BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Primarchs Lorgar and Angron lead their Legions deep into the realm of Ultramar, wreaking unthinkable havoc. Angron’s violent condition is worsening, he is dying, but Lorgar has a plan to save his savage brother. He will stop at nothing to bring that plan to fruition.
PROS: Heavy on the action but also heavy on the characterization, Dembski-Bowden adds unexpected depth to what may have otherwise been flat characters, tragic and compelling, furthers the Horus Heresy timeline.
CONS: None that come to mind, this was worth every dime of the hardcover price.
BOTTOM LINE: With Betrayer, Aaron Dembski-Bowden achieves the unexpected – giving depth to Angron and the World Eaters and topping his best novel to date, The First Heretic.
I wasn’t so sure what all the hype over Aaron Dembski-Bowden was about until I read The First Heretic, a New York Times bestselling novel I consider to be one of the best entries in the Horus Heresy series. Dembski-Bowden took a Legion I had little to no interest in, a Legion I sneered at as vile traitors, and painted them in a sympathetic light. With The First Heretic, he made me feel for the very first Primarch to turn away from the Imperium. It was not an action packed novel as far as the series goes, but instead a gut-wrenching, heart-rending character piece that showed the darkness of the future is even less black and white then believed. With Betrayer, Dembski-Bowden trumps his greatest accomplishment.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: A collection of short stories focused on the dastardly deeds of the Chaos Space Marines, with contributions from promising new talent.
PROS: Sarah Cawkwell and Andy Smillie’s short stories are the best to be found in this anthology.
CONS: “Throne of Lies” by Aaron Dembski-Bowden is largely pointless and “The Long War” by Andy Hoare lacks purpose.
BOTTOM LINE: Treacheries of the Space Marines is a mixed bag but worth paperback price for sure.
The Black Library has a surplus of talent at the moment. There is of course the old guard, names like Abnett, McNeill, Counter, Swallow, and King that have put Warhammer 40,000 fiction on the map. Then there is a new crop of skillful authors that are just now testing the waters. I have high hopes for these writers, names like Dembski-Bowden, Cawkwell, Smillie, French, Zou, and Sanders. The Black Library needs such new perspective if it is to remain fresh and appealing. I’m happy to say that there is little risk of the Black Library stagnating and Treacheries of the Space Marines is proof.
We’re big fans of Warhammer 40K…so this trailer for a new WH40K anthology and audio CD has us stoked…
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