately sabotaging his own Legion's defenses as much as he could have, and the Space Wolves still walking away with huge losses even after all those bonuses.

Then yes. That's true.

Son of Sanguinius
28-11-2010, 21:54
I have to agree with Crull in this instance. If the Wolves are retconned to have a truckload of warriors, then yes, it is realistic that they could function as an executioner legion.

And in the case of the Thousand Sons, Magnus' sons were one of the smaller legions and Magnus did wait until his legion had already lost to actually defend them.

Now, there might be something to be said in the idea that Russ' legion was meant to be able to destroy the smaller, more deviant legions. Think about the big legions- Ultramarines, Luna Wolves, Dark Angels. All of those could be considered extremely loyal before the Heresy started. Think of the Night Lords, World Eaters, Thousand Sons, and Alpha Legion. All mistrusted, all small by comparison.

Which reinforces, in my mind, the idea that the Emperor created some of these crazier legions fully expecting a couple to turn and having others around as insurance policies.

boogle
28-11-2010, 23:24
Ever thought his role of Executioner was more of just that?

I mean the Wolve could have been unleashed on the command structure of the 2 lost legions, leaving the rest alone as per an edict from the Emperor, the fact that a small legion decimated the command structure of a larger legion, could have lead those legions into accepting their fate without further bloodshed

Son of Sanguinius
28-11-2010, 23:36
I considered that, boogle, but I find it extremely difficult to imagine Russ sneaking up and assassinating. I'm no Russ-fanboy, but it doesn't seem his style. He seems an intentionally designed public executioner.

Lord_Crull
29-11-2010, 00:34
Ever thought his role of Executioner was more of just that?

I mean the Wolve could have been unleashed on the command structure of the 2 lost legions, leaving the rest alone as per an edict from the Emperor, the fact that a small legion decimated the command structure of a larger legion, could have lead those legions into accepting their fate without further bloodshed

I find it difficult to believe that they would be able to isolate the command structure of each Legion and seperate it from the bulk.

And that's for the normal Legions. Good luck trying to destroy the command structure of the Alpha Legion or finding out where Corax is.

wamphyri101
29-11-2010, 08:21
Just on the number point. The Space Wolves actually outnumber the thousand sons during the attack nearly 10 – 1 not the other way around. During this time there are A LOT more space wolves than some of the other legions (Bar maybe the ultramarines and blood angels)

Also they were bumped up by a lot of custodies and silent sisters

boogle
29-11-2010, 11:12
I didn't say anything about sneaking up and Assassination.

Dead.Blue.Clown
29-11-2010, 11:59
You make good points, particularly the last one. The legion sizes have been so wildly inconsistent that we really don't know what we're going to get with the wolves.

I can help with this. While we can't be 100% sure of Legion size unless it's mentioned in a novel, the Horus Heresy: Collected Visions numbers are the right ones. The Legions were all about 100,000 Astartes strong, give or take. The smaller Legions (at a guess) would be about 50,000-80,000.

That means previous HH novels before this was finalised (pre-A Thousand Sons) use the incorrect figures. So, like, up everything by 10 or so.

Lastie
29-11-2010, 12:38
The Legions were all about 100,000 Astartes strong, give or take. The smaller Legions (at a guess) would be about 50,000-80,000.

That seems an horrendously small number for a galactic invasion and occupation force. I know these are proto-Astartes with the most advanced Plot Armour the Emperor's scientists can provide but still ... ~2,000,000? And that's before two legions fell off the face of the plot continuum.

(This kind of reminds me of the recent fan-debacle over in the Star Wars EU regarding the size and composition of the Old Republic's clone army. :rolleyes:)

Lord_Crull
29-11-2010, 12:49
Just on the number point. The Space Wolves actually outnumber the thousand sons during the attack nearly 10 – 1 not the other way around. During this time there are A LOT more space wolves than some of the other legions (Bar maybe the ultramarines and blood angels)

Also they were bumped up by a lot of custodies and silent sisters

So much for Space Wolves previous fluff as ''Always being a small Legion'' then.

However if they were among one of the larger Legions, then yes, they could function as Executioners. (Although I myself dislike the concept. It smacks too much of ''my chapter is better than yours'' that I've read with Ward's fluff.)

But of course that's my opinion. I'm reserving final judgement until I actually get to read the book.

Dead.Blue.Clown
29-11-2010, 12:58
That seems an horrendously small number for a galactic invasion and occupation force. I know these are proto-Astartes with the most advanced Plot Armour the Emperor's scientists can provide but still ... ~2,000,000? And that's before two legions fell off the face of the plot continuum.

(This kind of reminds me of the recent fan-debacle over in the Star Wars EU regarding the size and composition of the Old Republic's clone army. :rolleyes:)

Well, there's a difference. A clonetrooper isn't the same thing as an Astartes, natch, and the Star Wars figures really did struggle to add up. But a couple million Astartes, with bajillions of Titans, Imperial Army regiments, and everything else... I don't really see any difficulty with that lot conquering 3/4 of the galaxy, especially seeing as many planets would welcome contact with Terra. I mean, there are something like 80,000 Crusade fleets. That's a whole lotta Rosie.

Besides, why object to that, when the previous figures were 10% of it? Bad Lastie. Bad.

Son of Sanguinius
29-11-2010, 17:08
Well, there's a difference. A clonetrooper isn't the same thing as an Astartes, natch, and the Star Wars figures really did struggle to add up. But a couple million Astartes, with bajillions of Titans, Imperial Army regiments, and everything else... I don't really see any difficulty with that lot conquering 3/4 of the galaxy, especially seeing as many planets would welcome contact with Terra. I mean, there are something like 80,000 Crusade fleets. That's a whole lotta Rosie.

It's precisely this that makes me furious when people claim "the Astartes conquered the galaxy". No, they did not. Without the massive Imperial Army, the endeavor would have been logistically impossible.

Lastie
29-11-2010, 18:31
Well, there's a difference. A clonetrooper isn't the same thing as an Astartes, natch ...

Lets not go down the road of 'Space Marine versus [insert choice Space Marine (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SpaceMarine) trope-user here]', for that way surely lies madness! ;)


Besides, why object to [the figures], when the previous figures were 10% of it? Bad Lastie. Bad.

Bad Lastie? But I've always objected to it! Honest! :shifty:

If there's one constant throughout 40K's convoluted canon it's that the numbers are never large enough. Really, by now you'd think they would have got into the habit of thinking up a big number then add a couple more zero's onto the end. But hey, I guess we have reasons (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ScifiWritersHaveNoSenseOfScale) for these things ...


It's precisely this that makes me furious when people claim "the Astartes conquered the galaxy". No, they did not. Without the massive Imperial Army, the endeavor would have been logistically impossible.

Agreed completely. Definitely need more Imperial Army in the HH series.

Idaan
29-11-2010, 20:47
I can help with this. While we can't be 100% sure of Legion size unless it's mentioned in a novel, the Horus Heresy: Collected Visions numbers are the right ones. The Legions were all about 100,000 Astartes strong, give or take. The smaller Legions (at a guess) would be about 50,000-80,000.

That means previous HH novels before this was finalised (pre-A Thousand Sons) use the incorrect figures. So, like, up everything by 10 or so.

So there were two times more Astartes back then then there are now despite the fact that the Great Crusade was a series of attacks on separate factions usually sector-wide in size and Imperium always had the initiative while M41 is continuous defence of unreinforced positions against 5-6 galaxywide attackers? And that Ultramarines lost 90% of their fighting force in Heresy despite being said to have suffered relatively small losses? And that Space Wolves were reduced to 15% of their starting size (Codex Space Wolves has the second largest Great Company at <200 making the whole Chapter about 1500 strong) and never even tried to rebuild despite not having any reason not to?

Londinium
29-11-2010, 20:52
So there were two times more Astartes back then then there are now despite the fact that the Great Crusade was a series of attacks on separate factions usually sector-wide in size and Imperium always had the initiative while M41 is continuous defence of unreinforced positions against 5-6 galaxywide attackers? And that Ultramarines lost 90% of their fighting force in Heresy despite being said to have suffered relatively small losses? And that Space Wolves were reduced to 15% of their starting size (Codex Space Wolves has the second largest Great Company at <200 making the whole Chapter about 1500 strong) and never even tried to rebuild despite not having any reason not to?

In regards to this, that's entirely possible. The Ultramarines were brutalised in the immediate wake of the Heresy, they were esentially holding the entire crumbling edifice together by themselves. Dorn was contributing but not in a strategic fashion and most of the other legions were either traitors or at a fraction of their previous strength. I'd ignore any fluff about them taking relatively light casualties, it's fairly obvious given the situation they found themselves in that they would have gone through the grinder.

Lord_Crull
30-11-2010, 01:21
Just on the number point. The Space Wolves actually outnumber the thousand sons during the attack nearly 10 – 1 not the other way around. During this time there are A LOT more space wolves than some of the other legions (Bar maybe the ultramarines and blood angels)

Also they were bumped up by a lot of custodies and silent sisters

Sorry to bring this point up again, but is this actually described in the novel? Does Prospero Burns give any indication as to how big the Space Wolves Legion was?

Xisor
30-11-2010, 01:23
So there were two times more Astartes back then then there are now despite the fact that the Great Crusade was a series of attacks on separate factions usually sector-wide in size and Imperium always had the initiative while M41 is continuous defence of unreinforced positions against 5-6 galaxywide attackers? And that Ultramarines lost 90% of their fighting force in Heresy despite being said to have suffered relatively small losses? And that Space Wolves were reduced to 15% of their starting size (Codex Space Wolves has the second largest Great Company at <200 making the whole Chapter about 1500 strong) and never even tried to rebuild despite not having any reason not to?

Says a lot for the quality of the Codex Astartes, don't you think?

That is: Horus was running around with his four top captains, Fulgrim chummed about with Eidolon alot, Typhon and Mortarion hung around together.

As far as it goes, we only really had Ben Counter and Gav Thorpe, now bolstered by Aaron D-B, in showing the Legions fighting in a dispersed manner.

It would certainly explain why, for example, the Dark Angels rivalled Horus' tally of victories and the Ultramarines dwarfed other legions' power...they had an excellent backing in logistics and had the sense to distribute their forces. The Dark Angels in Gav's story are fighting in dispersed chapters, the Ultramarines are massively spread out doing their own Great Crusade in microcosm.

No wonder the Emperor was aghast at Lorgar's Word Bearers...hundreds of thousands of Astartes to utterly dominate a planet into perfection...sure, it's nice...but you if could do 'passable, long-lasting' compliance with a thousand Astartes...why bother?!


On Organising the Numbers

I really do think the strength is in the Codex. Not to praise Guilliman (mainly as I imagine he was an editor as much as an original author [notice how it seems the Raven Guard and Dark Angels barely need to alter to fit the Codex?]) too much, but simply working out what the most efficient and effective way of organising and using the Astartes means that even with half as many Astartes, the current Imperium is probably in a much more stable and robust state than it ever was with eighteen legions running around the place.


An Abnett-based Problem

This whole discussion really does highlight some of the missteps (or perhaps I should say: missed opportunities) in this sort of thinking made by Abnett in Legion. They, like the DA, UM and RG, are the avant-garde of strategising...and yet for all thatit's mentioned, the entire legion might as well be deployed in one place!

I think that would do well to be 'clarified' (i.e. the force seen in Legion could be one of a hundred near-identical Alpha Legion deployments, all informing their allies that Alpharius fights with them...) and expanded on.

Dead.Blue.Clown
30-11-2010, 07:28
Bad Lastie? But I've always objected to it! Honest! :shifty:


Yeah, I was re-reading what I posted, and rather than coming off as jokey, I sounded a bit like a condescending tool. So my apologies there, dude.

"Ha, this guy's a douche, I bet he OH WAIT, THAT'S ME."


So there were two times more Astartes back then then there are now despite the fact that the Great Crusade was a series of attacks on separate factions usually sector-wide in size and Imperium always had the initiative while M41 is continuous defence of unreinforced positions against 5-6 galaxywide attackers? And that Ultramarines lost 90% of their fighting force in Heresy despite being said to have suffered relatively small losses? And that Space Wolves were reduced to 15% of their starting size (Codex Space Wolves has the second largest Great Company at <200 making the whole Chapter about 1500 strong) and never even tried to rebuild despite not having any reason not to?

Apparently. Hey, I don't write the laws, man.

I think this is basically a mongrel case of retconning X, highlighting Y from the past, and finally getting it into canon as Z.

Huge Legions = Yes.

The rest, we'll have to see. Remember, these are figures from the IP Manager at Games Workshop, who approves every codex and sits at Horus Heresy meeting discussions. There's no purer source than that.

Sephiroth
30-11-2010, 09:27
That seems an horrendously small number for a galactic invasion and occupation force. I know these are proto-Astartes with the most advanced Plot Armour the Emperor's scientists can provide but still ... ~2,000,000? And that's before two legions fell off the face of the plot continuum.

(This kind of reminds me of the recent fan-debacle over in the Star Wars EU regarding the size and composition of the Old Republic's clone army. :rolleyes:)

Apples and Oranges.

The problem is only because authors insist on keeping the Astartes in the spotlight; scouting out new planets, estimating the level of resistance, etc should fall to a form of proto-Rogue Traders or other exploration force; the Legions didn't need to place a foot on each planet to symbolically capture it for the Imperium.

The GAR, by comparison, needed to garrison hundreds of worlds... although Star Wars is IMO a ************* of background anyway - if they're a Republic, why do they care if some worlds or systems want to seceded - I thought allowing such things were part and parcel of being a republic. :p

Nazguire
30-11-2010, 09:38
If Ultramarines are 200,000 strong, this isn't a bad thing. Like really, is it so hard to imagine that by the time of the split in the Codex, they were to split into 100+plus chapters? The Codex even says that there are many more unnamed Chapters. It's not that hard a stretch. Otherwise by the time of the Codex Astartes, there would be, according to the Codex: Space Marines, only 20,000+ Astartes left on the loyalist side.

Large legions are excellent. Gives a far grander scale to the Heresy. Also gives us a realistic reason as to why the Heresy Traitors are still a realistic threat.

Lars Porsenna
30-11-2010, 13:35
If Ultramarines are 200,000 strong, this isn't a bad thing. Like really, is it so hard to imagine that by the time of the split in the Codex, they were to split into 100+plus chapters? The Codex even says that there are many more unnamed Chapters. It's not that hard a stretch. Otherwise by the time of the Codex Astartes, there would be, according to the Codex: Space Marines, only 20,000+ Astartes left on the loyalist side.


Agreed. ISTR in the SM codex or someplace else the statement that the Ultramarines spawned the largest number of successor chapters of any other legion. This would make sense in the context of the UM being the largest legion, and the one least depleted by action. How many Salamander, Raven Guard, or Iron hand successor chapters are there? For the Sallies the only one I know of is the suspected Black Dragons, which wasn't even a 2nd founding (makes sense for a legion that was massacred at Istvaan). But there's lots of UM successor chapters, and that makes perfect sense with regards to the background material we have so far...

Damon.

Lord_Crull
30-11-2010, 15:39
The GAR, by comparison, needed to garrison hundreds of worlds... although Star Wars is IMO a ************* of background anyway - if they're a Republic, why do they care if some worlds or systems want to seceded - I thought allowing such things were part and parcel of being a republic. :p

At the risk of going off topic the US was a republic and they took offense at the South for trying to suceed.

Anyway, I myself do prefer the larger numbers for the Legions myself.

Lastie
30-11-2010, 18:11
I think that would do well to be 'clarified' (i.e. the force seen in Legion could be one of a hundred near-identical Alpha Legion deployments, all informing their allies that Alpharius fights with them...) and expanded on.


The problem is only because authors insist on keeping the Astartes in the spotlight ...

I grouped these two quotes together because in my view they highlight what probably is the biggest problem with the HH series so far, and one that's (as far as I can see, using previous ambitious space opera stories as a measuring stick) unfortunately rather unavoidable; because we need to focus on a theatre of activity that's small enough to make a coherent story we simply miss out on all the rest of the stuff that's happening. It's a galactic invasion here, each world in the Imperium is ... well a planet, most with populations far dwarfing our own. There's a lot going on here and an author has to make huge sacrifices to cram any of this into something remotely coherent as a traditional narrative (otherwise it might end up reading like The Silmarillion. As awesome as that book was, it was a historical textbook not a story).

So while we focus on a small group of Astartes and their prima dona Primarchs angsting and whining about life, the universe, and how daddy doesn't pay them much attention and how cool/awesome/totally radical those eldritch abominations are over in the warp, we got to keep in mind there's a supermassive black hole's worth of material that's going on elsewhere.

I guess in some ways the HH series so far as been akin to watching the events of the Second World War play out entirely from the point of view of the White House/10 Downing Street/wherever Hitler chilled out. It's where the important stuff happened that dictated the entirety of the war, but it does seem rather ... small ... compared to what we expect to be happening.

I'm calling it here: a future HH book will be the Emperor stamping tax returns on Terra. :D


Yeah, I was re-reading what I posted, and rather than coming off as jokey, I sounded a bit like a condescending tool. So my apologies there, dude.

No need to apologise, I knew the comment was made in jest. ;)


Remember, these are figures from the IP Manager at Games Workshop, who approves every codex and sits at Horus Heresy meeting discussions. There's no purer source than that.

Pure doesn't necessarily mean a good thing. One thought that cross my mind a lot when watching Star Wars: The Phantom Menace for the first time years ago was something like "surely during the course of the production of this, with the thousands of people involved, someone must have mentioned to Lucas something along the lines of 'are you sure this is a good idea?'". Although I've never met any of the BL writers in person (probably a good thing, as they all look like they can kick my ass) I'm positive they're all very intelligent* people who've probably noticed the same things discussed here on this thread. If it's not that important to them (and the head of GW IP, considering how much GW values their IP) then I guess I really should stop taking this fictional background so seriously. :p

*That wasn't sarcasm, honestly. :angel:

wamphyri101
30-11-2010, 19:07
So Finished the book last night. It was good but not one of my top 3 and I thought "A Thousand Sons" was better

one big bit at the end though which alot of people might have already thought. Don't read unless you want to keep some things a suprise

Kasper hawser life was moulded by the Primordial Annihilator (the body of chaos who planned the whole corruption of Horus and battle against the emperor to make mankind there greatest conquest by defeating the Emperor)

The aim was to split the two forces that might oppose the rise of Horus.

The first foe was the LOYAL (but misguided) Thousand Sons, The Emperors sorcerers. They had the power to push back the forces of chaos.

The second was the Space Wolves. There were the only Astrates force who’s military might could oppose Horus’s forces.

By spinning a war against them and making Russ believe that Magnus put Kasper into the wolves’ hands as a spy (Russ even begs Magnus to stand down and surrender through Kasper before the assault on Prospero)

The forces of chaos hoped that they would wipe each other out. Though the Thousand sons fled and were out of the war they had managed to greatly reduce the wolves threat

Londinium
30-11-2010, 19:24
The Wolves as the greatest threat to Horus? eugh that's so wrong in about a million ways. I guess I'll have to read the book to see what context it's in.

Was there any mention of the Big E's order to bring back Magnus/Horus changing the orders? or is it kept as vague as before (I hope it was).

wamphyri101
01-12-2010, 11:47
None at all Londinium

Idaan
01-12-2010, 12:26
Apparently. Hey, I don't write the laws, man.

I think this is basically a mongrel case of retconning X, highlighting Y from the past, and finally getting it into canon as Z.

Huge Legions = Yes.

The rest, we'll have to see. Remember, these are figures from the IP Manager at Games Workshop, who approves every codex and sits at Horus Heresy meeting discussions. There's no purer source than that.

Oops, I just skimmed over the responses and didn't notice it was you. Thought it was some random guy trying to pass his personal opinion as fact. Sorry. In this case I bow down and even though I preferred the smaller Legions, I think that consistency is better than lack of consistency. Which was my only major gripe with HH as a series. I guess we'll see how this works out.

Thanatos_elNyx
01-12-2010, 12:42
None at all Londinium

That is disappointing

hellharlequin
02-12-2010, 10:04
The Wolves as the greatest threat to Horus? eugh that's so wrong in about a million ways. I guess I'll have to read the book to see what context it's in.

Was there any mention of the Big E's order to bring back Magnus/Horus changing the orders? or is it kept as vague as before (I hope it was).


you know that the Space wolves were behind the Sons of Horus and the Dark Angels in terms of sucess. And putting them against the Thousand Sons kills two birds with one stone.

Londinium
02-12-2010, 10:41
you know that the Space wolves were behind the Sons of Horus and the Dark Angels in terms of sucess. And putting them against the Thousand Sons kills two birds with one stone.

Indeed but to suggest they are the greatest threat to Horus is pushing it a little bit when you have a quarter of a million Ultramarines lurking around, the tactical genius of Lion El'Johnson and the Blood Angels aswell (who I've always viewed as a sizable legion).

Ka Faraq Gatri
02-12-2010, 17:21
Indeed but to suggest they are the greatest threat to Horus is pushing it a little bit when you have a quarter of a million Ultramarines lurking around, the tactical genius of Lion El'Johnson and the Blood Angels aswell (who I've always viewed as a sizable legion).

There are...other reasons why the Wolves are the biggest threat to the Heresy. Here be spoilers.

One of the novel's central conceits is that each of the Primarchs, and consequently their legions, was created for a singular purpose. Examples:

Horus, to be Warmaster when the Emperor retired to Terra.
Rogal Dorn, to guard Terra.
Perturabo, to fortify the Imperium.
Guilliman to watch the distant reaches.
Alpharius to direct intelligence services.

And so on.

Russ's role? Executioner. In their own opinion, the Vlka Fenryka exist solely and simply to do the things that even other Astartes would balk at. Such as put a rebellion by one of the Emperor's own sons down without a backwards glance.

You'll notice that this also opens up a whole new can of worms - each of the Primarchs had their personality and skillset shaped by the world they ended up on. If the Emperor had their roles planned, then he must have also planned their scattering.

Lord Malorne
02-12-2010, 17:31
Yet that does not hold true for what happened at Armageddon, the Space Wolves do not deal in absolutes.

Ka Faraq Gatri
02-12-2010, 17:34
Yet that does not hold true for what happened at Armageddon, the Space Wolves do not deal in absolutes.

A lot can change in ten millennia, and the Wolves of Fenris have changed more than most. For a start, they actually call themselves the Space Wolves by the 41st millennium, which they resolutely don't during the Heresy.

The Vlka Fenryka of Prospero Burns and the Space Wolves we know and throw bouncy balls for are very, very different beasts.

Lord Malorne
02-12-2010, 17:46
What a difference one book makes :D ;)

Son of Sanguinius
02-12-2010, 17:54
I've always viewed some of the Primarchs as redundant characters, but it's actually beginning to make sense in the light of these preconceived "roles" and my opinion that the Emperor fully expected one or more of his sons to turn.

Angron and the World Eaters fit the role of executioners just as well as Russ and the Space Wolves.

Corax and the Raven Guard would fit the role of intelligence operatives just as well as Alpharius and the Alpha Legion.

Though not as charismatic, the Lion and the Dark Angels would fit the role of warmaster and his praetorians just as well as Horus and the Luna Wolves.

Etc.

Lord_Crull
04-12-2010, 14:10
I have a couple of questions.

1. How was the Battle of Prospero itself handled in comparison to the version in a Thousand Sons? Any new information here?

2. Do Gaumon and the other characters who disappear at the end of a Thousand Sons appear at all in this book?

Ka Faraq Gatri
05-12-2010, 19:58
I have a couple of questions.

1. How was the Battle of Prospero itself handled in comparison to the version in a Thousand Sons? Any new information here?

It's pretty much glossed over. Less than 50 pages, all from Hawser's perspective, mostly dealing with his battle against a particular foe - who is resolutely NOT a Thousand Sons Astartes.


2. Do Gaumon and the other characters who disappear at the end of a Thousand Sons appear at all in this book?

No. The Thousand Sons barely appear, and only one is named. And that's at Nikaea. And he's not really one of the Thousand Sons.

Prospero Burns isn't really a companion piece to A Thousand Sons at all. It's the story of Kaspar Hawser. It is excellent. I can't recommend it enough.

Thanatos_elNyx
05-12-2010, 20:05
They were pitching it as a duology were they not?

Nazguire
05-12-2010, 20:42
This is stupid then. If it barely covers the Space Wolves involvement with the Thousand Sons and Burning of Prospero, it really shouldn't be classed as a duology should it?
What about Shrike, or the voyage to Prospero, Horus' message to Russ, battle with Magnus, etc.

Lord_Crull
05-12-2010, 20:52
Yeah, do we get conformation on wheter Horus or Valdor changed Russ's orders? Do we get any news on Shrike or what happened to Prospero and it's people after the battle?

Ka Faraq Gatri
05-12-2010, 20:55
What about Shrike, or the voyage to Prospero, Horus' message to Russ, battle with Magnus, etc.

Nope, nope, not mentioned, happens "off-screen".

The main story elements are below. I've tried to make this as non-spoilery as possible, but don't read if you're of a delicate dispositon.

On Fenris, Kaspar Hawser is saved by tribesmen and one Astartes. He nearly dies, and is rebuilt, over many years, to be a skjald (storyteller) to a company of Wolves. He joins the Wolves in battle against the Oletian Quietude, then accompanies them to Nikaea, where the Wolf King, Constantin Valdor, Raldorion of the Blood Angels and Typhon of the Wolf Guard are very interested in him. As is Amon of the Thousand Sons.

Later, the Wolves are ordered to Prospero. There, Hawser discovers who has been manipulating his life, and why. He and a handful of Wolves defeat the foe, while the Wolf King leads the assault on Tizca. When it is done, they return to Fenris.

This is interspersed with sequences from Hawser's past showing how he came to a point in his life where going to Fenris seemed like a good idea. These sequences give a fantastic look at early Crusade-era Terra, and were fascinating.

Lord_Crull
05-12-2010, 20:59
Honestly put? I have mixed apprehension about the book. I was expecting at least some more answers to be revealed and more of the various events in a Thousand Sons told from the Wolves point of view.

Nazguire
06-12-2010, 05:05
Honestly put? I have mixed apprehension about the book. I was expecting at least some more answers to be revealed and more of the various events in a Thousand Sons told from the Wolves point of view.

I guess by doing that they want us to make our own mind up about Shrike, the invasion, etc. But by doing it this way, we're merely gonna have the Thousand Sons opinion, no one elses, so we'll continue thinking the Wolves are aggressive World Eaters in wolf-pelts with a superiority complex.

Thanatos_elNyx
06-12-2010, 08:39
we'll continue thinking the Wolves are aggressive World Eaters in wolf-pelts with a superiority complex.

Yes, but we thought that anyway before ATS. ;)

Londinium
06-12-2010, 09:31
This is odd because the whole two book thing was set up as showing the same events from both sides, so we could make up our own minds. Furthermore Dan has said on the youtube videos he made for Prospero Burns that he's seen the sympathy that the Thousand Sons got after ATS and thinks this book may well change things.

Seems hard to do when they're skimming over so much of what before and instead focusing on some totally new character. Hmmmm.

nagash66
06-12-2010, 12:05
After this book and the Alpha Legion book i am starting to think Abnett has a "thing" for just building up and revealing heresy era "twists" while he forgets what the book is really about.

Lord_Crull
06-12-2010, 12:41
This is odd because the whole two book thing was set up as showing the same events from both sides, so we could make up our own minds. Furthermore Dan has said on the youtube videos he made for Prospero Burns that he's seen the sympathy that the Thousand Sons got after ATS and thinks this book may well change things.

Seems hard to do when they're skimming over so much of what before and instead focusing on some totally new character. Hmmmm.

Well Abnett might suceed in his aims. I am reserving final judgement until I have read the book myself.

Ka Faraq Gatri
06-12-2010, 16:29
It is worth noting that Hawser's story does, of course, tie in heavily to the overarching story, and and aspect of it does give the Wolves another motivation for their ferociousness on Prospero. It genuinely doesn't feel like an unconnected story. And it is great.

Sandlemad
06-12-2010, 20:40
Russ's role? Executioner. In their own opinion, the Vlka Fenryka exist solely and simply to do the things that even other Astartes would balk at. Such as put a rebellion by one of the Emperor's own sons down without a backwards glance.

Huh, this bit seems interesting. Abnett mentioned something like this in the trailer for A Thousand Sons.
It's appeared elsewhere in the series too: Loken's horror at the thought of Astartes fighting Astartes, the Luna Wolves' jokes about the ridiculous idea of inter-legion conflict, Ahriman's millisecond of shocked hesitation when he had his first Space Wolf in his sights at Tizca. Sets up the actual Heresy as being a the galaxy-wide shocker it ought to be, if rather mildly.
And if the Emperor was aware of the possibility of rebellion enough to have Russ as his failsafe, maybe he wasn't as dumb as he sometimes seems.:p

Looking forward to this. Shame about the lack of detail on the Battle of Prospero, was hoping for the other POV. Oh well.
Anything about the two missing legions in relation to the above?

Ka Faraq Gatri
06-12-2010, 20:59
Anything about the two missing legions in relation to the above?

Maybe if you're very good and read all the way to the end. :p

Satan
07-12-2010, 07:11
Maybe if you're very good and read all the way to the end. :p

Dramatic chipmunk moment!

You're going to have to expand on that...

Ka Faraq Gatri
07-12-2010, 07:30
Okay...


'There's a first time for everything.'
'Exactly,' he grunts.
'The unprecedented. Like...Astartes fighting Astartes? Like the Rout being called to sanction another Legion?'
'That?' he answers. He laughs, but it is a sad sound. 'Hjolda, no. That's not unprecedented.'
I am lost for a reply. I am never sure when he is joking.

Sandlemad
07-12-2010, 11:09
Okay...


'There's a first time for everything.'
'Exactly,' he grunts.
'The unprecedented. Like...Astartes fighting Astartes? Like the Rout being called to sanction another Legion?'
'That?' he answers. He laughs, but it is a sad sound. 'Hjolda, no. That's not unprecedented.'
I am lost for a reply. I am never sure when he is joking.


:eek: Hot dang that's cool.
Incidentally, any Scandinavian types know if hjolda is even vaguely connected to a real word? The SWs in Lone Wolves say it as well.

Satan
07-12-2010, 11:24
You mean this?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holda

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huldra

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huld

In what context do they use it? I guess an Icelander or Faroer would have the best chance at recognizing words like that.

Cool that they were used previously in order to "rein in" another legion... I wonder if Angron was used in the same way? They HAVE to release something with more substance...

Saul
07-12-2010, 20:53
If its the same as Holla in german then its to show your astonishment.

bound for glory
07-12-2010, 22:33
how in the world did horus talk russ into killing magnus? anyone?

bound for glory
07-12-2010, 22:53
wow...just wow. just been reading over some of the questions asked and looking at some spoilers. i do love his series, but this bokk WAS billed as a wolfs view of ats. if it does'nt answer some good questions(re: horus changing russ' orders) then it is a poor way of going about a series that should answer these very same questions. this is why i said the hh series should just have been 3-5 big books. i'll keep reading, but this sucks.

Lord_Crull
08-12-2010, 01:30
how in the world did horus talk russ into killing magnus? anyone?

The attack on Prospero took place before Istavaan, when everyone though Horus was the loyal Warmaster.

Satan
08-12-2010, 06:56
If its the same as Holla in german then its to show your astonishment.

Which would be roughly the same as saying "Hold da op" in Danish. Or "Hold da" (with a dramatic pause at the end) for short, showing astonishment or surprise.

Sandlemad
09-12-2010, 23:35
Which would be roughly the same as saying "Hold da op" in Danish. Or "Hold da" (with a dramatic pause at the end) for short, showing astonishment or surprise.

This would fit with the use in Prospero Burns but not so much with Lone Wolves, also by Abnett.
There it seems to be used as a battlecry "Fenrys hjolda!", "Ja, hjold!", along with "Ojor va Russ!". I'm sure it makes perfect sense in Fenrisian.:p

Nazguire
20-12-2010, 07:07
Just bought and read the book today, and it's quite a good read. You do really see how different the Space Wolves of M31 are to the Space Wolves of 40k. It also expands on the nature of the Space Wolves; the barbarian act is 'put on' in a lot of cases, and that whilst they have a barbarian aspect to the Legion, they are also extremely disciplined and ruthless in their approach to warfare.

Simo429
20-12-2010, 15:14
Worst HH book so far, Abnetts dislike of Space Wolves was certainly not conquered in this book instead it seemed like he tried to avoid using them as much as possible.

Ka Faraq Gatri
20-12-2010, 15:34
Worst HH book so far, Abnetts dislike of Space Wolves was certainly not conquered in this book instead it seemed like he tried to avoid using them as much as possible.

EDIT: Having read your blog post on Prospero Burns, I realise that we were looking for very different things from the novel, and that's fair enough.

Svorlrik
20-12-2010, 20:09
Also just finished reading Prospero Burns. I really enjoyed it, even though Prospero only burned during a small part of the book. Reading the blurb on the back would indicate that a large part of the book was going to be about it.

I liked the fact that it wasn't written from the perspective of a Space Wolf. It adds to the mystery and awe of the Astartes when it is being told by a (somewhat) normal man.

As Nazguire stated, they're different to the Space Wolves of the 41st millenium although still familiar. I felt the book made Space Wolves a little less cartoony/cliched than they are sometimes portrayed.

My only critisicism is that if felt a bit like Dan Abnett didn't really want to write the story about the fall of Prospero from a Space Wolf perspective, but wanted to have a go at writing his own version of what life for the space wolves and living in the fang was like etc leaving little room for the fall of Prospero itself.

Overall though, I for one am a fan of this book.

Lars Porsenna
21-12-2010, 02:19
I went to TWO local Barnes & Noble here in the states looking for this book, and NEITHER one had it in stock! :mad:

I picked up Malekith instead, since for fantasy I play BOTH High AND Dark elfs!

Damon.

Nazguire
21-12-2010, 02:36
I also felt that Dan Abnett had a greater plan for this novel, but was held back by page constraints. The ending seems sorta rushed. Like he had great ideas for it, but had no space after concluding the plotline for Kasper.

Also if someone could clarify


"Are there wolves on Fenris?"
"Go and look for yourself" he tells me, "go on"

I look at him. He nods. I start towards the forest line across the snow. I begin to run. I pull my pelt, the one Bercaw gave me, tight around me, like a second skin. In the enormous darkness under the evergreens, I see eyes staring at me; luminous, gold and black pinned. They are waiting for me, ten thousand pairs of eyes looking out at me from the shadows of the forest. I am not afraid.

I am not afraid of the wolves anymore.
Behind me, the Wolf King watches me until I've disappeared into the trees.
"Until next winter." He says.

What's this mean?

Apologist
21-12-2010, 09:20
"Are there wolves on Fenris?"
"Go and look for yourself" he tells me, "go on"

I look at him. He nods. I start towards the forest line across the snow. I begin to run. I pull my pelt, the one Bercaw gave me, tight around me, like a second skin. In the enormous darkness under the evergreens, I see eyes staring at me; luminous, gold and black pinned. They are waiting for me, ten thousand pairs of eyes looking out at me from the shadows of the forest. I am not afraid.

I am not afraid of the wolves anymore.
Behind me, the Wolf King watches me until I've disappeared into the trees.
"Until next winter." He says.

What's this mean?

Earlier in the novel, the statement 'there are no Wolves on Fenris' is made, to which one of the Astartes replies 'Not until we got here.'

The interpretation I took is that all of the Fenrisian Wolves are essentially Space Wolves whose geneseed didn't 'take' (or took too well!)

Taken specifically in the context above, I took this to mean that Hauser was 'going to the Wolves' – either literally, or in the sense that he had reached the end of his life's purpose: i.e. having had his life mapped out for him, he'd finally got the chance for freedom and an existence not being someone's puppet. The wolves are a metaphor for freedom.

Da'Mass
21-12-2010, 10:22
I guess that's justification for the ridiculous appearance of the two wolves on the cover, but they still look beyond stupid

Satan
21-12-2010, 11:14
There's a similiar comment in... I think it was The First Heretic. One of the recent HH books in any case.

Simo429
21-12-2010, 12:57
If there were no wolves on Fenris before the Space Wolves arrived how was Russ raised by Wolves?

Ramius4
21-12-2010, 14:30
Read 1K Sons for more on the Fenrisian Wolves. At one point...

Magnus uses his psychic sight to 'read' the genetic history of the wolves. He makes an off-handed remark to himself about them that leaves the impression that the wolves aren't native, but also that they were something developed a long, long time ago. Long before the Space Wolves ever existed.

Ka Faraq Gatri
21-12-2010, 17:02
RE: Apologist's question:

"Until next winter" is used throughout Prospero Burns as a farewell before death. Hawser has fought his fears (not to mention his past) and won, and doesn't want to go into hibernation...this is the alternative. This last segment seems to me to be the Wolf King letting Hawser go and face his end like a member of the Rout.

Hellebore
22-12-2010, 02:38
These descriptions of each primarchs' purpose in no one presuppposes that the Emperor designed each one for that purpose.

We only know of their purpose after they'd been found. The emperor picks up assets he'd lost and then fits them back into his strategic plans. Had Horus been brought up on Fenris I'm sure he'd be the Emperor's Executioner in stead.

The environments they grew up in and the personalities they developed were not designed by the Emperor, ergo their purposes within his Crusades were not either, or at least not on an individual level.

The emperor may have wanted an Exectutioner, Warmaster, Strategist, etc. But if he'd had control over the development of the Primarchs he would have been able to selectively train them for these roles rather than having to shoehorn them into them after the fact.

Hellebore

Lupe
22-12-2010, 18:50
We only know of their purpose after they'd been found. The emperor picks up assets he'd lost and then fits them back into his strategic plans. Had Horus been brought up on Fenris I'm sure he'd be the Emperor's Executioner in stead.

The environments they grew up in and the personalities they developed were not designed by the Emperor, ergo their purposes within his Crusades were not either, or at least not on an individual level.


Well, Magnus could communicate psychically with the Emperor even as an embryo. That implies a degree of self-awareness, and more than a skeletal personality.

And all primarchs are said to have had some degree of warp affinity. What if this affinity is what lead them to the planets they were found on?

What if the pods carrying the nascent primarchs were not specifically cast by the Chaos Gods to 20 random planets?
What if, instead, the primarchs instinctively guided their pods to worlds whose vibe, whose psychic imprint most matched their personality?

SeaSwift
22-12-2010, 19:30
Well, Magnus could communicate psychically with the Emperor even as an embryo. That implies a degree of self-awareness, and more than a skeletal personality.

And all primarchs are said to have had some degree of warp affinity. What if this affinity is what lead them to the planets they were found on?

What if the pods carrying the nascent primarchs were not specifically cast by the Chaos Gods to 20 random planets?
What if, instead, the primarchs instinctively guided their pods to worlds whose vibe, whose psychic imprint most matched their personality?

What if that was all fan-fic nonsense? ;)

We don't know any of that, and there are no real indications of it, so it is logical to assume it is false.

Lupe
22-12-2010, 20:32
What if that was all fan-fic nonsense? ;)

We don't know any of that, and there are no real indications of it, so it is logical to assume it is false.

Well, I agree. But as far as the Horus Heresy series goes, the authors seem to imply a great deal of the things that take place were planned by some higher power. They also seem to throw in some loose ends for us just to speculate on.

Now, I'd very much rather like it if the whole Horus incident was a result of character flaws, myself.

As much as I try to make sense of the whole story, I can't for the love of me find any other explanation that does not exclude one of two conflicting, equally canon interpretations on the nature of primarchs. Of how Magnus, the most powerful psyker of the lot finds his way to a planet full of psykers. Of how Russ, the only primarch with the Canis Helix gene - conveniently lands on one of the few places in the galaxy where that gene could ever adapt to the local ecosystem.

Adding everything up, it's either this theory is taken for granted, or a clear case of "Tzeentch did it!". And, as much as I like Beaky Boy, I'd rather like it if they whole Heresy didn't just happen because he was bored ten thousand years ago.

I'm sorry. I know how the previous post sounds. But, taking it for granted and adding up all the information is the only explanation where all the pieces fit. barring unforseen revelations in the future books, of course.

SeaSwift
22-12-2010, 21:02
barring unforseen revelations in the future books, of course.

That's what I'm counting on, personally.

Hellebore
23-12-2010, 01:23
The more 'the Emperor did' it gets, the less interesting the story becomes. The more omnipotent a guiding hand, the less impact and/or empathy can be derrived from a story. Because everything is simply on a galactic gamesmaster railroad, following the track.

It robs the story of suspense and importance; a character struggling could be plucked up by that hand at any time, their actions are according to the actions of the omnipotent overseer rather than their own.

If the story boils down to 'the emperor did this for a PURPOSE(TM), then lost them for a PURPOSE(TM), then allowed them to go traitor for a PURPOSE(TM) etc' it just becomes ridiculously inane.

It's just as bad as the line some people use - 'the emperor is powerful enough to destroy stars, but he didn't want to during the heresy for a PURPOSE(TM)' to rationalise a preferred power level of the emperor with the lack of much in the way of power actually shown in the story.

There are several different ways the dispersal of the primarchs could be explained.

1) their genetics were designed to be environment sensitive, so the emperor could place the ones he wanted in training environments to activate certain behaviours etc. Thus each primarch adapted genetically to their homeworld, which is why they ended up the way they did.
2) the chaos gods tried to mould them into specific archetypes (this is like the 'emperor did it' or 'primarchs did it' train of thought)
3) like the crotalid their forms were drawn to specific ecosystems/cultures
4) their gestation tanks actually possessed AI/machine spirits that could detect human planets and guide them to them, to protect the developing primarch. A failsafe kind of device
5) Another alien race (pick/invent one) intervened in their dispersal, whether by accident or design placed them on the planets they did

Now some of these aren't mutually exclusive, so you could have a combination of them.

But there are far more possibilities than just 't the emperor did it' or 'the primarch did it'.

The more a storyline is the result of a character's own choices rather than a marionette manipulated by an overgod, the more interesting and meaningful it becomes.

If anyone has seen the last episode of the Battlestar Galactica remake then the above should infer I detest it immensely (which I do). Although in this instance it's a case of waking up and it was all a dream (or preordained/controlled by an external force) which is worse than spelling it out as the story progresses.

Hellebore

Nazguire
23-12-2010, 01:58
One thing that sort of gives us proof that Leman Russ already had the Canis Helix was Longfang in the book.

He was Terran. So presumably a Marine before Leman Russ was found, so old that his fangs are long (a precursor to the Longfangs of the current 40k setting). If Leman Russ didn't have this mutation before he hit Fenris, then logically Longfang wouldn't have long canines, lupine eyes, etc.

But he does, so what does this tell us.

Simo429
23-12-2010, 06:49
One thing that sort of gives us proof that Leman Russ already had the Canis Helix was Longfang in the book.

He was Terran. So presumably a Marine before Leman Russ was found, so old that his fangs are long (a precursor to the Longfangs of the current 40k setting). If Leman Russ didn't have this mutation before he hit Fenris, then logically Longfang wouldn't have long canines, lupine eyes, etc.

But he does, so what does this tell us.I have also thought about this and agree with you

Da'Mass
23-12-2010, 11:10
Aaah the old nature v nurture debate.

I think most certainly in this case it's nature for their intended purposes, as the Primarchs are all supposed to be aspects of their father with predesignated roles during or after the crusade. Their characteristics preprogrammed and passed down to their legions. Magnus has the most uniquely obvious trait that singled him out from the other primarchs, but the others will have more subtle traits that they used in their early lives to achieve dominance in their home worlds.

And nurture for their turning. The chaos gods needed the primarchs to live to build their forces against the Emperor. So maybe they guided them to planets appropriate for testing them without putting them in unsurvivable situations.

Some like Angorn seem to have had alot tougher time of it along the way. He only got out by the skin of his teeth. (Almost?)..All the others had gotten to the point of unifying the worlds they ended up on. Subsequent to his pod landing him having rage implants and constant persecution, Chaos thought he might be tougher to turn so put him in a more difficult situation. He seemed very loyal to his friends and his inability to stand with them in their final moment made him hate is father

Not having their stories commited to memory, did Roberte, Rogan and Sanginus have easy rides because they were considered, through their traits, un-turnable? and/or during the conversation between the Emperor & the gods, during the abduction at the lab, did the Emperor make a bargin to have his favoured sons have relatively unmolested upbringings?

TemujinZero
23-12-2010, 13:03
Just finished it. If you haven't read it, my advice is to try and get through it at a fairly good pace, not bit by bit. Like some other Abnett novels with many apparently disparate threads, it can be bewildering if you don't just dive in and read it through to the end. At times it is maddening, with dreams within dreams, and you won't really have any idea what the main thrust of the book is until well past three quarters of the way in, but in the end it is a fantastic book. And it is all about Prospero Burning, though that will sound ridiculous even to people 95% of the way through reading it.

Spoilerfest:

People have mentioned that the old plotline about the Emperor's orders being twisted by Horus and/or Valdor was ignored. On the contrary, it seemed to me that this was actually retconned. It's very strongly implied that the 6th Legion, as the Emperor's sanction, were only ever sent to completely destroy the Thousand Sons, and that everyone, Horus included, would have been well aware of that.

As for the grumbling about the viability of the Wolves as executioners of rogue legions. I don't think the idea is that they take on a numerically superior legion and win out because they're more feral or just better. If the Ultramarines turned, the Wolves would be one of several legions sent to take them on, it's just that they would be the ones who would perform the coup de grace where the other legions might hold back. As Russ put it, they always get the dirty jobs (take that Perturabo).

We know that the two missing legions were fought by at least the Word Bearers and the Space Wolves, and probably several others. What Russ seemed to be suggesting is that his was the legion that would land the killing blow once the rebels power had been broken. We also know that Russ was wounded by the loss of two of his brothers, that he opposed handing Lorgar a similar fate because he didn't want to kill another brother, and that he begged Magnus to surrender (except he was talking to an emissary of the Chaos Gods - oops). Russ wasn't unfeeling, he could just be relied upon to do his grim work more than his brothers once set loose by his father.

I disagree with the interpretation that the Space Wolves are the anti-astartes legion. To me it's all about the personalities of the primarchs. The Wolves were perfect to raze Prospero not because they are designed to fight astartes, but because another legion would have recoiled at it, or have been more damaged by it.

If this clashes with later depictions of the Space Wolves, that could be because:

1. Later depictions of the Space Wolves are awful.
2. The Emperor isn't in a fit state to set them loose.
3. Presumably because of the above, their Primarch is no longer with them.
4. Taking the last two together, their role has been kinda lost. They were supposed to do the Emperor's dirty work, even when they didn't like it. Now there's nobody around with the standing to set them loose, I guess they had to reinvent themselves. Apparently as wolf-riding cliche black holes.

Am I the only one struck by the very vague, undivided way in which Chaos is presented in most of the Heresy books? Sure we apparently had Nurgle himself taking on the role of Narrator back in Flight of the Eisenstein, but for the most part we only encounter what we must presume are daemons who seem to embody the whole of the immaterium itself, rather than an agent of any god in particular. In A Thousand Sons it seems at times that Magnus is actually talking to Tzeentch, but the architect of the fall of Prospero seems to be described as a daemon of Nurgle. I guess at the time of the heresy the four ruinous powers were allied together in their war with the Emperor, so perhaps this leads to the manifestation of unaligned 'emissaries of the primordial truth' who act on all of their behalves. Previously I'd assumed that Tzeentch was the one who did all of the PR.

Tae
23-12-2010, 22:50
I must admit this has been the most disappointing HH book so far - and I've read almost all the HH books (apart from DoA). It just bored me to tears throughout virtually the entire book, with the exception of about 2 chapters around Nikea.

The story just seemed to drag, the characters had no feeling to them. Even though I hate Space Wolves with a passion I didn't even manage to lothe any characters (with the exception of Russ), as they were all just faceless bores.

All of which was rather disappointing as I usually love his work, alas not this one it seems. Oh well, other's seemed to like it so I think I'm in the minority.

Scribe of Khorne
23-12-2010, 22:59
The more spoilers on this one I read the less I think I will get it. It just seems to me that too much of what I ascribe to the World Eaters is being applied to Space Wolves.

Space Wolves can do 'dirty work' better then World Eaters?
Space Wolves are better 'executioners' then World Eaters?

I need ADB to bring the World Eaters to the fore, its too much of this SW propaganda to stomach...

TemujinZero
24-12-2010, 08:22
The World Eaters would fail as executioners because their primarch could never be the unflinching tool of the Emperor's will, and they could lose sight of the objective in their frothing rage. The role of the World Eaters certainly could use some fleshing out. Perhaps they never fell into the role intended for them because their primarch was damaged goods and he never got on well with his father. I'd love to see an ADB World Eater HH novel. They desperately need some attention. Preferrably covering the legion both before and after their rebellion.

Sandlemad
26-12-2010, 14:18
I liked it a lot. Definitely not what we were told it would be, a companion volume to ATS; instead, it's much more of a detailed character study of one legion, in much more depth than any other HH book except maybe the DA ones.

The whole 'executioners' thing dominating the discussion of this book is rather disappointing though. While the deconstruction of their mindset and opinion of themselves (not that they're tougher than other legions but that they're more willing to cross any boundaries) is interesting and was something Abnet clearly wanted to put across, there's tons of other interesting bits worth delving into:

- The Space Wolves' naming conventions: 'The Rout', etc. vs 'Space Wolves'. I get the impression this is kind of like 'Legionnes Astartes' vs 'Space Marines', as is mentioned earlier in book, where the latter is a very simplistic term, almost slang-like at the time and not used very officially.In a flashback, Kaspar scornfully notes that the term 'Space Marine' is like something from a cheap space opera.:D
"Only an idiot calls it the Fang, it's the Aett." What does this tell us about how the rest of the Imperium engages with the Legions?

- The Wolves' opinion of Dreadnoughts. "None of us want to be here. Away from the sun, from the firelight." Being kept in the cold, dark bottom of the Fang doesn't seem too attractive to the Dreads themselves, let alone to the others witnessing them. Not an honour, rather something to be pitied.
In fact, if some of Kaspar's visions/dreams are correct, it could be that the inhabitants of the Dreadnoughts have some sort of joint extra-corporeal existence, a shared dream, in the form of animal-headed spirit-things gathered in a cavern. Just my interpretation though, could just be his dream.

- The Wolves' tendancy not to wear their power armour outside of battle, favouring instead elaborately tooled leather armour and pelts.
And the masks. What was up with the masks? Apart from Skarssen in ATS, I don't think tight leather masks (sounds kinky:)) decorated with an individual warrior's own iconography (eg. serpents for Jormungandr Two-Blades) have appeared in any previous SW background. They don't seem to wear them every time they're in combat and not always outside of battle.
I had thought they might just be a feature of Skarssen's company but they're in Ogvai's too. Russ doesn't wear one (that we've seen).
Possibly they're a habit of the Legion that died out in the ten thousand years after the heresy? For my part I imagine they look like the helmet on the chap one in from the left in this image http://www.games-workshop.com/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m1900140_99120201010_WoCMarauderHorsemenMain_873x6 27.jpg

- The idea of driving out the maleficarum. Though the Wolves may be pretty tight and efficient mostly, their ability to perform brutal and almost sadistic displays of ritualistic butchery in certain cases stood out, as a way of driving out the ill omens.
It also highlights the Wolves' unreliability as narrators about themselves. They may say that they're not the barabarians everyone thinks they are, and prove it in many ways, but this was still pretty inidicative of a strange and alien/barbaric mindset. You wouldn't get a Luna Wolf or a World Eater hacking apart a bio-robot thing like they did, drawing out its death to 'hurt it so much that its evil would never come back and haunt us'.
Prospero's sack could be seen as a grand example of this practise.

- Abnett's playing with strange themes and motifs throughout the book, many of which are pertinant with other HH books. Eyes of aversion, seeing through Kaspar's eyes, the Eye of Terra/Horus, wolves' eyes, Kaspar losing an eye to join the Legion (Horus symbolism);
omens and dreams, being transported to a vision world, seeing the past and future, the unreliability of daemons appearing in those visions

Final thought: did anyone else's copy seem to have a rather low-resolution front cover image? Nowhere near as crisp as ATS or most of the other HH books.

Boomstikk
27-12-2010, 06:32
I liked it a lot. Definitely not what we were told it would be, a companion volume to ATS; instead, it's much more of a detailed character study of one legion, in much more depth than any other HH book except maybe the DA ones.


I just wanted to touch this point a little. A lot of the ATS book was told from the perspective of the remembrancers and you spent the better part of the book learning about the Thousand Sons, their legion and sect they interact with.

Now, PB focused on the SW in much the same way. Both books actually spend 300 pages before getting to the council of Nikaea, and being 100 pages longer draws out what happens after that a bit more.

Granted, the title of the book I found rather misleading as I thought it would almost pick up where TS left off (I wonder if I had reacted if it was simply called "Space Wolves" or something), but I thought it went really well as a mirror to the TS book.

adreal
27-12-2010, 11:17
Something I got frm the whole 'the emperor had plans for the primarchs' bit.

Okay, the big E went into a deal with chaos to make the primarchs, and everyone thinks that the deal went south because the primarchs got flung wayward. What if that was part of the plan? What if the Big E said to chaos 'okay I need help to remove the alien threats of the galaxy, I need generals, they need to be raised in a way the makes htem who I need them to be' then chaos is like 'okay cool, we can do that'

Then because chaos is chaos, they made half fall, and the big E is all 'damn....shoulda seen that coming'

Also does the book give a complete list of what each primarach was ment to be, or only a breaf little line about it.

And World Eaters wouldn't have ever been used as executioners, I think it's in Fulgrim, World Eaters are butchers, whenever there needs to be a massacre, whenever you need blood running in the streets, you send in the world eaters

Sandlemad
27-12-2010, 20:04
I just wanted to touch this point a little. A lot of the ATS book was told from the perspective of the remembrancers and you spent the better part of the book learning about the Thousand Sons, their legion and sect they interact with.

Now, PB focused on the SW in much the same way. Both books actually spend 300 pages before getting to the council of Nikaea, and being 100 pages longer draws out what happens after that a bit more.

Granted, the title of the book I found rather misleading as I thought it would almost pick up where TS left off (I wonder if I had reacted if it was simply called "Space Wolves" or something), but I thought it went really well as a mirror to the TS book.

True but in A Thousand Sons you've got the perspective of Ahriman, who lends his view of events. That said, you also have characters like Runepriest Longfang and Ogvai explicitly explaining the legion's customs, beliefs and modus operandi to Kaspar in a much more forthright manner than Ahriman did. They're quite clear on that and don't seem too bothered about Kaspar knowing the inner workings of the Wolves, bar a few things like Russ' location.
It's essentially two different ways of exploring the inner workings of a legion: through the eyes of the remembrancers and through Ahriman's own inner thoughts in A Thousand Sons vs. through what the Wolves tell Kaspar about themselves in Prospero Burns (and The First Heretic and the Luna Wolves books and most HH books, really), with a sprinkling of his own anthropological observations.
Which ties into their suspicion of Kaspar being a spy for Magnus; showing him their abilities is a show of force, that they need no hidden tricks to go after him, that they're going to let him know they're coming. You see the same thing on Aghoru in A Thousand Sons.
For the record, I thought how the Sack Of Prospero was presented in it was very cool, as a saga being related back to the Wolves. A different way to get across the biases than through the Sons' own disgusted reactions.

Something else that struck me about Kaspar is how different he is to the remembrancers in the Luna Wolves trilogy, Fulgrim or A Thousand Sons. He's a lot less astounded by every little thing about the Astartes and seems to be in far less awe of them. Kaspar frequently answers the Wolves back, is willing to insult them knowingly to find out what he wants and is even able to have a conversation with Russ without becoming a complete stuttering fanboy. I found that rather refreshing.:)

t-tauri
27-12-2010, 21:59
- Abnett's playing with strange themes and motifs throughout the book, many of which are pertinant with other HH books. Eyes of aversion, seeing through Kaspar's eyes, the Eye of Terra/Horus, wolves' eyes, Kaspar losing an eye to join the Legion (Horus symbolism);
omens and dreams, being transported to a vision world, seeing the past and future, the unreliability of daemons appearing in those visions



The removal of Kaspar's eye parallels Odin's sacrifice of his eye to gain knowledge. The dream world aand visions are very shamanistic.

bound for glory
28-12-2010, 17:52
i liked it alot. but having said that, i have to ask the simple question:was'nt this book supposed to be the space wolves take on the prospero conflict? that was what it was tagged as, right? the attack on prospero seemed like an afterthought to me...again, not saying it was a bad book. it just was'nt what it was billed as.

Zanzibarthefirst
29-12-2010, 01:43
IMO, that joins the two Dark Angel books as worse in the HH series. Too many pages were spent in the middle adding very little to the heresy.
What I want from an HH novel is to either undertstand a little bit more about a certain chapter or about a certain event. There were fleeting moments when you were getting to understand who the Rout are but that was never followed through.

bound for glory
29-12-2010, 03:20
right? i mean to say, i wanted to get to know more about the space wolves take on the attack on prospero. what i'd like to know is:what the hell was all that stuff a year ago about the "duel release"/both sides of the story"? did they forget that this book was supposed to give a different pov of the thousand sons book?
i really don't mean to be negative about the series. and i look forword to each new release. i'll read them all, i guess. but i was hoping for, well, what the book was supposed to be about: prospero burning.

Ka Faraq Gatri
29-12-2010, 10:17
bound for glory: You don't think that gives a different perspective to the events in A Thousand Sons?

You don't think that Kaspar's story - that he's kept and saved by the Rout because the Wolf King thinks he's Magnus's pawn - shows the Wolves' side of things? That it explains Ohthere Wyrdmake's volte-face in McNeill's book? That it clears up just why the Wolf King was willing to devastate Prospero and take his brother on, knowing that combat between them could only end with Magnus's death, barring an Exciting Incident?

It worked for me, anyway!

Ramius4
29-12-2010, 14:46
right? i mean to say, i wanted to get to know more about the space wolves take on the attack on prospero. what i'd like to know is:what the hell was all that stuff a year ago about the "duel release"/both sides of the story"? did they forget that this book was supposed to give a different pov of the thousand sons book?
i really don't mean to be negative about the series. and i look forword to each new release. i'll read them all, i guess. but i was hoping for, well, what the book was supposed to be about: prospero burning.

I haven't read it yet, but if I were to venture a guess... Those web interviews were done quite a while before the books had even been finished.

Dan Abnett had fallen ill in the middle of writing that book with a severe bout of epilepsy. It was originally supposed to come out before ATS. But that fact aside, I bet somewhere in there he changed focus a bit.

He's been well documented as not liking to write about space marines. I really didn't expect to see much of the Space Wolves in this book because of that.

But ask yourself this... If PB had come out before ATS as planned, wouldn't that make the battle of Prospero in ATS feel like more of the climax that it's supposed to be? I bet it would have. And I'd be willing to bet that PB would have had more impact.

Anyways, I'm hoping to pick it up this weekend.

Sandlemad
30-12-2010, 00:10
He's been well documented as not liking to write about space marines. I really didn't expect to see much of the Space Wolves in this book because of that.

Well, he did write Horus Rising, which had tons of marines... Granted Legion but still. Thre's a decent amount of Wolves-in-combat action, though definitely not as much as Sons-in-combat action in ATS. Seeing them take down the Quietude was cool but the action on Prospero is all mostly presented in the form of Kaspar's retelling.

And I don't see how anyone could think this didn't delve deeper into a particular legion. I mean, that's entirely what it's about, apart from the flashbacks to Kaspar's own past.

Ramius4
30-12-2010, 00:26
Well, he did write Horus Rising, which had tons of marines... Granted Legion but still. Thre's a decent amount of Wolves-in-combat action, though definitely not as much as Sons-in-combat action in ATS. Seeing them take down the Quietude was cool but the action on Prospero is all mostly presented in the form of Kaspar's retelling.

Yup, I'm not claiming he won't write them, just that he's not really very interested in writing space marines.

Most people in this very thread have mentioned how the Space Wolves themselves feel more like background characters for the majority of the book. That's more what I was getting at.

But then Legion, A Thousand Sons and various parts of other HH books have all been like that too. The Legions are definitely present, but you get to see them through the eyes of non-marine characters for much of the stories.


And I don't see how anyone could think this didn't delve deeper into a particular legion. I mean, that's entirely what it's about, apart from the flashbacks to Kaspar's own past.

That's what I'm hoping for in this book too. I think a lot of people would rather just see the Legions from 'the inside' with Legion characters, rather than an outsider's perspective, but I don't mind it at all. It's a refreshing change.

Danjester
30-12-2010, 09:37
I liked it. It's a nice change having a book showing the Astates from outside, through a human's eyes. There's more than enough books written exclusively from Astates POV.

I liked the admission/revelation that at least some of the lupine creatures on Fenris were originally Space Wolves. Whether they were supposed to be aspirants screwed up by the geneseed, or fully mutated Wulfen, I don't know. Nor do I care really, I'm just glad that someone said it.

It HAS made me move the Wolves further up my list of HH-era squad projects. Oops.

Scribe of Khorne
01-01-2011, 20:03
Well I just finished it. Took me more sittings then I could guess, longer then any of the other HH books, mostly because parts of it mentioned earlier in the thread put me off and caused a total lack of immersion for me as an all knowing reader.

Likes
1. The culture that was infused into the legion. Pulling hard from the roots of the fenrisian(sp?) people, that culture sticks throughout the legion, even to be adopted by the Terran sourced members of the legion such as Longfang. Probably this was the biggest success of the book, to give a bit more of a grimdark feeling vs the jovial beer swilling vikings SW's are sometimes characterized as before.

2. I like looking at the legion via an outsider. I dont know about everyone else, but I see the Astartes as more then post-human, closer to xeno in all but very general terms. They are not humanity, they are weapons created for humanity and I feel one of the best ways that can be communicated is via an outsider.

3. Mentions of what will be done after the wars are over. Even pre-heresy its obviously on the minds of everyone what to do with the Astartes.

4. The twist at the end, its not the TS who plant the spy, but Chaos itself. Playing the wolves, even Russ, perfectly.

5. The hint that the wolves of fenris are fallen/failed SW, as Longfang mentions that Brom is the wolf that attacked the elk/cow thing.

Unfortunately thats about all I liked in the novel.

Dislikes
1. The 'emperors executioners', the 'we do the dirty work', the 'we put the fear of the allfather into everyone and everything', the 'one on one, we are the toughest, meanest, most brutal marines that exist'. Its littered throughout the book, and pretty much every time I got to one of those ego stroking, nuthugging moments I had to put it down and walk away for a bit. I see several of those statements as encroaching on the character/culture of other legions.

Executioners/Brutal Butchers? World Eaters.
Put fear in the hearts of others? Night Lords.
Do the dirty work with no thanks? Iron Warriors.

Yet, the book makes zero effort to even mention those legions, nor tell me the reader who does have knowledge of the universe we are reading about, why it is either the narrator, or character feels the Space Wolves top the other legions for the character traits mentioned.

We have canon of the World Eaters wiping out entire populations in a night. We have canon of the Night Lords entering a system that had been resisting and the worlds rulers IMMEDIATELY entering compliance out of stark raving terror at what could be coming. Thats not what the Wolves are to me, and without any mention of why its the wolves that are 'most feared' 'most deadly' 'most brutal' vs the other legions, it just comes across again, as either ignorance, ego stroking for Wolf fans, or nut hugging.

2. Plays a big part in number 1, but there is little for other legion fans. Perhaps its just being spoiled by ADB, but The First Heretic gives at least tidbits to the fans of other legions.

3. While its nice to see things from an outsider perspective, I could have done with a bit more of the marine perspective.

4. Very little Primarch interaction or face time even. When else but in the HH setting can we get this kind of perspective? Would have liked some more.

5. The wolves come across is pricks alot of the time, and their attitude just seems to serve no purpose. :p

-------

All in all, its a decent book, I think a good job was done giving the SW's some culture and fleshing it out, and if thats what you are looking for its great.

I liked the last oh....15 pages in terms of it being a bit more action filled, but I dont think the book does a good job of contrasting to the Thousand Sons, because there is so little mentioning of other legions, or interaction between the two. It doesnt feel like 'the other side of the story' unless you already know what the other side is. You read A Thousand Sons, and you get to see the opposing views, you dont get that with this book, its just a story about how a human sees the Space Wolves really for like 80% of the book.

ORKY ARD BOYZ
01-01-2011, 23:30
Dislikes
1. The 'emperors executioners', the 'we do the dirty work', the 'we put the fear of the allfather into everyone and everything', the 'one on one, we are the toughest, meanest, most brutal marines that exist'. Its littered throughout the book, and pretty much every time I got to one of those ego stroking, nuthugging moments I had to put it down and walk away for a bit. I see several of those statements as encroaching on the character/culture of other legions.

Executioners/Brutal Butchers? World Eaters.
Put fear in the hearts of others? Night Lords.
Do the dirty work with no thanks? Iron Warriors.

Yet, the book makes zero effort to even mention those legions, nor tell me the reader who does have knowledge of the universe we are reading about, why it is either the narrator, or character feels the Space Wolves top the other legions for the character traits mentioned.

We have canon of the World Eaters wiping out entire populations in a night. We have canon of the Night Lords entering a system that had been resisting and the worlds rulers IMMEDIATELY entering compliance out of stark raving terror at what could be coming. Thats not what the Wolves are to me, and without any mention of why its the wolves that are 'most feared' 'most deadly' 'most brutal' vs the other legions, it just comes across again, as either ignorance, ego stroking for Wolf fans, or nut hugging.


I'm sure the Wolves can also fulfill the same functions. For example, when they're referred to as being the 'Emperor's Executioners' I think it means they're Imperial sanctioned, and not just crazed killers (The World Eaters, who are definitely not meant to be doing what they're doing.)

Besides it makes sense the Wolves would talk themselves up.



Thats not what the Wolves are to me, and without any mention of why its the wolves that are 'most feared' 'most deadly' 'most brutal' vs the other legions, it just comes across again, as either ignorance, ego stroking for Wolf fans, or nut hugging.


In curiosity, what are the Wolves to you? They're acknowledged to be 'clinically insane' by Torgoddon? of the Luna Wolves. They obviously have a reputation for being fierce, it'd be fine if they fulfilled a variety of roles.

Scribe of Khorne
02-01-2011, 00:57
To me as an outside all knowing source? I would have tried to have them pegged as out of battle, as the book does, as mentioned I think that addition was fantastic.

In battle? I would have played to their savage nature, but also emphasized a more cunning approach to battle. This did get some play in the book as well, however it was overshadowed imo by the 'most deadly, feared, savage, gut wrenching brutal space marine to walk, oh and did I mention well endowed?' It was just to much for me.

The way this book talks, is how recent SM codex's have raised the ultra's up above all other loyalists. "oh of course your a savage killing machine astartes...but your not a space wolf!"

I dont mean to imply that the legions wont overlap in attributes or traits, they are ALL engineered killing machines after all, but again it seemed like this book didnt even attempt to contrast them with any other legion other then to say that they dont measure up to what a space wolf can do, what lengths a space wolf will go to to secure victory, what a space wolf will bear the burden of, blah blah blah.

EDIT: To pick out a single thing, as I believe all legions should have their one niche, Space Wolves should be cunning. They should be a feral, primal, cunning legion, as would befit an apex predator. You dont need to be the most fear inspiring (night lord), brutal killer, (world eater), who is burded with the most dirty, arduous tasks (iron warrior), to be a cunning apex predator.

ORKY ARD BOYZ
02-01-2011, 01:19
The way this book talks, is how recent SM codex's have raised the ultra's up above all other loyalists. "oh of course your a savage killing machine astartes...but your not a space wolf!"


See there is equality in the world. :D I can picture Dan Abnett reading the Space Marines codex and the next day editing Prospero Burns because of an inferiority complex.



EDIT: To pick out a single thing, as I believe all legions should have their one niche, Space Wolves should be cunning. They should be a feral, primal, cunning legion, as would befit an apex predator. You dont need to be the most fear inspiring (night lord), brutal killer, (world eater), who is burded with the most dirty, arduous tasks (iron warrior), to be a cunning apex predator.

At least the book picked out the 'culture' of the Space Wolves.

Lorgar
02-01-2011, 02:22
Space Wolves

They're the best at what they do and what they do ain't very nice. :p

I just picked up my copy, can't wait to read it. It all sounds interesting so far.

IAMNOTHERE
02-01-2011, 20:49
Just finished reading this and it realy spoke to me about the culture of the Wolves. I liked the bit based on the Administratum.

All in all I give it 9 out of 10.

MajorWesJanson
03-01-2011, 23:26
Quite interesting, with all the possible answers it gives to questions, without confirming them.

Legions designed for purposes? Possibly, and makes sense, especially if you follow it through to the breaking of the legions and the sucessor chapters.
The incident which seems to explain why the Emperor ruled the way he did at Nikea...
The two pages at the end following the Daemon fight with Bear, and then learning who he really is.

Wintertooth
04-01-2011, 23:07
Executioners/Brutal Butchers? World Eaters.
Put fear in the hearts of others? Night Lords.

That's not how they were created though. That's what they became when they were left in the hands of insane Primarchs with no supervision from the Emperor, combined with the World Eaters' use of psycho surgery and the Night Lords' recruits being infiltrated by criminals. All the information we have about the War Hounds and Night Lords before they met their Primarchs presents them quite differently.



Do the dirty work with no thanks? Iron Warriors.

What "dirty work" did the Iron Warriors have to do? They were siege specialists who got stuck with a lot of garrison duty. Crappy job maybe, but not "dirty work".



why it is either the narrator, or character feels the Space Wolves top the other legions for the character traits mentioned.

I think the contrast of the howling, brutal Space Wolves and silent, efficient Thousand Sons on Prospero does a good job of this.

Nazguire
05-01-2011, 00:29
That's not how they were created though. That's what they became when they were left in the hands of insane Primarchs with no supervision from the Emperor, combined with the World Eaters' use of psycho surgery and the Night Lords' recruits being infiltrated by criminals. All the information we have about the War Hounds and Night Lords before they met their Primarchs presents them quite differently.


What "dirty work" did the Iron Warriors have to do? They were siege specialists who got stuck with a lot of garrison duty. Crappy job maybe, but not "dirty work".


I think the contrast of the howling, brutal Space Wolves and silent, efficient Thousand Sons on Prospero does a good job of this.

The War Hounds were known before Angron was found to be quite an aggressive Legion. It states this in the 'After De'shea' short story. Of course all the berserker implants didn't help matters, but the reference is there.

We have no information about what the Night Lords were before their Primarch joined them. All we have about the Night Lords is that over time, after Night Haunter joined them, they started to have their recruits made up of criminals and psychos, as that's all that could survive on Nostramo once Night Haunter left.

There is nothing to suggest their battle doctrine or temperment or anything was different to how it was during the Great Crusade. If there is, feel free to reference it.

I liked the ideas of the raucous Space Wolves smashing in to the silent ranks of the Thousand Sons. Presents a good image when reading. The book also goes at length to describe why many Space Wolves don't wear helmets, and the fascination that Phael Toron has with this practice. Their senses are that good, that wearing a helmet actually stifles them.

They live in complete darkness in the Fang (...or Aett...) for Christ's sake! :D

Xisor
05-01-2011, 21:35
I Liked It

That should say a lot to folks, I dislike warporn and massively enjoy the more cerebral arcs of the book. I just finished Wulfrik beforehand, so it's competing against tough competition.
---

Praise the first

Dan Abnett uses some very interesting and outre tricks in this book. It's not an easy book, I'm afraid. In many regards, it could be accused of being overly complicated and weaving certain ideas too complexly. For myself, it felt especially well measured and aimed. Though I'd have appreciated other inclusions (Russ at Terra with the Emperor, a view from Terra of the 'finding' of the Wolves), the book itself is mightily interesting and it's very plain to see that Dan's put a lot of effort into going more than 'one up' on what he achieved in Legion
---

Complaint the first

The first fifty pages are exceptionally misguided/uninteresting for the HH series. Once you're beyond about fifty pages the quality, direction, cleverness and intrest of the book massively improves, jumping from a qualitative 0 to 11 quite easily.
---

Praise the Second

Dan very successfully fleshes out what is, in my opinion, a massively more sensible view of the Space Wolves than is readily presented elsewhere.
---

Complaint the Second

I could've used a little more guidance in the implication of some of the points. Or rather: a little more guidance *and* mystery. The fact that you have to even dig a little is, I suspect, going to have me explaining a lot of 'no, you don't get it' to people who maintain this has nothing to do with A Thousand Sons and nothing even to do with Prospero Burning. Yet, the entire overture/thread of the book is absolutely, arguably more so, involved with the legacy of the duology than ATS!
---

Praise the Third

Really, the 'questions' raised by ATS are, if you take the hints and draw inferences between the two books, massively revealing. Given that they were supposed to be released at almost the same time that PB is refreshingly different in scope, scale and style to ATS is massively important. That it was delayed by a year is, in my opinion, overwhelmingly unfortunate. But that's unexpected epilepsy for you, I suppose.
---

Complaint the Third

I think people are taking the 'Emperor's Executioners' bit of it a little too far in many directions. It's too simplistic. The idea that the Emperor designed for Russ to go to Fenris (Magnus' learnings about the genetic legacy) and for Magnus to govern a legion of a thousand at its smallest/most dire is heavily played up but surely isn't the whole story.

I think Dan could've made a little more of an attempt to express this ambiguity, if he meant it that way. Given his tact in Legion, I find it difficult he'd be so absolute and simplistic this time around, but I could be wrong on both accounts. The 'Executioners' bit struck me as nothing more than a 'publicly accepted in-universe conspiracy theory'; though it does appeal to me as a basic description of a very complex plan.

It also gives me the idea that Angron was 'damaged goods' and allows me to pose the question: did the Emperor intend for Angron to be so damaged, or did he have something else in mind for him? If the latter, what was that thing; what was the vital(?) place Angron should've been fulfilling that was absent because of his abuse?
---

Praise the Fourth

I really liked a lot of the allusions throughout the book. The use of Enuncia as one of the major plot-points was very interesting, as was the 'power of names' and the latter backwards implication(s) regarding the Emperor vs the Universe.
---

Complaint the Fourth

The characters were a bit flat, to be honest. This is an obvious offshoot of the fact that Abnett was going 'out there' a bit in the style of the book, but it's by no means an apology on his behalf. It could've been better, which is a shame, but it wasn't a book ruining flaw.
---

Spoilers


Let's see, revelations hmm?
1- There were two occasions in the book: once at the very end, once at the first mention of 'executioners'.
2- It's a daemon or chaos itself, or something like that, the is the cause of everything. It orchestrates everything, it uses a cult to cultivate the Conservatory and guide Kaspar, it pushes the two legions against one another and gives a time frame for Horus being stabbed.
3- Leman Russ is very much 'not the barbarian lord' we all expect him to be. Similarly the Space Wolves. Well, they both *are* exactly that, but the implication is that that is also what separates them from the other Astartes/Primarchs: discipline and restraint. This ability to employ absolute restraint (and 'happily' deactivate it when required) is 'the thing'. Not barbarism, but immense personal/team polarity.
4- The Legacy of the Space Wolves is one of tacit involvement and overconfidence in their role as executioners. So convinced of it had they become that they themselves were credulous when it came to being turned against those they 'hated'. I got it thus: They didn't hate the Thousand Sons for their Sorcery or deceit, but for their lack of restraint.
5- The Rout/Space Wolves are positively feared and loathed by their Imperial Allies. I was surprised there was no mention of contrast with the Iron Hands (intolerance for weakness) or Night Lords (wielding absolute fear and terror) as a way of showing what it meant to be a Space Wolf, but not to worry. When the Tra (third company) gain 'complete zone control' in the mid portion of the novel is a delightful bit of a study, they move from being hangers on and untrusted to doing exactly as requested and approved, and yet being even more hated than before. It was a nice tragedy.
6- The implication of Ogvai's, the Jarl of Tra's, pride in showing complete acceptance and cooperation with Imperial forces was very endearing. I detected a hint in the early Nikaea scenes that the implication was to be that the other Wolf Lords weren't as canny on this front, that they were less competent at 'stage managing' their Imperial Allies.
7- The focus on a single company and the absence of scope for the legion itself, only brief encounters with the other Wolves and Wolf King, the idea that the Tra were composed of only ~400 warriors were intriguing and thought provoking. Was a company the same as a great company? Was there another unmentioned tier of command between Russ and the Companies? Anyway, the lack of focus on that was extremely refreshing and afforded a slight step away from as others earlier mentioned the 'small galaxy' thinking.


Hmm, actually, I'm stumbling here. There was a ton of excellent and stuff. Need time to digest it more.
---


Closing thoughts

A more intriguing and balanced book than Legion, an extremely suitable 'companion' to A Thousand Sons, but very much a different book too. Very different to the other Heresy books recently (False Gods and Nemesis being particularly distinct from PB) too. Definitely not a 'more of the same' book.

A sentence of advice: persevere through the first fifty pages, it does get much better. The pace doesn't quicken, though, but the relevance and quality does so much so you might not recognise the book after that first chapter or two.

rafunparked
06-01-2011, 00:32
As others have said it is definitely a different book than others in the series but does it very well. Also i agree with some of the complaints especially the first 50 pages alluded to by the previous posts. I was also massively let down by the scant scenes with russ. I mean come on one of the pinnacle differences between 40k and 30k are the primarchs. I felt the scenes of the primarchs, especially the primarch on primarch interactions to be the most amazing parts of the series so far.

Anyway I do have to admit I appreciated more of the story after I finished and put the book down and just thought about what happened. Also I disagree with the earlier post saying the astartes were boring or unrelatable. I loved fith godsmote and was even very sad when longfang died. It was so well done that when the others came back and said he had been dead for 12 minutes I was very sad but at the same time I thought it was just awesome To each there own I guess.

Scribe of Khorne
06-01-2011, 06:18
That's not how they were created though. That's what they became when they were left in the hands of insane Primarchs with no supervision from the Emperor, combined with the World Eaters' use of psycho surgery and the Night Lords' recruits being infiltrated by criminals. All the information we have about the War Hounds and Night Lords before they met their Primarchs presents them quite differently.


This is wrong concerning the War Hounds at the very least unless you have additional information post 'After Desh'ea'. The War Hounds would kill (decimate is the word used ie: killing 1 in 10) allies that failed them in some way, and where already censured by the Emperor for it prior to picking up Angron.

Fletch
06-01-2011, 18:48
The book was horrible. The title and backside synopsis are severly misleading to say the least.

It has strongly secured itself as the weakest HH novel in the series.

The book was a very hard read from the perspective of keeping you interested in the subject matter.

His editors need to be flogged for allowing this to reach print.

He can't even keep track of his supporting cast's gender (or his editor/proof-readers). Case in point Vasiliy goes from being a Woman character to Male and back again within the span of 50 or so pages. Very very Bush-league IMHO.

rafunparked
06-01-2011, 20:31
Well I know the book isnt to every ones tastes but you are wrong IMO about the vasilly gender problem. Its stated that when he was younger in a flashback the woman vasilly had a young son, Ike I think was his name. So in my mind when it flashes forward to when he is old again and a younger MALE vasilly is present i presumed it was her son.

Fletch
06-01-2011, 23:25
Well I know the book isnt to every ones tastes but you are wrong IMO about the vasilly gender problem. Its stated that when he was younger in a flashback the woman vasilly had a young son, Ike I think was his name. So in my mind when it flashes forward to when he is old again and a younger MALE vasilly is present i presumed it was her son.


Sheesh you are making me relive the book no stop.

Unfortunately you are incorrect, she mentions her sister's son who would by all accounts have his father's last name which would not be Vasiliy (The Hort Captain would share her Sister's Maiden name).

He also makes reference to missing her (Vasiliy) later on.

Regardless its really bad writing either way, to forget your characters gender (no matter how small the part) or to have two totally different characters with the same last name and never distinguish them besides him/her (i.e. first names).

His flashbacks are all over the place and poorly constructed and typically a real momentum killer. Just when you think something in the present is starting to become somewhat interesting he pulls you back into a long boring flashback.

All in All this book is a 1 out of 5 star read, outside it being about the 40k universe it offers readers very little by way of an actual captivating story.

If you didn't have any prior knowledge of what the 40k universe was about this would be an even worse read. So yes even if you don't know about the subject matter a good book still can keep you interested, the only thing this book had going was it was about 40k.

Ka Faraq Gatri
07-01-2011, 00:09
rafunparked is partially correct about the Vasiliy thing - it is two separate characters with the same name. It is implied - though not stated - that the male Vasiliy, who appears much later in Hawser's life, is in fact Hawser's child, named for his old friend, for whose death he feels partly responsible. It's not bad writing in any way, just Dan assuming that his readers aren't stupid and can read between the lines.

I'm not going to get into an argument with you, Fletch, about what you perceive to be flaws in the book. You are absolutely entitled to your opinions, as much as I disagree with them intensely. What I am going to argue with is your statement that "His editors need to be flogged for allowing this to reach print."

I have read Prospero Burns twice now, once as a reader and a second time with an editor's eye. First time, I thoroughly enjoyed the novel, both as an effective "rebranding" of the Space Wolves, and as a great mystery story that makes far more sense of why Russ would raze Prospero so thoroughly.

As an editor, there is very little I would have changed. My copy has a nasty typesetting issue in one of the flashbacks, and I would have suggested to Dan that he move one or two of the sequences around (though if he had disagreed, I would probably have let it be), but that's it.

Your dislike for the novel aside, your comment was extremely, and unnecessarily, insulting both to Dan and the BL editors.

Fletch
07-01-2011, 01:11
It's not a lack of intelligence on anyones part, it's just bad story telling in regards to the whole Vasiliy part. I know its minor but..... You can't say that if I was to tell you a story and in one breath talk about this guy Vasiliy then in the next reference Vasiliy as a woman you wouldn't be like...wait, who? It would kill the flow and take away from the momentum of the story. O yeah and to top it off I wouldn't actually answer you except indirectly much later on.

Yes it is my opinion, and I thought the story was extremely mediocre and each time he seemed to gather momentum, he fell back into one of his very dry/uninteresting flashbacks. It also didn't help that I felt his choice of a main character was lacking.

The first 200 pages could have been condensed into less than half the pages and the reader wouldn't have missed a beat.

In all serious non-fanboyness.......

Read the back of the book, then honestly say....O yeah that's the story I got out of the 400 plus page book, no I got a cliff note story in less than the last 100 pages.

Scribe of Khorne
07-01-2011, 02:46
If you didn't have any prior knowledge of what the 40k universe was about this would be an even worse read. So yes even if you don't know about the subject matter a good book still can keep you interested, the only thing this book had going was it was about 40k.

Actually, I dont know if I mentioned it in my post, but I was thinking it as I read it. Its a good book, but it didnt depend on it being a '40k book'. I would have been happier with it if I did go in ignorant to the setting tbh because I did find plenty of it interesting, its just minor points within the story jarred me out of it that I have already gone over.

Lars Porsenna
07-01-2011, 15:30
A sentence of advice: persevere through the first fifty pages, it does get much better. The pace doesn't quicken, though, but the relevance and quality does so much so you might not recognise the book after that first chapter or two.

I just started this book last night. I have to say, I do not agree with the above at all. The first 50 pages, while they may not be immediately relevant, are brilliantly written, and almost feels like I'm reading a Viking saga instead of a 40K book. I didn't have any issues staying entertained.

Damon.

Xisor
07-01-2011, 21:44
I just started this book last night. I have to say, I do not agree with the above at all. The first 50 pages, while they may not be immediately relevant, are brilliantly written, and almost feels like I'm reading a Viking saga instead of a 40K book. I didn't have any issues staying entertained.

Damon.

Fair enough, I did just come out of reading Wulfrik by CL Werner and found it to be a superior and more interesting take on the same 'style' of topic. I'm quite happy to concede I might well be quite biased on that point. Somewhat shaming, I suppose, but I will restate that I found it to be uninteresting and didn't add much. Not to worry; if others enjoy it then I'm exceedingly pleased to be wrong in that regard!

Regarding Fletch's comments, I find it amazing to think that you could claim to be misled by the title! By the blurb on the back, I feel it's fair cop, blurb writers have some serious cases to answer in terms of misleading readers.

However, I think readers have a responsibility for their own naivete in this regard: if they enjoy a book anyway most probably don't notice or comment on a misleading blurb. Constructing or entertaining bizarre expectations which later feel particularly appropriate and justified (and betrayed) seems very much like setting yourself up for a fall.

Much in the same way, I feel, your complaints could be magnificently applied against Descent of Angels far more accurately than Prospero Burns. I'd be inclined to tongue-in-cheek ask if you weren't confusing the two, but that'd be somewhat snide of me. I'm sure you can see the thinking though.

That said, Fletch, your concerns are somewhat intriguing too. How've you found Abnett's other works? For me, I find Brothers of the Snake (or rather: the first ~150pages I've managed to force myself to read) to be entirely loathsome, yet enjoy most of his other work I can think of.

It doesn't surprise me that it's a controversial book, it does indeed seem to be 'your mileage may vary' on it.

Alessander
09-01-2011, 06:28
As Abnett had to postpone the book by over a year, I have a feeling the focus of the book during the deadline extension. The front/back cover was probably already made and printed for original version of the book long before Dan's postponement (and BL wouldn't scrap 50,000 4 color covers with hot foil stamping). And as we know from the covers of Horus Rising and False Gods, the covers don't always match the content since the books and covers are printed at different times - often in different locations.

Abnett has been refocusing his writing more on character development than on core "dakka dakka" action. This may alienate some readers who just want a book that's nothing but the tabletop "dakka dakka" battle setting, but it was well written. The constant back-and-forth of the timeline was confusing at first, but comes together wonderfully after the first few hundred pages.

Abnett did a remarkable job researching not only nordic lore and language, but Slavic and Rusyn (note - not Russian!) history and mythology as well, and did some in-depth historical research into names. Logically, I think the research into Slavic and Rusyn history will lead him into doing a White Scars book someday.

(and... anyone chuckle that one of the greatest cities on Terra was apparently "Memphys"? Seems like Abnett has some country music on his iPod :D )

The main focus of the Horus Heresy series is to give the setting a contrast to the "modern" 40K setting. Pre-Heresy era Space Wolves are a different breed of characters than Ragnar-era Wolves, just like honor-driven, level-headed Pre-Heresy Kharn is a totally different character than the loony guy with a 3-word vocabulary in the Chaos Codex. By now BL has to make the Heresy-era characters different from what we know.


I guess that's justification for the ridiculous appearance of the two wolves on the cover, but they still look beyond stupid.
Haven't' been playing 40K for long, have you? Russ always went into battle Grekki and Frekki - up until a couple years ago you could still get the actual Rogue-Trader era Leman Russ Primarch model with those two wolves from the GW Online Store. The duo made an appearance in A Thousand Sons. There's a good chance now they are not even wolves… gives the fact that Russ refers to G&F as his "brother and sister" a whole new meaning now, doesn't it :angel:?

Dead.Blue.Clown
09-01-2011, 11:40
(and... anyone chuckle that one of the greatest cities on Terra was apparently "Memphys"? Seems like Abnett has some country music on his iPod :D )

I think that was a reference to Ancient Egyptian Memphis.

And yet, I almost hope I'm wrong.

Xisor
09-01-2011, 16:18
Perhaps Dan just hadn't considered the possibility of using the other Memphis. Present the idea to him and he might happily retcon!

Lord_Crull
09-01-2011, 16:55
After reading it, my opinion?

Prospero Burns was a good novel that suffered from bad marketing.

As a stand-alone Space Wolf novel in the Heresy, this is excellent. As a companion piece to A Thousand Sons, it suffers. The reasons why I feel this way have already been outlined in the thread. But I had already known this from spoilers released weeks ago. I was disappointed that we did not get to see the opposite side of events that we saw in A Thousand Sons. There were questions in A Thousand Sons that I was sure this book would answer. It did not (For example what happened on Shrike’s Library before Ahirman got there?)

I was expecting the Battle of Prospero to be short, but here it’s almost a disappointment. We don’t get to see much action of the battle itself and it’s from the viewpoint of one character. Even Russ’s fight with Magnus is hastily summarized in a single sentence.

The pacing was slow for me, I had to hack my way through the first half before it really picked up.

Also, the Thousand Sons barely appeared in the novel. The Space Wolves got more of a role in A Thousand Sons then the TS in Prospero Burns. Even the sole Thousand Son we got to see in detail was not actually a Thousand Son.

But for all it's flaws it really is a well written book. The biggest problems are pacing and the short Battle of Prospero at the end. The title is rather misleading. Renaming the book ''Wolves of Fenris'' would have been better, as the book is less about the Burning of Prospero then the Wolves mindset and culture.

If you had to ask me I would put it in the upper-middle of my Heresy favorites. Usually I rate Abnett as a better author than McNeill, but here I prefer A Thousand Sons to Prospero Burns, as the latter has too many little flaws dragging it down.

Sandlemad
09-01-2011, 21:55
Haven't' been playing 40K for long, have you? Russ always went into battle Grekki and Frekki - up until a couple years ago you could still get the actual Rogue-Trader era Leman Russ Primarch model with those two wolves from the GW Online Store. The duo made an appearance in A Thousand Sons. There's a good chance now they are not even wolves… gives the fact that Russ refers to G&F as his "brother and sister" a whole new meaning now, doesn't it :angel:?

"There are no wolves on Fenris."
It makes sense that Fenrisian wolves, descended from the original human settlers, don't look particularly like Terran wolves. I think there's a pretty creepy human-like cast to their faces, makes me think of some of Dougal Dixon's illustrations of humanity's future evolution (Linky (http://www.google.ie/imgres?imgurl=http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5122/5222481549_4a6185f3a6_b.jpg&imgrefurl=http://monsterbrains.blogspot.com/2010/12/dougal-dixon-man-after-man-1990.html&usg=__wUpj0mWrNSnT1pdq5mXg1swGaKI=&h=1024&w=790&sz=500&hl=en&start=20&zoom=1&tbnid=yYYJwRpNyQ8SBM:&tbnh=143&tbnw=122&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dman%2Bafter%2Bman%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den% 26client%3Dfirefox-a%26sa%3DN%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26biw%3D1024%26bih%3D451%26tbs%3Disch: 10%2C677&um=1&itbs=1&iact=rc&dur=233&ei=JDwqTeOiD4OYhQe2zMWqAg&oei=3DsqTcrhNceKhQf40524Dg&esq=7&page=3&ndsp=10&ved=1t:429,r:8,s:20&tx=57&ty=40&biw=1024&bih=451)).

Da'Mass
12-01-2011, 16:24
Haven't' been playing 40K for long, have you? Russ always went into battle Grekki and Frekki - up until a couple years ago you could still get the actual Rogue-Trader era Leman Russ Primarch model with those two wolves from the GW Online Store. The duo made an appearance in A Thousand Sons. There's a good chance now they are not even wolves… gives the fact that Russ refers to G&F as his "brother and sister" a whole new meaning now, doesn't it :angel:?

I'm familiar of the Leman Russ model with the two wolves because I bought it when it was RELEASED 20 odd years ago.

I was saying the drawings of the wolves, their visual appearance, was rubbish.

I'll have you know I've played so much 40K it now bores the h3ll out of me & I just hang around to hear more stories & paint the minis.

I finished the book and I personally like it alot. OK we didn't get many fights from a Space Wolves perspective, but there's only so many times you can describe someone being shot or stabbed or blown up only to carry on fighting in a heroic way for a bit.

Pacific
12-01-2011, 23:31
I have to say this is one of my favorite books in the series so far. Abnett has transformed the Space Wolves not only in name, but their entire character has been dragged from something almost two-dimensional into a story which is both thrilling and tragic at times. I was thoroughly entertained, I thoroughly enjoyed it, it was something new.

There we go, I said it. Too many of the criticisms seem to be concerning 'I wanted the book to write about this...', without realising that what we have in effect with Prospero Burns is something far more important in terms of the Horus Heresy series. In fact, you could say the whole 40k background story in general, because the details of the Space Wolves presented to us in the book far outweigh anything done previously (and I say that as someone who enjoyed the original Bill King books).

McNeil had already covered the assault on Prospero in, what some would say, was exhaustive detail. He handled that aspect of the story remarkably well I thought - certainly it's one of the few times I can remember reading a BL novel and feeling genuinely frightened; From the description of the Wolves, of these marine-killers, you definitely felt sorry for the Thousand Sons! So what would be the point of writing it again, describing the same narrative events except with the name Bear written instead of Amon?

Instead, Abnett chose to focus on creating a character for the Space Wolves - of fleshing them out, so we had some understanding (as much as such a thing is possible!) of the men behind the animal, of their almost alien way of comprehending the world around them. As has been pointed out by Alessander, you can tell a lot of work went into creating a culture for them. So by the time the 6th Legion arrive at Prospero, you fully understand what is driving them forward, how they do what they do when you consider that previously the thought of an Astartes killing another would be incomprehensible.

I would go as far as to say it Abnett's richest and most fulfilling book to date, and shows that even at this stage of his career as a writer and after having written so many books, he is still maturing. But as well as carrying this extra weight, the book loses none of the other little touches which Abnett seems to do so well - the neat plot twists and intrigue which keep the pages turning, and the sense of humour pervading through parts of it. I was trying to think of something I disliked about this book, but I really couldn't. It kept me thoroughly entertained throughout, and when all other considerations are made I think that's the important thing in the end!

ORKY ARD BOYZ
13-01-2011, 00:51
I have to say the book was amazing, (finally finished it). I'll write something more indepth later. It reallly captured the brutal, barbaric-by-choice 'feel' of the Space Wolves.

What was the subplot of the eye about? Was the dream significant? When Longfang says that it was the dream about his encounter before his surgery that had the most 'wyrd' was it happening simulatenously in the past and the present?

Did Bjorn's arm get destroyed by a Thousand Sons warrior in Collected visions? Is this a retcon? Or could the daemon have been part of an alternate reality and the events conincided. So in a sense both events occurred simultaneously, just in different planes of existence.

Lord_Crull
13-01-2011, 03:01
McNeil had already covered the assault on Prospero in, what some would say, was exhaustive detail. He handled that aspect of the story remarkably well I thought - certainly it's one of the few times I can remember reading a BL novel and feeling genuinely frightened; From the description of the Wolves, of these marine-killers, you definitely felt sorry for the Thousand Sons! So what would be the point of writing it again, describing the same narrative events except with the name Bear written instead of Amon?


It's not that, it's more like that A Thousand Sons raised certain questions that I thought would be answered in Prosperp Burns (Like what happened before the Shrike Library, what happened to the whole ''sinister words'' of Valdor,etc,etc)

It was a well-written novel certainly, but I'm afraid it did't give me anything that I was looking for.

Lowmans
13-01-2011, 07:39
I felt it was reasonably well written for a Black Library novel. It did ask a fair bit of the reader - in terms of suspension of disbelief, in some scenes.

I felt the flashbacks could have been handled and particularly positioned better. The inclusion of the 'twist' regarding the main character was unnecessary - it would likely have added more to the 30k setting if this hadn't been there.

I got the feeling that Abnett again had a book in mind that he wanted to write and shovelled into the Warhammer setting because it will sell.

To be honest I think he's trying to write 'proper' scifi but doesn't have the chops for it, without the support of the established base.

In summary a BL book which strays a little from form but IMHO doesn't quite manage much by it!

Dead.Blue.Clown
13-01-2011, 13:47
I got the feeling that Abnett again had a book in mind that he wanted to write and shovelled into the Warhammer setting because it will sell.

To be honest I think he's trying to write 'proper' scifi but doesn't have the chops for it, without the support of the established base.

I think you'll find plenty of "proper" sci-fi authors would kill for Dan's talent, and the "proper" distinction is used less and less these days, because it's outdated, unfounded, and something only ever said in ignorance.

FlashGordon
13-01-2011, 16:00
The book was not what i was counting for. But i enjoyed it quite much anyway. But i was quite annoyed at the more feline puma growls of the Space Wolves.... Sure it might work but why not use wolf growl? It is being used so many times it creeps under my skin.

Anyway i loved the ending and i like to think that the main character(do not remember his name at this point) turned into a wolf himself in the end(i like to think it was written in a metaphoric sense).

ArtificerArmour
13-01-2011, 21:55
I thought it was a good book, which I enjoyed more than I thought I would. However, it hardly touched on prospero. I know Dan picked the space wolves to chellenge himself, but I think it was a mistake as unfortunately both The-one-you-call-mcneill and Mr Abnett would have both written much better accounts should they have swapped Thousand Sons and wolves.

However, as Dan has had poor health writing this book, he should be applauded - it's a good yarn that pushes the boundaries of space war pr0n (unfortunately however if you dislike Legion you would find the same faults in this). Just, unfortunately, I think it should have been on a different tale and not one of the cornerstones of 40K lore. A missed opportunity for the tale of prospero, from both McNeill and Abnett.

Dante101
14-01-2011, 23:49
I thought it was a good book, which I enjoyed more than I thought I would. However, it hardly touched on prospero. I know Dan picked the space wolves to chellenge himself, but I think it was a mistake as unfortunately both The-one-you-call-mcneill and Mr Abnett would have both written much better accounts should they have swapped Thousand Sons and wolves.

However, as Dan has had poor health writing this book, he should be applauded - it's a good yarn that pushes the boundaries of space war pr0n (unfortunately however if you dislike Legion you would find the same faults in this). Just, unfortunately, I think it should have been on a different tale and not one of the cornerstones of 40K lore. A missed opportunity for the tale of prospero, from both McNeill and Abnett.

I dont know why people are complaining about a lack of action with regards to propsero. I mean ATS pretty much tells us exactly what happens- the wolves arrive and burn the place to the ground. Not much to tell. I personally enjoyed PB immensely- the depiction of russ has easily made him one of my favorite primarches, behind Night Haunter of course :evilgrin:

Pacific
15-01-2011, 00:45
Yes I thought that was quite interesting... the most ferocious and perhaps most feared Primarch comes across as actually being quite amicable :)

Lowmans
15-01-2011, 08:11
I think you'll find plenty of "proper" sci-fi authors would kill for Dan's talent, and the "proper" distinction is used less and less these days, because it's outdated, unfounded, and something only ever said in ignorance.
I'm glad you appreciate that there IS a distinction.
Well, I think Dan's talent has generally been expressed in novel form by inserting fairly tired and derivative ideas into pre-existing settings - et voilà.

For example, his longest running series in 40k would appear to be 'inspired' ( in terms of characters and entire chunks of the story arc) by a famous series centred on a fictional character in the Napoleonic wars.
The Enuncia idea also seems to have been 'inspired' from another book series.

I can't claim to have read all his work, however. Perhaps the Alton Towers rollercoaster comicbook he did is an absolute gem.

We can certainly agree to disagree on his talent.

On the 'distinction' it's tempting to say - well, you would say that, of course.
Regarding the Black Library stuff it's pulp, military scifi in a defined and limited setting. That setting exists in a PG-13 universe.
This means that a certain level of innovation isn't required and it also means certain themes can't be tackled.
You think that distinction doesn't matter - fair enough, we simply disagree on that too. However, my position isn't founded on 'ignorance', MY eyes are wide open.

I like your avatar, by the way!

ArtificerArmour
15-01-2011, 09:48
I dont know why people are complaining about a lack of action with regards to propsero. I mean ATS pretty much tells us exactly what happens- the wolves arrive and burn the place to the ground. Not much to tell. I personally enjoyed PB immensely- the depiction of russ has easily made him one of my favorite primarches, behind Night Haunter of course :evilgrin:

You must be joking? The first instance of broter on broter astartes warfare? Why write two books on the same topic and call it prospero burns if its got minimal to do with it?

I think if Abnett was any other writer for black library and sent that draft in he'd have been politely told that he needed to stick to the point of the books and increase his account of prospero and cut the first hundred or so pages out.

They said the topic was so big it needed two books. It did, but it wasn't served corretly.

marakaelis
15-01-2011, 11:01
I read the book. It wasn't my favourite. I liked A Thousand Sons, Legion and Horus Rising a lot more.
What I missed in Prospero Burns is a certain respect for the Thousand Sons, and a real feel for what makes the Wolves so capable and (militarily) distinct. All I got was mead, beads, tough talk and rune-sorcery (..hypocrits).

The Thousand Sons were doing things I never read, nor thought they would do, on the basis of the A Thousand Sons novel.
specifically regarding the whole interaction with Hawser : in A Thousand Sons it didnt look like the sorcerers already went over to chaos.. in Prospero Burns it really did look to be the case, with the (crude and easily foiled) manipulation

What I also missed was 'what' makes the Wolves such fearsome opponents. The Luna Wolves, the Death Guard, Alpha Legion and the Thousand Sons all sounded awesomly capable too.. not to be bothered by -whatever-. The main selling point of the Wolves.. their 'no limits' & barbaric (but still capable) approach, didnt come across enough for me. .. how tough can one get.

But the insight into Fenrisian society was good. I suspect that Dan Abnett approached the book this way, because he didnt want to try and rewrite A Thousand Sons from another point of view. I think he wanted to bring something extra. That he did.

Xisor
15-01-2011, 19:00
Being kinda prolific on the BLP reading front, I can't say I disagree more with ArtificerArmour. My experience of their publications is that they provide a basic platform of pulp, given their broad 'core' market, but they're not afraid of pushing off in nuanced directions. They can't (or won't) go terribly far from their general fair, but they will do it now and then.

In terms of modern stints, I think the non-McNeill Time of Legends books are a good example of this. Same with Farrer's works. Similarly the short story publications. CL Werner's stuff goes a fantastic way of displaying some genuinely outre-spins. Many of the authors seem to get the idea that they're writing for a set audience, but that they can play around with those preconceptions too.

With that in mind, I sympathise with AA's point too: there's a good argument to say that Dan's 'trick' with Prospero Burns was off-beat for the audience, misjudging them perhaps. Being part of the crowd, though, I'm happy with his choices. Except, and contrasting myself against Marakaelis severely here, I didn't like his approach to the Fenris society (well: the first fifty pages, as mentioned previously).

Anyway, a large portion of the BLP work is indeed as AA says it is; but I feel that's missing the point. I think Nemesis plays highly to AA's perception, but The First Heretic, the very next book after it, almost thoroughly demolishes it.

Lowmans: I think there's a significant misunderstanding in your post. I don't see the setting as limited, but as focussed. Miss the focus and you miss the opportunity, but hit the focus and, I'm inclined to suspect, anything goes. That said, I'm happy to revise that too; I don't fully subscribe to my own belief in that sense, but I find it quite comfortable and plausible. In agreement, to an extent, I think the distinction between hard and pulp is an excuse for writing things off without better reason. BLP works can be excellent and push their limits, but I'm exceedingly reluctant to pin Dan Abnett as the man who does that.

Anyhow, I ramble. BLP isn't good by any necessity, but it's focus needn't make it poor either. Accepting poor quality 'because it's BLP' is something I can't entertain. Malekith, for example, is a story I find immensely enjoyable and noteworthy as a respectable book separate from the Warhammer world. I feel that way about a good few of the BLP books; they could benefit immensely from being released under a 'Stand Alone' line, thus achieving more exposure to folks who don't browse through the 'franchise fiction' at the edge of the SF/F section of a bookshop.

But that's beside the point.

MvS
15-01-2011, 22:19
I really enjoyed Abnett's book and his approach to the Space Wolves (I also loved his less plastic name for the Space Wolves).

I didn't want to read all about the battle yet again but from a different perspective, I wanted to see mroe about the Space Wolves and their rationale. I want to see more depth for them and an explanation for why they sem like such brutal vandals. We got that.

We got explanations of how the Wolves and Sons were played so that the burning of Prospero happened. We got insight into why the Council of Nikea fell so harshly against space marine psykers and the Thousand Sons more specifically. We got insight into how and why the Wolves expunge Chaos (or 'maleficarum') and how that has influenced how they were seen at the time of the Heresy.

The book doesn't in any way take away from how the Wolves are described in A Thousand Sons but it does make them more understandable and sympathetic - and that includes their actions.

I also love the hints at the identity of Bjorn the Fell Handed and the possible links between the fate of the one (or more) of the missing Legions and the Space Wolves...

Aedes
16-01-2011, 00:58
I have to admit, before I got Prospero Burns, I got the first Space Wolf Omnibus to get a clue what the Space Wolves are all about.
I liked William Kings books, but truth be told, Dan Abnetts version is of so much better quality and writing. It has all these hidden hints and clues that make the reader think, something that isnt required for William Kings books.

Concerning the "Vasily" issue-- there are 2 Vasilies-- one is Kaspars female lover and a army captain, the other one his male research assistant/ secretary.

I am only half way through the book yet, BUT I already have a question--
SPOILER

WHY did it take so long (19years!) to repair Kaspars body and clone his organs?
Why has he been "on ice" (in stasis?) so long? Compared to descriptions of Astartes organ transplatation it takes a much shorter time?
And in comparison to modern day science, cloning of animals is done pretty quickly and shouldt take more than a year!

Xisor
16-01-2011, 01:02
Aedes: Keep reading. Don't look at spoiler answers, you'll get some closure on that in time.

Phunting
16-01-2011, 02:07
Finished the book tonight. After reading this thread, I have little to add that hasn't been said before. But still, my two penneth worth.

On the whole, thoroughly enjoyable. I agree that it wasn’t what I was expecting or what it was billed as, but on reflection I have to say given a choice between a unique and well told view of the SW or a version of ATS from the SW point of view, I was expecting the latter, but much preferred getting the former.

A few niggles. I would have liked to see how Russ was manipulated into attacking Prospero. But do feel that it just wouldn’t have fitted in with the tone of the book. I liked the outsider’s point of view, and it wouldn’t have made sense to have included this.

I do agree with the Vassily point, I think this could and should have been made clearer.

I would have liked to see a bit more of the SW’s justification for using psykers, Wyrdmake’s side of the argument.

I did feel the SW’s continued stated reputation as the most barbaric Astartes designed as savage enforcers to be annoying. I’d place the World Eaters and Night Lords as much, if not more so, in that role and found having characters constantly spout this to be somewhat irritating.

On the whole, I agree that it gave a thoroughly absorbing insight into the SW. I enjoyed the fractured structure, and thought it very well written. I’m often in two minds about Abnett, mostly because I find his Gaunt works to be far too clichéd and simplistic, but I think here he again proves that he can be an exceptional storyteller. I’d probably place it fourth favourite so far, after Fulgrim, A Thousand Sons and Horus Rising, but continuing confirmation of the excellence of the series.

Dead.Blue.Clown
16-01-2011, 03:32
I'm glad you appreciate that there IS a distinction.

Only insofar as it's a tired old stereotype with less and less validity outside internet forums as time goes by. It certainly barely applies in the industry these days, but makes for great, natural-sounding soundbites when used as an insulting opinion.

Don't get me wrong, I dislike more Warhammer 40,000 novels (and WarCraft ones, and Star Trek ones, and Star Wars ones, and whatever other licensed setting) than anyone else I've ever met, but I don't let that confuse me in regards to how the publishing industry perceives things, or how it functions. You'll never catch me saying that Black Library (or any publisher, actually) as a whole churns out first-class work all the time - I'm an ardent believer in Sturgeon's Law.


The Enuncia idea also seems to have been 'inspired' from another book series.

Your focus determines your reality, though. You see a bizarre derivation that serves no purpose beyond highlighting a lack of imagination. To Dan's mindset, I'm sure he considered it a strengthening of an aspect in the setting; a way of tying things together. It's not derivative, it's a licensed fiction writer's job to make those kind of links, at times. It lends credence to concepts, reinforcing them as deeper truths within the setting. To consider that a flaw is... Well, I actually see your point. But it's the nature of the beast, and rather than being intentionally derivative, it was highlighting another part of 40K to bolster its credence. These kind of self-referential moments show up all the time, and it's usually considered a feature, not a bug.

The moments I loathe are "other series" characters popping up in ruthlessly cool cameos that shatter the fourth wall. But a reference to a tricky Chaos power used by scholars... I dunno, man. I like that.



On the 'distinction' it's tempting to say - well, you would say that, of course.

But that would be facile, and you know it. We could be allies, anyway.


Regarding the Black Library stuff it's pulp, military scifi in a defined and limited setting.

Yeah, I get where you're coming from on that score. I'd argue that it doesn't universally make it easier, simpler, or more limited when it comes to the writing that forms the end result, though. (Although, yep, I know X number of authors aim low, knowing it'll be a good enough shot to hit most of the target audience.)

The strictures actually make it harder to write, though. I'm the first person to admit the boundaries in place working within the setting (or rather, the company's hold on the setting) can make it very difficult, sometimes. I let Black Library publish my work because I love Warhammer 40,000 and enjoy writing stories set within it, but it can be a little confining. The focus of the setting is a delicious part of the process, but the restrictions inside and out can be a little patience-grinding.

But to say, as you did, that "I got the feeling that Abnett again had a book in mind that he wanted to write and shovelled into the Warhammer setting because it will sell", is patently nonsense. Again, great soundbite - the cynic in all of us thinks it sounds so possible, so plausible, but it shows almost complete ignorance of the writing process. That level of shoehorning is almost hilariously difficult, and would be worthless, anyway. It also supposes that the author lacks integrity, implying they'd do such a thing. In short, you're flinging a baseless insult (and one that's objectively incorrect, too) under a faintly-sneering veneer of judgement.

No reason that should be left unchallenged, when it's absolutely incorrect.

But then, despite these last few posts, I suspect you and I would end up agreeing on 97% of this kinda jazz.

MvS
16-01-2011, 14:49
I would have liked to see how Russ was manipulated into attacking Prospero. But do feel that it just wouldn’t have fitted in with the tone of the book.

I don't know, there could have been even a comment that the Warmaster had ordered the destruction of the Thousand Sons on behalf of the Emperor. But it's a very, very minor niggle for such a good book.


I did feel the SW’s continued stated reputation as the most barbaric Astartes designed as savage enforcers to be annoying. I’d place the World Eaters and Night Lords as much, if not more so, in that role and found having characters constantly spout this to be somewhat irritating.
That was a bit of an oddity perhaps. I think Abnett liked the idea that the Wolves were designed to be Legion killers and ran with it - quite well i think. But I agree that the Night Lords seem to be more callous and the World Eaters far more brutal.

The World Eaters even had additional surgery to heighten their aggression.

Maybe there's a difference (to the Imperium at least) between appearing to be a hairy, mindless vandal and appearing to be a berserker...?

Xisor
16-01-2011, 15:03
The points on the World Eaters and Night Lords is well put, in my mind. I would assume that the Night Lords hold a similar role to Abnett's Wolves, but not the World Eaters. That is: barbaric, savage, almost boundless.

I can foresee a time when the Emperor might have turned against the Wolves. Indeed my pet theory prior to PB was that Russ was on Terra when Magnus' message arrived and that he was being held 'in waiting' demanding to see the Emperor. The Emperor, being busy in the lab, refused to see Russ. If Magnus' message hadn't arrived, perhaps Russ' patience would've been driven to suspect that the Emperor was compromised, ergo Magnus could've been loyal and Russ the traitor.

But that's an outdated pet theory nowadays. Though Russ might've been on Terra...

Anyway. Night Lords. Savage terror troops. Absolute weapons. Where the Wolves know no bounds, neither do the Night Lords. They're there to harness populaces, to capture and hold portions of the Galaxy that no-other would allow. One wonders if the Wolves would ever have been sent against the Night Lords had things went differently.

But the World Eaters? I'm sure I mentioned before: they're broken. One of the overtures of the Wolves/Russ' beliefs pushed in Prosper Burns was that the Emperor had specific purposes for the Legions and, from First Heretic that he had similarly divided up portions and aspects between the Primarchs. Regardless of that: Angron seem to be broken. Unless that was the Emperor's intention, but I don't like that so much. I find the idea that Angron was genuinely damaged goods to be a compelling story point. Especially if being damaged goods is secondary to his other characteristics.

Whatever Angron's and the World Eater's purposes were, they no longer are capable of really fulfilling that purpose specifically. I really find that endearing. And I find it a compelling combined with After Desh'ea. The reason for the Emperor's daftness around the finding of Angron has to do with it being a singular point of almost complete failure in his 'galactic plan'. Perhaps the first 'unexpected/unaccounted for' error that occurred in the Great Crusade. Something that sent Him properly reeling. Perhaps it is combined with the finding of another primarch, hence accounting for Angron being left for Kharn to deal with.

The idea that Angron doesn't fit the plan, that something so simple and human like a single abused and ruined life was enough to be the first wrinkle in the God-Emperor's plans.

Perhaps I'm just a bit bleeding heart. I still see that being a compelling 'nugget', almost a sideshow or totally unsaid undertone for a novel. Not a focus, an undercurrent.

EDIT: Also, in light of Mr D-B's post, it'd appear my earlier one is deeply flawed. Ho hum.

Dead.Blue.Clown
16-01-2011, 17:07
EDIT: Also, in light of Mr D-B's post, it'd appear my earlier one is deeply flawed. Ho hum.

Hell, no. You made a lot of sense.

Different experiences, that's all. And mine are tainte-- uh, coloured, by the behind-the-scenes restrictions, rather than focused purely on the literary ones.

Xisor
16-01-2011, 18:24
Well, I do endeavour to make some sense, so that's somewhat reassuring! What are behind-the-scenes restrictions? No lovey-dovey? No graphic nudity?

gwarsh41
18-01-2011, 16:16
I just finished the book about 5 minutes ago. I also feel that I expected more, and the fight on prospero was shorter than I would have liked. I admit to skipping through some of the flashbacks as I honestly did not care. (especially when they popped up during a very suspenseful moment, just like a commercial)

In the end, without any spoilers. What made this book awesome for me was Bear. I was very happy with his character and how everything ended. I was not too happy with the two sentence summary of the primarch fight. I am going to go take pages out of "Thousand Sons" and paste them into this book so I can get my full SW fill in one book.

reds8n
18-01-2011, 17:29
You must be joking? The first instance of broter on broter astartes warfare?

Indeed.

I would imagine the first instance of full on Astartes vs Astrates conflict will, when all is revealed, be covered in more detail than the events that Prospero Burns covers.:D

Noserenda
19-01-2011, 00:25
Damn Xisor, that post put into words what ive always kinda thought about Angron but never been able to articulate too well :D Getting cut up and then being surgically modified hours after he was "born" cant have been in the Emperors plan...

Could it? ;)

Helikaon
19-01-2011, 01:00
I loved the book after I got into it, but was frustrated a little by the first fifty or so pages, though it was nice to see that Heresy-era Fenrisians aren't all that different from their 40K brethren. I thought the book is a great companion to ATS, though somewhat feel that the names of the two should have been switched (though changing it to something more wolfy), Prospero Burns doesn't really show Propspero Burning, but it does go a long way to explaining just why the Wolves are so thorough in their cleansing of the world and the new characterization of the 6th Legion as "The Executioners" is nice and new, the book shows you just why the Space Wolves would be chosen to sanction another Legion, they are unrelenting and brutal, not the unrestrained barbarism of the World Eaters, nor the clinical horror of the Night Lords, but something far more dangerous.

Surgency
24-01-2011, 18:29
RE: Apologist's question:

"Until next winter" is used throughout Prospero Burns as a farewell before death. Hawser has fought his fears (not to mention his past) and won, and doesn't want to go into hibernation...this is the alternative. This last segment seems to me to be the Wolf King letting Hawser go and face his end like a member of the Rout.

What I got out of it was that Russ had an idea of what the future presented for him. The page before that line, Russ specifically tells Hawser ...the accounts...we don't want to lose them....When I'm gone, you'd better make sure they hear the stories

Taking into account Hawsers role during the scouring of Prospero, as opposed to his earlier role against the quietude, it can be assumed that living amongst the Wolves for so long has ingrained their sense of honor into him. When he tells Russ that he'll do as asked, thats something that he'd strive to do, at all costs. Its even mentioned before hand that he will be sleeping with the dreadnaughts, in the dark places of the Aett. He also informs the listener that he doesn't want to be there, but is there because he must be, and if he is summoned, it is because things are truely grim


I think that very last scene is merely his last bit of freedom, where he can freely live without being afraid of anything. Its also where he is most like the Vlka Fenryka he's lived with so long.



Just finished it. If you haven't read it, my advice is to try and get through it at a fairly good pace, not bit by bit. Like some other Abnett novels with many apparently disparate threads, it can be bewildering if you don't just dive in and read it through to the end. At times it is maddening, with dreams within dreams, and you won't really have any idea what the main thrust of the book is until well past three quarters of the way in, but in the end it is a fantastic book. And it is all about Prospero Burning, though that will sound ridiculous even to people 95% of the way through reading it.

Spoilerfest:

People have mentioned that the old plotline about the Emperor's orders being twisted by Horus and/or Valdor was ignored. On the contrary, it seemed to me that this was actually retconned. It's very strongly implied that the 6th Legion, as the Emperor's sanction, were only ever sent to completely destroy the Thousand Sons, and that everyone, Horus included, would have been well aware of that.

It was indeed retconned, but not in this way. Keep in mind Russ gave Magnus the opportunity to surrender, so the TS could be dismantled bloodlessly, implying that Russ would have accepted a full surrender. While I don't like the old standby of "chaos did it", in this case knowing that Hawser was not an agent of Magnus makes a lot more sense. I wonder, if Magnus had been viewing the wolves instead of a daemon, if things would have turned out differently on Prospero?



As for the grumbling about the viability of the Wolves as executioners of rogue legions. I don't think the idea is that they take on a numerically superior legion and win out because they're more feral or just better. If the Ultramarines turned, the Wolves would be one of several legions sent to take them on, it's just that they would be the ones who would perform the coup de grace where the other legions might hold back. As Russ put it, they always get the dirty jobs (take that Perturabo).

Who says they take on a whole legion? Remember, as was mentioned earlier in the thread, most of the legions are dispersed. The Wolves could easily have been used to attack key elements of another legion, leaving most of the rank and file Astartes to be absorbed by legions not involved, an event hinted at in another book (First Heretic, I think?)



You see a bizarre derivation that serves no purpose beyond highlighting a lack of imagination. To Dan's mindset, I'm sure he considered it a strengthening of an aspect in the setting; a way of tying things together. It's not derivative, it's a licensed fiction writer's job to make those kind of links, at times. It lends credence to concepts, reinforcing them as deeper truths within the setting. To consider that a flaw is... Well, I actually see your point. But it's the nature of the beast, and rather than being intentionally derivative, it was highlighting another part of 40K to bolster its credence. These kind of self-referential moments show up all the time, and it's usually considered a feature, not a bug.

I've gotta say, when it was revealed that Hawsers friend had used Enuncia, and the reference to the Cognitae (from the Eisenhorn series) were mentioned, it really drew the past into the present for me. Drawing those links between past and present, in my mind, helps define the universe, and only serves to better all the stories involved. When the mentions were made, I immediately thought of the Eisenhorn series, and it really expanded on how large, and long reaching, some of the overall plots can be.

BlackLegion
25-01-2011, 09:12
Great book. The only failure i see is that there is tofew Space Wolves/Thounsand Sons interaction.
Apart from the attack on Prospero and perhabs Nikaea there isn't no "other side of the coin" of "A Thousand Sons."

rev
25-01-2011, 11:38
I enjoyed the book on the whole, I like Abnett askew approach to the folklore we know of old.

I read the book fast, so might have missed bits but didn't really get:

1) the significance of dual vassily characters, unless it was a hint at his memories being messed with.

2) the 19 year revamp, unless it was purely a device designed to highlight how serious they took the investigation into his 'spy' nature

3) the amon who wasn't amon and wasn't even amon pretending to be amon in the balcony bit. So it was horus, pretending to be a 1kson, pretending to be a custodes? huh?

4) throwing in Horus at the end. didnt sit right with me.

just my thoughts., but overall a decent read.

rev

reds8n
25-01-2011, 12:13
Just to clarify..

that wasn't really Horus yes ? That was the same daemon who'd pretended to be Amon at Nikea. It merely took his form.

rev
25-01-2011, 12:28
[QUOTE=reds8n;5266356]Just to clarify..

[spoiler]

ah ok, will re read that section with this in mind.


rev

Fulgrim's Gimp
25-01-2011, 20:23
Re-read Thousand Sons after this and page 276 has some further fuel for the Horus Thing fire when :

Magnus says he has spies still in the Space Wolves

AvatarForm
27-01-2011, 08:13
There's a similiar comment in... I think it was The First Heretic. One of the recent HH books in any case.

Earlier in the novel, the statement 'there are no Wolves on Fenris' is made, to which one of the Astartes replies 'Not until we got here.'

The interpretation I took is that all of the Fenrisian Wolves are essentially Space Wolves whose geneseed didn't 'take' (or took too well!)

Taken specifically in the context above, I took this to mean that Hauser was 'going to the Wolves' – either literally, or in the sense that he had reached the end of his life's purpose: i.e. having had his life mapped out for him, he'd finally got the chance for freedom and an existence not being someone's puppet. The wolves are a metaphor for freedom.

It's also in A Thousand Sons... Amon or one of the 1KS theorises that its early experiments with the Canis Helix on terraformers/settlers on Fenris who mutated, hence the intellect, despite the wolfen form.


The removal of Kaspar's eye parallels Odin's sacrifice of his eye to gain knowledge. The dream world aand visions are very shamanistic.

This also parallels Magnus' sacrificed eye for knowledge in the Warp.

Finally, to someone earlier, I cannot remember whom... how did you theorise that the corruptor behind Magnus is Nurgle??? It's Tzeentch all the way.

Nurgle had his sights firmly on the Death Guard.

Eulenspiegel
27-01-2011, 12:17
McNeil had already covered the assault on Prospero in, what some would say, was exhaustive detail. He handled that aspect of the story remarkably well I thought - certainly it's one of the few times I can remember reading a BL novel and feeling genuinely frightened; From the description of the Wolves, of these marine-killers, you definitely felt sorry for the Thousand Sons! So what would be the point of writing it again, describing the same narrative events except with the name Bear written instead of Amon?

Exactly. Thank you, Pacific.

I just finished the book in two readings and am very pleased about it. I didn´t know how others expected the "sacking of Prospero - just from a different viewpoint"?

So you have read "Amon incinerated three Space Wolves with warp blasts from his fingertips" in A THOUSAND SONS and you really were expecting the accompanying "Hrulfgar, Wulfgar and Schmulfgar were incinerated by ghastly witch-fire from some Thousand Son" in PB?

In a way though, Abnett did deliver that "different viewpoint":
he told us why the Wolves appeared to be such pr*cks in ATS, why they fell onto the beatiful world of Prospero like barbarian invaders. They were driving out the maleficarum. And the lighter side of the wolves was subdued by the grim task that is the extermination of a brother legion.

This is one of my favourite HH (and BL) books. Perhaps even after A THOUSAND SONS and FIRST HERETIC (and I loathed the Space Wolves before). The only thing that irritated me was the over-use of phrases like "apex predator", and evertime i read "wet leopard-growl" my eye started to twitch ...
Gladly there wasn´t too much "murder-make" in the book :)


PS, some more minor niggles:

- Bear really shouldn´t have had to utter his view on Dreadnoughts ... it took away from the reveal shortly afterwards and made it seem like a cheap nod to fanboys (still, that was awesome).

- I can unterstand why people have problems accepting that Space Wolves (I´m going to continue using that name for them :P) are the Astartes-executioners. I would have liked some elaboration on that.

Kiro
29-01-2011, 00:28
Hmmm, from what everyone's said here I guess I'll be giving this one a miss.

Somebody please spoiler for me:

What's this talk about a Thousand Son who is not a Thousand Son?



I just finished the book in two readings and am very pleased about it. I didn´t know how others expected the "sacking of Prospero - just from a different viewpoint"?

So you have read "Amon incinerated three Space Wolves with warp blasts from his fingertips" in A THOUSAND SONS and you really were expecting the accompanying "Hrulfgar, Wulfgar and Schmulfgar were incinerated by ghastly witch-fire from some Thousand Son" in PB?


Not necessarily; I was looking forward to questions answered - Wyrdmake's change in attitude, the Wolves' ideas about psykers, what happened to that Wolf Lord from Agoru, what was so-and-so up to during this or that etc

BobtheInquisitor
29-01-2011, 04:20
Basically, a daemon pretends to be a Thousand Son and starts trashing up the place at Nikea, getting into psychic fisticuffs with two SWs, a custode and a remembrancer all within sight of the Emperor and his cronies. Naturally, no one really bothers to ask why there were two Amons at Nikea or really even think about it at all. But, seriously, the Vlka Fenryka (totally not as cheesy as "Space Wolves"...totally) are not mindless barbarians. They are really very smart for an entire legion of dupes whose tribalistic bias and superstitions lead them to assault and destroy a completely loyal legion because "They're a witch!" That's just a facade. Really. They're very smart. That's why Russ sends his ultimatum through an old man/warp gate with faulty memories who was never proven to connect to Magnus in the first place (obviously, since he didn't) instead of over the vox.

Also, I just wonder what the Warseer response to the following passage would be if Matt Ward had written it.

There is not an Astartes in the Imperium who can out-match a warrior of the Rout...

EDIT: Thanks for the heads-up Surgency.

Surgency
29-01-2011, 04:22
Hmmm, from what everyone's said here I guess I'll be giving this one a miss.

Somebody please spoiler for me:

What's this talk about a Thousand Son who is not a Thousand Son?

He reappears later in the book, wearing several faces... That of Hawsers friend, Amon, Horus, and finally, is revealed as a daemon, though its hard to tell of what flavour


Bob, you really need to spoiler tag that post......

ORKY ARD BOYZ
29-01-2011, 09:50
Basically, a daemon pretends to be a Thousand Son and starts trashing up the place at Nikea, getting into psychic fisticuffs with two SWs, a custode and a remembrancer all within sight of the Emperor and his cronies. Naturally, no one really bothers to ask why there were two Amons at Nikea or really even think about it at all. .

Warp magic. The daemon evaded the Custodes. I think in this case magic can explain everything.
They probably did know it was a daemon but there was nothing more to be done. What can you investigate? Its not like daemons leave trails or have an address which isn't a gaping, spinning hell.





They are really very smart for an entire legion of dupes whose tribalistic bias and superstitions lead them to assault and destroy a completely loyal legion because "They're a witch!" That's just a facade. Really. They're very smart. That's why Russ sends his ultimatum through an old man/warp gate with faulty memories who was never proven to connect to Magnus in the first place (obviously, since he didn't) instead of over the vox.


They destroyed the thousand sons because the Emperor ordered them, which was prompted by Magnus's screaming warp message and:

"years of dissemination of secrets and lies? Ugly rumours of Magnus's necromantic practices? Blunt questions about Russ's psychopathic tactics? Plus, of course, the deliberate manufacture of a network of spies like you, Kasper, real spies and pawns to make both sides suspect the worst and prepare for reaction?"

"No man can do such a thing." (In case this is your counter argument.)

"Whoever said I was a man?" (Daemons are magical. And therefore are capable of stupidly intricate plans.)




Also, I just wonder what the Warseer response to the following passage would be if Matt Ward had written it.


I would say it'd be the dawn of a golden era. Because I think even if you hate the plot, the writing style and description is just brilliant really. The beginning really invokes a Ferensian perspective: short, punchy and full of slang (threads, death wearing faces.) I mean, how great is the imagery of: "This was the death that knocked you down hard onto the ice with an axe or maul, so you felt nothing except the cold burn of the ice, and the hot burn of your own blood, and the pain-scream of your crippling wound." It's all very grisly, but its so concise and gives me a very visual, sensory impression. I'd kill to be able to write like this with ease, (we all got to have end goals.)

If codexes were this in depth and mature, I would actually celebrate with my gaming buddies.

Matt Ward has a tendency, not for complicated plots, but for GLORIOUS epic combat, where space marines crush living fragments of war gods. But they can do it, cause they're Ultramarines, and all aspire to the teachings of the great Guilliman, greatest of the primarchs.

Kiro
29-01-2011, 11:20
For those who gave me that nuggest (thanks):

I presume the daemon is defeated? How?

Also, this supposed request for Magnus to surrender, how did it happen - Russ is unknowingly speaking through an agent of chaos, but what does said agent do; fail to deliver the message and lie? Corrupt the message? etc?

I read that the fight between Magnus and Russ is briefly summarised, but is there description about the Thousand Sons disappearing?

Also, why does everyone keep saying the order to attack Prospero has been retconned? The only thing I can see people saying, is that no mention is made of Horus 'suggesting' a change of orders to Russ.

Eulenspiegel
29-01-2011, 16:03
This thread is getting hard to read :) :

How is the daemon defeated?

It´s just driven back. They don´t know it´s a daemon at that time, it´s still wearing the form of an Amon who is hurling warp magic around (they don´t know the real Amon is by the side of Magnus).
The daemon´s aim was not to do lasting physical damage or to actually win that fight. He wanted the others to think the Thousand Sons manipulated Hawser. His plan succeeds.

Hawser just later learns that the daemon (who calls himself the primordial annihilator - it might have not been just a daemon but THE daemon or even an avatar of Chaos itself) posed as Amon. But things are very convulted when he does so, as the daemon first approaches him as Horus, and changes faces multiple times during their conversation.

Russ´ plea for Magnus to surrender:

So the Wolves think Magnus is pulling Hawser´s strings. Russ talks directly to Hawser, imploring Magnus (who he thinks is watching through Hawser´s eyes) to lay down arms and end this without bloodshed. We all know how this ends...

Russ vs Magnus, TS disappearing:

I must have missed the mention of that fight, I think it was - if all - just glanced over. They disappearance of the last few Thousand Sons is mentioned in passing, and naturally one more evidence for their continued use of sorcery.

Xisor
29-01-2011, 19:57
@Eulenspiegel, BobTheInquisitor & Kiro:

Elaborating on Eulenspiegel's response to the 'Russ' request for Magnus to stand-down', it's immensely predicated on the point that Russ (seemingly vindicated in his suspicions given that he helped engineer Nikaea and that the Emperor has sanctioned the operation) still believes Magnus to be pulling Hawser's strings, that the Daemon-Amon was controlled by/in cahoots with Magnus and his Thousand Sons. Russ is wrong on this point, at least with regards to Hawser.

So Russ is played as a dupe, but so too is Magnus. And the Council of Nikaea. Like everything in the Horus Heresy, there is an immense capitalisation on the failings of the Primarchs, the fragility of the Imperium etc.

Where BobTheInquisitor seems somewhat cynical about this being a sensible revitalisation/revision of the origins of the Wolves, I'd largely disagree. In this version, Dan's are very highly disciplined, thoughtful and mindful warriors. But the disciplined part is the overarching point. They're absolutely prepared to go so far beyond the traditional boundaries and restraint that they're beyond the barbarian/civilised divide one normally imagines. It's not as if they're immensely intellectual, like the Thousand Sons, they are too...precise, forward...unquestioning like that.

It's a damn interesting book. I still find the writing of the first fifty pages to be let down by what was actually written and contained. Too many dash-joined words, too weak a play on the ice folk of Fenris in a way that could've benefited massively from the approach CL Werner takes in Wulfrik; use it to tell an immense and interesting story.

Beyond that, though, the book is immense. Flawed in places, certainly, but deary me there are many worse books in the HH series than Prospero Burns, on it's own it's still a damn fine book.

AvatarForm
31-01-2011, 08:18
To break the wall of "spoilers"...

I re-read this book on the weekend, after reading the opinions and perceptions on this forum and I can safely say that it was both insightful... while some of you seriously need to re-read the book as your memories may have dulled quickly, or you werent reading and comprehending fully...

Eg. AI robots were not AI... they were humans with the majoriy of their bodily structures replaced. Simply a skull and brain stem/spine in a power-suit. Theere are pages describing this process and how they view themselves as the true descendents of mankind. Which is why they react violently to the fleet.

Apologist
31-01-2011, 11:10
AI robots were not AI... they were humans with the majoriy of their bodily structures replaced. Simply a skull and brain stem/spine in a power-suit. Theere are pages describing this process and how they view themselves as the true descendents of mankind. Which is why they react violently to the fleet.

Yes, and the descriptive writing on this civilisation is fantastic. Similarly to his other books in the series, Abnett has a knack for creating interesting and evocative civilisations in very short words. The contrast between the eerily elegant construct-bodies and the armour-clad Rout feels very '30k'.

GraemePaul
02-02-2011, 19:34
Well I have finished reading Prospero Burns and my views are as follows:

1. Dan's approach to this book for the first 2 thirds of the story is very different to any of his other work. I found the story frustrating and at times schizophrenic with the constant flashbacks and deliberate confusion.

2. I felt the story did not really get going until Nikea where we 'finally' meet Russ himself. It was almost like everything before was a prelude (setting the scene) to the main story and then after that, what was left was rushed.

3. I know part of the reason Dan took this book on as a challenge was because he did not really 'get' the Space Wolves and as a result wanted to rationalise and make their character as a chapter more believable. I do think he succeeded as the picture of the wolves he painted is very impressive and I imagine made alot of Space Wolf fans very happy (myself included) however in his efforts to do this there is almost an over emphasis on 'what' the space wolves are and this has impacted the story. Like I said previously, it felt like a character study of the legion instead of the story of 'Prospero Burns'.

Even with this criticism I do feel Prospero Burns is a good book and the revalations given (especially toward the end) do much to advance the background of the 40K. There were moments that genuinely made me sit up or raise an eyebrow Bear/Bjorn, Primordial Annihilator and not Magnus pulling the strings of Kasper, Full sanction of the Emperor to raise Prospero, Wolves being the executioners of the imperium. however I wonder if a better story could have been told if Dan had been given a bigger mandate (maybe a book to cover the background of the legion similar to Desent of Angels and then Prospero Burns as a story of the events).

Spadge981
03-02-2011, 07:47
Outta curiosity anyone think Kasper Hawser was based on Ibn Fadlan ?

Eulenspiegel
03-02-2011, 10:40
I think it outright says so in the book. He took this alias to allude to him.

Buchy
03-02-2011, 17:13
I thought it was an excellent book, though the title is very mis-leading. I suspect because of the delays in publishing, the title has been preset for some time and was too costly to change to reflect the story.

That aside, Dan Abnett has done far more to flesh out the Space Wolves than anything else in the Black Library. I suspect those that don't like it is because it moved the Space Wolves away from being two dimensional, cliched, drunken vikings in space, or those that seem to have some issue with them being nominated as executioners because they see that as better than their favoured legion.

Anyway, there is some real depth to the SW now, they're portrayed as determined, ruthless, calculated and cunning as well as being brave and valerous. The personality of the legion is far more grown up and the mindset is far more fitting of Space Marines than the 2D Viking image referenced above.

I do think the book structure is not ideal in the sense that circa 50% of the novel is flash backs to Kasper Hawser's (google Casper Hauser) past, however there are some interesting insights into the formation of the Imperium.

The character of Russ is involved far too little, and this is a definite drawback when his personality has been fleshed out so much and made far more complex than some brainless berserker. Abnett does well in portraying Russ as intelligent, shrewd, incredibly ruthless and cunning in playing up to the dumb berserker stereotype referenced above that others perceive him as, allowing him to gain an advantage in being underestimated. There is a breif reference in A Thousand Sons by Amon (I think) who sees through this somewhat.

The teenager in me was keen to see some of the ferocity referenced/described in other books in the series, though Abnett I think tries to offset this by explaining the shamansitic reasoning behind the dismembering and bloodletting, and thus trying to cast it in a new light.

In short, the SW in Prospero Burns are transformed into far more cunning, determined, ruthless and intelligent warriors whose actions always aim towards a defined goal. I think it is this that has made him ascribe the role of executioner to the legion.

If it was an Amazon review, I'd give it 4 stars out of 5. I do recommend everyone read it. I think it makes the SW a far richer legion and gives them much deeper character, however the title is misleading and Leman Russ and the Wolves don't really feature enough in it to fulfil the desires of a lot of the fanbase. If it was a stand alone novel set outside of the Warhammer universe, it would more than hold it's own with some excellent sci-fi ideas.

Lord_Crull
03-02-2011, 18:36
Also, I just wonder what the Warseer response to the following passage would be if Matt Ward had written it.



There is not an Astartes in the Imperium who can out-match a warrior of the Rout...

Obvious in-universe bias. In A Thousand Sons we see Thousand Sons out-match Wolves several times. In Battle of the Abyss an Ultramarine defeats a Space Wolf in single combat. That statement was from a skjald who had pretty much spent several decades with only the Wolves and minimal contact with other Legions. It's understandable he would be biased.

enyoss
03-02-2011, 19:18
Without reading over this thread in too much detail (I'm afraid of the spoilers!), was anyone else really bored with the battle scenes in this book?

I'm only around page 70 but am struggling to continue :(. The section between page 48 and 68 (from memory) is particularly repetitive with just page after page describing hacking and arterial blood spurts. In fact, apart from one short scene with a couple of human characters on Terra, the whole book so far has just been a boring hackfest.

Please tell me it picks up, or is this what I should expect from a Space Wolves-centric novel?

BobtheInquisitor
03-02-2011, 20:39
It definitely changes. It's not all blood and hacking, but it will stay boring in one form or another for the next 250 pages or so.

And Buchy, I'm not sure how you can claim the old Space Wolves were two dimensional (which they were) and not realize that the new ones are just as flat. "We're all brutal viking executioners because we have to be. *cries one manly tear*" Abnett even made them MORE like space vikings with all his borrowed words and just as drunk (mjod is so powerful it will kill even a superbly strong post-human remembrancer, apparently). If I had to sum up the new Space Wolves, I'd call them an army of Wolverines with a Nordic thesaurus at hand.

For the record, I don't think the book was terrible. Just not good. I quite enjoyed a lot of Abnett's little literary touches and writing techniques. I just think he spent so much time worrying about Hawser's development and creating a strong sense of theme that he lost sight of the fact that the book just wasn't good any more. The plot has holes and the characters are mostly unsympathetic, which may have been Abnett's intention but certainly doesn't help the readability of the story. It also doesn't help that any reader with even a little familiarity with 40k will see all the twists and turns in the plot coming, which makes the redundant flashbacks and tension building tedious rather than interesting. It doesn't help that Russ is only present in about 4 or 5 pages and spends most of the time either being duped or acting like a bro-ham ****** to his peers (almost as if Abnett were using the 4chan interpretation of Russ). It takes more than attitude to make a character badhat, and even if he is, it takes more than badhattery to make a character interesting.

Pardon me for the ramble.

enyoss
03-02-2011, 21:05
I was also worried about how the Space Wolves would be two-dimensional, so it's probably as I feared then :(. It's a pity as when Dan Abnett writes well I really get engaged, but looking back there have definitely been points in some of his previous HH books where I started snoozing a little (the ending part of Horus Rising being notable).

At the moment though I would do some killing of my own in return for some decent dialogue.

BobtheInquisitor
03-02-2011, 22:04
Well, I do seem to be in the minority in my opinion, so you might as well see what you think.

I still tend to enjoy most of Abnett's stuff. So far, though, his Heresy novels have been a bit of a letdown (mostly Legion and Prospero Burns, mostly). His later Ghosts novels haven't been so hot, either, now that I think about it...

Xisor
03-02-2011, 22:15
Enyoss: Contrary to BobtheInquisitor, I felt it got better after roughly the first 50 pages. Don't recall the specific 'place of change', but at least by ~100 I found it had picked up very much. The first/earliest 'arc' of the book was decidedly sub-par compared to the rest, for me.

Dragannia
03-02-2011, 23:07
Well, I do seem to be in the minority in my opinion, so you might as well see what you think.

I still tend to enjoy most of Abnett's stuff. So far, though, his Heresy novels have been a bit of a letdown (mostly Legion and Prospero Burns, mostly). His later Ghosts novels haven't been so hot, either, now that I think about it...



I don't get the divided opinion on Legion. Legion was the best Horus Heresy novel, easily the most simulating BL novel since Eisenhorn and Horus Rising. I actually prefer dialogue and interesting plot twists to action scenes which is why I don't really like Gaunt's Ghosts. Anyway, I just finished Prospero Burns and I thought it was fantastic, really showed depth in the Space Pups. I really enjoyed the intense tribal characterisation and the interesting twist at the end, though of course it was nothing like Legion's awesome ending.

Private_SeeD
05-02-2011, 00:12
I recently jst finished reading 'Prospero Burns' and had a few un-answered questions and some of them were answered by the manager of my local GW and wanted to see if you agree in what he told me

When I asked about the demon that was pulling the strings, he mentioned that the demon was from the 'Frist Heretic' novel, I myslef haven't read it yet so can't be 100% on that, Also I wanted to know at what point the demon had meet Kasper, He mentioned to me the section when Kasper and his team are on teh world and they find the cavern with the four statues and then the Thousand Sons turn up and the book describes there Thousand Sons only see 3 Status. I haven't gone over the book yet to find that part but it doesn't make sense to me, I would imagine it take some time to do what he did to Kasper, or is that just me?

Surgency
05-02-2011, 15:25
I was also worried about how the Space Wolves would be two-dimensional, so it's probably as I feared then :(. It's a pity as when Dan Abnett writes well I really get engaged, but looking back there have definitely been points in some of his previous HH books where I started snoozing a little (the ending part of Horus Rising being notable).

At the moment though I would do some killing of my own in return for some decent dialogue.

I don't think they're really all that two dimensional, as some claim. Yeah, you see them as Marines, and all that being a marine entails, but you learn a lot about who they actually are. You see that they do fear something, and you learn what that fear is. You see their desires for the future, something thats not usually seen.

Of course, there is no pleasing the warseer community as a whole, so some will complain that X wasn't how they wanted it, or that Y was a letdown, etc...


As for Russ' limited involvement, I was kind of glad for it. While I do like to see the Primarchs and their actions, I want to see the legions, not always just "Primarch and sons", something we've seen in most of the books already...

Alpharius_
12-02-2011, 19:56
Really liked it. Thought it and A thousand sons were two of the best HH books so far, up there with legion. It turned the wolves into more then just 'wolves in spess', gave them flavour that hasn't been seen with them before.

Sandlemad
12-02-2011, 20:27
Outta curiosity anyone think Kasper Hawser was based on Ibn Fadlan ?

I thought so too but someone on B&C pointed out that he's probably based on the less famous Ahmad Ibn Rustah (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahmad_ibn_Rustah), who had a rather higher opinion of the Scandinavians he encountered. Supports the wolves letting him in partially on the basis of his name, it's a nice bit of flattery.

Casper Hawser
15-02-2011, 20:57
I listened to the mp3 of this (hence spelling Kasper wrong on my profile if anyone knows how i can change this the info would be much appreciated) I really enjoyed it my biggest problem was

Surely the Emp would have sensed a daemon or Tzeentch (as thats who i thought had influenced Kasper) at the council of Nikea and even if he didn't surely the real Amon (thousand son not custodes) would have been questioned over the events in the gallery I can't believe they wouldn't have let him just leave after what he had done to the custodes Amon that just seemed stupid.
In Thousand Sons when Magnus and the Emp are communicating silently at Nikea, I assumed the Emp saw the deal Magnus had made to save his sons and realised Magnus was risking corruption so had to stop him from going to far again but Prospero burns suggest he finds out what happens in the gallery and and thats why he stops the Libariains from using their powers again which seems a weaker reason because the Emp would have been able to look into Amons mind and seen he was with the rest of Magnus legion during the whole of the council of Nikea

I think this weakens the Horus Heresy which is unfortunate because it's a great story and like others have said makes the Wolves alot more interesting than the Space Vikings they had been portrayed to be.

TheMav80
16-02-2011, 16:18
I liked it a lot. Especially the revelations at the Council of Nikea.

Had the Daemon/Amon not attacked and "proved" the corruption of the Sons, the vote could have still gone another way.

In a Thousand Sons you get the impression of the Wolves being dumb hypocrites for using Psykers themselves and hating the Sons for doing the same. They know the Imperium needs Psykers and that they are not inherently bad. In fact one mentions that being a Psyker is the easiest and safest way to access the warp...though not totally without peril. What they object to is the Sons going too far. They know the Warp is dangerous and it takes great restraint to use it. The Sons show no restraint in their unending quest for knowledge.

There is such a thing as knowing too much.

Casper Hawser
16-02-2011, 18:52
Actaually Ahriman realises the Wolves are not the Barbarians they are reported to be early on in a Thousand sons but yes they do consider them to be hypocrites for employing psykers themselves.
But don't you think the Emp would have sensed the Daemon. As he tells Kasper at the end Amon was with the rest of the Thousand Sons and not in the galleries talking to him. I just don't think in rings true that the Emp, Malcador and Magnus the most powerful psykers in the imperium don't notice a change in the warp as a Daemon enters Nikea. From what i understand of the warp Daemons can't just come into the galaxy unless they are summoned or there is some sort of rift or tear between the galaxy and warp

Don't get me wrong i enjoyed the story i just think that part is full of holes and seems a strange reason for the Emp to ban psykers in the legions. I think the deal Magnus made in the past with Tzeetch is a much better reason for the Emp to come to his decision.

checkmorale
21-02-2011, 03:31
A better question would be, if Magnus can communicate with the Emperor telepathically, why would he need to use the sorcery to travel to earth (breaking the machine in the process) at all?

That being said, I loved Prospero Burns and thought it was great, easily one of the best 40K novels, period. I'm sad to see the space viking we know and love get a bit of a retcon, as I love William King's work, but they are much more multi-faceted now. Abnett's work adds to previous work in a real and palpable way.

--Check

TheMav80
21-02-2011, 16:12
I don't think Magnus could just telepathically communicate with the Emperor at this point. As he had walled himself off from the warp while working on the golden throne and unlocking the webway.

checkmorale
21-02-2011, 21:50
I don't think Magnus could just telepathically communicate with the Emperor at this point. As he had walled himself off from the warp while working on the golden throne and unlocking the webway.

Ah, fair enough, perhaps I missed that part.

--Check

Dogface
29-12-2011, 18:49
I figured it made more sense to post here than to start a new thread:

First off, I loved reading Prospero Burns because the constant flashbacks to Terra were so richly detailed and fluid. Normally I get irritated when the human element in what is ostensibly a Space Marine novel features in the spotlight but in this case I didn't care that the main character was unapologetically a human (or that the sacking of Prospero was barely touched upon).

I loved all the details of Kasper's explorations and was thoroughly entertained throughout.

As for Abnett's treatment of the Space Wolves? I loved it. I loved the new direction.

There was something a bit too off about the previous incarnation of Space Wolves where they weren't even vikings, but caricatures of vikings. In Prospero Burns the Space Wolves are still irreverent and garrulous but they're also different, they felt more real and relatable (as real and relatable as an eight foot giant with fangs can be). Furthermore I like how the line "There are no wolves on Fenris" is clarified in the novel.

It's not that the Space Wolves are mindlessly bestial; that is a job best left for the World Eaters, in fact they are very mindfully bestial. They know what effect they have and are in fact consummate actors. They know what is required of their legion and have the self control and discipline to explode into brutal action but also to return to calm and order, a trait that their brothers in the World Eaters and Night Lords may lack.

Overall I like it. It sobered up the the character of the Space Wolves and added depth to the legion. Furthermore it really elaborated on post-Unification Terra and I'm not ashamed to admit that I devoured all the descriptions of Kasper's archaeological searches.

Skits
30-12-2011, 01:02
I quite enjoyed PB, although I do wish there'd been at least a bit more info regarding the Sons, whether or not Horus actually did change Russ' orders regarding Magnus & Prospero, etc. etc. Most of my thoughts/opinions of the book have been mentioned by other people already, so I won't go over them again.

One thing I did just think of though, and found interesting. ATS and PB work together to show the similarities and differences between not just the Sons and the Wolves, but also their home planets and populations. They're both Legions who occupy only one planet and recruit exclusively from them, but the roles they play in their respective populations' lives are starkly different. PB shows the Wolves to be almost legends and myths to their populace - they live entirely apart, and your average Fenrisian would never even see a Wolf in their lifetime.

In contrast, the Sons not only lived amongst their populace, but actively interacted with them and worked alongside them on a regular basis. It's mentioned in ATS that some civilian had some inoperable disease, but wasn't worried about it because a Pavoni healer from the Sons was scheduled to visit him.

I just found that contrast between how the two legions interact with their populaces interesting, and something that hasn't been mentioned before.

Cryptic
01-01-2012, 10:21
I too wanted to know about the supposed "Changing of orders" for Russ. Doesn't seem like the Emperor to want his psyker son crippled along with his legion and home if anything but dead?