"An Excellent Story All In. No More To Say."
More news from The Founding Fields . This excellent review site really has its shit together. With Black Library (as well as several other key Science Fiction publishers increasing their range and output, The Founding Fields have recently brought in some new blood to bolster the ranks of their steely-eyed veterans. Shadowhawk and EJ Davies are two such worthy recruits and between them they are already racking up some serious critical output. Today we have an advance review by EJ Davies on my Horus Heresy novella The Serpent Beneath, contained within the collection The Primarchs.
'EJ Davies takes on the latest in the Horus Heresy series with the Christian Dunn edited collection of four novellas entitled The Primarchs focussing on Fulgrim, Ferrus Manus, Lion El’ Jonson, and the twins Alpharius and Omegon.
“A superb collection of stories, with some expansive ideas setting great events in motion for the later payoff in the Heresy. Great stuff.” ~ The Founding Fields
From our friends at Black Library:
“Created in the Emperor’s own image, the primarchs had long thought themselves to be princes of the universe and masters of their own destiny – they led the Space Marine Legions in glorious conquest of the galaxy, and no enemy of the Imperium could stand against them. However, even amongst this legendary brotherhood, the seeds of dissent had been sown long before the treacherous Warmaster Horus declared his grand heresy.
Gathered within this anthology are four novellas focusing on some of the mightiest warriors and leaders that mankind has ever known – Fulgrim, Lion El’Jonson, Ferrus Manus and the twin primarchs Alpharius and Omegon – and the roles that they may have yet to play in a war which threatens to change the face of the Imperium forever.”
The Serpent Beneath – Rob Sanders.
My other favourite legion (my other other being VII) gets an outing with Omegon preparing an operation – Operatus Five-Hydra – gathering intelligence, personnel, and materiel as required. We get to see the inner workings of a legion first appearing in, ah, Legion and getting some more great Heresy time. I really enjoyed Rob’s The Long Games at Carcharias which proved he had some excellent ideas for the Alpha Legion in 40K and it was wonderful getting to see him play in the big sandbox of 30K.
This is a wonderfully written, delivered, and planned piece of work. From outset, to completion, this is great stuff. Real ‘A-Team’ kinda stuff, but with Space Marines. The narrative is broken up with scenes of action – so as we see the planning of the operation, we then see the execution. Example: We need this person for this operation – next section: we see that person extracted, or secured. It’s a really nicely put together story that ramps up the action towards the end. AND we get a great twist towards the end, the like of which we expect from the Alpha Legion. At no point did I ever feel myself veering away from the story.
An excellent story all in. No more to say.
In terms of an anthology this hangs together well. We start well, we end well, and the two stories in the middle are still very good. Does this further the Heresy for us? Not really, but it does set up some interesting plot threads for the future ... The highlight of all of them was The Serpent Beneath - and I’m hoping the Rob gets the opportunity to write more Alpha Legion, but then after Legion I wanted Dan to write more. So I hope they collaborate and make me a very happy nerd / man.
All in all, this is a great addition to the Heresy saga overall. Well worth the money.
The Primarchs will be available from all reputable (and some baseborn) retailers in June.'
EJ's full advance review of The Primarchs can be found here on The Founding Fields site. In the full review he checks out Graham McNeill's The Reflection Crack'd , Nick Kyme's Feat of Iron and Gav Thorpe's The Lion. Well worth a look. You can find more of EJ's reviews here and his blog here.