Book Review 173 // Scions of the Emperor by Black Library Part 2


Continuing last week's review as we complete Part two of Scions of the Emperor. The Scions of the Emperor is a Horus Heresy Primarch anthology, showcasing a variety of Primarchs and some short stories about them.

Title: Scions of the Emperor (The Horus Heresy: Primarchs #Anthology)

Authors: David Guymer, David Annandale, Guy Haley, Ian St. Martin, Gav Thorpe, Darius Hinks, James Swallow & Chris Wraight.

Description: A fantastic collection of Horus Heresy Primarch short stories. A must-have for all fans of Horus Heresy

Titles in this review:

The Conqueror's Truth by Gav Thorpe

Brought aboard the Nightfall, the remembrancer Ares desires to witness the glory of the Great Crusade. The primarch of the Night Lords, Konrad Curze, grants her request, sending her as a witness to compliance of his Legion first hand, but in so doing reveals a dark and inconvenient truth.

The Sinew of War by Darius Hinks

After having crushed a rebellion in Illyria, a young Roboute Guilliman returns to the capital of Macragge City to be reunited with his father, Konor, only to discover insurrection and unrest running rampant.

The Chamber at the End of Memory by James Swallow

As the Siege of Terra nears, Rogal Dorn uncovers a series of bizarre deaths within the inner walls of the Palace. To find the truth and be faced with no other choice, the primarch must defy the edict of Nikaea and return his Librarius to service, but what he discovers will shake him to his very core.

First Legion by Chris Wraight

Locked amid the Rangdan Xenocides, the Dark Angels of the First Legion are contacted by a mysterious warship under the command of Alpharius. When the stranger begins to ask questions about the campaign, he is summoned to the presence of the Lion himself for judgement. (less)

Buy a  Copy: Amazon CA

Style: Kindle 182 pages

Review

Here we go into the second half of this series, the first half was rather enjoyable, so I was entering this half full of excitement. First, The Conqueror's Truth by Gav Thorpe. This story was a unique take on the Horus Heresy/Crusade war stories as it takes on the adventure of a remembrance who strangely requests to witness the war through the eyes of the Night Lords! Of course, this is a dark story and soon has the remembrancer questioning his life choices. Great start. Then we get a Guilliman story titled The Sinew of War by Darius Hinks. This is a rare story that made me like Guilliman (ha). It showcases the actions that led to him becoming sole regent of Ultmar and did a great job of highlighting the political intrigue of his adopted world, a fascinating story with a nice little twist within it.

We have now reached the most extended two stories of the book at a shocking 20+ pages each. The first is The Chamber at the End of Memory by James Swallow. We join Rogal Dorn while he rebuilds the Imperial Palace into a fortress. As more material is needed, Rogal starts to teardown a zone he was warned away from by the Sigillite. Of course, Rogal ignores him and discovers a chamber guarded by weapons of extreme power. Turns out this door holds the secrets to the 2nd and 11th Legions, but before Dorn can enter, the Sigillite arrives. A lot is hinted in this story; it would seem Guilliman and Dorn were involved in the dissolving of these legions and chose to have their memories altered to allow the sons of those primarchs to exist elsewhere (heavily hinted to be part of the Ultramarines). Dorn also believed that if they survived, they would have sided with Horus, so we have to assume at the very least they were anti-Emperor or, at worst, pawns to the Chaos Gods. As you can tell, this was an exciting story for me, and I rather enjoyed it.

The final story is by Chris Wraight and titled First Legion. It is, of course, about the Dark Angels. During their conflicts with the Rangdan, Lion El'Jonson's forces were depleted. When a mysterious ally comes to help, we discover that the Primarch's having been scheming with each other since the beginning. It is interesting to see the Alpha Legion in action and how they play up to El'Johnson's ego; it is also interesting to hear mention of the Ultramarines numbers growing, as this is definitely linked to the previous story. Finally, it is funny how El'Johnson thought the Warmaster title was either going to him or Guilliman; it seems like Horus was never considered.

A solid book, The Chamber at the End of Memory was the standout tale for this half. Overall I think The Verdict of the Scythe by David Annandale is the ultimate winner. Would love to hear your thoughts on the stories. Which was your favourite?

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