Audio Review 57 // Cypher: Guardian of Order by Gav Thorpe / Heart of the Conqueror by Aaron Dembski-Bowden / Censure by Nick Kyme / Bjorn: Lone Wolf by Chris Wraight


I am reaching the end of my current lineup of short audio releases from Black Library. It is entertaining tipping in and out of story arcs and catching up on some characters. But enough of my crap, let us jump in.

Cypher: Guardian of Order

Author: Gav Thorpe

Fluff: For a select few amongst the First Legion, the Northwilds of Caliban hold a particularly dark secret. At the command of Luther himself, young Librarian Zahariel accompanies Lord Cypher on one of his mysterious forays into the unknown depths. But an ancient evil is stirring once more, and, with rumours of galactic civil war creeping back to their homeworld, it may have already sunken its claws into the Dark Angels Legion...

Review

Heading back to my favourite place Caliban and the Dark Angels. Finally, we get to catch up with Zahariel and Cypher to find out how shit is going down. We join the pair as they visit the Northwilds once more, searching for a suitable fortress/training ground for their ever-growing recruits. It is here that we retread the scene from Fallen Angels and discover a previously defeated foe returning.

I really enjoyed this story. I am a long-time fan of Gav Thorpe's Dark Angel stories, which cements my love for them. What is happening? Will we ever know the truth? Who are the back guys? This is exactly what a short story should do. It should grab you and not let go, and this does just that.

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Heart of the Conqueror

Author: Aaron Dembski-Bowden

Fluff: The Navigator Nisha Andrasta has served the XIIth Legion for over a century. She saw the War Hounds reunited with their progenitor, Lord Angron. She witnessed the rebirth of the Legion as the World Eaters. She looked on in confusion and horror as the primarch joined Horus's rebellion, and now she has seen him betrayed by Lorgar Aurelian, becoming the maddened monster he was always destined to be. Now, as the character of the XIIth changes along with their father, what course of action yet remains to this loyal daughter of Terra?

In the core of a traitor ship, a heart still beats for the Emperor. In this story, we get a rare Navigator's perspective of the corruption of the Horus Heresy and how far one pilot will go to stay loyal.

Review

Short and sweet. This is a story that could have been a lot longer. Aaron Dembski-Bowden is a fantastic writer and once again brings a stunning piece. The story shows how one individual can be the change a galaxy needs. Of course, it isn't a happy ever after story, but it gets the mind exploring a more expansive universe. This could have been an epic story, but instead, I am waiting for the next World Eaters story to be written by this legend. Please say there will be more.

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Censure

Author: Nick Kyme

Fluff: In the depths of Calth's arcology network, the Underworld War has raged for years. Aeonid Thiel, previously an honoured sergeant of the Ultramarines, once again finds himself in trouble – pitted against the daemonic forces of the Word Bearers, he has no choice but to venture back to the ravaged surface and brave the deadly solar flares that have scoured all life from this world. With a lowly Imperial Army trooper as his only companion, it falls to him to drive the maniacal Dark Apostle Kurtha Sedd and his Warband from the overrun XIII Legion stronghold.

Review

This was a big story with a running time of about 70+ minutes. This story was actioned pack, and I loved it. It continues the story arc of the Calth series and has us rejoining Sergeant Thiel as he hunts down the heretics on Calth. We also get to ride along with "norm" human solider in a rare turn of events. Showing us how Calth affects the everyday soldier. It was refreshing and turned out that the two men had a lot in common. Overall another fantastic short story. I am really enjoying this week's choices.

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Bjorn: Lone Wolf

Author: Chris Wraight

Fluff: As daemons swarm across the fields of Velbayne, bringing madness and Chaos to all that they touch, Leman Russ and the Rout stand arrayed against them. Packs fight back to back, brothers, protecting one another – except for one. The Lone Wolf, the warrior without a pack, stands alone. And somewhere on the battlefield is a foe against which he will have vengeance…

Review

The final short for this week. Usually, I would only review three a week, but I could go through four as one was only 12 minutes long. I find, personally, I have a love-hate relationship with the wolves. In stories, they seem so cool, but it never seems to transfer into the games.

This is once again a concise story. Bjorn has his trademark claw and seems to be facing off against some daemons, but wherein the galaxy he is, I have no idea? All I know is that he is seeking a massive daemon to kill in a revenge hunt for the death of his pack brothers. I have to be honest and say I had no recognition of the names of the fallen, which also added to my confusion. I also don't remember much about the Bjorn story arc (sorry). Overall I feel this was the weakest of the tales this week. But still rather fun for the action pack romp that it is.

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Do you agree? Let me know in the comments. I hope you enjoyed it? Feel free to comment below or seek me out on one of the many social platforms I hang out on. Here is a quick LINK (Solo bio link) to my details. Cheers to reading this.

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